Fistful of Ashes | What are You Holding?

What do you love? Who do you love?

For me, I love my husband more than anyone in the world. I love my family. I have some very dear friends that I love deeply.

I also love to plan the future. I love writing and hope to grow this blog to 10,000 followers by January 2013. I love my goals for my life. I love when aspirations come to fruition and plans just work.

Michael spoke to the young adult group at church last week and shared his plans of getting married right out of college. (He wrote more about his journey here.) Graduation came and went and he was still single. “Ah, I’ll certainly be married by 25,” he shared. He was living in Germany at the time and wondered if he should move home in order to meet his Mrs. It wasn’t until he was 29-7 years after he wanted to be married-that his dreams came to fruition when I walked down the aisle towards him. Our entire wedding party erupted in laughter when Michael {at the reception} cheered and shouted, “I’m FINALLY Mr. Dean!”

It’s hard to pry our fingers off that which holds our affection. Opening tightly clinching fists and forgoing our need to control is a lifelong process. I’m still learning, daily it seems.

I want to live my life with open hands-expectant of what God will do with my detours, failures, interruptions, & plans. The greatest blessings in my life have come not in what I’ve planned, but when God wrecks my plans and swings open the doors to His. Natalie is just one example. The thought of becoming a missionary was enough to make me break out in hives, but I couldn’t walk away from her and not acknowledge that God was doing something BIG. Is God opening doors in your life now that you never before considered? Do you trust Him?

“It’s hard to let go anything we love. We live in a world which teaches us to clutch. But when we clutch we’re left with a fistful of ashes.”― Madeleine L’Engle

Stop clutching and embrace the life for which you were created. Detours, interruptions, heartbreak, and failed plans are always the beginning of stepping into the extraordinary.

Have your plans recently changed? Has something happened that you can’t make sense of? What are you holding? What do you need to let go of?

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11 Responses to “Fistful of Ashes | What are You Holding?”
  1. whatbliss says:

    This is super timely for me. Thank you!

  2. leeleegirl4 says:

    God has been working to convict me of my fears of trusting fully. Thanks for reminding me that God really does take care of us and is far more than worthy to be trusted.

  3. R says:

    Hi Ruthie I hope you are well and that Michael is getting better as well. I receive so much inspiration from you especially at a time that I chose to walk away from a relationship that left me hurt, shamed, vengeful, angry, bitter, resentful……I opened my fists on the 12th of March, 2012 and I let that relationship go. I felt like I had failed, I was heart broken, I felt like God had let me down because this is a man I prayed about and this is a relationship I talked to God about. But this pain, this anger, this bitterness has made me step into the extra ordinary. I have embarked on a journey of renewing myself and mind and endeavouring to live my life as God has purposed. I have made new friends, I have renewed old good friendships, I have grown closer to family and I have given myself a second chance. I have discovered so much about me that I was for so long blinded to. I truly am at a better place. I hope to meet another good man one day…I have friends who are hooking me up already (sic)….Anyway Ruthie thanks for walking with me the way

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Hi R! I’m so sorry I haven’t responded until now. Unbelievable that you had the courage to walk away from a man who treated you terribly. How are you feeling about the relationship now? Have you stayed away from him? Oh sister, I pray you are doing well and see the full life you have ahead of you!

  4. Anna K says:

    Love this I have been holding on to an unhealthy relationship for fear of being alone. But all it has left me with is a broken spirit and lots of ashes. Praying for strength that God will help me let go of it.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Anna-wow. Praying for you now-ending relationships is always hard, but sometimes leads to the path of greatest joy. I know I ended a relationship with a great guy in the past and I wrestled with knowing if I made the right decision. But I look back and am SO thankful I listened instead of going my own way.

      • Amanda says:

        I too have recently “let go” of a great guy. Together for five years and I just kept hoping things would eventually feel right. Alas, I finally had to accept that something was just NOT right and move on. I think it’s so much harder when the one you’re letting go of really is a great person. You keep thinking to yourself: Am I being too picky? Did I just not try hard enough? Maybe something is wrong with me!!

        But in the end, I feel as though while we weren’t meant to be together forever, we were meant to be together for the time that we were. I learned so much about myself and how I deserve to be treated. I will forever be greatful to him for that and to God for allowing him in my life for that period of time.

  5. Heather says:

    I am so grateful for your posts tonight… I find myself heartbroken and wondering what God has for me… I have been clinging so hard to my dreams but they have all come to ashes…. I am a 39 year old single woman I have been a missionary and for the last 2 years I have been recoveringn from a fluke head injury that has left me unable to do so much… There is blessing in it of course… But honestly what I so long for is to move on…. to get married, to find someone, I want to get better, I want to be able to work and drive and read a blog without feeling sick as Ido now… But that Madeleine l’engle quote really spoke to me, I’v been holding too tight to the things I want and now I have found a fist full of ashes, It was a reminder to let go and trust god to somehow make his beauty out of these ashes. thanks for blessing me this night! Blessings sister! X -h

  6. Heather says:

    Oops that sent before I could fix it 29 not 39 haha ohhh phones! Night!

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