Are You in a Winter Season of Your Soul?
By Elizabeth Enlow
Excerpt from "God in Every Season"
Available on Amazon November 11, 2017
Winter — Unique Fears, Lies, and Temptations
With each new season, comes the unique, yet familiar fears, lies, and temptations that our souls are especially susceptible to during that time. If you're currently in a winter season in your relationship with God, some of these will really resonate with you.
Remember the Biblical story of Hannah who cried out to God for a child? She was afraid of remaining barren and unfruitful, which is a common fear in a winter season of the soul. Did God get irritated with Hannah like the priest did and tell her to hush? No, He responded by not only giving her a child, but a prophet to the nation, along with several more children. When a child of His cries out, “I've got to be fruitful!”, He satisfies. His answer will only be as good or better than the cry of your heart. Other fears that the enemy throws our way during winter are the fear of losing, being overtaken, and becoming a failure.
Winter seasons commonly make our hearts vulnerable to the lie of loneliness. We can feel as if we’ve been abandoned or forsaken even when we haven’t. No matter who you may or may not have on your team in the natural, the truth is you have a Father, a Best Friend and Advocate whose name is Jesus, and a Holy Spirit who specializes in comforting and counseling — all in your corner. You’re also surrounded by angels, and you have a huge spiritual family, both here and in heaven. So loneliness is a lie every time. You are never alone.
Other lies you may experience are typically about God — that He doesn't care, isn't near, and is going to leave you just like you are forever. Seasons feel so permanent at the time we’re going through them, especially winter, but the longer you live you realize nothing lasts forever and you'll come out on the other side of this. The truth is, He does care, He is near, and He isn’t going to leave you like this forever.
I wish I could look you in the eyes for this one. Please let this one go in deep. Another truth that’s critical for you to hear in the midst of winter is that you have an important destiny and purpose for your life. Even if you can't see it or feel it, you have an assignment that can only be completed by you. You can’t make any of that happen on your own, but you can posture your heart to receive it. And the number-one way to do that is to stop caring so much about it and start being obsessed with Him. Pursue Him with your whole heart and He will make sure you land smack in the middle of your call. Determine to be open to whatever it may look like, even if you prepared for something entirely different. He wants you to love what you do with Him, and He knows what that is even better than you do.
There are plenty of dangling carrots right in the dead-center of the desolate winter landscape. Sometimes they look like something good when God has something in the bestcategory, if you’ll just resist the temptation to settle. There are also temptations to become complacent and just survive, to give into depression, or settle for false comforts and addictions. Perhaps the most irresistible temptation is to strive and exhaust yourself with your own effort to produce something. You may feel irresponsible if you just appear to others that you’re sitting around doing nothing about the position you find yourself in.
The danger in this season is that it's easy to lose hope, become lulled to sleep, or simply survive — altogether missing the opportunity for intimacy and conception, that results from the intimacy. It's important in this season to interact with God from a place of rest, hope, and peace, knowing that what you have from God and in Him is worth protecting. Your intimacy must be rooted in faith, rather than feelings during this time. As a result of this intimacy in the midst of very real pain, darkness, confusion, hiddenness, longing, and desperation — conception happens — your biggest miracle is happening right now. In hiddenness. Unseen. Only later to be realized and seen.
Perhaps you feel stuck in a perpetual state of winter. Even if you haven’t embraced your winter season and you’ve settled for false loves and filled yourself with other things…even if you’ve made choices that seem to have gotten you stuck in a winter season your entire life…and made many wrong decisions in this place…God is willing and wanting to redeem every single one of those mistakes. It's all about His character and nature. His strength rushes into every weak place we expose to Him and invite Him into, because that’s who He is. So the weaker you are and the worst decisions you’ve made, and the longer you've been stuck in winter and handled it the wrong way, the greater the potential for His true nature to be seen. He can make sure that you win either way. That's the ultimate promise He’s given you — that if you surrender fully to Him, you will see Him and His love displayed in your life. Like a GPS that’s constantly recalculating, no matter what wrong turn you make, He is working with you to get you where you need to be.