Seeing Past the ‘February Blahs’

About this time of every year, I begin to feel the effects of what I’ve labeled the “February Blahs.” By now, Christmas is only a distant memory and spring seems too far away to build any anticipation. It’s cold… dark… dreary, and each day brings with it a monotony that seems to grow heavier with each passing week.

Wake.   Work.   Sleep.   Repeat.

And repeat

And repeat

And repeat … … …

And so, by the latter half of January, it can seem that the bleakness outside migrates into the soul and becomes the lens through which everything is viewed and judged. The difficulties and concerns that were hardly a thought a few months ago subtly take on a progressively increasing weight that relentlessly pulls the heart downward.

You know, everyone feels discouraged and let down at times.
Friends move on and disappear. Marriages struggle.
Family dynamics change.
Sickness persists.
Plans alter.
And dreams end.

Until Jesus calls us home we continue to live in a world of disappointment, and if we don’t learn to anticipate and deal with these inevitable struggles, the clouds of today will seep in and block the sunshine of tomorrow.

While there are no quick fix-all remedies for very real pain and hurt that exists in this life, believers in Jesus need to remember that this world isn’t all there is. Paul put it this way in the Colossians 3. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (vs 1-3)

If the pattern I’ve experienced the past years continues, I can expect that my sojourn through the February doldrums will lift in a few weeks when the days get longer, the warmer weather arrives, and we start prepping our garden for new life, but that’s not the case for everyone.

Life doesn’t always turn out as we’d hope, and even when the fog does retreat, the landscape can look vastly different than it used to be, leaving us feeling disoriented and alone. As real as our emotions can be, scripture emphatically states that this perception is wrong. Christ’s last words to His disciples in the Gospel of Matthew were a promise that He would be with us “always, to the very end of the age.”(Matt. 28:20) That means that you don’t have to wait for warm feelings, or for the light to shine on your circumstances. You can believe the promises of Jesus because He proved His trustworthiness when He died on the cross for our sins and broke the power of death through His resurrection.

So, regardless of what your senses tell you or how dark it gets outside, anchor your hope in God and His promises.  Believe that He is present now in your circumstances and will be faithful to take your hand and lead you out of your temporary cloud of darkness and into the forever light of eternity with Him.

17 thoughts on “Seeing Past the ‘February Blahs’

  1. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement. I love February but mostly because it is my birthday month and it is a shorter month. The gray skies are not my favorite as well as the cold but I am already noticing the days growing longer.

    May we see past the gray, gloomy skies and recognize the beauty God graces us with daily. Blessings!

  2. Karen, Thanks so much for this wonderful encouragement! Funny, my daughter just said today how before you know it March will be here and then spring is just around the corner. 🙂

    Praising God, that springtime lives in our hearts year round through the precious blood of the Lamb.

  3. I can relate. Winter can seem to drag out for so long. Everything (except the occasional evergreen) is brown, even when the skies are blue.
    This year I have a crocus growing on my windowsill! It is still just the green part, no flower yet. My daughter planted a bulb in a clear plastic cup, and I never put it in the ground outside. So, it started coming up in my kitchen window a couple of weeks ago, even though it is still too cold for me to go out and put it in the ground. I get to see it every day! This is helping me with my anticipation for spring.

  4. I’m fortune in that for the last 15 years I’ve worked st boarding schools that always have a four-day weekend in February. We’re headed to NM for a camping trip :). Breaking up the routine always helps stave off the blahs. The next thing I look forward to is the return of the hummingbirds!

  5. I’ve heard others say that about February, as well. I guess since I grew up in Florida, where the weather isn’t freezing-ad-nauseam by Feb, I still like February. 🙂 I have a son with a Feb. birthday, too, so that makes it a happier month as well. 🙂 And, yes, so thankful that our hope is in eternity with Him instead of our circumstances here. ((hug))

  6. pow! I needed that! We are eagerly waiting for Spring, and for this extra snow this year. Purposefully focusing on God’s good gifts sure brightens the day. Thanks Karen!

  7. Thank you for this sweet encouragement in the middle of the “winter doldrums.” I so identify with those feelings you describe–I too long to get outside and just smell the fresh-earth-scent of springtime. But, yes, Jesus is with us here, even now in the dismal feelings, and you are so right that He has life for us now. Thank you!

  8. Oh Karen! I can’t tell you how much I needed this today… especially when I’m dealing with chronic illness and the repetition day in and day out of a cold, dark winter. Thank you! I’ll be sharing this today on The Silver Lining ministry page. Thank you for the encouragement. May God bless you, in Jesus’ name, and may He quickly pull us out of the “February blahs!”

  9. Thanks for these beautiful reminders and pictures that so capture that feeling of “bleakness that migrates into the soul”, an apt description. Love the verse from Col 3:1 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above..” – altering our set point to begin altering our soul’s terrain. Blessings!

    1. I love how you said that Sandra! Altering where our attention rests (set point) does change the terrain of our lives. Something most believers need to be vigilant in doing!

    1. I think the more that we take Philippians 4:8 literally, the better off our outlook is. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” As we dwell on those things that are praiseworthy, our mood and perspective has to change! Thanks Amy!

  10. The Bible gives us truth and hope. My day always goes better when I spend sometime in God’s Word. (Like you I look forward to spending time in the garden.)

    1. Glad to hear from a fellow gardener! It’s amazing how just being out in God’s creation has the ability to lift your spirits! Thanks for stopping by!

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