Beauty for Ashes

image via rear view mirror

Things look different when you're looking back

Last week was great.  It was my birthday and I found out that the people in my life are the kind of people you want in your life. They say your friends are a reflection of you.  In that case I am:

  • a person who writes thoughtful notes; I got a kabillion birthday wishes via ecard, facebook comments, birthday cards and text messages.
  • a person who says the right thing at just the right time; It is amazing how wonderful it feels when someone recognizes that a day is special.
  •  a person who bakes-I got five cakes and a plate of lemon bars; apparently my love of food is obvious.
  •  a person that gives gifts that are thoughtful one friend gave me a  pink hat that none of the men in my life will ever think about stealing, another friend made me a scarf that makes me want to run away to India and there was the friend that gave me the STARBUCKS GIFT CARD!!!!!
  • A person that likes attention: the three helium filled Happy Birthday balloons were quite the attention grabber.
  • A person that loves hugs:  I got millions (yes that is a hyperbole) of them over the course of the week.

All of this is poetic, because there was a birthday 10 years ago where nobody said or did a thing. There was no love for Miss Trish that year.   I was crushed.  And to be quite honest I became quite the cynic.  Yeah I forgave, but for a long, long time I held people at arms length, and if I could have borrowed someone elses it would have been two.

And anybody that knows me, knows I talk to Jesus.  And, I told him all about what happened. In full detail.  And I told him a couple or triple times just in case he forgot the story.  Two things were said.  “Trish you have a mild understanding of what I feel” and “I already forgave them for that.” 

My response was sadness, because I know I have taken my God for granted. And then the big “WHAT!” and, “You already forgave them!”  No matter how I asked the question the response was it’s over.  The issue has been resolved.  Just in case you were wondering that threw every shred of self righteousness I wanted to have out the window. 

I’d love to say it happened that quick for me, but it didn’t. Yeah I got over it, but somehow I managed to get another arm and keep people at a safe distance. Then Jesus had another talk with me.  “Do what you love and don’t worry about the rest.” There was no, “you’re being a big baby” or ,”if you were a Christian you’d….”  Just do what you love.

Do what I love?  I love three things in this order:  eating, reading and writing. So that is what I did. Guess what. Those arms of mine weren’t able to be people holder backers because they were too busy doing what I love.   I was too busy sharing my food to remember that I didn’t trust people.  People were laughing with me at my stories, so those tears of heartache became tears of pure joy.

There is a bible verse that says God will exchange “beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Which is all good and well when you’re reading it, but it doesn’t feel so good when a person is in the first part of each of those exchanges.

Yet, this birthday will always serve as a reminder of three things.  The second part of the exhange will come. I will do what I love. And what is bad at the present moment will become something beautiful in the days, weeks, or even years to come. This my friends you have proven to be true and I thank you. Your friendship has done more for me than you will ever know.

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