difficult season

Do You Need Encouragement in a Difficult Season?

Mom, are you in the middle of a cold, February rain?

Has it been a tough month with dismal weather and cooped-up, energetic kids? Have sicknesses seemed to strike your family especially hard this year? Or are you struggling in a difficult season with longer-term physical or mental hardships, relationship struggles, or financial burdens? Whatever you’re walking through, February can be brutal. So, today, I’d like to pass on some comforting words that a friend once shared with me.

It’s as clear in my mind as if it were yesterday. I sat crying with my neighbor in my garage on a stool next to a bin of peeping, fuzzy, baby chicks. The grey of the floor, the walls, and the sky through the open door seemed to close in on me. My friend and I each had our own different burdens to bear. But they were fresh. Current. We were walking through them at the same time.

We looked out at a steady rain falling over the pond. As I sobbed, she tried to speak words of comfort even through her own heartbreak. I believe that God gave her words that I desperately needed to hear that day.

She said, “It won’t always be like this. You’ll walk through this and will come to the other side.”

It took some time for her words to sink in. I had forgotten. In the middle of the grey, pouring rain, I often forget that storms always do end. Some last longer than others and they may cause damage, but the sun does eventually come back out.

She was right. One day my storm did begin to calm. There were still struggles, but each day got a little better. Three years later, our family has moved past those difficult days. We still have our daily, typical, first world struggles and life never feels “easy”, but we are not walking through that painful, heart-wrenching season. God has been faithful, walking through it with us. And we did make it to the other side of that struggle.

My neighbor is also on her “other side”. She recently shared some wonderful news that she, Praise God, has come to a huge milestone after walking through her season of heartache. God has been faithful. He has brought beauty from the ashes in her life. In His perfect timing and way, He always does that.

We live in a fallen world and we all have our difficult seasons. As much as we try to make it, life is not one big party. It is sweet and bitter. But, the bitter makes the sweet that much more delicious.

Now that I am through that challenging season, I want to look forward with hope.

Hope for the future springs from remembering God’s faithfulness. The blessings tucked into every day through the kindnesses of a friend who spent hours with me on the phone. The sun that warmed my face on the way to the mailbox. Fluffy, warm, baby chicks that needed care every day. The daily needs of my family that required me to get out of bed and do life when I desperately wanted to hide. The spring flowers that emerged from the ground despite my heartache. The precious new friend that He placed in my life exactly when He knew we needed each other most.

God can use our difficult seasons to give us some needed perspective. He can also use them to encourage others who are walking through their own February rain.

Maybe you need encouragement today to walk through the cold days of February with hope. Know that your difficult season will also pass. One day soon you’ll realize that you’ve walked through your storm and have come, once again, into the sunshine. Today, just keep walking one step at a time. Each step you take will bring you a little closer to that warm sunlight on your face. Your spring is coming.