A few years ago I was at a weekend women’s retreat that was a real struggle for me.
The women were amazing, the leader was a longtime friend and incredible minister to women, and I was able to afford it by God’s grace. But, me. I was at the end of my rope after years of struggle. I look back now and am amazed that I didn’t spend the entire weekend crying—because that’s how I felt on a daily basis at that point in my single mom journey. Instead, God used that sweet group to minister to me in ways that I not only didn’t see coming, but didn’t even know I needed.
One afternoon I walked by the campfire that had been lit the night before. I’d watched it go out into the late hours and was simply glancing at it as I walked onto our next event when I noticed something unusual.
It was reigniting.
I stopped to watch and became mesmerized. In the midst of a huge pile of white ashes, a single ember flickered. There wasn’t any wood left to burn. None of the other ashes were showing signs of life. The fire was long since dead.
But that one little ember.
I’ve thought about it so many times in the past year. How it was able to reignite amongst the other ashes. How I happened upon it. How I wanted to reignite so much at that point in my life.
Can I tell you something? That ember gave me hope.
Hope that someone like me—someone who’d lost everything: her home, her good name, her dignity, her financial stability, her friendships, her church, her family members, and almost her hope—could reignite and somehow rebuild her life again.
This upcoming year is a life changer for me. It’s a year where God’s promises are coming to fruition. A year where He is restoring the years the locusts had eaten—just as He promised me He would as I searched for a life verse at my rock bottom moment.
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.” – Joel 2:25 NIV
I’m getting married in May. To a man who knows me better than I know myself. To someone who literally came into my life out of nowhere. Someone who agrees that only God could have made such a situation occur. Someone who wants to rebuild with me.
Is he the answer to all of my problems in life? No. But, he is a sweet, sweet gift to me after losses so devastating I didn’t think I had it in me to recover from them.
As it turns out, I reignited when I thought I’d long since burned out.
And I want to encourage you that you can do the same, sweet friend.
It’s a new year, and with it, a new opportunity to find healing from the God who longs to see you reignite and rebuild.
I’ve taken the last month off in my writing and ministry. It was a much needed respite for me. During that time I’ve decided two things for the year ahead, and I’m bringing them into this ministry.
- I’m choosing to focus on the positive because that is what causes positive change—and I want you to join me. I don’t want to miss what God is doing in my midst because of the negative things I may be stuck on from my past. All good things come from God. All of them. If I focus on the positive, I’m choosing to see Him at work.
- I’m reaching back out and I’m going to encourage you to do the same. More than four years have passed since the day I realized my marriage was over. I’ve protected my battered heart for so long, I no longer bother to befriend people, and the friends that stepped away from me may not know how to reach back into my new life. I’m doing it for them. Reconnecting with friends I miss. Friends that spoke life into me. Friends that stepped away from the uncomfortable, but I still want in my future.
I’m rebuilding and it starts now.
Find that tiny bit burning inside you and don’t let it go. May the breath of God gently reignite it this year.