Finding Grace in February and Reflecting on MAiD

In Tracy Dunham’s heartfelt article, she lays the groundwork for our upcoming six-week journey into the intertwining realms of faith, disability, and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). With a blend of personal reflection and timeless wisdom, Dunham encourages us to anchor ourselves in faith and resilience as we navigate the complexities of MAiD.

This week, I was in Niagara-on-the-Lake (“NOTL”) for some meetings. Everyone who heard I was going there said something like, “Oh, that’s nice!” Why? Because if you’ve ever been, you know it’s beautiful and charming. My response was something like, “Theoretically, yes, but it is February after all.”

In other words, none of NOTL’s famous gardens will be in bloom, many of the shops are closed for the season, and we do not even have a layer of snow to turn it into a real-life snow globe. February might be the worst possible month to be in NOTL.

Photo by vkbhat on Unsplash

But as I turned off the highway and made my way toward the town, and as I checked into my hotel and then walked for a few minutes up the main street to find a coffee, something else began to occur to me.

I have been reading This Too Shall Last, a book about how to find God’s grace and the presence of Jesus in suffering that persists in preparation for a Sunday Night Conversation, I’ll be leading with my church, about Medical Assistance in Dying. I’m sure the author’s words were why I started seeing the lifeless trees and near-empty main street as something else. I saw what they were going to be. In a few months, this place will look completely different. The trees and gardens aren’t dead; they are dormant, waiting for the season to change.

February isn’t just a month to endure on the way to May. In some ways, it might be. But in other ways, its quietness and even darkness give space for a deep work.

I trust you’re following this metaphor with me. There is no promise in Scripture that any struggle, suffering or dark night of the soul will be over next week, month, year or even in this lifetime. But that doesn’t mean that there is not beautiful work being done in your life.

If your life feels like you’ve been stuck in February for too long, breathe deeply. He’s with you. I don’t know why life twists and turns like it does, why it seems to stall out or rush by too fast, but I know for certain that God is present in each breath.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I hope that encourages you in some small way today. I’m looking forward to spring, but I appreciated my time in Niagara-on-the-Lake as well. I’m praying that is true of my heart and yours as well.

About the Author:

Tracy Dunham is the Lead Pastor at Freedom in Christ Church in Kitchener, Ontario (, where she has served for over 14 years. Alongside her role as a pastor, Tracy is wife to Rob and mom to three adult children. She loves Jesus, His Church, her family, and coffee – especially when the mug matches her outfit.

You can find Tracy Dunham online @tracyadunham.