Beauty In Ashes

To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)

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In The Dark

Excerpt from Sober Boots blog post that I read today:
(You can follow Heather Kopp yourself here: http://www.soberboots.com)

Dave likes trees a lot. He knows their names, where they grow best, and a whole bunch of other boring stuff about them. Here’s what I know about trees: The ones with pointy sharp things might be pines. Oh, and they’re typically green.
“I had a little revelation about trees,” Dave continued. “But it might sound sort of dumb.”
“Tell me,” I urged. (I love it when Dave sounds dumb.)
He started with something I already knew—that he has been watching all week for new leaves on the trees. Spring has been confoundingly late this year, so it’s been a long watch.

“Anyway,” he continued, “this time of year, when we get a warm stretch, they come out so impossibly fast. One day, no leaves; the next, leaves. How do they do that? And then it hit me. The leaves have been growing all night long. Even in the dark, the sap is still rising, doing its thing. I can’t believe I just thought of that.”

I laughed and agreed that it seems rather obvious. But of course, I couldn’t resist the also rather obvious spiritual metaphor. “So do you think we grow at night too—in our soul, spiritually—even while we’re sleeping?”
“No,” Dave answered quickly.
“Then again…” He thought a moment. “I guess that’s a pretty ego-centred response, isn’t it? To assume that I can’t possibly grow unless I’m thinking. Like our minds do all the work, not God.”

I don’t know about you, but I often forget this truth. Years after moving out of a faith culture that promised more holiness as a reward for more effort, I still sometimes forget that I am powerless to transform myself. I want to believe I can see a defect of character, and then take steps to fix it. I’m grateful for God’s help, sure. But my version of transformation has me in control. Me taking credit, too.
Think my way to change? It might sound promising until I remember that my best thinking got me drunk. What I learned in recovery—and I’m embarrassed to admit it came as a surprise—is that changing me at my core is God’s job, not mine. In recovery, we open ourselves to the miracle of transformation in many ways, but perhaps none more directly than when we say the 7th Step prayer. It goes like this:
“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character that stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.”
Of course, we all have a significant part to play in our spiritual progress. We get to do our best to create the ideal conditions for growth to take place in our soul. We get to read spiritual books, pray and meditate, and take part in a spiritual community that will tell us the truth.
But maybe the most important thing we can do is act like trees. Let our roots go down deep into the ground of God’s love. Let God’s Spirit flow like sap into our being. Believe he’s at work, even in the dark.

After reading this blog I went onto Facebook (as you do) and saw a friend post this quote:
A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.
(although I’m unsure where this has originated from so I am unable to give credit where its due)

I love this quote. And it makes me think about Abraham and God and their conversation of stars and promises and legacies. But maybe that’s a post for another day.

Murky Results

Had more tests and a scan today. Once again the results are neither good or bad.

Rather “wait and see”

I am past feeling positive and hopeful but rather find myself expecting negative results, in a self preservation type way.
If I expect nothing then I can’t be disappointed. If I expect nothing then nothing can hurt me.

I have not cried over this round. And I wonder if I’m bottling it up or if I’m really unaffected by it all.

And so it’s nearly time for decisions – only put off due to the week long wait for more tests and results.
But really a decision will still need to be made. What next? Where to from here?

Has it come to the beginning of letting go and walking away?
And if we do choose this path will we regret it?

I went back to work and looked at the children and wondered –
Will I be ok with working for the rest of my life? There will be no time off for babies, no maternity leave, no big pregnant belly. No feeling my baby kick and no weird food cravings.

Can I be surrounded by children when I can’t have my own?

And if not, and we don’t have kids then what do I do with my life?

Scooby Doo (My friend E’s gorgeous 2.5 year old daughter, and no, not their real names) was over playing and she is so gorgeous and normally watching her I have pangs of desire. But today I felt nothing. Is it because I’m beginning to come to terms with the idea of no babies or am I devoid of emotion and feeling in a state of denial?

