I sit in my new spot in my studio this morning. At the beginning of the new year, I decided it was time to take everything out of the studio, clean, add more organization, and rethink the space. I’m glad I did it, I’m glad Katie helped. She built me new shelves for my books and journals. We hung shelves I already owned for pencils, brushes, and paints. I moved my writing desk to the other window, a new nook, a new start. I’m unclear why I’ve not put the writing desk in this spot. Perhaps my old desk was too big. I’m not sure. I’m glad it’s here, with a new perspective, a new feeling, new possibilities. I’m watching the snow slowly fall to the ground and cover the little side garden I had all but forgotten was on the side of my house. Small dark gray and white birds are playing in the bushes. I have no idea what kind of bird it is; my bestie would know. I’m content to watch them from the safety of my studio.

The snow is beautiful, covering the dormant trees, dried leaves, bushes covered in withered leaves, or bare completely. It’s light and gives the feeling of fluff. I wonder if we will have a sizable snowstorm this year, enough to build a fort, sled, toss snowballs. It’s interesting to me when the snow covers the earth and awakens feelings of cleansing in us. The pure white evokes a sense of renewal. Even though nothing was restored through the snow, it simply fell on top of the earth, covered what was bleak, but when it melts away, we are left with what was always there.

I’m often reminded of a particular Easter with the snow. Easter came early that year, and the snow came late. We filled the church, celebrating our risen Savior. You could see the giant snowflakes falling through the stained-glass windows. It felt magical. It felt like renewal. The world free and wiped clean.

I think I spent years wearing layers of snow like a cloak. I’d hear the inspirational message, I’d read a good commentary, I would amplify my trying harder mentality. But if you let the snow melt off my shoulders, I was left with the same bare sticks, the same dried leaves, the same dormant branches.

I’ve searched for God for a long time. I’ve prayed to him and cried to him for years. Writing those words ushers in memories of me sitting in the dark hearing him—moments of feeling his comfort. One thing I know, one thing I have seen proven again, and again, when I pray for my God to come near to me, he does. He doesn’t hesitate or tell me to fix it alone. He comes near.

Some days I wonder if that is the only thing in God’s character I know for certain. I find myself questioning a lot, looking at each angle, seeing differing points of view. Things get convoluted in my mind.

Jesus drawing near to the brokenhearted is not one I question. I wonder if that’s all that matters. Suppose I go from there and build up. Can I allow myself to let the doctrines and head knowledge to fall away and simply cling to who I know Jesus to be? The man who sat with children, ate with a ragtag group of people, talked to the masses but loved to talk one on one. The man who asked, “What can I do for you?” to reveal your deepest needs and desires. The man who knew if we came close to him, he would help shoulder our burdens. The one who encouraged us to do the same for others. To love them where they were, help them, eat with them. Perhaps I remember the times I asked Jesus to draw near to me, then remember how he did, and show that same action in my everyday life.

Or perhaps I’ve oversimplified it and missed the mark.