Seeking Sunshine!

My dad hates winter. This is not a news flash to anyone that knows him well. Every fall we hear something like this, “This is the worst time of year…everything is dying…it just represents death and the beginning of a long miserable winter.” Guess he has a point, right? Right now, most of us would agree we feel like a daffodil in the ground, eager and waiting to rise up, seeking the warmth of the sunshine, seeking life, and reaching for the sky with every ounce of our being!
It has been cold, dark, and icy, and to be honest, the last few months have just been depressing for me. Sadness has surrounded me, my friends, and my family, with deaths, illnesses, and losses of memory filled family properties. Then about one month ago, I lost my baby, my “sunshine.” Charlie was with me through it ALL, and the memories of his last few days are still haunting me. I sang “You are my sunshine,” to him on repeat during his final hours. River (my other dog), and I both have been blue. He continually searches for his big brother, and I cry every time I wish to pet Charlie’s soft, baby face. Ugh. What a season. What a depressing, lonely, miserable season. BUT Spring!!
How easy it is to get stuck in the sadness surrounding us that we all experience. However, there are two things I have realized through all of the past few months’ events. First of all, no one person should ever go through hard times alone. Watching friends and family support me and others I love, I see joy, I see hope, and I see tremendous love. Galatians 5:13 says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”Being significantly blessed, I thank God for my parents, my friends, and my brother and his family. During bad times, people do tend to reach out with goodness and kindness, and if we are so focused on the negative and the depressing state of our hearts, etc., then we miss out on the positive, heart filled goodness of those around us, and the fact that we are NOT alone, unless we allow ourselves to be.
Bottom line, community is so important. If you do not have it, get involved, whether that means with a book club, a walking club, or most importantly, with a church. We are not meant to live this life alone. Notice God did not just form Adam, but He then made Adam a partner in Eve. Two by two, Noah’s ark was filled. Matthew 18:20 states, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Jesus wants us to be in community for accountability, and to support and pray for one another.
The second thing I have realized is that God slowly allows the bad memories to fade away, and fills us with more of the good ones. Charlie licking up ice cream from the bottom of the “doggy dish” bowl, swimming after the ducks on the Potomac River, catching snowballs in his mouth…these are the memories I am thinking of more and more, and slowly, but surely, the last few moments will vanish. I think about good moments with family that God blessed me with during a health issue last year, instead of the times of immense pain and discouragement. Have you seen this to be true in your own life?
I believe some of us enjoy being down in the pit, and choose to stay there no matter what. That is unfortunate, because God is right there with His hand waiting for us to reach towards it. We DO have to make that first step however, and just like that daffodil, we have to reach up towards Him, towards the sunshine, to begin our climb out of that grimy pit. Things die. Dad was right. But things come alive too, and just like Jesus had to die on that cross for a debt we could never have paid, He rose again 3 days later so that we could have life with Him, not just in Heaven, but on Earth! He did not do that so we could mope around complaining and setting up a cot deep down in our dungeon of a pit. No, he wants us to have life, to have freedom in Him, and He will help us put the bad behind us each time it comes, because believe me, it will come again. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery,” Galatians 5:1. In other words, if you are alive in Christ and have a personal relationship with Him, you should be living in freedom, and not a slave to sin, to sadness, or any other troubles of this world.
Live with your eyes towards Jesus, not horizontally towards the world. I know we have our moments, believe me, because often I can get discouraged and go down towards my cold, dark pit again, but then I remember where I need to look, and I feel the warmth of those around me, and realize that God will eventually lead me through this and allow the sadness to be put out of my mind. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is in Mark 9. Long story short, a father wants healing for his son, and he asks Jesus “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us (vs22).” I love Jesus’ response, which is, “If you can? Everything is possible for one who believes (v23),” to which the response of the father is, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief (v24)!” How awesome is that?! I can relate, as I am sure you can too, when it is hard to believe anything good is on the horizon. BUT God! All things are possible to those who believe in Him!
Freedom to live, freedom to have joy and hope, and freedom to love others as they have loved me, is what I crave on a daily basis. I may wait another 10 years for relief from some of my “struggles,” and maybe you will too. However, that does not mean I am going to look for new furniture for my pit and stay down there. I will allow myself to grieve when those times come my way, because after all, I am human, but then I will reach, I will search, I will look to grab that hand, that warm sunshine, and I will not look back! For I did not lose my sunshine, I just cannot view it from my deep, dark pit….. But God, and But Spring! It is coming into view!

2 thoughts on “Seeking Sunshine!

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