When Grace Shines Through

Barely old enough to buy the champagne we toasted with, we took vows and we promised forever and I felt safe and you had hope and we walked back down that aisle with grand plans but no idea what the future held.  And a decade and a half later we woke up in the middle of our hurried thirties with five kids and a business and a million responsibilities, next to a person we thought we knew too well but maybe didn’t know at all.

And we both broke vows and we broke each other’s hearts and you lost hope and I built walls to keep myself safe.  And we almost lost it all.

But hope holds on and safety can be found when we refuse to let go.  And for a year now we have fought, often with each other, but also for each other.  And we have learned that it’s possible to fall in love with the same person over and over and over again.  We’ve learned that forgiveness comes at a cost but it is worth the price because redemption is our reward.

And on nights when I want to give up and make my own safety behind those walls, on nights when you lose hope and we wonder if we will ever be us again, God reminds me that our surrender is to Him because our trust is in Him, and we must choose to stay soft toward one another and always assume the best.  Because this love is real and true and imperfect and broken, but in all those broken places, His grace shines through.

Sometimes I wake up with the sadness
Other days it feels like madness
Oh…what would I do without you?

When colours turn to shades of grey
With the weight of the world at the end of the day
Oh…what would I do without you?

A decade goes by without a warning
And there’s still a kindness in your eyes
Amidst the questions and the worries
A peace of mind, always takes me by surprise.

I feel like I’m walking with eyes as blind
As a man without a lantern in a coal mine
Oh…what would I do without you?

My imagination gets the best of me
And I’m trying to hide lost at sea
Oh…what would I do without you?

The difference between what I’ve said and done
And you’re still standing by my side
A guilty soul and a worried mind
I will never make it, if I’m on my own

So you’ve got the morning, I’ve got midnight
You are patient, I’m always on time
Oh…what would I do without you?

You’ve got your sunshine, I’ve got rainclouds
You’ve got hope, I’ve got my doubts

Oh…what would I do without you?
Oh…what would I do without you?
Oh…what would I do without you?

~ Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Rise

I just dropped these two off for a Shadow Day at Cair Paravel.  It was possibly one of the more surreal-feeling moments of my time as a mom.  I’m sure all moms go through this when their sweet ones are five and going off to kindergarten, or sooner for preschool or day care.  I know this is a common feeling, but I also believe it’s maybe a little different, a little unique, after years of home schooling to be looking at doing something different.

A week from tomorrow I head back to Haiti.  My third trip in six months.  There are few things more uncomfortable for me than traveling to Haiti and yet God keeps sending me back.  He has a funny sense of humor.

A lot of changes have been happening in our home, a lot more are to come.  Things have been quiet here because fear has locked up my words, quieted my voice.  God has been taking me deep places; places that needed to be walked through with just Him, but now transparency feels dangerous, even though so much healing has always been found there.  Some changes are still shadowy things that can’t be shared here yet, but big things are happening and will come to light soon enough and hopefully my words will come too.

God grows us if we are willing to let Him.  For years I have written of how He has used the small and unseen things of life to stretch me and make room in my heart for more of Him.  And more recently He has begun to work in the large spaces of our family life to shape us and take us to new places.  And it seems that in each of these seasons, He works in me to make me less, to burn me down, to make something new.

The legendary phoenix is a large, grand bird, much like an eagle or peacock. It is brilliantly colored in reds, purples, and yellows, as it is associated with the rising sun and fire.  Its eyes are blue and shine like sapphires. It builds its own funeral pyre or nest, and ignites it with a single clap of its wings. After death it rises gloriously from the ashes and flies away.*

Each of my tattoos tells a story, permanent reminders of the story God is writing in my life.  At some point I will need to find a new way to write that story, or I’m going to run out of skin, but for now, these are things I want to carry with me always and they each serve as an ebenezer (a stone of help), testifying to what God has done.

hope – an anchor for the soul that gives wings to the heart

vincens – latin for overcomer

because God makes me brave  – “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” {2 Timothy 2:7}

After this past season, after being burned down to nothing a year ago, I needed to tell a big story of a big God doing a big thing.  And so I began work on a large piece.

beauty for ashes {the rest will be filled in over the next several weeks; also – it is surprisingly difficult to take a photo of your own arm with your non-dominant hand}

The story of the phoenix resonates deep within me.  Burned down to be raised again, more beautiful each time it is resurrected.  God has used many things to burn me down time and time again.  He is faithful to make me less so that He may be more.  And He is faithful to make me new each time, hopefully always more like Christ than I was before.

And so as I feel the fiery trials burning around us once again, I know that He is giving us beauty for ashes.  He is good and we will rise.

For His Glory ~

Signature

 

*http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/ancient-symbolism-magical-phoenix-002020#sthash.IzgIVIcR.dpuf