The Hibernation Is Over

I love the WordPress community. I find the honesty and openness expressed on it as refreshing as a spring breeze. People can be vulnerable here and strip back the layers of pretence that we are forced to wear in the ‘real world’. In a society where many social media platforms portray a false, distorted reality of people’s lives, WordPress is the one medium where the truth is spoken and freedom reigns.

We flee the real world at times in order to be ourselves.

There’s something not quite right about that last sentence but that’s kind of how it feels to me at times. I see so many blogs where people write painful truths but then add that they could never say such things in the real world. Many of us write anonymously in order to protect ourselves and others. Some worry that what they write might be misconstrued or misinterpreted by someone they know in real life. They delete posts or water them down accordingly. We find our freedom in the shadows. We are exiles.

The world we live in is in disarray. Moral values appear to have been turned upside down. Greed and selfishness seem to run rampant, devouring all before them. We feel like outsiders looking on helplessly at the madness all around us. It is beyond our control, an unstoppable surge. We wonder where God is. We wonder where simple human decency is. We are strangers in a strange live. We fall back to our primal, default mentalities of fight or flee. We feel too weak to fight back and so we choose to flee.

We have been beaten up, downtrodden, broken and left for dead. So we retreat, we fall back. We choose self preservation. We hide in our caves, we curl up into foetal balls and resolve to wait out the gathering storm. We are done with life and people who have done nothing but disappoint and hurt us. We effectively enter a self-enforced hibernation, cutting the umbilical cord between ourselves and the world. We turn our backs on those who have turned their backs on us. We disappear.

Hibernation is a time of safety and warmth. It is necessary in order for animals to prepare for the coming seasons. They hibernate in order to survive. They switch off in order to be able to switch on again when the first weak rays of sunlight start the thaw the deep snowfalls. Hibernation is a temporary death they go through in order to lead a more fruitful life when they re-emerge into the chaos that is life. It is an annual resurrection of sorts, a ritual passage that lies at the heart of the cycle of being.

Fionnuala and I spoke a few days ago about this subject and how we have gone through a period of hibernation over the last year or so. This has been largely self enforced and I am to blame for that. As a stay at home mummy it has been particularly hard for Fionnuala. At least I can escape the insanity of living with three kids and retreat to the workplace where I can (supposedly) interact with other adult human beings. Fionnuala does not have such a release valve after having to give up a very busy and challenging office job because of our unique childcare issues.

I too often get too wrapped up in my work, blogging or running. It is part of my obsessive nature although that is no excuse. I get ideas above my station and too big for my boots. I neglect my wife who has been my rock through so many storms in recent years. I simply cannot live without her yet I am thoughtless and take so much for granted that she does for me and the family. I neglect other people too; friends who I have turned my back on when they never did that to me. I messed up and ran away and hid in a pity cave of my own making. It is time for that to end. The hibernation period is over and I’m seeking to re-emerge, fully focused on my faith and my family.

We need to find new friendships and perhaps reignite some old ones. We need to communicate not curl up in a ball of denial. I need to face my failings and take practical action to prove my sincerity to my loved ones. I need to practice what I preach and show love as opposed to just talk about it. I need to put God and my loved ones before myself. In fact I need to put everyone before myself. I need to kill the self and start afresh. I need to wake up and smell the coffee flavoured truth. They say a leopard can never change its spots. I disagree, I believe we can always change and become better people through the grace and love of God and others.

I want to change. I need to change. I have to change.

I will change. The hibernation is over.

Have you ever experienced a season of hibernation? Is it currently ongoing?

Why did you enter it and how did you re-emerge?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

45 thoughts on “The Hibernation Is Over

  1. I was worried until I remembered that you were taking time off the blog for the book. I am in a period of hibernation, but trying to change it. Just staying inside every day, with no real place to go. We do not leave for Europe until March 31, so I realize that I could be volunteering, so I am going to try that as soon as my toes heals some mor. I had minor surgery on one of them. Good to see your post today.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We will be based in Portimao Portugal. So, we hope to see Spain, Italy, Belgium, Amsterdam for Douglas’s friends he met as a hitchhiker in is twenties. I also want to see Ireland and Scotland, especially Dublin and the Highlands, as I love British mysteries or those from the United Kingdom. Don’t know if I would want to live in a village, as it seems there are lots of murders (Smile). We plan to take the train a lot, getting passes. We have not put together an itinerary. We found an apartment for $18.50 a night for two months. The last month we will simply travel in Europe to places we miss. So, what we want is to see as much as we can without spending thousands in air travel, by locating in Portugal. We love Portugal, and Douglas also wants to see if it is feasible to live there and do some evangelism, but overall it is about seeing the world that we both have dreamed of, and that is Europe and read so much about.


