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in the bleak midwinter

This week I’ve been in two places that really know winter well — New England and Minnesota.

Empty, frozen branches are framed against the backdrop of a gray sky, which begins to darken in the mid-afternoon and is completely dark by 4:30 p.m.

When I stand outside, I hear a profound silence, and feel a deep stillness, as if the whole world is sleeping or, in the case of annuals and leaves, it has died.   It will be months before stillness turns into spring, before death is overcome with new life.

And until then, we wait.

Our lives have seasons like this, too.  Bleak midwinters where hopes and dreams and relationships die, where things and people we love are taken away, where there’s a profound, nearly-deafening silence and all we can do is wait for the first signs of spring.

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I’ve been through enough of these seasons in my life that I’m starting to learn how to navigate these winters.  Instead of fighting or resenting or being impatient, I’m learning how to be still and how to wait and how to pray.  That’s what I find myself doing in the bleakest of midwinters — praying more than I have in a long time.

I have sensed recently that there are lots of people who are in winter right now, and I’ve been spending more time in prayer than usual.

If your soul is in winter, I would love to pray for you.  I would love to hold you in Love’s warmth and light and wait with you until spring comes, until your hopes are fulfilled and your faith becomes sight.

If there’s something specific I can pray for, please leave it in the comment section or message me.

Here’s my commitment to you: Everything you tell me in confidence will be kept in confidence.  And I will pray for you every day for the next 30 days.  

In the meantime, in the bleak midwinter, I hope you come to appreciate the stark beauty and the stillness, I hope you find patience and contentment as the ground lies fallow for a time, and I hope I’m there to celebrate with you when your world comes back to life.


Thanks for sharing!

10 thoughts on “in the bleak midwinter

  1. I’ve had many losses and broken relationships, that may or may not be restored. I wish they would. I’ve fallen into severe depression. I love your writing and thank you for your prayers.

  2. Hi. This came at a really good time. I can’t really give out details but I’m really struggling and I feel like I could have wrote this blog post and the words would have matched exactly still. I’m in mid winter and I’m hoping and I’m waiting and I’m praying probably more than I ever have. I know that the love that Christ has for me and for my husband is real, but it feels like this truth is buried under mountains of sadness and frustration.

  3. My daughter Sofia is suffering with Lyme disease and is currently at the YWAM base in Kona, Hawaii. She is in so much pain that she doesn’t think she can continue and is having a crisis of faith.
    My son Simon Peter is bipolar and coming down from a manic episode. He is pretty “flat” right now.
    I too am called to spend much time in the throne room and would cherish YOUR prayers dearest Sarah.

    1. Claire, thanks so much for your prayers. I will definitely be praying for you, Sofia and Simon Peter.

  4. Such a kind, kind offer. I just came across this tonight (so perhaps a bit late), but I’d covet your prayer for my dad who is in his third recurrence of cancer. This time has been rough and the path forward is murky to his doctors (& us.) I’m praying tonight too for you for grace and courage and a sense of God’s presence in the moments and places you need Him most. & for great joy this year.

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