words becoming ashes

Seven pages.

Seven letters.

For several months now I have been writing a series of letters. Seven in total. Each were written honestly and from my heart. Each page is filled with the deep longings of my heart; my fears, my hopes, my dreams. And not once did I start a letter with a name. Until recently I had no idea who these letters were meant for. After the seventh and final letter, I placed them all in a box on my nightstand. They have been there for weeks. Last night I realized that they were never intended to be read, only written.

So in the early hours of this morning, I took the letters and I burned them. But first I wrote a name on the top of each page. A name of the person I believe they were always intended for. But this person no longer holds a significant place in my life. They don’t get to hear the deep words from my heart. It would be pointless to send the letters now.

The burning of the pages was a cleansing time for me. I let go of the words I had written. I trusted that God knows my heart and knows not only the road I was just on but the road before me. When the last letter was burned I looked down and saw a pile of ashes on the table. My words, the desires of my heart, were now gone. All that was left was a small pile of ashes. I cried, but it wasn’t sadness I felt. It was freedom. I’m now free to dream in a new way. I’m free to trust those around me that I hold close in my life. This was a time of renewal. And I fell asleep early this morning grateful. Grateful for a new journey and new dreams.

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6 thoughts on “words becoming ashes

  1. Jake says:

    Makes me wonder; is forgiveness about those we forgive, or simply about us and God. Releasing that which no one else has hold to? I think it’s more inner realization and less outer actions. Great post, Kara.

    • Kara Maddox says:

      I agree Jake. Here’s another post I wrote last year on forgiveness. https://karabess.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/forgiveness-aint-easy/
      It took my a long time to figure it out for myself and I still struggle with the concept at times. Forgiveness becomes freeing when I realize it’s just between me and Jesus. He calls me “Come unto me” and I chose to participate in his story of redemption “Yes Lord, I’m listening.”

      • Nicole says:

        I agree – forgiveness is between me and God. If I need to tell someone I forgive them I will but there is no need to, God knows & that is all that matters.

        Great blog today Kara (as usual). Comforting to know I am not the only letter burner around :)

  2. Mike Reynolds says:

    This hits me deep and makes me sad. I wonder; Is the burning of our words really valuable to us? Or, are we eliminating the opportunity for reflection, redemption, and re-evaluation? Not to mention the value of sharing what we have been through, the insights, and the lessons learned. All are lost. Maybe not lost completely, but certainly the experience is limited to ourselves and maybe those we have shared with one on one.

    I just hate to see good lost.

    • Kara Maddox says:

      I hear you Mike. All was not lost in this case. What I realized specifically with this is that I was willing to share it with someone else before I gave these words to God. It was a matter of focus. Ruin, restoration, reflection and healing within my heart did happen (and continues) by burning these pages. I was then able to start anew- asking Christ what HIS dream is for me and how I should move forward. 

      You know how much I value you and Lucy being in my life! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!  :-) 

  3. raquela1 says:

    Every journal I’ve written I’ve thrown away at the end of the year I wrote it. I did this for years. I found a couple that were missed in the “burning” and it was awesome to reread them and to remember how far I’ve come. A part of me wished I would have saved them all. However, I never liked that my words were tucked away in a journal and not shared with others. Something about it felt like I was hiding, for some reason. And last year, this awesome chick showed me the value of sharing our stories, so we can further heal while helping others work through their “stuff” with opennness and authenticity. You, my friend, inspire us with your words. Even though these particular letters are burned, you continue to share your heart/words here on your blog and in your life. As for the very personal-private writings, some things are meant to be “dust in the wind.”

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