House in the Snow

When the Snow Gets Old…

House in the Snow
The storm’s initial punch can be eclipsed by its wearying aftermath.

It’s March already! That’s not an excited, “It’s March already!” type of comment like, “Hey wow! Where does the time go? I can’t believe it’s March already!” type of comment ~ Although that would be true too.

It’s more of an “Oh-my-gosh-why-is-it-snowing-and-icy-and-cold-and-just-plain-yucky-out-for-crying-out-loud,-IT’S-MARCH-ALREADY!” type of comment.

This year the harsh winter snow and cold seem to have come earlier, hit harder, and hung around more persistently. In fact, right now I question whether the winter yuck is going to refuse to leave at all – ever.

And sometimes life is like that too.

I remember the first winter snow. What was it in like October this year? It was so long ago, I don’t honestly remember the day or even month, but I do remember the excitement and the beauty. I remember my boys were at their father’s house, and I was wishing I could just have them here to share in that beauty, that excitement of the first fallen snow. I remember looking out the back door and seeing a brilliant, clean, beautiful, pure world,

and even though I knew the cold and the harshness that would lie ahead (the Farmer’s Almanac had predicted a rough winter) I felt I could handle anything.

One night soon after, George, Kaleb and I took a walk in the snow. We walked along the streets, not pausing to feel the harshness of the wind, not stopping to complain with a neighbor about the bitter cold, not holding our backs as we shoveled a path to our blanketed car.

The snow draped the trees in fluffy white softness. Children made snow people in their yards and adults relived their own childhoods by cheerfully agreeing to meet at “The Hill” to take children sledding.

The cold, the snow, the wind – none of that mattered then. That storm was something I could detach from and therefore something I knew I’d survive.

I knew we would get through the storm to warmer days ahead.

But that was then.

This is now.

And now it is March.

And that beautiful snow that once blanketed the car has washed away the color. Salt and dirt and winter yuck has kicked up, coating most vehicles in the same shade of grey-tan blah nothingness.

The trees that were once draped in soft, fluffy snow are now drooping, weary of being tossed in the wind, their limbs snapped, their buds nowhere to be seen.

The children, once anxious to build snow people, sit inside playing on iPods and snapping at each other, a condition that comes with cabin-fever. Their parents, once cheerily reliving their own childhoods sledding at “The Hill,” now mumble and curse the persistent cold under their breaths.

Today, as I drive through town, I look at the snow still piled up against the curbs, the snow blanketing front lawns, the snow clinging stubbornly to tree trunks, and I wonder.

It’s not so much that the snow has changed. It’s technically the same snow that fell days, or weeks, or months ago. It’s not like some giant Snow Fairy came down in the middle of the night and scooped up the brilliant, clean, beautiful, pure snow and replaced it with this icy, harsh, dirty, sandy, yucky snow that we have now.

It’s more that life just wore that snow down.

Made it dirty and hard and yucky.

And life threatens to do the same to us..

When life throws its curve balls, we may be shaken, we may be hurt, we may be absolutely devastated, but we often think we can plow through those twists.

We make it through the immediate crisis, but the aftermath of every day dreariness gnaws away at us, slowing us down, threatening to pull us under.

I know that feeling, that desire to give in, to feel like I am surrounded by that harsh, dirty, icy world with no end in sight or, worse, to feel like I am that harsh, dirty, icy snow that people can’t stand the sight of.

We must not in any way trivialize our initial storms or the trauma they bring, but it is often not the immediate suffering that overwhelms us. Rather, it is when the attention has died down, when the support has backed off, when other people think life is (or should be) back to normal that the reality of dealing with the pain and exhaustion of facing the same no-win situations day in and day out with no relief in sight really hits home.

Each of us has our own unique issues we must face daily, and, without a break from the cold harsh reality of our lives, these issues threaten to eat away at us.

They try to make us think that our winters will drag on forever.

They try to make us forget that the beautiful Spring is really coming, that a new life really does await us.

