Disclaimer: There are actually a lot of things I enjoy about the cold weather- the crispness of the air, playing in the snow, and bundling up in soft scarves and cute boots. And I do realize that winter in Virginia is far from the harshest weather. So keep that in mind as you read my ramblings below.
After spending 5 years in New Orleans (where I distinctly remember teasing my best friend as she walked through snow in Harrisonburg & I enjoyed sitting on my front porch in flip flops- yep, eating my words now!) and 2 in Tampa (where anything below 65 degrees is considered freezing) I've experienced a rather rude awakening during my first year back in Virginia.
Public schools have been delayed and canceled so much for snow and freezing temperatures that they haven't had a single normal week since before Christmas. My school generally stays open- we're a daycare and we want to be a stable place for working parents- but even we had to close one day last week as roads were impassable. We've had record low temperatures that have caused everyone here to change their definition of cold- for example, I had a day where I stepped outside and thought, "Wow, it feels nice out here!" only to check my phone and discover it was 28 degrees outside.
But today- today, the winter is thawing. The high was 59 today, and the 12+ inches of snow we got lost week are steadily melting. As it turns out, people DO have grass in their yards, and there actually are side walks along the main roads- I was starting to forget what Harrisonburg looked like without snow covering most of it. And don't get me wrong- I'm fully aware that this is Virginia and that we will likely get several more snows in the next couple months. But all the same, I was reminded- spring is coming. Winter never lasts forever. And it reminded me that the same is true in life.
Obviously, per the blog name, I'm a fan of the 'seasons of life' metaphor. I just can't help but feel that it is so applicable. Life can be hard. Really hard, actually. I have had my own seasons of winter, of anxiety, despair, and hardship. And sometimes, when you're in the midst of them, it just seems like it's never going to end- it will always be freezing outside and things are never going to change. But I was reminded today that spring always comes. Year after year, winter comes and all the leaves on the tree die. But in that same rhythm, year after year, spring comes and brings new, glorious life. In my own life, I have seen the Lord, time after time, bring life to where there had once been death. I have found, in the darkest of nights, that Jesus brings beauty, sanctification, and refinement through the very things that hurt the most. And the thing I cling to- especially amid those struggles that I have had for many winters- is that one day, there will be a Spring that never ends.
And y'all- after this cold winter, spring is going to be amazingly sweet.