Beauty For Ashes

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Sometimes I’m not sure why God picked us. And to be honest, sometimes I’m not sure if He even did. Sometimes I think it just happened. The luck of the draw. Fate.

That we would long for a baby for 5 years. That we would dream and scheme and prepare for that child. And then wait. Sometimes I think it was almost worse that way. The waiting only made the dreams more real.

And then one day, when we had all but given up we would receive the blessing and in that baby’s face we would see the love of the Father.

And we would begin to check off the dream list, one milestone as a time . Until one day it became clear that the plan we had wasn’t going to work out.

And not like it needed to be tweaked. It had to be scrapped. Thrown out. Shredded and burned and forgotten.

Except it’s easier to throw something away than it is to forget it.

Because after all, how can that much hurt come from God? How can He give and take away at the same time?

When you have more questions than you have answers, you aren’t quick to move on.

But after days and weeks and months it becomes a little easier to craft another plan.

The new becomes your own kind of normal and you begin to allow yourself to dream again and in the face of our second born son, we once again were reminded of the love of the Father. You trust again. You believe again.

And just like you once believed to be true so long ago, hurts are redeemed and tears are exchanged for laughs and beauty really does come from ashes.

You begin to see the bigger picture, to see life as a dance.  It’s fluid and it has rhythm and it pulses and slows at just the right times.  And it’s easy to find beauty in the movement, to gain beauty for the ashes.

Life becomes that rhythm.  Your days are lived in the tension of the highs and the lows.  New dreams are dreamed and often times they are realized but many times they aren’t.  With experience comes desensitization, comes the ability to both laugh and cry at the same time.

And then one day in the middle of a season, the rhythm stops all together as you read these words. The words of your second born son and you begin to wonder again.

“Having a brother with Autism is hard. It’s hard to play with him. Even when he is bad to me I just kinda have to deal with it because I know it’s just Autism. I just have to live with it when he does those bad things in the house and try to remind him to do better and to keep trying.”

~ Luke, 8 years old

And all those once quieted fears come racing back. The doubts and the questions come with new words.

Words like burden. Like normal. Like fair.

Words that you begin to measure his life against and you wonder all over again if it’s God who gives the blessings and us who earns the hurts.

And how do you reconcile this hurt that you must have earned with the pain that it brings to the ones you love most?  Even though just days ago you felt hope and promise, it’s all but evaporated.

And one night you listen to that same little boy pray. And he prays from a place that you once kneeled. A place where he trusts not because he has tested fate and God prevailed. But a place where he knows nothing different than to trust that the God that made the universe, made him and loves him and has set him apart for amazing things.

He prays for his brother that night, not questioning if God could, but knowing that He does.

And once again, the fears and the doubts and the questions fade away and in the eyes of a sweet, brown hair, blue-eyed little boy, you are reminded once again of the love of the Father.

That beauty really does come from ashes, but not in the way that you once thought it to be.

You lean in and you listen close and you let go.  And in the laying down you are met by the One who is always and only good.

And for the first time you are able to know that assurance and the hope comes not because you had the faith to believe it to be so, but that it always had been.

Beauty for ashes

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