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Who’s Got Your Back?

My goals were front and centre, my track was set.

Everything was under control.

Then the phone rang.

The voice on the other end was trembling,

Whispering and rattling with that familiar tone of shock and disbelief.

As the air thins and the last of the leaves from the huge American plain tree

Lay burnt and rust coloured on the ground in my yard,

I know that winter is now here.

It has settled in.

And if you,

Like me,

Have had your share of winter seasons,

Where you have found yourself cold and searching,

Rugging up in protection from the cold that threatens to erode you with its frost bitten, wintery fingers,

Then listen for a moment.

I have a few things that I have learned through my winter seasons that may shed light on yours.

A few days ago I was sitting here, at my computer, where I am right now.

I was working,

De-cluttering and ‘doing’ life.

My goals were front and centre, my track was set.

Everything was under control.

Then the phone rang.

The voice on the other end was trembling,

Whispering and rattling with that familiar tone of shock and disbelief.

I listened,

And learned that one of my closest had just been diagnosed with a disease that would change their life from this point forward.

Winter had suddenly descended.


‘In the midst of winter, I found within me an invincible summer.’

The expectation of rosy hues and the ripe shot of summer’s balmy breath,

Were all at once extinguished.

It wasn’t fair.

It wasn’t deserved.

It didn’t make sense.

But none of that mattered.

Winter was here and it was making its home whether I wanted it to or not.

No matter how despised some winter seasons are in our lives,

I have learned that Winter,

If given the chance,

Can be a Master teacher.

And without it, we would be left shallow people,

Not understanding others’ pain,

Not being able to appreciate the sweet smell of summer when it came,

And we’d be left living half lives of existence purely for ourselves.

Winter seasons dig our roots down so deep so that we cannot be shaken in seasons to come,

Teaching us that laughing boldly in Fear’s face is possible when we previously cowered in its presence.

Winter forges levels of resilience and courage in us that we never knew we had.

Laughter and joy come in winter,

True joy,

The joy that comes from knowing you have survived something that can never touch you again,

You have overcome,

And that when winter comes around again next time,

That thing will be but a distant memory, with no power over you.

The winters of our lives produce the truest friends.

We find loyalty and faithfulness

And fighting til their last breath with you kind of kin.

Compassionate and outward looking,

Real and non judgmental.

Vulnerable and true.

These are the friends who have been through their own winters and come out the other side

Knowing that it can be a very lonely place without understanding and unwavering love.

Let the winter show you who and where these ones are.

Winter is also a welcome chance to retreat and rest in God’s ability to fight for you.

You often lack strength of your own in the winter,

And its a divinely breathed moment in which to lift your arms up to your Father and King,

As you discover new dimensions of what it means for Him to ‘have your back.’

No longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.

I am weak, but He is strong.

One of the greatest paradoxes,

Yet something that cannot be tasted unless you endure a bleak winter.

But finding the yielded life,

Taking the low, snow ridden road in the winter months is perhaps one of the greatest gifts that can come from it.

And lastly, I have learned that winter doesn’t last forever.

Although waiting for the thaw of winter is an uncertain place to be,

Where your greatest fears, insecurities and heart breaks lay hidden,

Like every season,

It too comes to an end.

It’s grip will loosen and you will come out into open spaces,

Where the air is sweeter than it was last spring and where blue,

Cloudless skies resume their dance across the horizon.

How we navigate it’s harsh landscape will endow us with golden virtues that stay with us for a lifetime.

Like medals and badges of honour.

No one can take them away from you.

You can’t time the winters of your life,

But if you let them, they will yield in you and your world the greatest beauty,

Lifetime friendships,

Resilience and compassion that astounds,

Wisdom of the highest order,

And a relationship with God that many seek after but can’t get unless they’ve traversed the winter months of their lives

With bravery and a face like flint that just keeps putting one foot in front of the other.

And even though you feel cold right now

And your lips may very well have turned blue because you are so exposed in this season,

He is in the process of putting a blanket on your back and rugging you up in His fierce, protective embrace.

He’s got your back.

Cate x

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