I’ve always dreamed of being pregnant. Of having a beautiful baby girl.
Will I be okay with not having this?

Help me to change my negative language and thoughts Lord. Help me to see it differently, to let it go – to truly let it go. I release it to you Lord. Take it from me. It is a burden I no longer want to bear.

Hope is believing that God will honour his word, that his promises will surely come to pass. It is believing that the dreams and desires that I have, have been placed inside of me by God. It is a confident assurance that God knows me, my desires, my dreams, the very core of who I am, intimately – and better than I know myself. And in that knowing [of me] he loves me and desires the very best for me. He wants to bless me, to favour me, to shower me with good things. Not in a spoilt kind of way, but in a loving kindness that a Father has for his children. Hope is believing, trusting, knowing that God knows and will bring it to pass in his perfect timing so he may be honoured and glorified.
Hope is trusting God with my deepest desires and dreams and believing that they will come to pass BUT if they do not, hope is trusting that God, in his infinite wisdom, knows best.
Hope is daring to believe that things have changed and broken off even when it can’t be seen, yet. Hope is trusting that God is working the night shift in my life, and that one day the work he is doing in me, in secret, will be brought out into the light of day.

No Man’s Land

The news is in. The results have arrived.
And I find myself in a strange place between hope and hopelessness. Its an odd place to be in. A state of not knowing how I feel. Or even how to respond or act. A place of almost fickleness. A constant moment of time where I’m trying to figure out how I feel about this and how I should be feeling. I find myself conscientiously thinking about how I am going to think and talk about it. Because thoughts become words which becomes belief and action.

In twenty minutes two pieces of news that wasn’t great.
Not bad or terrible. Just not great:

1. We don’t have the deposit amount we thought we needed or had for our house.
2. My blood test results weren’t great.

We need more money. More money requires more time. And I am past patient. I am past biding my time. I want my house and I want it now.

Yet.

Everything the broker man said made sense. The more money we save the better off we are in the long run. He talked so honestly and realistically. Which is exactly what I needed (but didn’t want) to hear.
More money. More time.
Big decisions for Grant and I on what we do now. Because we can go with our bank now or we can go with the broker later. It seems wiser to go with the broker. But we have to wait and save.

I’m tired of waiting.
I’m tired of hoping.
I’m tired of believing for something to be told yet again to wait, to run again, to take more time.

And then during this meeting the call comes.
My blood tests results aren’t great. My hormone levels just aren’t high enough.

But.

They are going to test again.
They are going to scan anyway.

And.

I have acupuncture appointment before the blood test and scan.

So there’s still hope.
A miracle can still happen.
All is not lost.

And yet.
I’m not sure I can hope again.
I’m not sure I can stay positive about this.

I’m tired of waiting.
I’m tired of hoping.
I’m tired of believing for something to be told yet again to wait, to run again, to take more time and money.

What if it doesn’t work? What then? Do we give up? Do we walk away?
How can we afford more treatment?
At what point is enough enough?
Will there ever be a point where we feel that we have tried everything and can walk away with no regrets?

I have to stay positive. I have to stay focused. I have to keep trusting in God and his plan and his timing.
But I’m tired. I don’t want to run again. I don’t want to hope again. I don’t want to be disappointed and let down again.

All I know is that God is good. All the time.
All the time, God is good.

God is good.
God is good.
God is good.
God. Is. Good.

Gods Timing

I am impatient
Gods timing is perfect
I want things to happen now
Gods timing is perfect.

I have been reading some blogs about everyday women and the terrible, tragic things that have happened to them.
Yet they still believe in God.
Yet they still trust in God.
They are raising my hope
They are championing me on
They are helping me count my blessings

I can wait for Gods timing. I can wait for my miracle because I trust my God. Because I can trust him. He is trustworthy. He is loyal. True. He is reliable. Dependable and honest.
I will trust in him and his perfect timing.