This last week we celebrated the first day of Spring! How I long for this time every year. I have struggled with depression or more like extreme melancholia, for as long as I can remember. It didn’t begin with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia for me, as with some people. That diagnosis has made my periods of melancholy more difficult in some ways. Especially during the long, cold, dark months of winter.

For years, I have struggled with mild depression beginning the end of January and continuing sometimes through the end of April. As soon as the cheery Christmas lights are down and the landscape becomes a monotone brown my spirits seem to go down with the early setting sun. It becomes dark before the day seems to have begun, cold temperatures cause you to bundle up in layers of encumbering clothes and there seems to be no color in the landscape.

I have not experienced a debilitating depression in years and I believe it is only by the grace of God. It seems to me that when I am at my breaking point, on the brink of despair; that’s when we have a warm day to thaw my mood, or sometimes just a break in the monotony of the brown landscape with a clean, white coating of snow. I am given a glimpse of hope. It is my experience that God brings new life from the ashes of what was. Through the seasons, he shows us every year what can happen in our lives when we let Him in. He can turn the winter of our life (our sin, our loneliness, our life without Him) into a new creation, His relationship with us brings Springtime into our lives.

I began my relationship with Christ as an eleven-year-old; and even though it was June, my life was in the shadow of winter. I struggled for years with depression and despair even though I knew I was saved. My faith was strengthened through every bout of depression. With every season of pain, my hope was continually renewed. At one point, I was in such anguish that I wanted to end it all. I had a plan, a plan to stop the pain. As a seventeen-year-old, one time in the middle of the night I was prepared to put that plan in motion. I cried out to God, and he answered me. I didn’t hear a voice or have a vision, I simply felt like I was not alone. I felt I could go on, hope filled my heart. My faith grew that night and I know I am not walking this life alone. Although there are times that I still feel I would much rather be in heaven, I have not been that hopeless since. How grateful I am that God had a different plan for my life, a plan that ends in hope.

When we trust in Christ, he doesn’t promise us a life without struggle, a life without pain. To quote one of my favorite movies, “Life is pain…”.  However, what God offers us through our life is that he will walk beside us, that he will never leave us and that we can have a future of hope with Him. We might go through times of winter in our faith, but I take courage that there will be a new creation that comes from it. With my melancholy tendencies, I am not really a “glass half full” kind of person, but I have seen how God works good through even some of the toughest situations. Our struggles help us to have compassion for those who are suffering, even if it’s a different situation than what we have been through.

We are on the brink, we are on the brink of a new season of warm temperatures and growth. As I look forward to the green grass, the colorful flowers, the trees budding and birds singing; I am also looking forward to the new growth that God will have for me in this season of my life.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away.

Behold, the new has come!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

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