Saturday, July 18, 2009

Alas... a blog

And as usual... these blogs get delayed. The blog below was written a month ago and another section was written about 3 weeks ago. The total blog was edited again recently. I share that friends because you are reading the blog of a scatter-brained gal who desperately desires to share truth and walk in the light. So, even though these particular words were written a while back, these lessons are ever present and continue to refresh and restore my heart back to the Lord. Enjoy the inner-workings of my crazy heart.
Hey there blog. Gosh its been a while. I'm writing because I feel like I need my heart to speak but it doesn't have words. So... I will just start writing and see what it says.

Today I was brought, once again, to that humble place of recognition that God is God and I am not. That might sound silly, like "right Kate... He has never changed." But this recognition is not because I have tried to control my own life (although tempted and perhaps given in at times). Recognizing God for who God is, or as much as I can fathom today, has entirely to do with the fact that I need Him. Desperately.

Chicago has been good. Trying but good. God is teaching me a lot about being in relationship. Not only with Tyson, but friends and family long distance, co-workers and specifically Him.

A friend had asked a few weeks ago if I had blogged lately. I had but truthfully it was lacking this awe inspiring, life changing truth I feel like I had come to realize (through the power of the Holy Spirit) in the past. What had changed? What made my words come out softer?

The answer was clear. Time with Him.


So... I wrote that section, and when I came to the realization that I needed time with Him, I put down the lap top and began to pray. Here is the newer section written over July 4th weekend.


God is in the business of making beauty from ashes. And I have found myself to be in humble acceptance of that beauty.

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.

This past weekend a few friends of mine came in from Indiana and from Georgia. It has been a blast. Last night the whole group stayed at Tyson's. As friends get to hang out with Tyson and TJ, questions abound regarding life and follow up conversations are had with me.

"So Katie... what is it like?" "How has it been?" "How are you doing?" "How are they doing?" There are usually questions regarding the redemption and restoration that continues to take place in Tyson's life. Anyway, as Tyson converses with my friends he'll end up talking about life in Indy, life here, and just in general we find ourselves talking about his house with Leslie in Fishers, times when TJ was little, and even end up discussing the battles with cancer. (Leslie's and Sarah's)

Tyson put TJ down for his nap today and went to sleep with him. My friend just left for a cousin's to say hi for a bit. And I found myself in the basement, looking at a blank sheet of paper knowing it was time to pour out my heart to God. I began to release my heart to God in questions, thanksgiving and wonderment. As of late my heart is taking in the "lessons" of God, has almost felt paralyzed; not from fear just from shock at His hand and how it has moved and is moving.

In tears I began to ask..."How am I here?" "God... how can my heart ache so much for the pain that everyone went through in Leslie's going to heaven and yet stand here and be so thankful for the life you are giving me?" And the answer I heard was "I MAKE BEAUTY FROM ASHES".

A good reminder and yet not answering my question directly, but shifting the focus to Him. The glory of His Name. And ultimately God's story. Stay with me as I unveil my heart in its fragile state.

Friends, I cannot describe the compassion and sadness and the gut-wrenching pain I felt when Leslie died, and the ache I still feel every time I see her face in TJ's, hear stories of her from Anna, see her family and talk to Tyson about the hard times and the good. My heart aches for the pain that God is bringing them through and has brought them through. I am certainly in an odd position. So often I wonder how I am here, and yet...I able to rejoice in the healing that is now taking place. Surely the healing will continue, but just as sure as the tears are that fall from my eyes, there is hope in today. I just can't believe that God would have it so that I might be a part of the beauty from the ashes of cancer.

What is crazy, or rather not so crazy, is that Tyson and TJ are also apart of the beauty from my ashes. So often I discount the struggle I've been through, the sin that is within me, and the hope He has given me. All the stuff that has brought hurt in my life, including my own sin, is a part of those ashes that have formed the broken mess, the ashes, I find myself to have. But, when we see the soot on our knees, and smell the remnants of the fire, we must remember that God is in the business of making beauty from ashes.

Hardship, sin, pain and suffering are a part of this man-centric life on earth. But when lived for God there is something else to be had. There is hope to find. A lightness to feel. And a joy to live into. As my heart continues to ache for friends with cancer, 5 year old girls with brain tumors, a boyfriend who lost his beautiful wife and an incredible 3 year old who lost his mommy, I choose to go back to God and I remember the truth of WHO He is.

He takes my sin and washes it clean. He takes my tears and puts them in a bottle. He takes death and conquers it. He takes sickness and heals it. He takes the lost and finds them. He takes the hopeless and restores them. He takes my pride and He humbles it. He takes my ashes and He makes them beautiful.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.

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.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
though they have been deserted for many generations.

So although I do not feel like I should be able to participate in such a beautiful redemption story, I am humbled truly that I am God's at all. For I know that the good work God has begun on earth, He will see it to completion...and use me when necessary. :)


Well, that about sums up what I've been learning. Thankfully God gave me sweet time with Him and although my stubbornness almost didn't take the time this morning, finally I stopped, listened and worshiped. Truly the lesson this morning for me was "It is about Me. Don't lose your focus in yourself, your life.... I will take care of those details. I am Alpha and Omega. I am the Redeemer..." Anyway, you get the point. God continues to refine me and remake me on this journey. And looking at today, I stand to tell you friends, it is a joy to be His!

Joyfully humbled today,


Lollie said...

Great blog Katie! It's a good reminder/encouragement to me of how the Lord is constantly turning my ashes into His beauty. Love you!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the reminder, Katie. I've been learning some things of late as well. Different things, but that is the beauty of our God!

everydayMOM said...

Amen, sister.

Trina said...

Thank you for this...with tears streaming down my face, thank you.

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