The Winters of Our Lives
In Utah, winters are beautiful with clear icicles that glisten in the morning sun, and crisp blue skies that shake white flakes from the clouds. The trees are black with white canopies and the mountains jut up like great white blades. It’s cold and the air is crisp. You love it until the end of the holidays and then you want the sun back (or at least I do). One of my favorite mentors of all time, Jim Rohn, wrote a book called “Seasons of Life.” In his book, Rohn explained that our lives go in seasons. The Spring is time of new opportunity and growth. The Summer is when we work hard to sustain our new opportunity. The Fall is when the harvest comes and we reap what we have sown. The Winter is the season of disappointment and regret when life isn’t kind.
We can experience many seasons in the same year but we inevitably go through them all. Some are short and some are long. How we handle these seasons of our lives will determine the course of our future. If we continue to grow and get stronger or if we lose ourselves in the winters of our lives. Maybe you are reading this right now and you are in the Spring. You have so many opportunities coming your way and you don’t see an end to the possibilities. Maybe you are in the Summer working hard to sustain what you have but you can see the Fall approaching with its reward. Maybe you are reading this and your heart is heavy because you know that right now the Winter has set in. Things are tough and the outlook bleak. You aren’t exactly sure how to move on and how to make the time of despair end.
For those of you that find yourself in a Winter. Here are some ways to get yourself through it.
Remember all winters have to end
Last year, I was sitting in my home eating dinner when my brothers called me. They didn’t say what was wrong but that they were coming to get me. That day is one I want to forget. One I want to cross off the calendar so many times the ink bleeds through the paper and it rips. That day started one of the longest “winters” I have ever gone through. Sometimes you don’t realize how bad things were until you are through them—this wasn’t one of those times. I knew exactly how bad the situation was and it didn’t seem to have an end in sight. I kept praying and hoping that this trial would end. Logically I said, it couldn’t last more than 3 months. By then SOMETHING has to happen that would dislodge the funk my whole family was in. It wasn’t until 13 months later that the change I’d prayed for started to happen! 13 months s one @*^! of a winter. But like everything, the trails/disappointments in our lives end. The sun does come out and Spring comes.
The last thing on our mind during a tragedy is gratitude. For a lot of us we are so mad, so hurt, and so upset that to even think about being grateful is like asking the sky to be green. But it is gratitude that is going to carry you through the harshest winters of your life. When you can take a second to be grateful for what you do have you remember he harvest you have had in the pasts, how good God has been to you, the winter losses it’s sting. You start to see what others have it worse than you do, and that you can bear the burden placed on your back at this time. Even if it is with a little shuttering.
Plan and Prepare
Just as you know the winter won’t last forever, you know that Spring is coming. New opportunities, possibilities and ways of life are just ahead of you. This is the time to plan and prepare for them. In our darkest moments is when we learn what it is going to take to climb out of it. Lessons are learned by failure NOT but success. Use what you are learning now and let it propel you to a brighter future.
Even as I write this blog post my heart is bleeding for some of the people I know personally who are in a winter. It isn’t something easy to talk about let alone give you tips to get through it. These aren’t bandages to just slap on your wound and say “get better!” But suggestions that have worked for others. But it takes time and hope. It takes God’s help and it takes a willingness to try.