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Beginning Again: 5 Steps To Take During Your Personal “Winter”

Are you in the winter of the soul, a season of darkness and barrenness? Maybe you wonder if there could ever be a spring again.

January is cold, even here in the South. The trees are bare. The ground is hard. The grass is pale. Life is asleep.

Sometimes my inner life looks like the winter landscape. Someone I love is gone, I feel rejected or deserted, and circumstances have sapped my hopes. The cold wind of loss whips at the tender skin of my cheeks, and I seek out shelter. A safe place.

woman standing on the seashore

Photo by Ali Pazani on

Last week, I looked at my dead lawn and the naked oak tree limbs. And I suddenly realized the irony – we celebrate the New Year inside the season that brings us lifeless terrain. We celebrate new beginnings during winter, a time of death.

I remember times my life felt burned down to the ground. Lifeless. I wondered how I could get through the devastation. I wondered if I’d ever be happy again.

But in the midst of that winter of my soul, I clung to hope. And I clung to God. I’d lived long enough to know that spring isn’t just possible but probable.

How do you begin again in the middle of a personal winter?

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The Adult Orphan: Will This Feeling Ever Go Away?

Are you an adult orphan?

I’d never heard of the term until I became one – and felt like one.

I read it in a book somewhere. I then realized others had felt the same way as me.

close up portrait of human eye

Photo by Skitterphoto on

I identified with the term though my mother was still living. Why? Because with my father’s death, I became Mom’s caregiver. Slowly, she became the parent and I became the child.

To be orphaned, I think, means to be alone. And helpless against danger. I felt alone.

In those chaotic, stressful times, I longed to be parented. To feel safe.

My burning request for rescue was voiced in a sudden stroke of desperation. I raised voice to the ceiling and cried to God.

“Send me a protector!”

Are we destined to retain this label of adult orphan? To remain feeling alone, unprotected?

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