A Rough Work in Progress

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I’m so thankful that the Lord is patient with me! The past few months there have been good reasons not to write here in my blog, but not REALLY good reasons. My digestive issues flared up again, along with my depression and occasional anxiety. Thankfully I’m much better now, with a steady vitamin regiment, taking lots of strolls in the sunshine, and getting appropriate rest. The spring blooms are once again popping here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. It’s such a blessing to live here.

I’m also continually grateful for my family and friends, who have encouraged, supported and challenged me, especially over the past four years. I’m especially thankful for a dear couple from my church who walked with me in the frustrating years leading up to what finally ended in my divorce. At their invitation and in God’s perfect timing, I began and continue to serve alongside them at Simonka women and children’s shelter, helping to lead chapel time three times a month. Ministering to others and sharing my story has strengthened my faith, increased my confidence, and has been a healing balm to my heart.

Last Sunday, the message theme for chapel was about how God uses circumstances to smooth out our rough edges, much like river rocks are smoothed by the rushing water and the silt and sediment in it. Reflecting on how the Lord has worked in me to smooth out some of my edges, I wrote and shared this new poem:

“Go With His Flow”

Thinking back over these past few years,
I’m filled with awesome wonder to see
how the Lord worked during pain and tears
to refine and slowly reshape me.
Like a rock in a river or stream,
the current of life swiftly flows;
Below the water’s surface gleam,
there’s a spiritual undertow.
Troubles, like sediment and sand,
scraped along this jagged stone,
teaching me to trust and understand
who I am and that I’m not alone.
Through our struggles, God can soften
the edges of self-doubt and fear;
He’s who I must cling to most often
whether the water’s silty or clear.
For I have the choice every day:
Either bitterly complain and frown,
or trust God, asking how His way
will smooth my rough edges down.
In rushing rapids or gentle flow,
when I surrender to His correction,
worn but not weary, I joyfully grow.
I’d be up a creek without His direction!
Through troubled water, God wears away
those things that only cause more sorrow,
giving me strength and hope that I may
go with His flow better tomorrow!

4-28-19
©Ladeena Ashley

Last week marked a year since the divorce papers were signed. I still catch myself marveling that I’m on my own. Only I’m not. Jesus has faithfully walked beside me every step of the way. Jesus ROCKS! The more I stay focused on Him, the Spirit lifts me up, giving me a thousand reasons to smile. It gets a bit easier every day.

I’m trusting that He will continue smoothing out my rough edges so that I will more easily follow His leading, and be the loving, faithful disciple He calls me to be. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

We’re all rough works in progress. As it’s been said, Jesus loves you the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you there. As I pray for myself, I pray for you: that you will surrender to God’s flow and let Him work in you. Don’t be up a creek without Jesus!

Blessings to you, this day and always!

©Ladeena Ashley
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