Our lives consist of seasons. There are the gentle joys and beauties of spring; the boundless, exuberant excitement in our summers; times of peace and quiet in fall; and then there are the winters we face. It seems as though my family has been in a winter season since the beginning of the year, at least. There is such a prevailing atmosphere of sadness and despair it nearly suffocates me.
Even in winter, there are pleasures tho - when I am at home and my children are laughing and playing and Darren is by my side, it's like a nice warm fire or a freshly fallen snow. But when I lift my eyes and take in the scene of my family, I see the bleakness of winter - the trees are bare, the sky is gray, and the air chills me to the bone. Some of the sorrow is of a physical nature, some comes by consequence of poor decision, and others just seem to be an endless cycle of despair that doesn't break. I feel helpless as I watch. I pray. I know God hears, but things happen in His time, not mine. I keep looking for signs of spring. I think sometimes I can catch a glimpse of blue sky or a whisper of warmth in the air but it fades quickly - leaving me to wonder if maybe I just imagined it to be so.
How long can a winter last? I am afraid maybe some people's lives only consist of winter...and that crushes my heart in sadness. I count myself blessed beyond measure. I have four healthy children and a husband who has been faithful and loving to me for 12 years. While gardening, milking, and homeschooling are sometimes hard work, there is pleasure and satisfaction to be found. I sometimes panic when the whirlpool around me edges more closely and I am reminded of the man in Mark 9:24 who said to Jesus "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." There was a time that I didn't understand how those two small sentences could stand together. I figured either you believe or you don't....how could he say both. But my time of understanding has dawned. I know what the man was saying. And I say it along with him now. "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."