Have you ever had those moments, where one minute everything is going wonderfully, and the next minutes your world crashes around you? That moment that blind sides you and the world stops spinning and you don’t know if it will start again, like you are laying in a bunch of ashes when it was once beautiful?
September 18, 2015 started off like any other day. I felt better than I had in days, the sun was shining, it was warm and the day was perfect. Charlie and I met my friend Annie, and her son at the beach for breakfast, coffee, and play time for the boys. It was so warm out, that we let the boys run through the new water park. It was so much fun! I remember that morning being incredibly enjoyable and as close to perfect as a morning could be. After the beach, I dropped Charlie off at our pastor’s wives house so I could have lunch with a friend, and then after picking Charlie up we brought her to get her car at the mechanics, and that is when the world began to stop. I was telling her about somethings my body had been going through the days prior, and she says to me “it sounds like you had a miscarriage”. Not wanting to really entertain that idea until it was confirmed by a doctor, I went home, called the doctor, and the doctor said to take a pregnancy test, if it came back positive I had to go to the ER. Well it was positive… I had taken a pregnancy test to confirm a miscarriage. I am pretty sure I have never cried so much in my life…
After the miscarriage, I was in my own version of ashes.
Scripture uses the word ashes often. It’s not surprising when you look into the Old Testament culture. Ashes were a symbol of desolation, ruin, intense grief, and/or repentance. A person who was troubled would often sit in a pile of ashes or put ashes on their heads. Wearing sackcloth sometimes accompanied sitting in the ashes or putting the ashes on the head. David wore sackcloth when he was mourning the death of Abner (2 Samuel 3:31), the book of Esther notes in 4:1 that many wore sackcloth and sat in ashes when King Xerxes’ announced the giving of Haman permission to destroy the Jews. The sackcloth was made of coarse material, usually black goats hair. That sounds pretty uncomfortable… but that is how our troubles feel isn’t it… uncomfortable.
After the miscarriage, I was in my own version of ashes. I remember being in the hospital and just having tears just pouring down my cheeks, I wasn’t really sobbing but the tears just came. A nurse asked me if I was okay… I couldn’t answer her because I am still not sure how I could respond to that question. My ashes were uncomfortable and they didn’t feel good. However even in my deep sadness there was Hope.
Somehow in the middle of intense grieve there was a deeper beauty.
Isaiah 61:3 says that He will give us beauty for ashes. Beauty here is translated to an exquisite hat, beautiful crown/tiara, or an ornamental headdress. These would be put on when one would want to express happiness or rejoicing. The idea here is that the Redeemer will take you out of the ashes and make something beautiful out of you!
Somehow in the middle of deep sadness, there was a deeper peace. Somehow in the middle of intense grieve there was a deeper beauty. I remember loving Charlie so much more than I ever had, I remember just crying because of how much I loved him. That’s beauty. I remember being so incredibly grateful for the way God loved me through the pain. That’s beauty. I remember being blown away by God’s faithfulness in the toughest times. That’s beauty. An old friend emailed me after reading my blogs and shared with me that she had recently had a miscarriage… what joy it was to read that she was expecting recently! That’s beauty. The way our friends and family came around us… that’s beauty.
I am sure that you can relate to sometimes feeling like you are laying in a bunch of ashes, and that uncomfortable feeling that comes along with our times of grief. You may even think “how can anything beautiful come out of this?”. Beautiful one, Jesus wants to take you out of those ashes and offer you that beautiful crown. If you are laying in ashes and are longing for Jesus to pull you out, close your eyes, and call out to Him. Tell Him that you don’t want to lay in the ashes anymore, ask Him to take your ashes and to make something beautiful. Then follow as He leads and reveals…