Cheryl says this about herself:
I was born to Canadian parents, raised in Idaho, and graduated from BYU. Since then, my home has been in Provo (except for one wonderful year in the Bay Area, California). I have one amazing husband (eleven years and counting), five fabulous kids, and although I struggle with depression, I seriously have one great life. I’m tall. I love. I write.
It happens to me every winter: I forget what it is like to walk on the grass in my bare feet. My body recoils at the bitter cold and I content myself with a life indoors.
Spring is far away, summer is a myth; only the memories of autumn linger in my mind. Come springtime, the memories of warmth will take hold and before summer arrives I will already be planning a hike, a picnic, an early morning walk. The irony is how repetitive the cycle tends to be. Over and over again I forget summer, only then to forget winter and cold during the hot August air.
This is not quite unlike the ease in which I forget how God takes care of me and my family. In the winters of my pain and struggles, I fail to grasp the reality of my summers. I only remember the autumnal paths that led me to my cold despair. But as with the renewal of the Earth, Spring will come! God has never left me to my own destruction; He is always there, waiting for me to realize the crystallizing beauty of my winter will melt and give way. The corner will be turned and I will once again dance in the grass of summertime.
Unfortunately, though, I will forget that even as my joyful summers still come, the harsh winters must also come. For truly, there shall be an opposition in all things; a time to learn and to grow, a time for peace. Without my winters of pain and struggle, I honestly could not appreciate my summers of joy!
“…As one writer expressed, ‘in the depth of winter, [we find] within [us] an invincible summer.’”
~President Deiter F. Uchtdorf quoting Albert Camus
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…a time to break down, and a time to build up…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak…He hath made every thing beautiful in his time… ~Ecclesiastes 3
What a beautiful analogy! I have lived in the Bay Area most of my life so, thank goodness, winter is very short. However, the winters of my pain and challenges do come around fairly regularly as they do to all. Thank you for this lovely piece!
Reading this reminded me of something I was teaching my Sunday School class last week about how if we put our trust in the Lord it will work out every time. And how I know that because I’ve done it, and yet I have to work really hard to make myself let go and hand things over to the Lord EVERY TIME! Why? I don’t know. You’d think that experience would have taught me something but alas, you’d be wrong. Sigh.
A beautiful post, thanks Cheryl.