Navigating the Seasons of the Soul – Winter: The Season of Loss

On Sunday, we continued our series “Catching Foxes” with our Kfirst community. Our focus has been on what the Word of God says about our emotions. This past Sunday, we looked at the seasons that our emotions can go through.  And we’re taking days this week to specifically focus on each one of the seasons. (Click here for Sunday’s notes.)

Check out yesterday’s post: Fall: The Season of Transition

Winter: THE SEASON OF Loss

This, in my opinion, the hardest of the seasons.

When we flow out of the fall, winter is there waiting. Both awesome and unavoidable, winter though challenging, is a necessary season.  For a farmer, the winter invites a time where the climate:

  • Eliminates damaging insects and pathogens.
  • Temporarily halts growth so that the plants’ energy is held in reserve so that it can build up for new growth.

So it is with us. This very challenging emotional season hits us hard. And for a those going through “Winter,” two primary emotions, which for years, has had far too much shame attached to them:

Sadness and Anger.

If you look over the course of your life, you can find times of loss.  Maybe you have to reach way back in your memory. Maybe it’s what you’re living in right now. Loss can come from a variety of sources.

  • Loss of jobs.
  • A fracture of a relationship.
  • A report from a doctor.
  • News about a child.
  • [fill in the blank with your loss]

When you are in “winter,” it’s hard to imagine that the clouds will ever break. The season of loss, can be simply overwhelming. Why? I think of it like a Michigan winter. You have that “feeling” where you are staring at the recent blizzard wondering IF the snow will every melt away and IF the sun will come out again. This emotional place can be as such; will this season every go away and will hope shine again.

I love the words of Jesus in John 16:33,

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

Jesus warned us we’d face problems. It’s a part of our lives and an inevitable experience. The the question is not IF we will face them but HOW we will face them.

Pursue God in loss
Some people, through the season of winter, feel very far from God. They may sense the primary emotions of sadness and/or anger, but they don’t sense His presence. That sensation (or lack thereof) part of the darkness they experience. But others, when facing winter, see it as a chance draw closer to God than more than ever before. Why? They choose to face this “Winter” time to engage with God and pray more fervently. The sense of desperation in the sadness and anger causes them to press into God’s presence for help and hope.

Work Your Roots
I know the feelings of “will this season ever end.” I live in Michigan. It’s what we all say around February. But it’s here where God does a deep work in the roots of our lives. In his book, “Four seasons of Marriage” Gary Chapman says, “We realized through winter we rediscovered our roots, affirmed our faith and grew in character.” The “Winter” is our place of stripping away what we thought was necessary and get to what we have been built with. Our roots are what are being tested and are what carries us into the next season.

If you find yourself in “Winter,” keep running toward God. Run into the arms of the One who will never “leave you or forsake you.” God isn’t distracted or offended by your emotions; God wants to be with you in them. Your emotions of sadness and anger are both normal and expressible to God. Don’t ignore them; invite Him into them.

Be of good cheer. Spring will come. The clouds will part and new beginnings will be here.

 “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalms 56:8 NLT

If you are in the season of loss (Winter), be at peace knowing this: God hasn’t forgotten about you even though you may feel that way. He “keeps track” of you and cares for you as He notices every tear you shed. If you are in this season, remember our final lessons from Sunday.

  1. You were meant to process your season, not be possessed by it. 
  2. Don’t get so consumed with the next season you missed the work of your present season.
  3. Unnecessary pain results from remaining in a season long after it changed.
  4. Your season is not your story; it is a chapter in His beautiful story for your life.

Love you all. Tomorrow we look at “Spring,” the season of new beginnings.

 

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