Beauty from the Ashes


Keith’s condition was so bad for so long.

Like, bad.

Really, really bad.

Yet I continued to hope and believe that God would heal him.

Keith would make progress in one area only to decline in a different area. For the most part it seemed that with each step forward, it was five steps back.

When I heard about his accident, my heart was broken. It was so bad and I didn’t think it could get any worse.

But it did.

And the pieces of my broken heart were shattered.

As time progressed, my shattered pieces were somehow hammered into tiny specks and, ultimately, my specks were ground down into a fine powder.

My heart – the heart that had been so loved and so full – was now nothing more than dust and ashes.

I remember calling out to the Lord, “Lord, please stop! I can’t take it anymore. The burden is too heavy and it continues to crush me. There is nothing left to crush.”

Why was He allowing this? If God is good why didn’t He allow it to stop at the brokenness? If God is merciful why did I have to be shattered? If God is love why did He allow the hammering of my heart before it was ultimately ground down to nothing?

It was so painful.

But I trusted.

And then I realized that Keith’s healing wouldn’t happen here on Earth, but that he would be fully healed and restored in Heaven.

And then I was REALLY confused. “God! Why would you do this? Why would you allow all of us to go through these sixteen months of heartache only to take him in the end? He should not have survived. He should not have survived! Why didn’t you just let him die that night so we could have been saved this gut-wrenching agony that apparently was inevitable from day one?”

I didn’t receive my answer immediately, but with time it became clear.

That process of being broken, shattered, hammered and ground to nothing is exactly what I needed to be able to move forward.

When I reached the point of being able to move forward in a life no longer filled with Keith, I wondered how I would be able to fit all of the broken, jagged pieces back into my empty heart.

And this is where the Lord showed me His sovereignty.

In His goodness, mercy and His love, He allowed me to go through the fire – a fire that brought on a refining process.

He allowed my broken pieces to become shattered and my shattered pieces to become specks.

In an act of love He allowed the grinding of my specks to become powder so that when the time came to piece my broken heart back together, the powder slid right in, filling the emptiness and leaving no gaps.

And as with any grinding process, I was left with more room at the top, room the Lord graciously allowed to be filled.


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