I love the first snowfall, but I also hate it. I know, super contradictory.

I look out at it, and I wonder how something could be so white...so pure. Snow makes me realize how big the world appears when I look out and see nothing but a vast sea of white beauty.

The first snow also brings reminders that Christmas is coming! Nothing puts me into the Holiday spirit like snow does. It’s the winter wonderland of dreams and stepping outside smells like Christmas morning.

But it also feels bitingly cold. One of the worst things ever is waking up early knowing you need to go to class, but also knowing you’ll have to walk in the freezing cold to get there. My 5 layers of blankets, somehow feels so much better when it’s snowing outside.

But there is one thing that snow very clearly reminds me of.

It is a beautiful, perfect, awe-inspiring picture of becoming pure.

I feel like being pure is something that I am always chasing after. It is my seemingly endless battle towards being enough.

Every time I fail or fall, it seems to consume me. I let my mistakes travel to every corner of my brain until it starts to eat away at the promises that God has for me. It’s guilt and shame-that is what makes me feel unworthy.

Have you ever poured anything into snow? See, snow is so beautiful and pure, yet so easy to stain.

In the neighborhood where I grew up, there was this little girl in the summer time who would always sell snow cones with this super cool machine. My best friend and I would sometimes ride our bikes with our 50 cents that we had earned to buy our special treat.

One of my favorite parts of getting my cone was watching this little girl pour the flavoured juice onto the snow ball. She would spread it in three spots, and it would slowly leak into the rest of the cone, turning it red or blue.

Something so pure and faultless, so easily stained...this is what guilt and shame are like. One moment I am happy, free, and accepting of love. But my shame and guilt pour into my brain, even just slightly, and leaks everywhere. It causes me to misconceive my Father’s love for me. But guilt and shame are not from our Father.

He does not guilt trip, or shame us. He convicts us through the Holy Spirit. I have found that my guilt and shame lead me to collapse within myself and run from God; but when I allow God to convict me through His spirit, I am lead to the cross...I am brought to my knees, where I meet a gracious Saviour.

It is so so hard to accept His grace in the face of defeat. Yet it is there for us. So this winter, I will look at the snow and be reminded of his pure grace and love for me. I will remember that this is how He views me: as white as snow. He will never hesitate to make me clean even if it hurts.

Through the pain, through the hurt, through my mistakes and my faults, I pray that He makes me brave so that I will always choose sanctification.

I want to be washed clean and I want to be aware of the areas where I fall short so that they will not come between me and God.

I want to pray David’s prayer with a heart that has come face-to-face with my own ugly, as well as a deep awareness of who my Father is, in spite of what I have done. I want to say no to my guilt and shame, and turn my face towards my Father who is not ashamed of me, but looks at me through the eyes of love…

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51).

God is so incredibly good, and I understand this best when I come before Him with a spirit of repentance. He is good to me when I do not deserve it, and this is when He blows me away.

Go before Him with who you really are, guys. There is so much freedom waiting there. There is so much grace and truth. Once you enter the Saviour’s rest, you will wonder why you didn’t see it earlier. There is no room for lies in the Father’s kingdom, and they will not eat away at you if you allow Him to take control.

And then...

White as snow...that is how He sees you.

Such pure, goodness...such beauty.

Grateful for snow, and it’s hidden messages that whisper to me that we are enough.

Enough. Beautifully, redemptively, graciously, more than enough...