beauty for ashes...

it's hard to find beauty in the midst of pain, heartache and confusion.

i am in the midst of one of the most difficult times in my life. and while the girls and i are having a blast in asia, i am also grieving the loss of many things. 

it's easy to cling to old comforts, and much more difficult to stare fate right in its eyes with a throbbing heart.

i choose to yield to this process.  

there are numerous questions to ask, so many decisions ponder - many fears to face. this is when my trust in God's sovereignty over my life is tested most. i say that i believe that He has my life in His hands when things are going great, yet it's a much harder reality to abide in when your world is being shaken.

it would be easy and generic for me to say, "hey! i know every thing's going to be okay! i'm not afraid, God is with me!"

i know God is with me; He's been faithful to me my entire life. but i have fleeting thoughts that say He will leave me and not redeem my situation. i know it's a lie, but i think everyone, if they are honest with themselves, has felt this way at different seasons of their life.

i've experienced the great faithfulness of God many times over the years, but no matter how great your faith and deep your relationship with God, these doubts of Him will come...

so don't be too hard on yourself if you experience this ambivalence, God is much bigger than our weak misunderstandings of Him.

through all my anguish i am doing my best to cling to this belief: that my Jesus gives beauty for ashes! He restores all brokenness and strengthens even the faintest of hearts. He can, and will, turn every heap of ash into undeniable beauty.

every day i am surrendering my heart to Him; i am letting go of the old and accepting in the new. forgiving, grieving, loving and laughing.

this time next year, i hope to have a beautiful story of redemption to share...


The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
 because the Lord has anointed me
 to proclaim good news to the poor.
 He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
 to proclaim freedom for the captives
 and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
 and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
 a planting of the Lord
 for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

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