For the very Best

I don’t always like the events in my life. And when I find myself in a very tight spot that feels like it is choking me, I so would make a U-turn or take a huge side trip if I could. Anything to not face what is staring me in the face. Anything to not deal with what’s there.

But God won’t let me. Life doesn’t always give you a plan B.

Like when my house burned down.

“Barb, the snow is glowing orange!” My husband’s voice sounded like an echo in a long tunnel.  I tried to focus my eyes in the dark. The alarm clock said it was 1:46 am. 

It’s two in the morning, for crying out loud… Let me sleep!

“Barb, it’s the reflection of a fire,” he yelled a minute later. “The roof’s in flames! Get the kids and get out. NOW!”

And there was no U-turn to take, no side trip available. My stomach began to do somersaults. My heart pounded in my ears.

I shook my kids awake and helped their sleepy bodies into socks and robes.  As I rushed them down the stairs, my ten-year old daughter exclaimed, “Look, Mom, there’s fire inside the house!”  Flames were beginning to lick the ceiling in the living room.  My legs were shaking now. I hurried them as they shoved boots on their feet and pushed them outside.

An angry, hungry fire was devouring my home. And I suddenly remembered my husband’s love letters meticulously filed and stored away in the old cedar chest.  And my favorite worn-out Bible, the one I knew how to find things in.

Trapped outside, I wished for tears, but my body was far too stunned for them. I couldn’t even think straight. The insatiable blaze kept eating up my house, feeding on all I held dear.

And we lost it all. Every. single. thing. And I let the fire scorch the very center of my heart.

We moved in with kind friends, and I went numb.   

But this fire, this beast that sought to destroy me, it was for my very best.

It showed me who I was, and made me who I am.

staph-infection-s4-photo-of-staph-infectionThis fire, God used it to gently face me with layers and layers of flesh that simply had to be peeled off, one at a time.  Pride, attitudes,  judgments, ugliness, selfishness, small mindedness, unthankfulness, and, and, and… the uglies kept coming out of me, like pus oozing out of an open wound. For days and weeks and months. At times, I couldn’t breathe from the pain they produced. And I wasn’t completely sure I was going to make it to the other side.

The threat wasn’t the burned-up pile of bricks, and metal and wood and glass, nor all the things we lost. The danger rested in my unwillingness to be purified by the heat the fire produced, this exposed, raw, scorched heart of mine that had no place to hide, my anxiety at being shaken from the inside out, and my realization that not much remained.

The fire that took my home, it exposed my rotten heart. My destitute heart. My utterly pitiful heart.

But God only exposes for the purpose of healing. Restoration. Fullness of joy.

And the fire that swallowed my home, God used it to give all this to me, and then so much more by the grace that He is.

Because the fire that killed my home, it was for my very best. And God is in control. All the time.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp

one-thousand7#775 The feel of crisp autumn in the air 

#776 Successful surgery for a friend 

#777 A difficult week well lived 

#778 Going to visit my daughter for the week-end 

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,

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20 comments

  1. Barbara, Such a heartbreaking thing to go through, but it sounds like God did such amazing things with that unbelievable trial. He always know just exactly what we need, even if we think otherwise. Blessings to you. Stopping by from Thankful Thursday.

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  2. Trusting in God is the ONLY way to get through something like that. What do people who do not have God in their lives do when they have struggles??! I do not want to find out …..

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  3. Barbara, I can’t even begin to imagine how traumatic and heartbreaking that must have been. I’m so glad that God grew you and was your Rock through it all. He is awesome!
    Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays.
    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions & Connect With God

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  4. Dear Barbara
    Oh, we don’t always understand God’s ways, but one thing we can be sure of; whatever He allows, He will work out for our good and His glory. I think that at times our sense of “good” and His, are not the same!
    Blessings XX
    Mia

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  5. I cannot even begin to imagine going thru such a tragedy as a fire. I had a conversation with my brother and Mom last night and he pointed out that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. I’m so in agreement, although it can be painful and full of heartache!! Romans 8:28 HOPE your day is full of blessings, sweet Lady!

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  6. Barbara, this was a powerful story. Wow. What a testimony my friend. “And the fire that swallowed my home, God used it to give all this to me, and then so much more by the grace that He is.” I keep re-reading. Thank you so much for sharing with us and for linking this up for Three Word Wednesday.

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  7. Your post reminds me of the wisdom of Joni Earekson Tada, who said, “God permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” There’s comfort and meaning in this. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  8. yea barb everything in this life happens for a purpose.but one thing i got to tell u is that God is d author n finisher of our faith.keep trusting in him

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