Saturday, May 25, 2013


Mythical creatures have always fascinated me.
Not so much short little people with hairy feet- but rather griffins, dragons and the beasts of legends.  
The human imagination is a very powerful and amazing thing.

One of the stories that fascinated me most was that of the Phoenix.
As this beautiful bird would came to the end of its life, it would spontaneously rupture into flames and burn to a crisp, leaving nothing but a black, meaningless pile of ash as the only evidence of its existence.

This legend, however, was not a story of death but rather of new beginnings and new life.
The phoenix would arise from the ash as a more beautiful, more graceful, more magnificent version of itself.

Not much literature, however, dedicates itself to the understanding of how the Phoenix felt about its rather unusual life progression.
I have not been able to find any Oprah interview on the “end of life experience” of being burned to an untimely death.
I doubt the Phoenix (had it existed) would have been given an opportunity to write the bestselling autobiography, “Crispier than Chargrilled Chicken: The story of surviving the flames.”
If I were to speculate, I doubt the phoenix’s fiery rebirth into a new life was a very pleasant experience.

And in my spiritual walk, I can relate to the Phoenix.

Last year was probably one of the most challenging years of my life.
Through the combination of subtle struggles and the megaphones of major life changes, I was left metaphorically watching my life burn into a pile of ash.
I had fought so long to hold onto the things that I was idolising and the moment I finally decided to surrender them to God, all hope was seemingly lost as my idols slipped through my fingers.

Looking back I was pretty resentful to God.
I didn’t understand that He was with me through it all and I was struggling to trust that He had a plan.
He didn’t care, and my meaningless purpose seemed to be summed up in ashes that were my life.

At least that’s what I thought…

But, like the phoenix, something beautiful and majestic did come out of my personal pile of ash.
As my blistering skin and my burnt out heart began to heal, I slowly realised how much God had used the pain for my good, just as He had promised to do.
The choice to surrender began in a fire, but out of the pain of that situation, God has called me onto an incredible adventure and journey that has led me to a deeper understanding of grace, love and community.
While it wasn’t a sudden change, I now feel the wonderful joy of soaring on the thermals of His deep love and blessings.  
Before the flames, I didn’t really realise how much I was missing but He has used this time to show me, raising me as a more beautiful, more magnificent and more trusting daughter.

If you are enduring the flames that seem like the end of a life, I can’t really say anything that will take away the pain of fire and heat against your skin.
I can’t even tell you that you will come out as the same person or that parts of you won’t be scathed in the process.
What I can tell you is that Gods love, like the Phoenix, is immortal.
If you let Him, He can raise a more beautiful you from your meaningless pile of ash.
Trusting Him, you can be free to fly like the Phoenix.