Winter is desperately difficult here in the Northern Hemisphere for our family. We struggle daily without the sun on our skin. We weep with our teens as they feel the weight of winter. We battle as parents to know next steps. We get all the advice and do all the things. But the darkness is real.
I make choices each day to quite literally find sun, find light and find brightness. That part is the most delightful thing about our winters in the depth of the snow – it is the light reflecting off the snow that does make everything SHINE.
But I know what a winter season feels like naturally, emotionally and spiritually. It is so hard to see what it going on around you. You really do hibernate. The darkness feels heavy. The disconnection feels real.
The seasons of depression that I have experienced are some that I will never forget. The suicidal nights when I needed to tell my husband to stay up on night watch with me because I did not trust what I might do, was the deepest darkest nights of my soul, ever. We did not know that what was happening across those few weeks was the actual dying of the baby inside my womb. It was actually real death. Her heart had stopped beating and now I carried this grief and darkness in my body without knowing it.
But this is also what true depression feels like too. You know that if you have experienced it. The slow dying. The unexplainable loss.
Then the grief that some days still washes over me, different relational losses that trigger the pain of that loss of our daughter, that grief feels as real as the day the doctor in the ultrasound told me that she was not alive.
I do think that we place relational barriers between us and those we love, in all different seasons, but especially in the barroness of a winter season.
Song of Songs 2:3
My beloved is like a gazelle or a young hart. Behold, he stands behind the wall of our house, he looks in through the windows, he glances through the lattice.
“Rise up, my dear friend, fair and beautiful lover—come to me! Look around you: Winter is over; the winter rains are over, gone! Spring flowers are in blossom all over. The whole world's a choir—and singing!”
There are walls. You cannot see or be seen.
There are windows. You can see but cannot connect.
There is lattice. You can feel the presence of another but it has purposed protection.
These three layers could represent different kinds of disconnection.
You need someone to say to you…
COME TO ME
WINTER IS OVER
the season has changed
sometimes we don’t even know it
So we need the specifics …
12The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing [of birds] has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
13The fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs,
and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance.
Do you see it? Do you smell it? Do you hear it? Use your senses..
Because when you are depressed your senses dull.
The very first One to speak this over our heart is Jesus.
This Is Heaven’s whisper to anyone experiencing depression.
This is what He says often to me in a winter season.
When we cannot find the courage, words, strength to go very far. The distance to Him is non-existent.
It is immediate connection.
It is home.
It is here.
It is now.
It is yours.
It is spring.
It is song.
Check out my friend's Dave & Jen Gilpin (courageous pioneers who we are with this week), their son has just released an album. It is breathtaking and this song 'Winter is Over' will be a perfect anthem for your healing. Thank you Ryan for your journey in words