After the fire


If you hadn’t heard, Colorado is burning.  There are at least a dozen separate fires racing across the state, some in very close proximity to major cities.  In Colorado Springs alone, 32,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. 

The images are astounding: smoke billowing from hillsides, flames licking the sky, familiar landmarks in the path of the blaze.  I hear about the “thousands of acres” that are on fire, and it’s hard to comprehend just how large an area we’re dealing with, or how long it may take to get it under control; the High Park Fire west of Fort Collins has been burning for 18 days.  Depending on which way the wind is blowing, Denver has often been enveloped in a haze.

For as stunning and alarming as the fire itself is, as I scroll through photo slideshows online, I’m more taken with the images of the aftermath: barren hillsides, burned-out tree trunks, quiet devastation.  After being ravaged, a small amount of clean-up can be done – but then, the only thing left to do is wait: for new growth, for new life, for a new season. 

And waiting can be so hard.

I’m in a season of waiting right now.  It’s tough, because my culture has conditioned me to expect quick results and instant relief – but I’ve weathered enough to know that this just can’t be the case all of the time.  If you’ve gone through a fire, it takes a long time to rebuild.

The last time I was in Nashville, I saw my friend Brynn Sanchez.  If you don’t know Brynn, you’re missing out, because she is one of the top humans on the planet.  She told me about singer/songwriter Audrey Assad, and later sent me one of her tracks.  Since then, “Show Me” has played at least 3 times a day – early in the morning, driving home from work, before bed.  As one who struggles with the concept of prayer (which is another post entirely), this song has been my heartbeat.

“Bring me back to life – but not before you show me how to die.”

My heart breaks for my state, and for the people whose homes have burned.  I am so sad for the death of dreams, and I feel for their long road ahead.

But I hope for redemption of what has been lost.

Things will feel better one day.  Things will BE better one day.  New life is on its way.  It just takes time.



  1. Val on June 27, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

    And thank you for the gift of Audrey Assad. My Spotify is glowing with the sound of her voice.

  2. Amanda on June 27, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    I’m waiting with you. I want to fast-forward through the pain and the dying and the rebirth. I just don’t know if I have it in me to endure. But I know there is nothing fast about this. And I know I am not alone. I love you, Annie.

  3. Christina on June 27, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    This post is so full of the truth my heart needed to hear today. I can relate to the waiting and the want for a quick fix. Beautiful picture in words.

  4. Anya Elise on June 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Beautiful writing. As another Colorado gal, this spoke to my heartbreak over our state’s current trauma. We’ll get there!

  5. Mandy on June 27, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    LOVE Audrey Assad. JJ introduced me to her after Micah’s death and Show Me, Known, and Carry Me have all been my comfort since October. Glad you are finding comfort in her too these days.

  6. Ginger on June 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    I can watch this one on repeat all day:


  7. Whitney on June 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Beautiful words, as always. What a devestating, strange time we live in sometimes. Hope is the only way to make walking along in grief beautiful.

    Thank God I stopped by today so that I could find out about Audrey Assad.

  8. HopefulLeigh on July 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Audrey Assad is a favorite of mine. Longing for redemption along with you.

  9. Maria on July 2, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    LOVE Audrey Assad – I play/sing “Winter Snow” at church every Christmas. SO GOOD.

    Today was the first time I’ve heard “Show Me” and it hurt in a good way. It reminded me in theme a bit of “We Build” by Nichole Nordeman – be sure to check that one out too. (Have tissues ready).

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