Recently, I’ve been thinking about how our lowest moments give us the opportunity to rise from the ashes. We can emerge as something new from something that has been destroyed.
I helped celebrate the first service at our new church building. The historic church was destroyed by fire in 2016. Unable to rebuild in the same location, a new site was chosen for a new “traditional” church. Through faith and hope, a beautiful structure metaphorically rose from the ashes.
I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t felt his or her world is in a shambles from time to time. When someone receives a terminal diagnosis, they feel the burden of ashes. It takes determination and optimism to rise above the ashes and continue living. I have seen amazing people who have received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and immediately kicked into action to advocate for research dollars. Often, these advocates are aware that should a treatment be discovered, it would be too late for them.
Chronic disease creates a heap of ashes. Dealing with pain every day, wears a person down. Arthritis can make every joint in your body ache, and make movement a challenge. Especially, when a disease has no cure, and you know your health is only going to worsen and never get better. It is hard to see a loved one suffer, and it can foster a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness, if you let it.
Life can change in a heartbeat. Couples marry. Babies are born. We can feel so blessed at times, and at other times wonder where it all went wrong. Life is full of surprises, and a rollercoaster of separations and reunions.
When death separates us from those we love desperately, it takes fortitude to overcome the sorrow. There is no time limit on grief.
The trick is to build on the ashes instead of being buried beneath them. It’s a lot of hard work to wallow in self-pity and sorrow. Life is certainly more enjoyable when we concentrate on the good times and not the sad times.
When I think about ashes, I think about campfires. That makes me think about Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. I think about early morning coffee, breakfast cooked on the camp stove, hiking, and animal watching. The memories are like a thousand wings lifting my spirits on the dreariest and saddest days.
As long as I walk this earth, I hope to rise from the ashes of loss by appreciating what I still have. Life will be what I make of it, not what it makes of me.
Copyright © February 2020 by L.S. Fisher