“From ashes we come, to ashes we will return.”
We hardly need any reminders in this violent and turbulent word that life is precious - so very precious. But this is the starting point for my faith. Life is precious, and I have been granted a portion. Someday it will be finished, and my work will be done. I choose to root my life, my very precious life, upon the foundation of God and God’s son Jesus Christ.
Jesus lived so that we might see and know the love of God. In his last days, no matter what was done to him, he refused to do anything less than to love. In that, I find redemption. I am not called to be Jesus. I do not look for opportunities of suffering that I might display Christlike qualities, but I do know that God will do nothing less than love me and love every person in this life - in this very precious life. In that love, there is redemption.
I do not understand why things happen the way that they do. Understanding is neither the basis nor the reason for my faith. I trust this God that I know through Jesus. That trust is the basis of my faith.
Therefore, I will receive ashes this Wednesday. And I will give thanks for this life, this very precious life. And I will give thanks to God, who alone can love so many that I don’t want to. And I will confess this and many other shortcomings. And I will leave knowing that I am loved into redemption and my life, my very precious life, will be more deeply rooted and grounded in something - in SOMEONE - that will transcend all that I now see and know and understand.
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Hi, my name is Melissa Ebken, and I'm so glad you found your way here.
I am at home in the difficult spaces of peoples’ lives, willing to listen and to support those who work to grow themselves. I am a trained coach and have consulted with churches in conflict. Not your stereotypical minister, I embrace the Gospel with joy and laughter as I seek to help those around me grow in faith and understanding, always striving to leave people better than they came. An agent of wholeness, I create a safe space for people, especially those who have been marginalized, where they can understand how ridiculously loved and valued they are by God/Higher Power/Spirit, and to experience the difference that makes in life.
I started the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast to share the stories of people who have faced life's most difficult challenges, to inspire you to lean into and overcome your own. It's helpful to know that you're not alone in your struggles and to see how others have navigated similar circumstances. You can listen to it here.
Here's what I can do for and with you.