March 6, 2011

Beauty for Ashes - Replay

As part of the Jumping Off the Train {of Negative Thought} series we're doing, I am reposting this blog from last year. It'll kick off a very special week lined up with rich, wise guests! Hope you'll stick with us as we continue our ride! Love, S


August 30, 2010

This last year has been hard. Heart-stompin' hard. Unruly really.

An exciting life-changing expectation I nurtured for years went up in flames. It burned me bad. Hope. Faith. Daring. Belief. Happiness. They were consumed in the blazes with me. We smoldered, then fell down in a heap of cold ashes, surrounded by why's and how come's.

The expectation I waited on was not a passing flight of fancy. It was solid and sure. A promise I earnestly believed was from the Lord. Believing it would happen…staying the course…was fierce and exhausting, exhilarating and thrilling. Then, in a flash, years of intense hope, excruciating faith, and dogged tenacity disintegrated to lumps of coal. My heart was done. My soul crushed. The ashes seemed a proper place to fall as I took account of the damage done.

Watching my expectation waft away, a keen awareness the ash heap isn't where I'm meant to be flooded me. But I haven’t mustered the umph to get up quite yet, despite the great encouragement I’ve had. The Lord has unwaveringly kneeled in the soot next to me this past year, promising me "This isn't the end. Get up. It's time to leave this heap. If you give Me the ashes, I'll do something with them. Something beautiful."

Just the other day, He reminded me again. In the midst of 18,000 others at a concert.

It was barely noticeable on the outer edge of her right foot, propped up in my line of sight. Permanently scripted in a swirly feminine font. Contrasting with the black masculine tattoo ink....

Beauty for ashes

I can't deny that tattoo was a spring breeze to my scorched soul. And I heard Him say again, "If you give Me the ashes, I'll do something with them. Something beautiful."

It's tempting to tie this up with a pretty bow and a big, "Woo-hoo! I saw that tattoo and now I'm getting out of the ashes!" But I won’t. Cause I want to be real, and real is the fact that I can't see redeeming qualities from the years spent waiting and trusting. Or how any beauty can come from such disappointment and confusion.

But real is also my commitment I made to keeping this blog as a way to share testimonies of God's goodness. Even if it's from the viewpoint of the ash heap. And what I see is a faithful God. One who stands by me. One who redeems - all things. One who trades beauty for ashes. One worthy of my trust. And I'm trusting that that knowledge is the spark I need to light a new fire...

How about you? Can you relate?

"The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see." ~Hebrews 11


stephanie said...

If I were to use a phrase to describe the past few years of my life, that would be it "beauty from ashes". Although it seems impossible, He has done it, made beauty from ashes. I must confess, I too wasn't sure that He could do it, but some shred of me trusted that He could. And He did. HE DID! Praise God He did :), and still does!

And Sam, I love your blog, it is one of my fav places to rest my soul. You are such an awesome sister in Christ. Definately beauty from ashes girl, you are beauty!

Kandi said...

I can't wait to see what God does with your ashes. I remember reading this post last year, my heart hurt for you because I know the feeling all too well. I am looking forward to and I can't wait to see what you have for the rest of the week.


Fields of gold said...

Aw, thank you Stephanie! God's so good to use our ashes and turn them into triumphs. For us and for others. It's a joy to read how He's been turning your ashes into beauty on your blog. One of my favs!

Fields of gold said...

Thanks Kandi! I'm sorry you know that feeling all too well. But my hope is that the pain has lessened as you've walked the road of redemption out with Jesus. Blessings to you friend!

Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

Sweet Samantha, my dear sister-friend, I love you. My heart is aching for your ache. And I know HE is faithful. He has and is making you and your life BEAUTIFUL.

Was this before or after SS? I wish I would have known, dear one. I would have been hugging ou extra!!!

Love, hugs and prayers,

Fields of gold said...

Sweet Sharon, I love you too! Thank you for your care and concern. It's been quite a journey, but God's constant presence has steadfastly been by my side the whole way.

It was before She Speaks, but it's just been in the last few months God's opened my heart to talk about it.

He is so faithful!

Love you friend!!

Rebecca Marie-Jo said...

OH MY GOODNESS! I don't know whether to be enthralled or terrified! I happened to stumble back onto your blog today for the first time in months. I came over hoping to receive some shred of inspiration for the blog God's been putting on my heart to begin for nearly a year now and you spoke to everything that has kept me from writing! I am currently in the ash heap... and have had every doubt swirl into my mind, arguing every point of reason upon which I should deny the words I believe God spoke to me about the very relationship that has very painfully burned up... and I did deny what I thought was His promise but now, I'm not so sure He's through with this issue...

There was more too- the "You are on our side" song and your entry about shiny glass marbles... they have all ministered to my soul in such a way that only God could orchestrate. Thank you for your obedience and surrendering your time to Him in maintaining this blog. Thank you for being real. His hand on you stretches further than you know.

Fields of gold said...

Sweet Rebecca Marie-Jo,

Honored the Lord met you through the words on this blog. HIS words. For you! He's a personal God, passionately pursing communion with you. Passionate to free you, love you and heal you... I hope you feel Him bending in the ash heap with you, patiently leading you up up up and away. Whatever His plans for this relationship that is burned up, may He reveal them quickly.

Love hearing from you and knowing God is doing a faithfully good work in you! Keep in touch!

xoxo, Sam