I’ve Got A New File

If God showed us a timeline of all the occurrences that would happen in our lives, we would most assuredly start hyperventilating and bargaining with Him to remove such things. In no way, shape or form would we ever think we could survive such difficult circumstances. Death of a loved one, Infidelity by a spouse, the loss of every material possession we own. It’s more than our finite minds can even begin to fathom. And because of that, He doesn’t show us. What He does do is give us the grace we need to get through things as they come.

I have walked through a myriad of experiences in my nearly 43 years of life. Some of them I’ve acted like a child and thrown an all out temper tantrum complete with kicking, screaming and the occasional cuss word. Others, by the grace of God and burden-bearing friends, I’ve walked through them with joy in my heart and hope in my soul.

I’ve heard people say that they “escaped with only the shirt on their back”. Until June 30, 2013, I never even knew what that felt like. Couldn’t even fathom it. Quite frankly, didn’t want to. But as I was standing barefoot on my lawn at 1:00 a.m. in my Fila running shorts and hot pink camisole tank top watching the firefighters trying to put out the flames that were engulfing my home, I knew.

I’ve got a new file.

I now know the feeling of losing every material possession you own. And this new file will permit me access to a family when they walk through this situation in the future. Because when I hug the momma who just realizes she has lost the early pictures of her oldest child, I’ll remember and understand. And when I hold her close because it just hit her that the Christmas ornaments her children made for her are gone, I’ll remember and understand. And I’ll hold her hand when she wishes she had remembered to put those baby books “somewhere safe”. I’ll remember and be able to understand that feeling. That feeling of knowing you’ve lost everything but still not quite knowing what you’ve lost until it hits you.

Because I’ve got a file on that now.

The shell of our home stands on our street. While many look at it and are sad for us, I see life. I see five beating hearts. I see amazing neighbors and friends who stayed up all night with us asking what we needed. I see my friend take her own shoes off so that I would have some to wear. I see people who don’t even know us pouring out their financial resources to make sure we have toothbrushes and underwear and t-shirts and food to eat. I see the body of Christ come to our aid. I’m blessed, touched, moved…humbled.

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear. Though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to see Him in His temple. (Psalm 27:1-4)

I have nothing but I have everything. So I will rejoice.

46 thoughts on “I’ve Got A New File

  1. First, I’m so grateful that you guys are safe. Second, I’m so glad God has created within you this amazing heart that sees this situation through His eyes in just that special way you do. Praying for and with you – for provision, beauty from ashes and connections made for Him because of this situation. Love you guys!

  2. Cindy,
    You and your family are in my prayers. I had no idea about the fire as we live in Tulsa. Thank you for sharing and showing what it looks like to trust God fully.
    XO

  3. Your strength has always amazed me. My heart breaks for the what ifs but rejoices in the “5 beating hearts”. My prayers are with you. Hugs my sweet friend.

  4. This is a beautiful testimony to your faith and your understanding of many human experiences that would quite frankly, kill the spirit of someone else. Your words are an inspiration to me and I am quite sure to anyone else who reads it. I have not been able to see you or talk to you personally since this tragic event occurred, please know that if you all need anything, please do not hesitate to contact us. We love your family!!

  5. Love you, dear Cindy!! You have a way with words. Praying for you guys!

  6. Cindy, you are truly one amazing lady… You guys have been in our hearts and prayers, and we will continue to left you up.. We both know that God doesn’t waste a heart break! You have demonstrated that to us on every level! Everyone here in Griffin, Georgia love you dearly!

  7. Cindy,

    This post encompasses everything I know and love about you. I’m so sorry for your loss. I couldn’t contain my tears reading what has been lost. I’m amazed and encouraged by your strength at a time we should be encouraging you! I love you deeply and cherish the real, honest and loving friend you are!

    Trish

  8. Cindy I do not know you personally but I have read about your loss due to the fire. I truly sorry this tragic situation happened but I have such admiration for the love and grace you show. My heart is heavy right now with a few personal issues but after reading this beautiful message you wrote, it opened my eyes on a much better approach and outlook on life. Although you lost the material things in your home, you were blessed with the safety of your family. Life is certainly more precious. God is good. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts.

  9. We have been and are praying for you in Georgetown! What remarkable thoughts and words you have shared, and a very inspirational challenge for us day to day. You have been through so much and yet your spirit never breaks. Thank you and God has just got to have something amazing in store for you and your family.

