Many places around the world are experiencing their winter season right now, which means there has been a major a drop in temperatures, Brrrr... The cold winter months can last a long time for some, and those who are very fortunate flee, seeking a warmer climate - they are called the Lucky Ducks!
Which, unfortunately, I am not, so I plod on, enduring frost covered windshields, puffy winter jackets, boots and tights, even enduring a cup of hot cocoa now and then after a cold, brisk walk... such suffering.
A strong memory slipped into my mind the other day, and I tucked it away so I could recall it later when I published my January 2020 blog post, and since this is the last day of January 2020, I should probably publish it now!
Several years ago, my husband and I found ourselves standing outside in frigid temperatures.
The reason why we were doing so escapes me, but nonetheless, there we were, standing outside in the cold, for a lengthy period of time.
Shivering, and cold to the bone, both of us stood there trying to have a conversation, but our lips were so cold it was hard to talk.
My husband wasn't complaining about the cold at all, but I was, and I told him so, "I'm so cold, I can hardly stand it anymore!"
Then he turned to me and said, "Just embrace it! Embrace the cold!" And he shrugged his shoulders like it was no big deal.
I looked at him like he was mad or something. How can you embrace the cold when you are already freezing?? And why would I embrace something that is painful? Because, I am painfully cold right now!
It sounded ludicrous.
The more I looked at him, the more I noticed that he wasn't shivering at all, but was actually enjoying the time with me, out in the cold - because he was embracing it.
So, I loosened my shoulders, took a deep breath, and put mind over matter to work, allowing the cold to penetrate every cell in my body.
I imagined my arms opening wide and embracing the wintry weather.
Then, to my surprise, my shivering stopped!
Why? Because I allowed myself to embrace the coldness.
This may sound silly, but it's the honest truth!
After imagining myself completely embracing the cold, I stopped fighting it, and I was immediately flooded with peace.
Embracing the cold settled me.
In that moment I recognized the power of embracing difficult circumstances.
All my preparation for the cold, could not have prepared me for how difficult it was going to be to stand in the cold for a long time.
How many times have we equipped ourselves, ready for battle? Ready to endure a long haul? Ready for the cold?! and then in the midst of the trial we fall apart because we are SO tired from the trial being SO long!
This isn't what we expect! We prepared ourselves! we were ready for the difficulty! We even found grace to go through the trial!
But, days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months, and months turn into years... and we begin to fall apart in the midst of the trial, because we lose strength to go on.