I never really understood “winter”. 

In Hawaii, winter is the season you don’t have to worry about sweat stains, at least not every second. Up mountain, it’s blissfully cool—with that never-ending ocean view. But in town, it’s still suffocating.

Not exactly the “winter” of church sermons.

New Zealand isn’t much different. But compared to Hawaii—it’s the Arctic. Frost on the ground, heaters on full-blast, cups of tea to keep you warm (not just for the vibe!). 

A bit closer to the “winter” of Christian stories, just no snow.

But I never understood winter, not really, not until the borders closed. 

For me, the first lockdown didn’t cause problems, it exposed them. I had $16K in student debt—and couldn’t hope to travel during the ever-lengthening pandemic, not without racking up insane amounts of interest. 

So I left YWAM (well, as much as a YWAM kid ever can), and got a job at a preschool.

I didn’t have much experience with “normal adult life”. A dual-citizen missionary kid, I moved countries to go to university, then served five years with Youth With A Mission.

“Normal adult life” was a shock to the system. 

I went to the dentist. I bought a desk. I learned how to use an espresso machine. I collected natural cleaning supplies. I started cooking. I showed up to work. I showed up to work. I showed up to work, again. And again. And again.

Oh, I fought it. Hard. I bought flights out of here, twice. I looked at other jobs, especially on the days when “keeping children alive” was no understatement. 

But as I chipped away at my student loan, month by month, week by week, shift by shift—I heard a faint whisper, repeating:

Remember when you wanted what you have now? 

I mean, you already know—I grew up without winter. In Hawaii, you really do want those days sipping cups of tea, snuggled in blankets with the fire blazing. 

Every life-season holds a gift, too. And though I would have liked to avoid the grief and trauma of being indefinitely separated from my family for two+ years—I can’t deny I needed (and wanted) this “normal” season, too. 

So, if you feel like you’re stuck in an endless winter (or dreading one to come)—take a moment. 

Remember a girl who grew up in Hawaii, who told you endless summer is not all it’s cracked up to be. 

(It’s really not). 

Look around.  

Tally the dreams in front of you. 

Thank God.

And don’t forget (I sure do)—
there’s a season that comes after winter.

And it will hold “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph 3:20).

I can wait for that.

Photo: Sincerely Media