Winter has visited Southern Alberta, and it’s been a bit of a harsh reminder of what winter is like around here.  Shoveling snow, icy roads, biting icy winds – I personally don’t find a lot of joy in any of it.  Every year that goes by, winter seems to be longer and I long for spring a bit more.

We all journey though many different seasons in life – some easier than others.  I was at an event last night, and the keynote speaker referred to this, comparing difficult seasons of life as a season of winter.

That resonated with me.  I truly feel like I am in the middle of a year of winter in my life.  2015 has been a hard year for many people – not just me.  So many people in my immediate circles have struggled so much, with sickness, finances, broken relationships – the list goes on.  And that’s just in my little world.  Turn on the news, and it seems like the world is in one of the coldest deep-freezes of winter.

But, the thing with winter is, while it can be dark and cold and lonely, it can also be beautiful. 

This week was strategic planning at work, and we spent a few hours on Monday night as a board looking back and marvelling at what God has done in this past year.  

I had a bit of a hard time celebrating though, because my entire year is coloured by the struggles surrounding Katie’s illness. I feel as though that’s what this whole year has been about.

Yet, as someone pointed out to me, there’s been so much more to this year.  I mean, really – I got married! In the midst of all the stress and everything else, I got to marry a man that I love so deeply.

See?  Winter can be beautiful.

But winter can also be long, and that’s how I’m feeling right now.  As we enter into another phase of Katie’s illness, it kind of seems like spring won’t ever come.

My sister lives in Northern Mexico, in Baja California, and I remember her telling me how while she loves her life in Mexico, she misses the different seasons.  They don’t have the drastic weather changes like we do here, and you appreciate the warmth of summer that much more after months of cold.

So, I guess that works in the seasons of life too.  Once you’ve walked through a long, cold winter – sometimes trudging, sometimes even crawling – you appreciate the goodness of the spring that brings new life and new hope.