  10. Maybe you already know about her, but I found Edie’s blog when she went through the same thing…

    http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/

    There are some beautiful entries that she wrote when their family home burned down…

    Praying for y’all

  11. Oh, Cindy…I had no idea. As someone who lost everything on May 20th in the tornado, I GET IT all too well. And I’m so broken hearted for you!!! Oh my word, I’m so sorry.

  12. We go to the South LC campus, and our Life Group literally walked us through starting the very next morning after the tornado. I never dreamed we’d be in the tiny percentage of people on the globe who lose their home to a natural disaster. But here we are. I will pray for you as I know EXACTLY each feeling you are experiencing. For Father’s Day, I was making my husband a homemade carrot cake and realized I had no shredder for the carrots in the middle. You will remember something new that you didn’t think about nearly every hour. It does hurt, but I know God will carry you guys as He is carrying us. The unexpected blessings you will find through this are unbelievable, as I’m sure you know. I will hold you guys close in prayer. I wish I could come hug you and have coffee with you as two women who completely get what each other is dealing with.

  13. Although I am crying with your for the material things that were lost, I’m praising God for sparing your lives! It means I still get a chance to hear you sing, Smiles and hugs to you! I can’t even imagine.

  14. Cindy and Chris,

    I can only imagine the loss you are experiencing. I love your perspective of the situation and how you see the many blessings of love and life. Thankful everyone is safe. God is good and as you know well, He will take these ashes and make something beautiful out of it.
    Prayers lifted up for the days ahead.

    Love to all, Mary and Dave

  15. Thank you for showing us how to walk through unfathomable loss and still see the “gifts”.

  16. You are an inspiration to many. Your attitude in a difficult situation inspires many to step back and see what God is doing. I pray you receive a double blessing for your loss. God bless you.

  17. Amazing. Love your God-given perspective. He is amazing and He has blessed you with the rare ability to see beauty in the midst of the ashes…quite literally. We are praying for you and we are blessed by your heart. Lots and lots of love coming from Texas.

  18. Oh sister, I had no idea. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for encouraging all of our hearts by setting such a great example to us. We will be praying for you.

  19. Have been praying for you, friend. Such a wonderful perspective God has given you – showing His work in you and future work through you. Much love.

  20. Cindy,

    I was stunned to see this had happened to you and your family. Your strength, God’s presence, His grace and provision over you are evident in the beautiful words you have shared. I’m praying for you now.

  21. Cindy, I can’t help but cry while reading this. So sorry for your loss but so very thankful for life. May the Holy Spirit stay close to your side and bring comfort as you walk this path! I can’t help but think you must be doing something right since the enemy is fighting so hard against you! May you continue running the race to gain the prize that can never be taken! Thank you for sharing your story it inspires me to stay the course no matter what!
    God, please give the Beal family strength, comfort, peace and meet their every need as only you can! Be an ever present help in their time of trouble! You alone are faithful!
    Dawn

  22. You know, I really didn’t want to be in tears again today. I put my big-girl panties on this morning and went to work with a stiff upper lip. Now I see I need to take another lunch break in the St. Jude chapel so I can cry it out after reading this. So poetic, so hopeful, so strong..you are my idol. As usual, sending much much love from me to you!

  23. God loves you guys very much. Your words, straight from your heart, inspire so many. We are so blessed to know you, so thankful you are safe, and so excited about the ministry opportunities that lie ahead! The Holy Spirit has been reminding us that we were created for one purpose: to bring glory to Jesus’ name! You do that so beautifully. Father, please bless the Beall family. We love them so much!

  24. Powerful testimony hard to hear the loss of photos and things your children made for you but your words ” I see 5 beating hearts.” is a miracle and God’s hand on your family. We need to cling more to our families because we cannot replace them. This scripture came to my heart
    ” Come to me, all those who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart. You will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30

    My husband and I keep praying for you, you guys are so humble and when those memories come back and get hard remember God is right with you. God always uses us and He will use this your right to help someone else. I love you sending you hugs. :-)

  25. Amazing story of God’s strength within you! Thank you for sharing… and I am praying for you in Honduras! Many blessings to you and your family… and to those who stood by you. May God bless you as you endure through this!

  26. I love you Cindy Beall! You are such an inspiration to so many. Thank you for your example. You ROCK!

  27. That last line… Just so incredibly encouraging! Love that you are able to stand through this with such beautiful strength and faith. Love you friend!

