Sunday, February 9, 2014

the soul's winter

{my little birdhouse is ready for spring}

 The wicked queen cursed Narnia with an eternal winter.

And I understand why that was so miserable.  We're buried in snow right now, and even though it's beautiful and enchanting, it is also exhausting.  It takes twice the effort to get off to work in the mornings and everything is lifeless and dormant.  Sometimes the snow is just mesmerizing, and at other times, I find myself massively frustrated with the never ending icy cold. 

But for me, my tendency to be excessively introspective, is like winter to my soul.

I see good things, but it also causes me to see the amount of work that is to be done.  I see how easy my feelings get hurt, and I wish that I had tougher skin.  I see how I have a tendency to choose relationships that drain me, and how I lack the strength to just say "no".

I feel angry at my own heart.  I feel angry that my heart hurts.  I want winter to go away and spring to come.  I want to smell the sweet fragrance of blooms and green growth.  I want to feel the warmth of light on my face and forget the icy blast of my own hang-ups.

I want to start looking at my life as a progression towards the beauty of the Throne, instead of a series of things I could never find a place to forge a path for.  I don't want to be a wanderer in the wilderness; searching and roaming to find a home for my heart... I want to be a pioneer on a journey that is bursting with experience.

... and most of this is in the eye of the beholder. 

Without winter,  life can't rest so that it can later grow fragrant life blooms.  The blooms that produce the faith to believe God's promises -- to hate your sin when you know it separates you from the Savior -- to know that His love never ends, and that though we are undeserving of His grace, He still pours it out over our spirits... the kind of faith that shows the pure light of life, that others living in darkness, can be touched and changed by. 

I have three single girlfriends, who have shown the fruit of life... who are three of the most strong, admirable and best friends I could possibly have.  All three are vastly different, live in three different states and have jobs that are as different from each other as Alaska and Florida.  But the one thing they all have in common, is that they love Jesus with a passion that moves mountains.  They all struggle with the kinds of things I do, like bad churches, repercussions of holding dear, different beliefs than you were conditioned to believe and trying to figure this life out when you have scars as deep as the ocean.  They've been tested in fires and tried in furnaces and God has not let them slip from His hand.

They remind me how beautiful it is to be a woman and how sometimes being on the outside and having to walk by yourself, is where you find the ugly turns the most radiant beautiful.  We've all suffered the sting of rejection and still do; but the strength and confidence they exude in Jesus, inspires me to cling to Him above all else.

And when I feel lonely and like I can't fit in the place that I'm told I should be fitting and when being put on the outside burns wounds in my soul, I remember the church.  I remember these three friends, who know what it means to love like Christ and follow Him.  Who are Marys at His feet and tomb and Johns resting on His breast and who's voices sing of His praises, with a sound sweeter than the most delicate bird.

Tonight, my thankfulness for them and their transparency and love is deep. 

God is good to provide.  He is good to love and cherish and take us through the winters and storms and bring us into His loving embrace, and if we just look at the good gifts He has given us, we will see His face and feel His tender care, and every season will pass and we will know the unfailing love that has been bestowed on us as the redeemed children of the living God.  

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