It’s taken me a couple of days to write this. I didn’t want to. The word topic was “when” and that seems to be the theme of my life right now…
- When will the next season come?
- When will I arrive at restoration?
- When will I be healed?
- When will I feel settled in myself?
when when when….
Financial whens, emotional whens, relational whens, security whens, family whens… So many “whens“. When will I be okay? When will life not hurt so much? When will the burden not feel so heavy? When will my questions be answered? When will I understand all that’s going on?
I don’t know when. I don’t know when I will belong. I don’t know when I will feel secure again. I don’t know when there will be a new rhythm to life for me. I’ve often quoted Narnia in this season of life “Always winter, never Christmas.” Because that’s how it’s felt… there’s always the heaviness of what must get done, the emotional weight, the darkness and seclusion that winter naturally brings, but Christmas and it’s joyful entrance doesn’t seem to have come, not during Christmas season and not metaphorically.
We’ve had 7ft of snow in 4 weeks here in Boston. The first snow fall was beautiful. We shoveled and cleaned cars, made cookies, read, stayed warm, played games and went for a snow walk. We could endure one snow fall, especially together. But we’ve had one at least every 3 days for 4 weeks. I’m not sure there’s been a day where it hasn’t snowed some. People are tired of shoveling, tired of standing in line at the grocery store for an hour, tired of buying de-icer for the sidewalks. Attitudes are less than ideal about the snow and each other. Cabin fever has set in, and friends, there’s MORE snow on the forecast for the next 10 days. I’ve forgotten what the sun feels like. I want to be refreshed by the ocean, to feel the sand under my feet, to laugh with friends and make sandcastles with kids. I want to use sidewalk chalk, walk through the zoo, watch the sunset… I long for that Christmas break in the midst of a dark winter.
I’ve waited. I’ve hoped. I’ve wished and I’ve pleaded. I’ve spend many a nights not daring to share my hopes for a season of Christmas with others, to afraid of hope. Hope is dangerous when you’re waiting and there’s no foreseeable future “Christmas season” insight. Hope is hard. Hope let’s you down. I know Christmas has to come. Hope must find a way back into my heart. Winter must end sometime, but I don’t know when. And asking “when” feels just as dangerous as “hope”.