I am not a fan of the winter. The blistering cold that makes it hard to breathe, the extra time each outdoor adventure takes to suit up, the cold and germs that free reign during that icy season–never on my list of favorites. The shortened days and the constant risk of danger on the roads as the temperatures can give me the winter blues and put my anxious heart on high alert. Winter–no not a fan.
But there is something I love that only the harsh conditions of this season can provide.
I love to look at the snow.
Whether it is pouring down by the bucket load or drifting elegantly like feathers from heaven, I love what a new fallen snow does to our winter world. I love way that each flake glitters in the sunshine and how together they clothe the barren trees with a new coat of splendor. Not to mention the amazing way that each ice crystal is crafted uniquely. I find the snow in all its wonder absolutely breathtaking.
Similarly, I am not a fan of the nightshift. Me pulling an all nighter means that my sweet Elena is very sick. It means we are in prevention mode, whether it be pneumonia prevention or hospital stay prevention, both are places we do not choose to be. It means that my role as mom now becomes that of a nurse as I am forced to muscle through our action plan checking vitals and tracking meds. I have to let adrenaline lead, never allowing the heart-wrenching pain of seeing my own child suffer take me captive. Not for a minute, there is no time.
And as the dust begins to settle, and Elena’s vitals have stabilized, I realize that it has been quite some time that I actually took a deep breathe. I remind myself to breathe. Big deep breaths. It is just me, Elena and the low hum of the oxygen machine and as I slowly exhale the tears begin to fall as I release a thousand sorrows from the broken heart of a mom who was just fighting for her daughter’s life.
As the tears fall, my entire heart pours forth, crying out to Jesus. I lay every sorrow, every heartache, every fear at the feet of my Lord and Savior. I am broken, with none of my own strength left to give. Sometimes I cry out begging Him for this cup to pass, pleading that there must be another way. And sometimes I just trust that what He has done before He will do again. But each and every time, He meets me in the nightshift, when it is just me, Elena and the low hum of the oxygen machine.
I love how He meets me here.
There is a pure sweet intimacy that I have found with God in my nightshifts, my moments of greatest sorrow, when I am at the end of me. I absolutely hate what it takes to bring me here, but I love the safety and trust that I find being wrapped completely in the arms of my Savior. With none of me left, I am certain that He is providing for all of my family’s needs far better than I ever could. I have seen the church step in and be the hands and feet of Jesus, seamlessly blessing us in areas we were not even aware that we needed. It is here that I know within the depths of my heart that He is good and that all of His promises are true. I love how He meets me here, in the middle of the nightshift faithfully every time.
I have learned how to rejoice in my season of suffering. Not because I love all the cold and danger that the winter season brings, trust me the pain my sweet girl has had to endure is unbearable but when I cry out to Him, He always meets me there. And as I turn to Jesus, He does what only he can do. Taking a harsh, and brutal season of heartache and tears, and coats it with a fresh blanket of new fallen snow. He makes all things beautiful. Finding Him in my cold harsh season, makes it praiseworthy.
May you find joy and new found beauty in your season and rejoice at the glory revealed through your suffering at the revelation of Jesus Christ our Lord.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7
Have you learned to find beauty in your long harsh seasons? What promises of God are leaning on to get you through?