  28. I have been praying for you and yours since I heard on L&LI…I can only imagine the range of feelings that come with this and have been praying specifically that the Lord would be your portion, your strength, your song, and your shield. That no spirit of fear would take root in you or your sweet boys as they lay down on their pillows at night. That you and Chris’ relationship would be as strong as an oak, and He would be in the details of making your “new normal” as you begin to rebuild. Much love to you and will continue to pray for you!!

  29. In 1999 our home burnt down. We lost *nearly* everything. A few photos survived, but it was mostly old stuff tucked in the bottom of a closet. Everything from the previous 10 years was gone. Every video of our kids – gone. Souvenirs from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe – gone. Pet snakes – gone. All of our clothes – gone.
    But God showed us just how much “crap” we accumulated and put way too much worth in. We quickly discovered how happy we could be without all that stuff.
    I wish every Christian friend I know could go through that. Lose it all. It forces you to really rely on God because you HAVE to, not because the pastor says so.

  30. Honestly –
    People feel sad for me that our house burnt down.

    I feel sad for them because their house did not burn down.

    They will never experience our freedom.

    American Christians have much wealth and it makes it hard to live out our lives in real faith.

  31. No words, deep sighs, abundant tears, sure Faith, greater Hope, an Almighty Healer, Sustainer, and CREATOR!!!!

  32. Cindy, there are no words. I’m thankful you and your family are alive and safe, but the loss of all those treasured photographs — I can only imagine. I’ll admit that it’s one of my greatest fears.

    I’m so glad people are surrounding you with love and support at this time, and continue to think of you and pray for you all the way across the pond…

  33. Cindy
    you never cease to amaze me! My heart hurts for all those things that you can never replace ( Christmas ornaments kids made and baby books etc..)
    but I Praise God that the 4 of you are alive and well. Don’t forget yall were great at sending updated pictures to your mom and my mom so they will have many pictures of your boys as they grew up. All of you are in my prayers daily as i know even though you have a wonderful outlook on this (as does chris) i know this is a very difficult journey just the same. Love you guys!
    ps..luckily i have plenty of pictures of turkey bowl each year and who won so you are ok in that departmen, and luckily the Roselius’ won last year so the trophy is still with us! lol

  34. Thank you for sharing this. You have many powerful stories to share about how God has sustained you. And we have much reason to praise because of it. Thank you.

  35. Your momma’s Sunday school class is praying for you and your family. I’m looking around at all the stuff in my house that I consider treasures and realizing anew that the only treasure in my house is my sleeping husband. Thank you for your honest thought-provoking words. And may God especially bless each of you during this time of your loss–and renewal.

  36. Cindy, You dont know me but I am Jackies oldest sister. I was horrified when finally made me realize whose house I was watching burn. I am so thankful all of you are safe. I was very impressed with you “new file”. It reminded me of the message we had this Sunday about how material things can be taken away in an instant but the spiritual things remain forever. That is something no one can take away from us. When you said standing on you lawn and watching all your posessions going up in flames but your thought were that 5 hearts were still beating spoke volumes about you. We have all been shaken to the core by this tragic event and I’m praying for your family and mine.

  37. Dear Cindy,
    I was shocked to see the photo of your home in flames on Instagram. I am, again, inspired by your strength and the way that you turn immediately to the Lord. As you do this, more & more, in the face of devastating circumstances your decision to choose to see the grace of God in ALL THINGS is truly a rich testament to your deep faith. Your response delivers hope to others, to me. Thank you.
    Indeed, 5 beating hearts, more precious than any possesions this world will ever offer.
    Prayers & virtual hugs to the Beall family

  38. Cindy, I sit here at midnight with no words….
    I FINISHED your book yesterday. I am just shaking my head. I’ve been married 24years to the man of my dreams. NOW I find myself trying to breathe. God is confusing at times. I have prayed for your situation to be honoring to Him. Thank you for the words and honesty in your book. I hope your family stays strong.

  39. Hello Cindy,

    Never met you nor had I ever heard of you until I bought your book from Joel Osteen’s church in Houston a couple of weeks ago.

    I just finished your book and wanted to contact you only to see you had suffered a great loss. I am so so sorry for your loss.

    You know what if you have life and a great family, nothing is as great as those things to me.

    I would willingly give up all I own on this earth to have a wonderful family and a loving husband.

    I would really appreciate you contacting me when you can.

    I do not live in the states but live in Nigeria.

    Thank you and God Bless you and all of yours; amen.

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