Sunday, October 7, 2012

Beauty from Ashes

There are defining moments in everyone's life. For me, I have had more than I ever would've expected by age 30. But life is often full of events we don't expect. Losing my mom at age 28 was definitly an event I never expected. But with a lot of faith, time, prayer, and trust in God, we have the ability to see the good that He promises He will bring of some of those unexpected life moments.  Beauty from Ashes.
Romans 8:28
The Message (MSG)
26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

This Friday, I had the privelege of seeing good come out of a really crappy life event. Losing my mom has been one of the ugliest events I ever walked through. Grief was a long journey for me and took me to some dark places. I am happy to be on the other side of those now. Saying goodbye was a long winter season for me. But in patience and perseverance, I have been able to see how God can use that for His good. As I said, Friday was one such moment. 
 As I have written before, last year, we started the Linda A. Ferguson Memorial Fund in memory of mom, and began a 5K in the process as a piece to raise funds for the scholarship fund. We had 45 participants last year. This year we are at nearly 80 with more still coming in. Last year we gave out the first Linda A. Ferguson Memorial Scholarship. On Friday, I was invited to attend a banquet for all scholarship donors and recipients at Cedarville University. My husband and I were able to attend this and meet last year's recipient, Elisabeth Ware. What a special, life defining moment that was for me. The scholarship awarded last year came to life in a new way. To hear what she is studying and how her future plans are unfolding was touching for me. And to have a piece in it. My heart is full and yet I am almost left speechless as my fingers fly across the keys trying to put into perspective what seeing the life of that scholarship was like for me.It brought on a flood of emotion for me.Remembering my mom in the way of having a scholarship in her memory, knowing how she'd love the girl who was the recipient last year. Missing my mom and wishing that she were here for it all, but also realizing that if I hadn't lost her, that scholarship wouldn't even exist right now. And seeing good come out of the bad situation was a life defining moment for me. Having my husband there with me was also well defining and special for me. The entire evening was so special. And Reflective as well. And also energizing as the 5K is less than a week away. I feel a new excitement in our goals. Seeing the product of what came out of last years efforts makes me want to push harder on this years. It brought on more dreams of what I want to see unfold in years to come.....good brought from the bad. Beauty from Ashes.
 I do not think I will ever say I am thankful I lost mom. I miss her with a deep heartache and tears more often than not still. But, I can now say I am thankful for all that God is teaching me  in the process, for the scholarship we are seeing come to life in carrying out her memory, and for some beautiful friends He has brought into my life through this connection of losing my mom: Courtney, Teresa, Angie, Jontae....
 He is able to bring beauty from ashes, good from bad. And I am seeing the proof of that. 
 Below are pictures of the banquet and pictures of the recipient. Also is our website included. Please check it out, pass it along. People can register/donate online. Thank you!

 Glory be to God who unfolds beautiful things from ugly situations. 
Me and Elisabeth, last years recipient

Me and My wonderful husband,Michael

My dad, Roger Ferguson, and Elisabeth

My wonderful mom, Linda A. Ferguson

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