Well, the month of March is upon us and somehow it’s still 9 degrees outside. We got blasted with more snow and it seems as if the polar vortex business will not let up.
Even though I know that spring is coming, my heart is having a hard time holding onto hope. You see, January/February can be notoriously rough months for me. Something about the after-Christmas-fallout mixed with cold weather and jumping back into busy-ness makes me feel depressed. When I lived in Phoenix, the weather aspect wasn’t so bad (in fact, it was opposite – it started getting hot as soon as February rolled around… which equally made me depressed), but now living in Kansas City I feel perpetually frozen. The dream of flip-flops and popsicles seems too good to be true.
Anyway, I know I will survive the winter… intellectually, I know spring must come. The snow must melt. The flowers will bloom. But even though I know this in my head, I’ve been trying these last several weeks to get my heart to know it too. I’ve been struggling with anxiety, depression and hopelessness. I’ve felt like my life was never going to change… like I’d be stuck in this tiny attic, in the this busy schedule, surrounded by snow for the rest of my life.
Thankfully, I had some breakthrough this last Wednesday. I realized that through my sadness, complaining and grumbling I had been agreeing with the enemy about the quality of my life. The more I meditated on how “bad” my life was, the worse it became…
So with some prayer from others, repentance, and new tools of thankfulness, I’m starting to change my mind about my life. I’m learning that thankfulness is the key to happiness and peace. When I feel the heaviness set in, I begin to thank the Lord for the good things He’s done (and will do). And I tell you, 100% of the time, it works. It really does help because it refocuses my mind on what’s true.
If you’ve been feeling those winter blues… spiritually or physically, then know you’re not alone. God created the seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall just as He orchestrates the seasons of our heart. As I’ve been in the midst of this winter season, I’ve realized there are four really important things to hold onto in order to not lose heart:
Prophetic Promises – Why did God call you to where you are? Maybe you’re finishing school to get a medical degree to save people’s lives… or maybe you’re a stay-at-home momma raising godly kids. Either way, what is the promise over this season? If you don’t have one, go ahead and ask the Lord. He loves sharing his promises with us. For me, I was losing touch with why God called me back to Kansas City. But as I prayed for a prophetic promise, God quickly answered by showing me he was healing & restoring my identity. This season is all about sonship for me… so it’s okay if other things aren’t given as much attention right now.
Perspective – Seriously, perspective changes everything. If we’re down in the dirt staring at a blade of grass or staring at it from a helicopter, there’s going to be some major changes in our view. When we start to look at our lives in a bigger picture way, things will make more sense. Yes, I have been in KC for seven months… but I only have 3-4 more months ahead of me! Life always moves forward and onward. It’s important for me to keep this in mind when I feel stuck.
People (& prayer) – Having people around who love you & know you is vitally important. When we lose sight of ourselves, we need someone else who will remember (and tell us) who God says we are. I cannot tell you how many times Luke has listened to me gripe, then gently reminded of what the truth is… then he’ll pray for me. Even though I’m mostly annoyed by it in the moment (hah, sorry Luke!), it is really important and helpful. Let those who love you take on this role in your life. Go ahead and try it… thank the Lord for something right now in your life.
Praise – Like I said, having a grateful heart is one of the most powerful things in the world. A thankful heart is unmoved by worry and fear because it is confident in the goodness of the Father. When we think about all we have and all God has done, we disarm the power of depression and anxiety.
Pizza – This isn’t one of my original “four P’s”, but Luke said I should add it… and I think it’s pretty good! When you’re having one of those days without passion and joy, order a pizza and watch a funny movie. Take care of your soul by simply slowing down and enjoying a pizza… instead of letting your mind dwell on the things that are troubling you. It may not work for everyone, but I tell ya, pizza has some medicinal qualities to help boost the mood. 😉
Anyway, I hope some of those things are helpful. I am in the midst of walking these realities out right now, so I can let you know how effective they are in the long run. I feel confident in God’s goodness to pull me through this winter though. He’s just too good to leave me here.
Please feel free to message or comment if you also are feeling this way and need prayer. Like I said, you’re not alone. We can wait out winter together. 🙂