I’m coming up on an anniversary that I don’t love. It’s a reminder of past pain and is the source of a few present consequences. This anniversary reminds me of the icy cold that once numbed my heart, making me frozen and so breakable.
It’s the anniversary of my dad’s death.
Almost 5 years ago he passed away suddenly, and it left me with a mess I didn’t know how to clean up. The approaching date looms over me a bit, the memory and chill of that icy wind taking my breath away a little. But more and more it’s a reminder that winter is just a season. It doesn’t last forever unless you choose not to let it go. So with 5 years’ distance between us I think it’s time to share a few things I’ve learned (and am learning) along the way.
- Don’t give up.
I don’t know where you find yourself. I don’t know what seat you’re sitting in, what you’re up against or how you’re feeling today. Maybe you’re struggling with something as serious as losing a loved one or something as seemingly small as simply having “woken up on the wrong side of the bed.”
Wherever you are, so be it. Just promise you won’t give up.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel even when you can’t see it. If you’ve asked, then you are forgiven, even if you don’t feel it. There’s a peak you’ll reach even if the highest mountains surround you.
- to act for those who wait for him (Isaiah 64:4)
- to be with you (Psalm 139:18)
- to fight for you (Deuteronomy 1:30)
- to be a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5)
- to make you strong (Isaiah 58:11)
- to grant you gladness (Isaiah 61:3)
- to protect you (Proverbs 23:10)
He has given Himself for you. He’s not quitting on you anytime soon. Or ever.
So don’t give up.
- Don’t settle.
Remember—it is for freedom Christ has set us free. Nothing less.
Our God will be with you in the darkness and isn’t afraid of anything you might be facing. Our heavenly Father is devoted to you, and He sees you not for what has happened but in all that is being redeemed. Please know He will see you through. He will provide the answer, the hope and the healing.
The icy steps would have you slip into assurance that there’s nothing better to come. The freezing air would have you wondering if struggling to breathe is the best you can hope for.
But freedom is worth the coldest darkness. It’s found through the willingness to stick it out and keep your eyes open while you watch shattered pieces being fitted back together. Freedom isn’t a lofty, unattainable goal. Freedom is His standard. It is your standard.
So keep dreaming. Keep hoping. Keep believing.
Regardless of where you are in this moment—don’t give up and don’t settle.
- Keep pushing forward.
I won’t pretend I don’t sometimes think about all the things my dad has missed and will miss out on. There are still moments when I resent the path I have to walk. But next time winter’s cold presses in, I’ll have a closet full of cozy sweaters and warm scarves to help me through the cold until the sun rises again. God’s promises clothe you and me in all we need to keep going.
Nothing has the power to stop the purpose and glory of our good God who has loved us and given Himself for us. Eventually, winter will be overrun with beautiful shades of green. Spring will wrap its comforting arms around you and welcome you into a sweeter season.
Eventually you’ll look back and see not the pain, the sorrow, the hardship or the exhaustion. You’ll just see His love. It will be so good.
Don’t give up. Don’t settle. Keep pushing forward.