There is Still Life, So Don’t Waste It!

empty tree

So my dear brothers and sister, stand strong.  Do not let anything move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that YOUR WORK in the Lord is never wasted.
1 Corinthians 15:58

One of my favorite places to walk is in the cemetery near our house. It’s not because I’m morbid or anything. Okay, I’m a little morbid!

What I love about it is the quiet lack of noise. All you can hear is birds singing, branches swaying and creaking, and leaves rustling.

I love the trees, too.  Old, and strong.

I actually have a favorite tree there. From one angle, it is tall, wide, sturdy, and strong! But if you walk to the other side, you will see something else entirely. You see, this tree was struck by lightning many years ago. Almost everything on the inside of the tree is just…gone. It stands there, completely hollowed out.

Four years ago today,I had a massive stroke.

I guess I became that tree.

My childhood memories were gone, and I can barely remember anything from even high school and college.

My short term memory is a mess, too. So if I missed a lunch date with you, well, sorry! 😉 My comprehension is pretty shot, too. I’m a hot mess!

People will sometimes (rarely) ask me what it’s like being me now. I love the questions, by the way! It shows you remember and you care.

Anyway, imagine not remembering much at all about your entire life as a kid, and a teenager. If you can’t remember who you were, then how do you know who you are? You feel lost. You feel alone. You feel like you are empty, hollowed out. Like my tree.

Sure, I look fine. I usually can walk without a limp. I don’t need a wheelchair or a cain, and for that I am so thankful! But just because you can’t see the damage doesn’t mean there isn’t any. And I guess that’s true for a lot of people suffering invisible pains or losses.

But that isn’t the end.

You would think that tree would be dead, with having nothing left inside. But look at that picture again. Those branches have tiny buds of life on them!!

It turns out it doesn’t matter what was lost in that lightning strike so many years ago. Every spring, the tree brings forth life, new life, because its roots are STRONG!! The roots are what gives life to the tree, even though it seems like all is lost when staring into the cavity of that stricken and beaten beauty.

I don’t remember my childhood, but I KNOW I was raised to believe that Jesus is our only hope in this dark, sin-soaked world.

My roots are STRONG! Even though I sometimes feel lost and empty, I know my God is faithful, and He is filling me with some of the best things I could ever dream of!









I am grateful He struck me down four years ago. Strangely, it was the most loving gift I have ever received.

He gave me New Life, in every sense of those words!

And I don’t mean to waste a single bit of it.

“Nothing Is Wasted” by Jason Gray

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what’s lost will be found again

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine
Glory will shine

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

6 thoughts on “There is Still Life, So Don’t Waste It!

  1. I love this. I was captured by the photo, which is lovely, but the article is great. Since trees are one of my metaphors also, I could really empathize with you.

  2. The challenge is to always look beyond the present situation and to take God’s perspective in it. It’s always a challenge because we are human and we have the dailiness of the situation at hand to struggle through. There are hard days that fight to dictate one’s state of mind…..Prayerfully, one can get through it one day at a time leaning on the one who allowed it in the first place…..I commend you!

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