If you’re like me, you long to know that it matters.
You long to know that your scrapping and scraping, your saying yes and agreeing with life in a thousand everyday decisions is for something.
You long to know that your struggle through that darkness, that loss, that abandonment, that tedium, that sorrow is for a purpose.
And though sometimes you might want to tuck away that pearl, that diamond, that precious thing that represents your struggle for beauty from ashes, we need to know it.
And though sometimes you might want to drive away the memories because you are still afraid of the dark, and it hurt so badly, you are no longer where you once were.
You climbed your way out of that relationship. You rejected the lies that told you you’re something you’re not. You walked that journey through sorrow that nearly broke you through the middle.
That place, that hardship — you know the one I mean — we need to hear about it.
Only you will know exactly who to tell, and I’m not suggesting you cast your treasures willy-nilly, but let me just say, someone needs to hear it.
And see you live it. That hope beacon in the middle of the churning storm. The light extending from darkness.
We need to hear you sound your trumpet.
We need to hear you sound your tiny penny whistle, your little plastic drum — whatever you’ve got.
We long to hear the song that was written out in pencil-scratched staccato and flowing legato, the lines composed through tears and angry screams and silent confusion and the ones who stayed near. We need to know the song sung between you and God — the only one who can truly make beauty from disaster, make safe places for the lonely, make shining strength from the fight.
Because you know, don’t you, that we are made for redemption, all of us. And so we need to hear your song on that instrument trilling freedom and joy, your song of a mess being made treasure.
We need your song.
So sing it, sister. Play it, brother.
Belt out that redemption song.
On an unrelated Friday note, those of you who come around here often may wonder about Five Minute Friday. Well, I took last week off for Thanksgiving, then kinda headed into vacation mode, as I knew Lisa-Jo and company were taking the month of December off. It’s not exactly December yet (ahem) so the community — sans moi — is writing stories of wonder today. Check them out for your Five Minute Friday fix (I’m sure there will be some most lovely tales), and I’ll be returning to write in five minutes flat with that glorious community again in January.
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Ashley, preach it tell it bold and tender sister. This call to share and tell and proclaim is wondrous. I hang on your every word, your rich deep weaving of a beautiful invitation to the freedom found in the telling of our redemptive GOD and His redemptive gifts.
I am so grateful for the ways we remind each other to proclaim it bold and tender. Your words are a gift to me, friend.
Ashley- beautiful words weaved together here, reminding us to share life and community and heart…and as writers, through our words, which you remind us here, in this statement- “the song that was written out in pencil-scratched staccato and flowing legato, the lines composed through tears and angry screams and silent confusion and the ones who stayed near. We need to know the song sung between you and God —”- I love those words- they are poetic.
I am so glad you are part of the Writers Connection group! I love our connections and am excited for what God has in store! –
Cornelia Becker Seigneur
So grateful, Cornelia. That place of gathering and heart-connected community that you’ve created in our Writers’ Connection is a gift to me. I so appreciate your words here and for the encouragement you give so freely….and for the excitment of shared purpose and call. Woohoo. :-)
Going to take this as I suspect it is, another nod, “go.” My stories aren’t pretty or all that comforting, but they are a great stage for God’s redemption.
Working this weekend with a friend/editor to best discern what to release. (What cannot be hidden, left unheralded in this now.)
Thanks for the encouragement.
Yes, go, Kim, go! I believe in you. I believe in your voice — the very one God has given you, has birthed in you and is continuing to form in you. I’m glad it’s like no one else’s. Go forth and give it away! And may God bless you in this ongoing journey, friend. I love walking this gradual unveiling, scary and exhilerating, unfurling process with you.
Ashley, What a joy it was to meet you last night. Your blog–and writing and PERSON–are so beautiful. So very much looking forward to seeing your face more and allowing God to cross our paths. Grace, sister! -Kari
Kari, the pleasure was mine…truly. I am grateful for these crossing paths and all that is to come. Thanks so much for visiting me here. :-)
What potent encouragement this is! It’d be hard to overestimate the power of story (especially the redemptive sort) … To tell our story not only offers encouragement to others, but the telling strengthens our own faith by way of reminder. Sadly, it’s all too easy to forget what God has done. (I love your use of musical metaphors here Ashley. Penny whistles, plastic drums or tubas! Conjures up a joyous marching band!)
