As I enter the last half of January, I find myself bracing for the emotional challenges these months have brought in past years.
It involves a slow descent into darkness. I often feel trapped, restless and revisit old issues that I thought were healed. Depression and feelings of worthlessness can overtake me as the days get shorter and the cold settles in.
But not this year!
I am putting my best foot forward as we descend into the shadows of winter. I am like the groundhog who hibernates and waits for the right conditions to resurface.
Actually, in a spiritual sense, it’s the perfect season to ‘exercise grace’.
What does ‘exercising grace’ mean? For me, it’s the full release of my ‘doing mentality’ that has been known to drive me and others in my family to utter insanity. In other words cease trying to make things happen.
It means that over these next couple months I choose to embrace knowing that it is ok to ‘just be’ and that ‘I am enough.’
It’s about accepting myself now. God accepts me just the way I am and I will rest in that truth. I have given myself permission to rest, read and write with just enough exercise to keep me in shape through these months.
There is no need to prove myself to anyone or strive to do anything.
With this intention clearly set in my mind, I noticed that my inner GPS system had made some internal adjustments. The laying down of my plans and projects created an internal reset that gave me clarity and direction that I was not expecting.
I have delighted in this verse as it rang so true to me these past few weeks.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23: – 1-3
My soul has been restored by the very act of laying myself down to rest, refuel and recharge. God’s grace has been my companion and the voice that whispers ‘just be’ and ‘you are enough.’
His grace is the guiding light that leads me through the dark seasons of life.
And, just as there are seasons in the physical realm, I have learned that there are spiritual seasons. We must allow ourselves (body, mind and spirit) to rest in a spiritual sense in the same way the earth rests in the winter.
We need the seasons of spring to recharge and summer to refuel allowing us to bear fruit in the fall season of our lives.
This holds true as this verse in the Bible states:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; (Ecclesiastes 3:1)