We took a different route on our way home this morning. 20 hours and 5 am with four kids are quite the interesting mix. But nobody can complain when you’re driving through Swan Valley, Idaho. The kids saw a river, which they nicknamed chocolate and sometimes poopy river. It kept them entertained.
Then we saw a section of burnt trees on the side of a mountain. It was a sad sight but the baby saplings growing in place of the dead trees gave hope. I explained how fires help trees to open and release their seeds. Then they have new growth.
It made me think about my sister in law, Monica, (her site is amazing) who was much like these burnt up trees. Her husband passed away (my husbands brother, Ryan) unexpectedly 18 months ago. She was devastated, ruined and life was completely different . But as she grew and ventured into the world of single parenting, she started to grow again. She was a new sapling, depending on God more than ever. But as she has began rising past the burnt landscape and the ashes, something beautiful had happened. She had done things she never thought she could do before. Including meeting and marrying another wonderful Ryan. Before her marriage, she figured out how to be a single mom and work with finances and maintain her sanity. It was difficult and amazing to watch.
A few years ago, a tabernacle in Provo, Utah burned down. The residents were saddened because of the history and legacy of the building. But the LDS church (Mormons) turned ashes into growth by building a new temple on the land. It’s a beautiful representation of rising through fire and destruction to create something beautiful.
Monica felt like this temple was her. Here she was in the midst of fire trials, a refiners fire and she could see what happened when something new was built on the spot of something destroyed. What a powerful symbol to all of us. When we are in the thick of trial and difficulty, we can’t see what is growing and what we are becoming. But when we hang on and have faith, we are able to see how we have progressed. We can see the hand of God in our lives, if we allow Him in. And He can always make something better if we let Him.
Left: Monica and Ryan Bell (my husband’s brother) Right: Monica and Ryan Little (great guy)
Before and after of the Provo, Utah temple. Found the picture here.
Burnt trees with new growth