Winter Solstice, Christmas, and Joy | A Reflection on Light Shining in the Darkness

Hi friends,

I hope you’re enjoying your holiday season. It’s always a bit sad when the season starts to end, and the darkness of winter sets in. Today I want to share a little bit about what I’ve been reflecting on lately, the relationship between the Winter Solstice, the Christmas Holiday, and joy. I share a little bit about this at the end of the video below, but I wanted to explore it further in this post I am sharing with you today.

This post is a little different than my usual farmy blog posts, but so much of what I love about our little farm, is that it connects me with nature and with the cycles of seasons and life. In doing so, this lifestyle teaches me more about God’s love for us.

John 1:5  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

I often see the world in metaphors. As a visual person, I  understand things through imagery. As the Winter Solstice came, I reflected on this idea of the “darkest day of the year” and the fact that just a few days after this darkest day, we celebrate Christmas. Christmas is all about the coming of the Light of the World. Just after we experience the darkest day, we celebrate the arrival of Christ, who shines light into the darkness.

That metaphor really spoke to me a few days ago and I have been reflecting on it ever since, but what does this mean in our lives? To me, this very idea evokes joy. Joy is the hope that light is coming, even when you’re walking in the darkness. It’s the knowledge that the Savior came, that you are fully loved, and being able to rest in those truths. To me, joy is not about emotions, or having a sense of happiness through all life’s circumstances. In my life, joy is a hope that I can rest on, a sense of safety, despite the unpredictability of each day.

I often experience anxiety, and living on a small farm, there are a lot of things to be anxious about. Sometimes I will imagine coming home to an animal that has suddenly passed away, or worry about my husband as he makes his way home. I will get anxious about our job security, family members’ health, or extreme weather. Anxiety runs in my family, so it is not surprising to me that I deal with these frequent thoughts or feelings. My faith does not eradicate my anxiety, I still live with that aspect of who I am. However, when I experience those emotions, joy is still there, reminding me that I can rest my anxieties, fears, and worries on a God who shines light in the darkness. Even if all of my anxieties came true, and all of my worries became reality, joy would prevail, because the Light has come, and “darkness has not overcome it.” That does not change my tendency to be anxious, but it does give me a sense of safety when the anxiety sets in.

To know the beauty of light, you have to experience the darkness. The long days of summer are all the more beautiful after we have walked through the dark days of winter. The world works in glorious metaphors, giving us glimpses of our Creator every day, if we look for them. For the past few years, I haven’t really been paying attention, but my New Year’s resolution is to open my eyes and heart so I can experience more of the joy that is available to all of us. My hope for you as you head into the New Year, is that you will experience true joy, and look at the world in new and wondrous ways.

That’s all for now friends.

All my best,

Jenn

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