At some point in elementary school, we all learned about the four seasons, winter, spring, summer, and my personal favorite, fall.
We learned the months in which they occur, the weather they bring with them, and the holidays that occur in each one. One thing we couldn’t learn in school was how we would experience seasons in our spiritual journeys, as well as our natural ones.
If we are at least somewhat consistent in our walk with Christ, we experience changes in our relationship with God, our heavenly Father.
When everything is well, the blessings are flowing, and God is giving us all we desire, that’s like summer vacation. Life is good!
But, when it seems like God has left us, our bank account has dried up, and our days are filled with despair, that can be like winter. A cold, harsh winter.
Almost 3 years ago, I went through a season that felt like a long, lonely winter in the wilderness. I had just given birth to my beautiful daughter just a couple of months earlier.
After my maternity leave, I went back to work full time, commuting an hour away from my home, 5, sometimes 6 days a week. I was exhausted and felt like anything but a capable mother.
My daughter only slept for 2 hours at a time and it seemed like she always needed my undivided attention. I was also an online student, taking a full course load of classes, as well as striving to be a good fiancé in a relationship that was failing.
The only prayer I could muster for months was “God, please help me”.
I had no energy. Not only was I experiencing postpartum depression, but I was losing myself trying to save a relationship that was draining every bit of strength I could muster.
I realized that I could not keep going in my own strength. So one morning, I sat in my car, outside of my job, and I prayed. I asked God not only for strength, but for direction.
The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. (Psalm 28: 8)
I needed my emotions and my flesh to be rescued by God. After days of prayer, I realized that I had to trust God, and act on my faith in Him.
My prayers were my seeds that I was planting, but in order to reap what I had planted, I needed to water those seeds. So, I spent less time wallowing in my emotions, and more time uplifting myself, worshipping God, and reading His word.
All of these things gave me the strength that I had asked God for. I used His word to water those seeds of faith. I began to ask God to give me peace to be ok with everything that He was doing in my life and the ability to trust Him even though I was scared.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27, ESV)
I was scared of calling off an engagement and being single again. In order to have the peace I was asking for, I would have to step out on faith and start all over again.
I was completely terrified. However, the Holy Spirit kept showing me signs that I would never be at peace where I was. And I wanted peace more than I wanted to maintain an image.
So, I stepped out on faith and trusted God to provide. After about 6 months, my long, lonely winter began to look more like spring. I became more actively involved in my church, I used my gifts to encourage others, even when I was feeling at my lowest, I continued to pray and rely on God to help me be the best mother I could be.
God sent rain, blessings and wisdom, to water the seeds I had planted during winter. He was faithful to me during a harsh season, and He is faithful to you too as you read this.
Spring is closer than you think. Stay planted.
If we are at least somewhat consistent in our faith walk with Christ, we experience changes in our relationship with God, our Heavenly Father.
Guest Blogger: Ebony Ragin
Ebony Ragin is a victim advocate, a grad student, and a mom to a busy 3 year old daughter. She is also the owner and operator of Joy and Hope Naturals, a skin and haircare line that caters to men and women who enjoy natural, chemical free, yet pampering products for any budget. Born and raised in South Carolina, she gave her life to Christ at any early age, but began to deepen her relationship with Him after graduating from undergrad, and struggling with depression and anxiety. Ebony enjoys using her gift of encouraging others to share her story and help other women like herself find the courage to keep going, even through hard times. When she isn’t working or writing papers, she enjoys reading, journaling, catching up with her friends over lunch, or having a “Mommy and Me” day with her daughter, Morgan.