Beauty for Ashes

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The last 19 months have birthed new meaning to some "inspirational" pieces of scripture.  I have my favorites, my life-lines if you will, that were used as I prayed over our strength and marriage, over Anna Claire and Ava, and over Alli and her medical team.

But in January of this year, I admit, my lifeline scriptures weren't cutting it anymore.  I began the LONG.DRAWNOUT.PROCESS of processing.  Processing the loss of a pregnancy, processing the loss of an infancy, processing everything we've been through, everything we've seen, everything we've heard, everything we've been told.  It's no secret; there are some pretty horrific images and events in my head.  As beautiful as my child was, the images of a baby weighing less than a pound are still too much to bear.  There's no sugarcoating anything.  Six months into this new season of processing, I'm still in the beginning stages.  And I can get easily sidetracked when all the memories, all the dreams for her future, all the dreams for our future, all the visions of those horrible events, and all the brokenness come flooding back. 

So I began looking for something new.  Something refreshing.  Something that would quench my dryness.  I looked for something that would speak to my distressed heart and give me the peace I needed.  I couldn't find it.  I was desperate to know and understand something. Anything really, but I needed know that we were OK.  I needed to be reminded by that same peace I carried during some of the worse moments of Alli's life that we were OK and there was purpose and a plan....for all of this.  For all of us.

In February, sitting on the floor of my living room during our Sunday afternoon small group, Isaiah 61:3 found me.  

“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” ~Isaiah 61:3

Let's get this straight.  Anything Isaiah in trances me.  It's got my attention.  I love.me.some.Isaiah.  God knows that.  Upon the ending of our friend speaking this I smiled.  She was actually directing it toward another member of our group, but I now believe, it was for me.  Here was my water. 

So no lie y'all.  Since that Sunday afternoon in Feburary, this verse has come to me from another six times.  Three times by complete strangers who felt the need to speak that scripture to me and the fifth time was actually on television, with just the words "Beauty for Ashes."  This verse has come out of nowhere every.single.time I've needed it the most.  It's my guardian angel.  My reminder of peace and a plan.  My healing.  

The sixth time came just this past Tuesday night, during the first session of a Beth Moore Bible study at our church.

If you've been, you know where I'm going.

Beth asked us to open our Bible's to this:



There it was. Isaiah 61.  My new life-line....just given to me for the sixth time.  My guardian angel.  As you can see by my highlighting and pen, I'd already been there.  I had to sit back, laugh, and quietly say, "I got it God."  You have to admit, He's got some pretty stinkin' awesome timing and some not so suttle ways to get our attention!

My guardian angel, Isaiah 6,1 is my reminder that my crown of beauty is deliverance from troubles, any fears, worry, depression, anxiety, trauma, stress, and any and all of my strongholds.  It's freedom.  

Beauty for ashes.

Crown of beauty.

I’m ready.

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