December 08, 2012

From the End of Winter - Lorrie Orr

Thank you, Lorrie, for joining InScribe Writers Online on Guest Post Day.

Winter arrived on a sunny May morning when my husband walked into the house at 11:00 am saying, “The unthinkable has happened. I’ve been fired.”

He worked as an executive in a Christian company and his firing was without cause, and utterly unexpected. At that moment, a chill began to settle around my heart which deepened as months of unemployment lengthened. Other events contributed to bewilderment that swirled like a blizzard around me: marriage problems within our extended family, a daughter’s infertility, a move when my husband found work after 10 months of looking, and a nephew’s fight with cancer that ended with his death at the age of 29.

All is not bleak in winter. Beauty comes, and joy –– the delight of welcoming a new son-in-law and our first grandchild. There is laughter and friendship. But in the quiet, when alone, winter settles deep into my bones with frigid intent.

What does a winter of the soul look like?

It is not depression. It is knowing, from years of faith, that God is present, yet feeling only his absence. Prayer seems futile, yet I pour out my heart in words, in tears, in writing, to a God whom I believe still cares for me although I no longer feel his love.

It is cynicism and judgment, an inability and unwillingness to trust others. It is a heart that aches for warmth, yet shuts itself behind doors of ice. It is hurt.

It is not lack of faith, or sin. It is a barren, windswept landscape of disorientation in which I long for direction. It is plodding, step by step, head down into the wind, without knowing my destination. It is clinging to promises of hope, and reading over and over God’s promise of never leaving me, all the while wondering how long this winter season will last.

It is bafflement. It is asking questions for which no answers come. It is an unfulfilled longing to trust God and to rest in his goodness. It is waiting.

It is an oddly comfortable cohabitation of faith and doubt in which I realize that God welcomes my questions and wants only me. What he will do with me, I do not know.

I write now from the end of winter. This long winter, over three years in duration, is losing its chilling grip. There is lightness in my being, and a warmth melting the clod of ice in my chest. I write now before winter ends because I do not want to forget. I want to mark this season and winter’s lessons. Compassion. Understanding. A gentling of my spirit. A hatred of lack of integrity and false living. A realization that hope is one of my most precious gifts from God. Knowing that one day winter will end and new life will emerge. My soul feels the unmistakeable warmth of God’s Spirit once again and I melt in gratitude.

© Lorrie Orr

Lorrie Orr writes to make sense of the constant stream of thoughts running rampant in her mind. Married to Tim, mother of 3 plus 3, Nana to two darling little girls. Blogs at Fabric Paper Thread.


  1. Lorrie, what a delight to you have post on InScribe as our Guest.

    Your posting has spoken to me deeply. I have had similar 'symptoms' of winter.

    I really liked how you described what a winter of the soul looks like...and what it's not. You put 'perfect' words to what I've been realizing too.

    What a lovely photo! A harbinger of your new season approaching. And we are GLAD for you!

    (Maybe your new season will have room for future posts... we can only hope (smile).

  2. This was a profoundly moving pist and one I am sure will resonate with many. Several phrases stand out - 'oddly comfortable cohabitation between faith and doubt' among others. Thank you for joining us.

  3. How beautifully written. I was greatly touched. A few hours ago I sat and read my last 4 years of December Daily Journals and remembered some winter of the soul times.... I want to celebrate their end... but like you, I don't want to forget. God carries us through... but it's so hard to feel his touch when we are so cold. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thanks for sharing your dark season, but letting us know that you grew personally during this time and that faith won over doubt in the end. What a wonderful testament to the fact God is with us, even when we don't feel him close. God's "rod and staff" did comfort you on the journey. May the Lord always be our shepherd.

  5. My husband was also fired in May--years ago now. I can so relate to the things you say.

    The paragraph that Brenda mentioned also resonated with me, especially the last line:

    "It is an oddly comfortable cohabitation of faith and doubt in which I realize that God welcomes my questions and wants only me. What he will do with me, I do not know."

    Perhaps it is that sense of being helpless yet in His hands that makes it such a bitter yet sweet time.

  6. Thanks for sharing this moving story . . . for giving hope to others that find themselves in similar circumstances with no answers. Beautifully written, Lorrie.

  7. You've described something so very personal, yet I find myself nodding in understanding.

  8. Understanding the "winter" but also seeing the "spring" in your post. As you grew, new life emerged in your spirit and in your family.
    Thanks for joining us.

  9. Thanks for the insight that it's harder going through it than we think it is when we're not!

  10. It's so nice to 'see' you again Lorrie! Your thoughts resonated with me. Thanks for sharing with honesty.

    Pam (Godard) Mytroen


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