John and I rang in the new year with aches, chills, coughs and headaches. My usual annual enthusiasm for prayer, self-reflection, goal-setting and journaling with the coming year was non-existent. The long, dark days were already taking a toll. Hibernation instincts were keeping me home. The pounds were accumulating on my body, adding to the downward winter cycle of de-motivation.
Then our dog got sick and almost died. Parasites were attacking his liver and he stopped eating which required daily infusions at the vet’s office. John’s back went out, presumably from being immobilized during an MRI on a cold, hard surface for almost half an hour. My daughter fell on a ski trip and injured her knee. For several weeks, I was a full-time caregiver at home as the only person capable of shopping, cleaning, cooking, and driving.
I could feel depression and discouragement seeping into my soul. This is a common winter scenario, so I’m now able to quickly recognize the tell-tale signs of this form of spiritual attack which often sounds like- “What’s the point,” and “What if my life will look like this forever,” and “I’m being sidelined and disqualified due to my age. Maybe God is done with me.” Lastly, the simplest tasks become dauting, so procrastination ensues.
I recognize intellectually that this is a temporary state. But when you’re the one in it, it can feel like a deep, dark pit which is impossible to escape.
Then the sun comes out, the spiritual attack lifts, the connect with God returns and joy bubbles to the surface. Once again, I can see beauty and humor in the smallest things and my outlook is hopeful and positive. When I’m pulling off my famous practical jokes, I know I’m back to the land of the living.
Supporting friendships are a lifeline.
I received a message from an old friend, Michelle, at the tail end of my winter blues. She said God had been speaking to her about making testimony videos as a form of evangelism. I told I had a YouTube channel exactly for that. But I didn’t tell her that I’d lost all interest in filming them. I had no energy for it, I thought.
In the back of my mind, I knew God was sending her to fan the flame of my passion for storytelling again. We began to call and write, and she helped me get some filming appointments onto my schedule. Most importantly, we began to pray about this important ministry again!
The supportive prayers from my weekly “cohort” group with The Company- Kingdom Writers, World Changers (https://writers.company/) has also been transformational!
Last weekend was Easter and my joy for the Lord and for others was overflowing. My recent digital photo album is once more packed full of beauty; people’s smiles, art, blossoming flowers, and my healthy dog-baby, Frodo who is gorgeous. My favorite memory of Easter was the baptism service on Saturday (our Sunday venue doesn’t have a baptismal, so we must book baptisms elsewhere). Each of them shared their testimony, and we wept. It reminded me how desperate people are without the Lord, and how surrendering our lives to HIM changes everything!
So, after a long delay in filming, meet Libor. He and his family are a joy.
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“Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.”