* * * * * * * * * *
I grew up in one of Colorado’s iceboxes—a small town in the northwestern corner where winter reigned for eight to nine months of the year. Layers of snow took residence over the town’s landscape during the long winter months and freezing temperatures dominated this isolated locale, occasionally dipping to 30, 40, and even 50 degrees below zero.
After months of winter, restlessness and cabin fever nearly suffocated us. We longed for this gray world to transform into vibrant colors of life. Our chilled bones yearned for warmth.
Sometimes, though, winter didn’t willingly pass on its crown and scepter to spring, and it reigned like a tyrant for as long as it could.
After my dad’s death in August 2011, I longed for the end of winter and for a warmer and brighter season—one of healing and new beginnings.
But winter wasn’t done with us yet.
Beginning in the spring of 2012, a series of difficult circumstances afflicted precious members of my family.
In the midst of these hardships, I had another miscarriage. This loss hit especially hard. Hopelessness swooped in and threatened to trample on my faith and trust in God. For a short time, it prevailed as my heart began to harden.
In the days and weeks that followed, God lovingly consoled me and used the words of others to encourage me.
My heart softened and HOPE once again filled my being.
Through this long winter season, I have cried many tears over the pain, suffering, and heartache that my precious family has endured. My breath has been snatched away from me as I’ve received one phone call after another with devastating news.
As I write this, winter’s grip still holds onto my family.
Nevertheless, I cling ever-so-tightly to the HOPE found in God’s beautiful promises:
He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
He makes everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
He gives us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
“Death has been swallowed up in victory”—victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
One day “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelations 21:4).
Though winter flaunts its blizzards and bitter cold temperatures, every so often it reveals its gentler nature—plump snowflakes dancing slowly across the sky and adorning the barren land below with a pure white cloak. It is in the beauty of this moment that I discover . . .