Each time the sunshine peeked through, it was quickly gone again, overwhelmed by the gloom.
Logically, I knew the spring season would come, but practically it felt very far away. Three children in coats who have been huddled in the house far too long are bursting to get outdoors.
This week, we have had several days strung together with sunshine and warmish temperatures. It was followed by another day of constant rain. And today, once again - sunshine! The temperature is forecast to go up every single day for the next week and perhaps, spring has sprung.
I know there have been days in my journey through divorce and single motherhood where it felt like the sunshine would never return. Just when something good seemed to be coming, another setback would move onto the scene obscuring my hope.
It would have been so much easier to endure those dark and challenging days if I had known what my future held. If I had known that I would know what it means to be loved and cherished, then bearing the loneliness would have been easier. If I had known that I would eventually earn enough to not dread each trip to the grocery store, it would have made those days of doing without feel more temporary. I wish I had known that conflict wasn't going to be part of my daily existence forever, then discouragement would not have been such a constant companion.
There is so much we cannot know about the future. I had faith, small on some days but consistently there, that we would eventually thrive. I learned to take hold of so many little joys in my most trying days. And now I do know, deep and surely that when the clouds gather and it rains on my soul for weeks on end, a new life is coming. The cold dampness which threatens to last forever will not win.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
I am no longer naïve to think dark days will not be part of this continuing life journey - yet, I am more confident that ever that the darkness will not be the lasting part of my story. Do you get overwhelmed by your present circumstances? Can you look back and see how you made it through the dark days to something better? What storm are you currently facing?