Beauty for Ashes

On many occasions, the bright colors of autumn trees have cast their glow against deep gray skies and chilly weather, outshining the gloom of a rainy day. But today—this week—the weight of ashen clouds seems to smother the beauty of the changing trees.

This afternoon I looked through the rain-speckled windshield at a palette of leaves, but the heaviness in my heart illuminated the darkness of the sky. One year ago yesterday, we found out that cancer had made its way to my mom’s brain. The first week of November 2009 was filled with shock and terror. I can’t help but remember the emotion of that week, adding to it the memory of the day our worst fear came true.

As I thought about past rainy yet lovely autumn days, I began to thank God for His goodness to me. For 37 years with a loving, servant-hearted mother who followed Him. For the family relationships I still have. For His promise to be strength in my weakness. I began to speak Scriptures aloud, determined to strengthen myself in Him. I began to pray.

Remembering God’s goodness and faithfulness brought the colors into focus. Pouring out my heart to Him illuminated the beauty, moving the gray to the background.

In every season of life, the character of God shines greater than the worst circumstances. When He promises us beauty for ashes, He promises us Himself. It’s up to us to go to Him, and receive.



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