Finding The Joy In Every Season

“Well, at least it will be in the 50’s next week, and [the snow] will be gone,” he reasoned aloud with a sigh.

My husband hates the winter, particularly the snow. He suffers from seasonal depression, where lack of sunshine caused by cloudy cover contributes to a kind of malaise only sunny weather can break. And I definitely understand–I don’t particularly care for wet weather, and cold weather mixed with wetness makes me sad.

And yet this year (despite the struggle that comes with snowy days and rainy weather), I appreciate the winter and what it offers. In the process of seeking mindfulness this past year, I have learned to love every present moment for the beautiful lessons curled inside each stressful experience.

It started in Nashville, where our little family experienced trauma after needling, mind boggling  trauma. We had finally moved into temporary housing in Franklin and were struggling with what to do next: where to live, where to work, how to make life work for us. In following a wonderful woman named Shannon Evette on Facebook, I did a 3 day fast to clear my mind and get some understanding as bills piled up and debt followed. I couldn’t take another step, and I had had all I could stand.

On day 1–about six hours into restless prayer, I fell to the floor in convulsing tears. God was asking me to trust a process that I fought mightily against. I screamed in what can only be described as psychic agony. Not again, I begged. Don’t uproot me again. God, please. The answer came back: Yes. Do whatever he (Bill) says. 

Three days later, we moved into a Mainstay. Two days after that, we packed all that we could into our Malibu and spent the next four months in an extended stay hotel in IL.

We could have moved into a house  before December, I think. The opportunities were there. The money was there. The desire was there. But I understood that God was working on breaking something inside me, a distrust of the divine process that I did not understand and therefore wanted no parts of.

I sat in that one bedroom hotel room day after day, wrestling with the process until one day I opened up my eyes and realized that I was okay. That even in the midst of  not being able to get my belongings out of storage, not having my clothes, not having a bedroom for my children, not having any idea of what the next move would be, I was okay. And that everything I needed in that moment I had: a roof over my head. Happy children. Safe and sound husband. A job. Food. Friends. Love.

Sitting in that little hotel room, I found joy.

So when the snow fell and the temperature dropped into single icy digits this past week, I put on my coat, scarves, boots, and gloves finally rescued from a storage unit in  Nashville. I cleaned the Malibu off (not moved all day because: SNOW DAY FROM WORK!!) and appreciated the still pristine shine of new snow.

And I thanked God for the beauty in it.

Every day that I wake up, every struggle I encounter, I stop and breathe and thank God for the beauty in the moment that I cannot see. I thank God for the joy that I may not feel. I thank God for the lesson that I have not yet learned. And every time, God gives me peace and clarity and a little reminder to trust the process. I relax, and God winks: a hug from a student, a joke from Haleigh, a piece of art from Ashleigh, an intimate moment with Bill, a text message from a friend, a random bit of wisdom to write and share with the world.

If I didn’t learn any other thing (and I did), the one thing I walked into 2017 with was that in order to be victorious, I must find glory in the little things and joy in the ugly things. When I can hold onto that, nothing bad can hold onto me.

 

 

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