BEAUTY FOR ASHES

It was 5:30 in the morning and the sun was still asleep. My husband had long been called to the emergency room in service of others.

I lay in bed alone with tears scalding my cheeks. In that moment I had never felt so burdened, so sad, so confused, so alone, so hopeless.

The loss of four babies in a row in the span of less than 30 months, the unrelenting guilt whippings of my past sins, the putrid scent that clung to me no matter how often and how long I bathed, were slowly eroding my sanity. (I later found out that the stench was as a result of some tissue that was not removed during my last miscarriage, that was literally rotting inside of me.)

Like a burn patient, all my nerve endings were screaming and sensitive to everything! I prayed for death because it seemed like the only way to escape the never ending pain… pain that found new depths with every passing hour. Only the thought of the pain my death would cause my living son and my husband, and the grace of a God who wouldn’t let me go, did I persevere.

But, here we are, 15 years and four more children later and I can emphatically say that God truly gives beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise for sorrow, peace for guilt, comfort for loneliness, purpose for despair.

It turns out that those tears, in a sense, watered dormant things in my life. I went so deep into despair and in that depth discovered marvelous things about myself and the God I serve.

My life is a testament that if you just hold on, your latter will indeed be greater than your former.

Hold on sister. Hold on brother. Hold on, child. Hold on!