I do not like the harsh freezing winds of winter. With every attempt to cover myself, the bitter cold will sneak its way in under my skin reminding me that one must embrace this time of life. For some it only lasts a short time, but for others it can be an eternity. For me, four years ago, it seemed my uninvited winter would never end.
It started like a sweet summer breeze. A forgotten friend reappeared and from our moments greeting we had years of catching up to do. We talked through all hours of the night sharing pieces of our hearts we rarely give away. Each day we embraced along the water’s edge, giggled over barbecue and wine, and took long walks to capture the moon’s promise of a new day with each other. It seemed this renewed feeling of connection would only grow and endure any season of life. It’s that sense of completeness you dream of, yet it’s not always aligned with God’s plan.
The chill of my awareness began during autumn’s subtle presence of cooler air. The leaves of beautiful greens, orange, and reds landscaped my path. Yet, this new change would turn this lovely reality into barren trees and a hint that a brutal winter was upon me. It came so sudden for me. Once this vibrant man who embraced each day, to a mean-spirited person with bitter words to tear your softened heart. At first I thought it must have been me that caused these unrelenting crashing waves of rage. Yet, there were enough voices to summon a choir of agreement that this was whom this person was. Had the summer’s warmth guarded this truth, or was I blinded by its rays of temporary kindness?
The day came without a weather report to prepare me. The rampage, the hidden agenda, and the terror in his eyes were enough to plan an instant escape. There was no need for discussion, no need to repair. I had endured layers of abuse before and I would not succumb to that once more. There was an attempt to ridicule and betray my children, yet as a mama bear would have it, I was able to rescue them into a protected den. Yet, this meant that I was now out in the cold and alone. No one to talk to as my shame left me vulnerable to the harshness of this new winter storm. It was this day that I had to choose. To hide, stay, or to walk in faith toward spring.
Layers and layers of clothing could not protect me from the daily reality of my frozen heart. It was damaged and only my trust in God’s promises kept each foot moving forward. There is no magic in healing. It is only the peeks of sunshine that will begin to melt away the sorrow and pain. I found that it was the strength in my spirit that broke through the ice wall. My bruising would remind me that pain lingers under one’s skin. If you trust the narrow road, the sun begins to shine brighter each day. A choice to turn back is always there, but each step makes the calling winds a faint voice that whispers the truth of what you walked away from. I wonder why others choose to go back, when the slight hint of warmer climate touches their face.
Finally, I awoke to a new breath that gave life to my first day of spring. I did it. I protected my flock through that bone chilling time and was able to celebrate victory over defeat. Had I stayed, there would have been glimpses of that sweet summer time, but it would never have been a freedom that I deserved. I am a testimony of new growth after a deafening winter. Abuse of any kind breaks one’s soul and can shatter a lifetime of hope. For me, this winter was temporarily filled with lessons and promises fulfilled. It’s a beautiful thing when one is cocooned for a time, and will break free to it’s first flight in the aroma of a blossomed spring.