Refiner’s Fire

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. Everyone knows that. I like to start my first day of the week in Sabbath, in Sunday stills, in a “don’t rush me, make me work, or give me a schedule” kind of way. On Sundays I chill. Hard. Core. Its a day to be filled with gratitude – gratitude for God’s grace last week, and for the week to come. It is slowness to let go of my control, and stillness to enjoy His peace and presence. And its not because I have nothing I should be doing, believe me, there is ALWAYS work to be done. Sunday is the day I rest in His great work and enjoy life and time and nature and loved ones. Sundays re-center me. They bring my heart home. This Sunday’s celebrations dug deep.

Last week I thought I lost my house and everything I owned in a wildfire. The Colby Fire in Glendora grazed the backyard of the house I live in with six of my friends. You know that “getting-to-know-you” game we play? The one where you imagine your house was on fire and you only get to save three things from the inferno? This week we played it for real. The full story is a crazy one, one that has to be told in person for the full effect, but to make a long story short, our house was spared by the grace of God, and it was a very close call.

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Even though we didn’t lose any things in the fire, I would venture to say that I lost more than I thought. Flames licking over the back wall of your yard have a way of making you think fast and hard about your life, and what you need, and what you want out of it. Fire always has a way of refining. 

To be honest, I came to terms very quickly with the fact that I lost everything, and to be even more honest, it wasn’t really hard. You see, there are things that we can control, and there are things that we cannot. I have spent way too many years of my life trying to control things that are absolutely out of my control. This week, we were helpless before a sea of flames, and there was nothing we could do about it.

And even when we don’t have control of a situation, we will always have control over how we choose to react to it. In some crazy way, this fire reminded me of how blessed I am. And its not because my house was saved, or because I have all of my possessions in tact. Love is my home, and I am so incredibly blessed because I get to share this life with the most incredible people I have ever known. They make this place and this life home to me.

In the past few days, I have realized that my life will never be secure. Things happen and people change. We move, and switch jobs, there is life and death, and there are moments it all comes together, and times it all falls a part. And sometimes, there are freak wildfires in January, and you almost lose everything but the clothes on your back and the breath in your lungs. Somehow, that insecurity is part of what makes this life so good and these moments so sweet.

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Today I woke up in a bed that I thought I’d never see again, in a house I thought was ashes, and I am thankful. I am thankful for this quirky old house where we dance in the living room and slide in our socks down the hallway. I am thankful to see blue sky again instead of ash clouds, and I am thankful for the birds that made their way back to our tree to tweet me awake this morning. I am thankful for the firefighters that kept us safe, and the shift in the wind’s direction at just the right time (I’m convinced it was an act of God). I am thankful for these girls, and their hearts, and for the work that the Lord is doing in each and every one of them. I am thankful for my friends and family that have filled up my inboxes with prayers and love during the past handful of days. Today I am thankful that His hand of grace never left us, and I am thankful that it never will. 

The insecurity, the craziness, and the contentment I have found in all of this, has only made my life that much sweeter. Today I am thankful, and I will celebrate life and love and all the grace I have been given.  This week, I’ve gained the world having thought I lost it all, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey, and thank you for making my life so sweet. God is good (and He still would be even if our house burned down).

Grace and Peace,

Veronica

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1 Comment

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One response to “Refiner’s Fire

  1. Amy Rich

    Even while you are almost losing it all, you are simultaneously giving life to others. I am so thankful for your life, thoughts, and outlook! And I’m thankful God miraculously saved your house!!

    Love you dearly ❤

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