As I run out into the pouring rain, the mask I wear as a second skin begins to peel. I throw my fears and worries to the wind, and run through the storm to find him. My eyes sting, my exposed wounds are forced open by the piercing wind, but I have to get to him. Running through the streets, dodging oncoming traffic, my body is so weary I can feel the strength seep from me. I am drowning in this storm. My vision is beyond blurry, my clothes are dripping wet and are weighing me down. As I turn the corner, I see shelter from the rain, but when I reach it, the doors are locked and no one is inside. I should go back home, but he is closer than home is. I catch the little breath I can under the awning and check my phone. I attempt to call him to come and get me, but my phone dies as soon as I press send. So I prepare myself to go back into the storm, because if I don’t move now I won’t ever make it. As I continue my pursuit, I become aware of the soreness in my throat, heart, lungs and limbs. I never knew I could feel so close to death. My nose is running and my wet sleeve does nothing to relieve it, but I keep pushing. I don’t know how my body is pushing through this. The storm isn’t letting up. My side and legs begin to cramp up, and I scream out in agony as I fall to the ground. I feel the wound on my left shoulder rip open wider right above my heart.
The pain shot through my whole body. There is so much noise around me, but it’s so dark with no one in sight. My world spirals further as I try to hold on for dear life. Despair overtakes me. I taste my tears as they escape against my untiring request. I have reached my breaking point. I wish he would have just came and got me. I wouldn’t have gone through this if he would have just answered when I called. A whelp of emotions surface, and I curse as I reluctantly wave my white flag. I don’t want to die here. Then I hear a voice through the noise, and I know it is him because I know his voice. I want to turn my head, but I can’t move. My body is too heavy. I hear the urgency in his steps as he rushes to my side. He picks me up as if I weigh nothing, and carries me inside his house. I didn’t even realize I had made it to him. He places me in his bed. It feels so good it hurt. My body prefers the concrete.
He brings in a change of clothes, and begins to undress me. I stop him, and despite his request I attempt to sit up. I never felt so vulnerable and weep out of frustration. “I know you want to do this by yourself, but let me do this for you, ok?”, he says and I comply. As he assists me with my clothes he pays very close attention to the scars and wounds. I look over to the pile of my wet clothes which are covered in blood and dirt. I have cuts and bruises in places I didn’t expect, and my bones are cold. He examines me and leaves the room. I attempt to sit up again, but the pain in my back amplifies and I yell out. “I wish you would be still”, he says from across the hall. I roll my eyes and let out a sigh of frustration, but I know it is best for me to just relax and let him take care of me. Time seems to stand still, and my body is beginning to shut down. I try to keep my eyes open, but they beg for sleep. When I open my eyes only two hours have passed, but I am fully clothed and bandaged. I try to turn over, but then I realize he is holding me.
“How are you feeling”, he ask.
“Like crap, and I only been sleep for two hours”, I answer.
“It’s actually been more like a day. I woke you up to eat, and you went right back to sleep. And unfortunately you are going to feel like that for a while, but the good news is that you made it”, he says.
“Good news? I wouldn’t be like this if you would have came and got me when I asked you too!”, I snapped back.
He takes a deep breath and says, “I love you. I know I didn’t do what you wanted me to do when you wanted me too, but I did come to you when you needed me the most”.
“I love you too, but” my voice breaks, “I needed you before I gave up” I reply trying not to cry.
“I love you, and I know you are hurt that I wasn’t there when you wanted me too. But you wouldn’t have known my strength until you gave up. You don’t even realize how much stronger you are since you went through it, or what I was preparing for you” he said as he took out a gold box. “Open it”.
I look at him in total bewilderment. Did he just say what I think he said? I almost died coming to him. I hesitate, but take the box while he just stares back at me and smiles. It is heavier than I expected.
“What is it” I ask.
“You have to open it”, he replies.
I struggle at first, but then I finally get it open. It looks like jewelry box. I look at him in disappointment.
“You got me a jewelry box?” I ask angrily.
“Don’t be so quick to judge…open it up” he says still smiling.
As I open the box my eyes get big and my mouth drops open as the tears begin to roll down my cheek. I couldn’t believe he gave me beauty for my ashes.
So many times while we are going through the storms of life we get upset with God, because He does not show up or answer the way we feel he should. We are so traumatized by the aftermath, that it is hard to see the beauty in the pain. God is waiting for us to come to a place of total surrender, and unfortunately most of us try to do it on our own until all of our strength is gone. Leaving us with no other choice but to surrender. Remember God is our strength in our weakness, and he will give you beauty for every one of your ashes.