Wednesday, September 12, 2012

{Beauty for Ashes | Personal}

I love the movie "The Help". You is kind. You is smart. You is important. 

Here was a woman teaching a child value, respect and safety. All relationships must be comprised of these things in order to sustain balance in such an imbalanced world. Whether parent to child, husband to wife, sibling to sibling, friend to friend. Do unto others... you know what it says.

You deserve to feel valued, respected and safe. Always... 


When someone values, respects and keeps you safe, you want to do the same for them.. and should do the same.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. The way you consistently treat them is how they will mirror you. There is no room for compromising the Golden Rule. It is not, treat me as I say not as I do.

Not feeling valued, respected or safe leave you at an unwanted crossroad. Often we end up at the same gloomy intersection many times before finally deciding the old route only leads us back to the same familiar spot. True courage is required to take a new direction. It is difficult taking the road less traveled, less accepted, less easy. Life would be so much simpler if the route was paved wide and traveled without repercussions for the choices we make. But this is life... where for every action, a reaction exists and possibly a burden is carried. For every choice, a consequence - good or bad. Thankful for a Father who can carry our burdens even when we no longer have the strength. Thankful that He values and respects us, and above all keeps us safe. His promises are always true. He never leaves us or fails us. He is near to us when we are brokenhearted. He knows the plans He has for us.

He knows what we will face. And better.. He knows the truth behind it.

The beauty of love in any relationship is shared, as is the breakdown of it. If you stone love to its death it doesn't matter who threw the first, middle or last stones... as each stone adds to the carnage. Love that is living can sustain only so many stones before it dies... and love that is half-alive can sustain even less. It is no longer love but possession to keep that what you devalue, disrespect and no longer keep safe. So know that in our imperfection and fragility, sometimes our best laid plans do not work out. Sometimes our dreams become ashes. Only He can bring beauty out of the ashes of lost dreams. Love is never supposed to fail... and yet sometimes parents, spouses, children, siblings, friends do fail us.. people fail us - ditch their commitments - break their promises. God never does though. And He is the only one that can truly love us consistently and without fail... even when we stand holding the ashes of lost dreams. He can make something beautiful out of them.

As in anything within the subject of loss, there are always the opinions of those who have suggestions as to how ashes could have been circumnavigated. Forget that they were not at the helm - yet somehow - they would like to tell you how you ought to have steered... how they would have done it.

Isn't it interesting... People are quick to assume your path - though they are not on it with you. Until they have walked in your shoes and lived your life day after day.. been at that same crossroad month after month and year after year, quietly witnessed the parts of your life that only you understood... they DON'T accurately assume anything but their own biased opinions. They are limited to their own narrow conclusions, half-truths and sadly... comforts. It is easier to believe what doesn't discomfort them. People believe the story they want to hear even if they know it's not all true.

Ignore them. Misery does not deserve your company.

Often these people are no shining example though they feel inclined to be in that light of example. They don't know your heart or have it in their interest. Don't allow your energy or time to be wasted on them. Why look for understanding to come from ignorance. Push blame to the side and walk forward. Leave no room for anger in your heart. Life is too short for animosity, so when animosity is the only serving on your paper plate, toss it like the trash it is. It is vile to ingest that which poisons you. You might as well be the dog that returns to his own vomit. 

Instead focus on the people you love and the dreams that continue to form ahead. Though dreams turn to ash, never stop dreaming. Although ashes represent a failed dream, they also represent purification. You are tested and tried for a reason and it's not to fall apart, but rather, to rise from the ash the phoenix you were meant to be.

And provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:3

Not everyone in life is going to value, respect and keep you safe. It is your job to discern the people that do. This decision alone of safe-guarding your heart, your well-spring of life, is ultimately at every crossroad you arrive upon. It will at some point be one of the hardest decisions you make - this painful discernment - because of the purification that you know lies ahead. The decision will require wisdom and courage. And most of all the desire to be loved the way we should. Sometimes a new direction may not be what we had envisioned as part of our journey. But sometimes a new direction is exactly what we need. 

You deserve to feel valued, respected and safe. Always...