How to Win the Battle with the Winter Blues


Just about this time of year every year I begin to struggle. The dreary days from endless rain and mud, turning to ice and mud, wear on my nerves in the house with six grandchildren running in and out and the gloomy appearance of lifeless trees wears on my heart. I can so easily be in a pit of depression before 9 a.m. on any given day whether or not their are people running in an out.  I try to put things around me that make my heart happy such as the lemons in my kitchens or the pinks in my living room. But even those things cannot always fight the gloom in my spirit. This past week the fibromyalgia kicked my butt on way too many days and the pain levels were beyond what lemons and girly pink stuff could bring me out of. I know that attitude is half my battle. If I can make myself do something I can usually bring myself out of it, but there are times I just don’t have the strength.

I was driving to town one day this week and I just began to weep to think of the many people in my life that are facing struggles. I started going down the rows of seats in our church and thinking about the people who were ill, or had someone ill in their family or a friend  that was sick, the many people in our community battling cancer, the people who went out into eternity that I did not know for certain the condition of their soul and my heart was breaking and overwhelmed and the tears flowed from my eyes. I didn’t want to have to explain that to people when i finally made it into town because a pokey driver was on my last nerve (arggggghhhhh) and then I was disappointed in myself for getting so far off task of where my thoughts were. Winter is rough. So I sought a lesson on winter.

1 Corinthians 16:6-9 KJVS

And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go. [7] For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit. [8] But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. [9] For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

Lesson 1: Don’t Abide Alone

Apostle Paul writes a letter to the Corinthians about a winter journey of his own. He tells them that he’s planning on abiding all winter with them. While winter in Corinth would not be as winter in West Virginia, it would still be cool and rainy. I’m not really sure how that would have effected Paul, or men in general. Winter does not seem to effect my husband David as it does me, I suppose for everyone it is different. But I’ll bet one thing is not different on any human. Being alone for too long isn’t healthy.

I’ve always said that I am my own best friend. I love my own company. I can also be my own worst enemy. I can allow my surroundings (such as the grey sky) to dictate my thoughts. Thoughts of sadness, failures and frustrations are more apt to be my focus. I’m blessed with a very large family, and those six grandchildren, while they drive me crazy tracking mud in and   leaving popsicle sticks everywhere there is such joy in their presence. But at the top of my list of prescriptions for the winter blues is church. The fellowship with other believers who want what I want, which is a closer walk with God. They speak words of encouragement to my soul, the music lifts my Spirit and the word speaks directly to my heart with a message that starts my week on the right foot. Paul’s life was filled with far more struggles than mud and popsicle sticks. He was on a continual trek of death threats and poor health. So Paul had a plan to be with his people. So should we.

Lesson 2: Don’t Always Listen to Yourself

Paul’s days were not Paul’s decision.  In verse 7 he says “but I trust to tarry with you, if the Lord permit.

Paul’s concern was what mine should be, forget the weather Shari… focus on the work God has for your life and His will. Paul said “if the Lord permitted him” he would stay in Corinth. He wasn’t assuming anything. If God sent him else where he’d be ready to go. It causes me to question whether or not I’m listening closely to God’s desire for these winter days. I was so concerned about the people in our church, yet, I didn’t visit or check up on anyone of them. So, was I even concerned. Of course I was, but it didn’t do me or them any go good to sit in my car and weep. I should have put feet on that prayer, or a phone call, anything to let them know I was praying and concerned for them. God doesn’t lay things and people on our without purpose.

Our lives are not our own, we were bought with a price and that price was the Lord’s own Son. Is it me or are there others who forget the sacrifice of Christ because of the distractions of this world. What a great tool of Satan to keep us spinning our tires literally and figuratively in the mud of our Christian walk. Just add a few struggles into my life and my focus is shifted from the Savior to Shari. I spend far more time listening to me than Him and it is so unhealthy for my mind.

Lesson 3: Don’t Let the Adversaries In

Paul was going to tarry (if God allowed) for the Pentecost. He was not as concerned about a religious holiday, but he was rather excited for the door that was about to open because of all of God’s people on their way into the city. Think about the crowds that would have gathered and what an opportunity this would have been to evangelize for Paul and the church. But along with the opportunity was the opposition. Satan and his crew knew that Paul and the others were turning the world upside down for the the cause of Christ. Oh Glory to God if our church was today. But just just as it was in the days of Paul, that same crew is opposing the children of God to stop our ministry work.

That time of brokenness in my car should have lead to a time of busyness when I arrived in town, where the people are. But I most likely got distracted. Another great tool of Satan. There are three tools that I think are some of his favorites to get our mind off the Lord’s work. Distraction. Discouragement. He checked both those boxes in my life this week. And the third “Disillusionment.”

One of the worst for me is to get my mind in a place where I view this world and it’s achievements as my scorecard for success. In both the secular and the spiritual I generally give myself about a “D-”. And Satan jumps right on that bandwagon to beat that drum! Add a week like this one into it, where I missed Wednesday night church because of pain, didn’t follow through on encouraging my friends, didn’t study as I should and Satan has me just where he wants me. Down and out.

But praise God for Sunday. Today I can receive the encouragement I need in the house of God and began anew another week.

I’m praying for you and I’m praying for me this morning that we will shut down the chatter of the adversary this week. Continue on child of God! We have work to do!

Your Friend in the faith, Shari Johnson, The Jesus Chick

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at or find her on Facebook!

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