Beauty from Ashes

Isaiah 61:3 ESV-

……to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.[c]

Beauty from Ashes


I went to a retreat with the women from my church last weekend.  That was a pretty huge step for me because I’m not exactly famous for trusting women, or for being hidden away on a mountain with 30 or so women, and especially  if those are “church women.”  I got the opportunity to confess that little secret at the retreat and we ended up not only laughing about it, but bonding over a deeper discussion on the subject.  It turns out I wasn’t the only one there facing that same giant.

Theory of being chronically unique shattered…


I came to understand that having the common bond of being in Christ changes a lot of things, and changes the lies we tend to believe about ourselves.  For example, standing in the kitchen in my PJs and tattoos, I asked one lady, “If it weren’t for Christ, would you even want to hang out with me?” She laughed and said, “If it weren’t for Christ, why would you want to hang out with ME?!”  That was when I realized we all have these fears. She was asking the same question I was:  Am  I enough?

The funniest thing that happened was that I learned that I actually am not enough.  Yep, you read that right.  I’m not enough.  I’m not enough to fix my life by myself.  You can’t fix God-sized problems with human-sized strength.  I know Christ is enough though.  Christ is enough to make my mess something beautiful.  Christ is enough to turn the pain of my life into a light that encourages others to come  out of the darkness with their junk.  There’s nothing that defeats the enemy more than a shared secret.  There’s nothing that glorifies God more than a testimony of all the wrongs in your life laid at the feet of Jesus.

I walked away from that gathering on a beautiful mountain in Gatlinburg more in awe of the women than of the scenery.  I walked out of that cabin knowing not only that they knew my name, but that I had nothing to fear of them and that neither did I have to fear telling my story.  I am giving my testimony at a banquet in a couple of weeks and I know that afterwards, I will tell you about it here.  I am no longer a slave to fear and I will wear that headdress of beauty over the ashes of my life any day.

This is my story. This is my song…. you know the rest.

Peace y’all…



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