For you make beauty from the ashes…

excerpt from the family’s CaringBridge Journal—written July 30, 2012

There are days when I feel empty. Days I feel numb. Today is not one of those days. I am completely filled with joy, and peace, and acceptance, and…on and on….

48 hours earlier…..

Andrew and I are doing a wonderful job at “dividing and conquering” this 3 kid thing. So as he got Sawyer and Beckham fed and ready for bed Saturday night, I took McCall to band practice with me for some one on one time with mama and with 4 of his favorite band friends (JB!!!, Wobbie, Danyull, and Mistuh TJ). I knew God was preparing my heart for the next morning. I heard McCall’s sweet voice in the background as we sang songs that touch the depths of my soul and that speak to our season of hardship. “You said you’d never leave or forsake me….when tragedy has found me, I still believe Your faithful arms will never let me go.”

Just as the third service was starting that next morning, TJ and I were joking that I hadn’t had a breakdown yet. Well, then I walked on stage. I looked out in the crowd and saw my beautiful husband. And right beside him was a tiny blond head and bright eyes, proudly yelling through the noise, “Mom!!” In the four and a half years of McCall’s life, he has never come to “big church.” But on this Sunday, he wanted to hear his mommy sing. God was working.

As each person walked in church, he received a rock, representing our guilt, shame, hurts, regrets, trials, anything that is weighing us down. At the end of the sermon, Travis, our small groups pastor, called the people to walk down front and throw the rocks in a bucket, releasing all our pain and baggage to the One who gave His life to take it all away.

As humble hearts filed down the stairs, TJ and I started singing “Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone,” a song that wasn’t even on the setlist the day before. It took all I had to hold it together, so I closed my eyes for the first half of the song, and focused on the words of the song. Just as I was about to sing the third verse, I looked up and saw McCall at the altar, cradled in Andrew’s big arms. Andrew’s shoulders were shaking as he cried out to God. I watched this scene as I sang these words, “The Lord has promised good to me. His word, my hope secured. He will my shield, my portion be, as long as life endures.” Good. Hope. Protection. He is enough forever.

All my strength went into getting those words out. As soon as I was finished, I hopped off the stage and cradled both of my boys, with arms that seemed to multiply. I listened as Andrew pleaded with his Heavenly Father to take this away and to heal our son. He shook, and I held him. He cried, and I let him. I love that man, I really do. He has been our stronghold, but he needed this. What I love is that God can choose to heal McCall, but if He doesn’t or until He does, He is WITH us. He will never leave or forsake us.

It makes me wonder about us. So many times when we go through the valley, we often believe God isn’t there or that he has chosen to forsake us. I was there a few weeks ago. I even told God “I was done if I didn’t see Him.” And God showed up. But He didn’t stop there. He taught me that He is NEVER gone and sometimes we have to choose to see Him. The fact that we don’t see Him sometimes is an action on our part, not His. So we choose to walk this day by day with Him. Every good day, every bad day is from Him, and He is here. We choose to see Him, his goodness, his peace, his love, his plan. “Everyday I’ll awaken my praise and pour out a song from my heart. You are good and your mercy is forever.” -Kari Jobe

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