They try to make us forget that the Spring we long for doesn’t come on a calendar day after all. It comes when God says it is right for it to come.

Your Spring will come…

In God’s timing

…As long as we focus on the warmth and the hope that Jesus came to bring us. He is the Light of the World, and with that Light comes warmth and with that warmth comes Spring and with that Spring comes new Life.

Winter really won’t last forever. I can (almost) guarantee it.

Hold on to the Word of God, to the Lamb who brings purity and new life.

God will show you your path to springtime, but you have to keep your eyes open and your heart soft to receive His direction.

Even the every day drudgery cannot last forever. Don’t let it pull you down. Keep your eyes lifted, focus all you’ve got to getting to the final resting place where even any Spring snow is always wondrous.

What threatens to weigh you down every day? Is there something that pulls your attention away from the Spring God promised is coming? How do you cope with every day stress, sadness, sorrows?

God Bless…

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3 thoughts on “When the Snow Gets Old…”

  1. Wow, what a great post. I am in the throes of ‘winter’ or as St. John of the Cross refers to as a “Dark Night of the Soul”. Through my separation and divorce, I came to understand these nights. I learned to recognize them, and ultimately embrace them. I would tell my boys to take comfort in knowing that I needed to allow this ‘season’ to run its course in order for me to grow as a woman, mother and child of God. Trust. We trust that the days will get longer and the sun will get stronger as the seasons change. We need to trust that through it all God is close to us; so close that all we need to do is whisper in his ear. I have to be honest…as much as I have come to know and love this intimacy, the game changed when my boys chose to walk out on me to stay with their father, his mother (their grandmother) and their father’s boyfriend. This was, and continues to be, one of the darkest nights of my soul. I feel God so close, but that hasn’t stopped me from calling out to him, this time choosing to shout instead of whisper. Did you know that winter determines the splendor of autumn? It’s true! I never knew that! Oh, sure, there is science behind it, but I like to think that God’s master plan is so sublime that he knew we would look for Him in the world around us. We would liken our struggles and sufferings to the harshness of a ‘bad’ winter so what better way to remind us that ‘this too shall pass’ then with the promise of a splendid autumn. You are so right, Strahlen, we have to accept that God alone decides the seasons…the sunny days, and the dark nights…Trust. I have to accept the fact that my ‘winter’ might be a long one. In fact, it might continue as those around me welcome spring. What I pray for now is that I find the grace to embrace my ‘place’, define a new norm, and thank God for the blessings that each day brings. I also pray that my boys are not experiencing dark nights of their own, but if they do, I trust in God to be near enough to hear them whisper.
    I actually got through this comment without crying! Welp, that is definitely going down in the books as a blessing!
    P.S. this post was not edited for logic, grammar or clarity of thought!

    1. Oh Regina, I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of having your boys move out, and I pray it is a temporary move on their part. I have no idea what God plans but hope that He is working behind the scenes, as I often say. because I have often seen evidence of His working this way.

      We often fear for our children because we, being so limited in our sight and understanding, can only think of the bad that could influence them in that darkness. I think that them being influenced negatively is a legitimate possibility causing legitimate concern, but perhaps there is another explanation too. Perhaps God is using your boys to bring some goodness to your ex’s dark world. Oh how hard I have to pray sometimes to want there to be light and goodness in my ex’s world, but I would never want him or his girlfriend to suffer for an eternity and know that light and goodness must come from somewhere with enough time to work on their hearts. Our children are God’s children first and foremost. We must trust Him to care for them and use them as He sees fit and pray that, when their job is down (whatever that job is) they use their free will to turn back to the church and back to the faith (and therefore back to us) on their own.

      I did not know the degree of winter affects the autumn to come. What a beautiful thing you have taught me. You have given me something more to think about. I also like what you said in this: I have to accept the fact that my ‘winter’ might be a long one. In fact, it might continue as those around me welcome spring. You are so right, and yet even still…tonight I will again pray you have a shorter, more gentle winter than we feared you might.

      Remember, you are loved ~ perfectly by Perfection.
      God Bless…

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