“To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes” Isaiah 61:3
Freedom from ashes
Are you feeling as though your life has crashed and burned? Someone close has hurt you. Repeatedly! Personally! They burned you to your very soul. What’s left are ashes, or so it seems. There is no doubt that childhood abuse hurts. Using the illustration of a forest fire, it can scorch the earth. It can leave a lasting impact on your body, your mind, your thoughts, your emotions, your soul. Yet there is hope. Just as new life springs forth after a forest has burned, so new life and hope can grow out of the ashes of your abuse. God promises you freedom from the ashes of your abuse. He promises you . . .
Freedom for beauty
You may not feel beautiful now. In fact, you may feel ugly and dirty. Being abused as a child can do that. You may purposely make yourself look less attractive so that people will leave you alone. Yet that only reflects the ugliness you feel in your heart and soul. The truth is that God thinks you are beautiful. As his child he calls you a radiant bride without blemish or defect. You are pure and holy in his sight. That is a hard thing to believe right now, especially when your experiences in life have taught you just the opposite. Yet, hear it again: God thinks you are beautiful. Through Christ he bestows on you a crown of beauty.