Yes, Mama, telling our stories without shame and hearing the heartfelt stories of those who’ve walked through and known the real touch of God in that very place — honestly, I hardly know any kind of beauty like that.
Goosebumps of resonance. I always leave here changed, opened, inspired–hopeful. You writing gets inside me, Ashley–you have such a way.
Thank you so very much for the kindness you left on my blog the other day–it means everything.
I’m humbled, Julia. Your words, your encouragement, your kindness mean so much to me. Thank you for your words, and you.
Oh Ash. This is beautiful. I am so grateful that I have places to be known here…in these places. What an encouragement to continue on.
So thankful to be known by you, my sister. As I told you today, I held your words from yesterday morning with me — your call for me to use my voice, to speak loud and love and redemption…wow, that changes things, girl.
we were just talking about this last night at our home group…..the more intense it gets…the harder the battle…the brighter HE shines against that darkness. my favorite part of your written words is…..”Because you know, don’t you, that we are made for redemption, all of us.” how great is it that Our God doesn’t start from scratch. but takes us right where we are….broken & weary…and makes us new inside. He is the God that brings things back to life. He breathed life into my selfish heart & yours when we were teenagers. He has kept His promise to continue a good work in us. I love how He is never finished with us. Josh’s favorite verse is that we are his masterpiece. It reminds me of that book “you are special”…the toy maker that formed his wooden little people & so longed for them to come to His workshop and spend time with Him. Love that story! thanks for your words of truth Ash. I love the work God has done in you.
Kindy, I love what you say here. You are so right and as you’ve experienced in all kinds of ways lately, honey, your light is bright in the pain of this world, and people are drawn to that hope they see in you. And yes! God doesn’t start from scratch — there is purpose in all that’s come before — and he is never done. “You are Special” is one of my favorites. What a metaphor for this life and the love of the Master woodcarver — the One who madly and deeply loves his creation. I was elated to get to be with you Saturday. You are special. (I couldn’t resist…hehe…and it’s true!) xoxo
This is one of my new favorite posts of yours Ashley, I could relate to it on so many levels and can think of friends and family who, too, have struggled..xx
Wow, thank you, Smidge. Hugs backatcha.
Life at times may appear to be lived in the ‘legato’ form, going forward without many noticeable interruptions. The truth is actually quite different. Our amends will lead to deliverance of our sins and to the relationship God wants for us.
Our amends will lead to deliverance…amen!
When I read this incredible post, I again realized how important it is for us to comfort those with the same comfort we have received from our Pappa! And I know I have a few off-key, unsung cries in my heart that needs the Great Composer’s touch to heal and transform into symphonies of joy and beauty! Then, and only then, will I be able to sing my songs! But I am getting there!
You are already singing your songs, Mia! And, while most are a work in progress, people need to hear those too. People are hungry to know that there is hope in the midst of the mire, that the imperfect songs are being woven into something even more beautiful. You are getting there, and so am I, so let’s not be afraid to sing the songs we’ve already got! We are further along than someone who could benefit from the hearing. Sending much love, Mia.
Can I just say, WOW. I ADORE this, Ashley. If it were a facebook post, I’d “like” it a hundred times if I could. This touches my heart and reminds me of truth and encourages me to keep playing, even if I’m still afraid of the dark. You are so precious.
I receive your 100 “likes” with great thanks, friend. :-) I am touched by the encouragement we’re able to give one another — I’m still afraid of the dark sometimes, too.
Ashley – this is my first visit to your blog and I am here through the (in)courage group. Wow – I am soooo blessed to have been led here by God. What an inspiration you are. Your words are beautiful and your heart shines through each word. I will be back for a daily dose.