the heart of winter: survival.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

my heart does not know where to begin.
i have pondered and thought through this post for months.
perhaps years.

but it is now i bravely share where i am and where i am living and growing through.  i are deeply imbedded in winter.  not a winter of weather, but a winter of suffering.  hurting.  aching.  it is not depression, but a heart that is aching for something else.  something different.  something to change.  a heart that is wild and raw; a heart of winter that would seem to be all-consuming and never-ending.

mark buchanan, in his book spiritual rhythm, describes winter as the absence of light, God, friends.  i have profoundly felt the void of these things.  i felt the presence of darkness, the silence of God, the absence of trusted community.  in that void, that abandonment, i have suffered.  i have wept.  i have hurt.  i have lost hope.  i have longed.  i have ached for change.  it has felt all-consuming and never-ending.  and recently, it has purpose.

did you read that?
my winter has a purpose.
it has a purpose in my heart.
soul.
mind.
strength.
it always has had purpose.
and now i see it.
vaguely.

"i believe every heartache and hardship, and the profound loneliness such things bring, has a back door.  they allow us enter into a communion with Christ we don't usually experience in our days of ease and song.  most of us have had our deepest encounters with Christ not on mountaintops, but in valley floors." spiritual rhythm on being in winter

in an effort to be authentic, i admit that this journey has been years.  it has been a dark and desolate time and for me and it is not over.  i am on my valley floor.  on my knees.  looking up.  begging God to change things.  begging God to make himself abundantly present in my life.  to speak into my life with purpose.

everyone experiences a desolate time in their lives.  it is harsh and hard, but it is a time where we deeply grow in our faith.  it is where we encounter God in such a beautiful way.  where our growth is beautiful.  where we find a passion for Christ.  where we are refined and redirected.  where we consider what God has for our lives.  it changes who we are and who we are called to be.  it draws us deeply into communion with who God is and who he is calling us to be.  but lets not forget it is painful and often we do not listen.

i do no hear God.
i break my silence.
even when God does not.
it is this brokenness that shapes me.
and i strive to listen.

it is muffled, but in my listening & am hearing Gods whisper.  i am seeing direction and an understanding of what it means to walk well in the midst of "winter".  my winter stands firm, it does not waver, but i am working desperately to do things differently, understanding the pureness that prayer brings is key in my growth in my faith, that waiting has a beautiful purpose, and that this time in my life will only bring a deeper growth that no other season can bring.  it is now that my faith is being built because of sheer desperation that can only come in these moments of refinement.

it is now and only now that i am beginning to see the blessing that comes from a time like this.

"those who sow with tears shall reap with joyful shouting." psalm 126:5

while i await my joyful shouting, i will continue to be pruned with a flood of tears, i will prayerfully seek Jesus, looking up from my val



ley, knowing that God has given me a way out.  or he will give me a way out.  but until that time, i am learning.

learning deeply to find joy.
to look for it.
to seek it out.
to share that with other people.

because when my winter is over, i want to shout it from the top of the mountain.  scream it from the top of the mountain.  i cannot wait until that time.  but for now... i survive.  however, i want to speak truth so that when my heart heals and God changes things for us, i can shout joyfully the top of the mountains as the psalmist says.  so that i may live authentically before others in my life.  to share life with others because life is a beautiful mess.



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