So, it’s been a minute.
I got an email the other week that said my WordPress subscription had been renewed. Truthfully, at first, I was a little annoyed. Here I am trying to budget and save money (okay, it’s been a rather half-hearted attempt, but STILL) and then I get hit with an unexpected fairly hefty charge, all for a blog that has been sitting sad and neglected for the better part of two years. I actually kinda forgot about it. But I decided that if I’ve got this little corner of the internet for another year, I might as utilize it. And so, I do believe it is time to dust off this ol’ gal. I’ve missed writing, but I’ve been so hesitant to return to this space.
When I was in Uganda, I felt as though maybe I had something worthwhile to share. I was active in ministry, living in a developing country, discovering exciting new things. It was incredible. I had never felt so alive. I loved documenting and sharing my experiences and what the Lord was teaching me. I’ve been hesitant to start this back up because my life seems…well, boring, in comparison. I’m back to living in my small hometown, once again taking college courses, and working as a manager in a local coffee shop. My days are still full, but much more simple. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life! But it definitely doesn’t make for the most sensational blogging content, that’s for sure.
Due to covid, my hometown cancelled it’s annual Christmas walk, an event I look forward to every year. In lieu of the Christmas walk, they had a firework show tonight. Weird flex, but okay, I can get into it. So, three of my younger siblings and I dressed in our pajamas, piled in my beloved Subaru, homemade hot cocoa in hand. I watched the fireworks burst over the river, brilliant flashes that then faded away into the darkness. The only sign that they once existed are the ashy remnants that fell from the sky. Sometimes, I feel like that. My season in Uganda was a beautiful, brilliant flash. In so many ways, I felt like I was living out my purpose in life. But it ended abruptly and so very baldly. I came home with two 50 pound suitcases full of hurt and confusion. I had a blemished reputation, a broken heart, and $50 to my name. The girl I was then seems so distant. My life seemed to be in ashes.
But y’all. God can bring beauty out of ashes. Trust me. I’ve experienced it first hand. I’m experiencing it right now. He can restore, redeem, and renew. I’m seeing Him do it in my life as I speak. He has brought SO MUCH healing to my heart.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3
At first, I resisted Him. It hurt too much. It was uncomfortable. I tried to avoid processing and working through everything by watching every single season of The Office in four weeks. Very entertaining (Kevin’s chili scene still gets me EVERY TIME), but it was only a bandaid, a temporary fix. It wasn’t until I surrendered it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly – to God that the true healing could begin. Isn’t it funny how we sometimes resist what we know is best for us? We know what we need to do, but we are stubborn creatures. I am like that with God sometimes. I hold on tightly to my fistful of worthless ashes and pebbles, not wanting to let them go. But when I finally do, I realize that God wants to lovingly and gently replace them with beautiful jewels. He just asks that I trust Him in the process.
Even here, even now, there are still lessons to be learned. I think sometimes it’s how we live in the small, ordinary, day to day moments that shapes us, more than in the big, exciting ones. Sometimes it matters more how we walk through our valleys, than how we dance on our mountaintops. That’s when we see what we are really made of. God isn’t looking for grand, sweeping actions, He’s looking for consistency and faithfulness, for surrender and availability. How are we living in the moments when no one is watching? Who are we in the stillness? Who are we when the spotlight is off of us? Are we seeking to glorify Him, even in the mundane? Life is composed of a thousand little moments. Each of them contribute to our story. Some may be more significant than others, but they all have a part to play.
“If I’m not dead, You’re not done. Greater things are yet to come.”
I refuse to believe the lies of the enemy that say my best days were behind me. Nope. Jesus is making all things new. He’s bringing beauty from ashes. So, I’m gonna just keep on keeping on. I believe the best is yet to come.
“to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.”