Beauty From Ashes

The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over and in it’s place is a peaceful calm.

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It was hard facing the memories of last year- the joy of finally being a mommy and daddy, the excitement of helping Z open his gift, the completeness of a family of three.

And then, a year and a lifetime of pain and heartache later, it’s just us- just the two of us, like so many years before. A quiet orderly house, calm evenings, and sedate dinners. No dirty bottles, no baby’s cry, no toys scattered on the floor. No joy of rocking a little boy to sleep or cuddling him close with fuzzy hair tickling your chin. Just the two of us-husband and wife.

Except, on Christmas morning, there were three of us. As we reclined on the sofa in pj’s and read the story of our Savior’s birth; as we prayed and poured out broken hearts to our Father; as we reminisced about last year’s memories and wondered what we would have bought for Z’s present this year; as we wondered what our future might hold- there were three.

Jesus- He was there. We could feel His Presence, we could feel His love. Even as the hot tears flowed, underneath it all was a Peace that can’t be explained to someone who doesn’t know Him.

I believe He cried with us that morning. I know He was there when, just a year ago, we said goodbye to our little boy, all wrapped up and sleeping on the big lonely hospital bed.

He was there when we came home to our empty house with the echoing walls and the long sleepless nights.

He was there when glittering snow fell from heaven and the call was made that locked the deadbolt tightly in our future as parents.

He was there in the dark months of anger and wrestling and deep, deep fears.

He was there in the healing summertime and the days of legal paperwork.

He was there when court was delayed the first time, and we waited months, and summer turned to fall and fall sped to winter.

He was there when we finally got another court date, when we received the news just days before the hearing, that it was delayed.

He was there when we got another date, this time into the new year.

He is here as the season of December and memories and holidays and the anniversary date of it all going wrong hangs over our heads.

He was there, He is here, and He is in our future.

Knowing Jesus and loving Him doesn’t give me a pain free or easy life. In fact, I think sometimes the battle is tougher, when darkness knows I belong to the Light- it tries whatever it can to pull me down and try to bring me on it’s side- against the Light, against my God.

But my heart belongs to Jesus, and my Jesus is stronger. I’m still human, I still mess up, I still struggle to surrender my whole heart and life, and all my hopes and dreams to my Father.

Oh, His grace! It’s a beautiful antidote for my messy heart and faltering steps.ย  His faithfulness and mercy and love are overwhelming, and I don’t deserve it.

My “Year of Jubilee” may look messy and incomplete as it draws to a close in a few days. But restoration and healing have happened in my heart in a wonderful way. I have freedom- freedom from fears, freedom in Christ- and that is enough. It’s more than enough.

I want to live out my life to Him in radical obedience- anything less is a slap in the face to my Father.

He was there, He is here, He is in my future. And that means I can live out the next year with JOY. No matter what happens, no matter what decisions are made- my Jesus is enough.

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The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.ย  Isaiah 61: 1-3

Amen.

6 Comments

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  1. So beautiful, Kendra! Your testimony is such a great challenge for me! I am praying for you!

  2. Beautiful testimony of your faith! Praying for restoration in the coming year.

  3. Bless your dear hearts! I do not know what happened to your baby or what trials you have been through, but I surely trust Jesus to hold you close and help you through this. He looked like he was so precious lying there…it is heartbreaking to see the little fellow in the big hospital bed! God bless you and your husband and send you a baby of your own. I am still praying for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

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