Altars and Ashes

She was wrapped in herself. It was comfortable and easy. It made sense and felt complacent, but then God called her to the desert. “Of course, I’ll go!”, her enthusiasm burst out still bound tight with expectation.

So she went walking forward with no idea at all. Deserts are big and wide and dry, and she found herself being chipped away. Blistered. Cracked. Split open. Empty spaces demand your attention and she got lost in all of them.

It took awhile, but white knuckle grasping on her life slowly became her hands stretched out receiving any and all God might give her. At first it felt like air, like nothing. Her hands were open and waiting for rain, but blistering sun was His response. That’s what she thought, anyway.

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What Kind of Hard Will You Choose?

Last year, while I trudged (and sometimes dragged) myself through the struggles, I realized something that changed the way I waged the war. In the midst of the valley, I found myself fighting for joy. I found myself fighting to keep my hope in God. I was fighting to keep my thoughts on reality, firmly fixed in the truth, and I was fighting against sadness. This fight was so tiresome….and so, so hard.

But when I decided to stop fighting for hours at at time, I just sunk in defeat. I sat mad at God. I said, this is despair, this is worthless, this is the deep hole I’m staying in. And you know what? That was absolutely hard…giving in to the flesh will only bring hardness to an already bruised heart.

A child of God cannot despair forever, the light always breaks through. The weary heart is washed in grace, and the fighting begins again. Thus a realization began to take root in my heart, which eventually grew into my life.

Simply the question–

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