  2. I am just starting to emerge from a 2 month hibernation. I lost my mum last year suddenly and I coped (somehow) but on NYE the reality of going into 2018 without my mum, I fell into a deep depression which then triggered my anxiety and I was too afraid to leave my home. A week ago I knocked over my side table (no idea how, it was in my sleep) and my bible fell out, it landed opened on John’s gospel so I read it from start to finish and it re-lit a small fire inside me. I’m starting to feel the dark cloud shift now and have managed some small trips outside with minimal anxiety attacks and lots of prayers. Baby steps, one day at time. Keep fighting! My mum use to say its ok to stop and re-gain strength for a while aslong as you don’t give up hope and eventually make small steps forward in your own time πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am sorry for your loss and what you have been through. I hope you have turned the corner. God is obviously with you every step as you emerge into the light. If you would like prayer please go to the ‘prayer’ section of our page and leave your request. We have established a prayer team and we can all pray for your needs πŸ™πŸ»β€οΈπŸ™‚


  3. I was into hibernation when my marriage fell apart. But that was expected. It’s been my faith and God’s word and faithfulness and music that got me out of it. And gradually remind myself that I have my own family, co workers and friends that cares. Good post.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am in a season of hibernation now due to my chemo treatments. I hardly ever see anyone outside of the infusion lab and church and an occasional errand around town. I can’t wait to be able to go visit people and do my job (sales) without the blasted safety mask on. I can’t wait until I have the energy to once again drive out of town. I can’t wait for a fairly normal life again, whatever that entails. It is coming and it will happen. I have all faith in my wonderful, amazing God to bring me through. I am just patiently waiting and learning.

    Nice post! Be blessed


      1. Patience. What a remarkable thing patients is. And what a difficult thing to master. I like James 1 2 through 4 when studying patience. I look forward to seeing that blog when it comes.


  5. I entered hibernation after the death of a close friend in 2015. Some people that i thought were my friends turned on me and I became very depressed. I went into therapy and that has helped a lot. My blog has also helped, along with the support of those i know i can trust.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve taken a season of hibernation in many ways, which is set to end late April–but I also decided to take my first solo-trip next weekend, one state over. I have a feeling the eight hour drive will leave me feeling happy to come out of my cave. I hope it is a real chance to overcome some of my driving anxiety as well as my lack of desire to interact with the world. Love your honesty in this post, as usual. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great blog! I am careful to try not to reveal individuals I talk about in my blog because the blog is about me and not others and I don’t feel I have the right to violate anyone else’s privacy but I don’t think that is what you mean is it? When I became a Christian, I thought all my problems would go away, and God would take care of everything with a snap of His fingers.But it is not like that. Accepting Jesus and asking Him to be Lord of my life didn’t obliterate the garbage I’d pressed down in the compactor of my heart. I have gone through a season of not just pruning, but what has felt like deep excavation. In His mercy and grace, God didn’t bring up all my sins, sinful habits and sinful ways of thinking at one time. I’d have likely despaired if He had. But gratefully, He has lovingly shown me the error of my ways and continues to do so. He opened my eyes over time. Through His Holy Spirit, I saw the painful truth. I agreed with God about my sins and I have repented. That does not mean that I do not stumble. I do a lot. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10). God knows who and what we are. He offers one way to be saved for all eternity. Coming to Jesus opened my eyes to who I am. I am a sinner. I am human. I am weak. I stumble and fall, even now that I am saved. I am also a daughter of the King. I am loved by God. And He is strong. He is faithful. He keeps His Word. He will never abandon me. He helps me stand again. He gives me the will to keep walking in the steps of Jesus.
    But honestly, it can be very hard, working out our salvation. By working, I mean living it, not earning it. As the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:12b, we are to “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” The faith journey isn’t easy. Believing is only the first step onto the narrow pathway. The next steps put a believer on the road of trial and blessing as we walk out a new life as a disciple of Christ. If we stick close to Jesus, read His Word, lean in and listen and if we obey, even when it means personal, painful sacrifice, then that is the long, narrow path that leads to transformation. “being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 ASV. You have not been in hibernation, you have been on that narrow path leading you into transformation to become Christ-Like.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I went into hibernation when my sister was on her deathbed in 2015, she died in October of that year. Then followed a series of unrelated unfortunate events. I feel that I am still in hibernation but slowly recovering. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Bible says be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.
    In is the day of rest which builds the muscle stronger.
    Spiritual muscles are like that too.
    Built stronger to come out and be used more precisely.
    It was in the garden of Gethsemene that Jesus in solitude with the Father was able to walk up Calvarys hill.
    The battle is truly won in the time alone with God.
    Peace friends, glad you are here.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I come from a long line of hibernators – when the world goes pear-shaped, we sequester ourselves off from everyone as a form of protection. We somehow think that separating ourselves when we need others most helps the situation. Nope. It doesn’t – in fact, in my case, I believe the lies like this: going it alone is better, you don’t need people alongside you to get through this, you don’t really need to pray about that, don’t ask for prayer…it’ll be fine without it, really!

    None of this is true and I’m now aware of those lies and will consciously make an effort to pray first before anything else happens when I feel the need to hibernate. I think, for me, I need to hibernate sometimes to pray and reflect and journal and listen. My pastor said something a few months ago about how we do our most God-honoring work when we are alone with Him in prayer. It is there that we also remember that we can trust in Him alone.

    Your question also made me think of times past where I allowed others to dictate my social life. I hibernated out of self-preservation, but man alive was it lonely because there were months where I went without seeing my friends and even years where I went without seeing my family. Thankfully, I am not in those circumstances any more and as of right now, I have the ability to see family and friends whenever I want or need to. I’m learning about boundaries that need to be drawn with some friends and I’m learning just how much social interaction is too much.

    Thanks for posing the questions πŸ™‚


  11. It’s all about moving forward and that with each day we can become better and improve. I’ve been misunderstood in my posts sometimes, and my comments have been misunderstood, especially when they have been challenging. But we do what we can. The truth is the truth for a reason. We can’t hide from it.


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