How I Found Hope from the Beauty in a Burn Pile

flowers burn pile.jpg

We keep a burn pile on the back of our property. We usually build it up with limbs, weeds and unwanted shrubbery until the weather conditions are favorable to set it on fire. Last night, I took a walk around the garage to what is not exactly the showcase of our yard. And it seems that some of our “trash” has blossomed into a colorful treasure.

Although my husband told me about it, I was still taken aback. A ring of flowers had grown around the pile. These irksome flowers are kind of like a weed, and they only open at a certain time of the day. We have to pull them out constantly to keep them from taking over the beds. But, here, they circle the debris like a beautiful tiara on an ugly princess.

My life feels like a burn pile right now, a tangled mass of unfulfilled wishes, wants, and what ifs. The first-year anniversary of Brandon’s death is just around the corner. And my heart is still breaking.  

Overall, I believe I am coping well. But there are still those moments…

Moments when I have an almost irresistible urge to run away, far away, from the hurt.

Moments when I realize, there’s nowhere to run.

Moments when the grief just sneaks up on me.

Moments when the tears flow swiftly and unexpectedly.

Moments, like today, when a cry comes rushing out from so deep that I have to cover my mouth so as not to scream. 

But seeing those flowers brought to mind a verse, Isaiah 61:3, which says (in part), “To all who mourn in Israel,  He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.”

Those flowers made me remember.

I have hope.

I hope that, eventually, life will feel like a blessing again.

I hope that one day soon praise will come more easily than despair.

I hope that beauty will replace the ashes of our grief.

The flowers at the burn pile were God’s gift to me, something winsome where only weeds should have been. I thank Him for such a precious reminder that I just need to keep looking for my crown.