Wednesday, July 6, 2011

[from ashes] July 5, 2011

Mornings. Chores. Tired. Garden. Laundry. Meals. Hay. Errands. Chores. Tired. Sleep.

That is pretty much a reflection of my life these days.

Some days I revel in the work. The dirt. The sweat. The feeling of the wind in my hair. The calluses on my hands. The knowledge that I am strong enough to lift twice what the average woman can without even breathing hard. The feeling of accomplishment when I see the milk tank swirling with creamy white milk. The garden blossoming and blooming with vegetables. The line of round bales growing. Thirty. Sixty. A hundred. Only a hundred left to put up before winter.

Then come the other days. The ones when I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. When the thought of hanging out another load of laundry could almost make me cry. The days when Amos can't get in from the fields and I have to face the barn full of cows and know that I'm all alone. The days that I avoid the garden and its weeds. When I turn my back on the sink full of dishes. When I crawl into bed with my eyes closed so I can't see the clothes on the floor.

And on those days I start to crumble.

A day came when I was crumbling. I cried over everything. The morning. The cows. The manure. The flies. The pigs. The laundry. The garden. The dishes. The dirt. The heat. My husband. My friends. The fact that I still wasn't pregnant. The fact that despite all our hard work there wasn't any extra money. The fact that no matter how carefully I planned or worked it seemed that I was always disappointing someone.

I looked around and only saw the ashes of the life I desired.

And I heard clearly through my tears the voice of my Father, reminding me of something he once told a friend of mine. "I would not have promised beauty for ashes, if I wasn't going to burn anything down."

I wrote a song that day. One that has been swirling through my head ever since. His answer. His promise. In the end...

He offers beauty for ashes-- strength for pain. Hope for all who call on His name.

He offers-- to hold all our tears. Clothe us in white-- turn the dark into light.

Yet so often we forget

To get beauty for ashes, something must burn

To get strength for pain, something must hurt

For Him to hold all our tears, we must cry

To turn the dark into light, we have to face a black night

All His promises are true-- He'll do just what He said He'd do

But so many times, in the fire, pain and tears--We hide in the darkness, and cry out in fear

"Where are you, God? Where are you, God?"

And He says...

To get beauty for ashes, something must burn

To get strength for pain, something must hurt

For me to hold all your tears, you must cry

To turn the dark into light- you have to face a black night,

But I promise you,

In the end,

I will make all things new.

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