beauty instead of ashes…

I started this blog in September of 2007.  When I began thinking about a title for my blog I knew that I wanted to use a passage of scripture.  A review of some of my favorite passages took me to the book of Isaiah and the title Beauty Instead of Ashes. Little did I know what that would mean almost two years later…

The past few months have been filled with heavy, heartbreaking, circumstances in my own family and in the lives of some precious friends.  This past weekend life seemed to come to a halt when we got word that my dear friend who is like a sister had lost her Dad very unexpectedly.  In the short five minutes that it takes for me to drive from my house to hers I began to beg the Lord to give me the right words to say…I felt so inadequate.  As I knocked on the door I still had no words to say and the minute that I saw her I knew that I didn’t need any.  I gave her a hug and she began to weep…and I just wept with her.  Even as I am writing this there are tears in my eyes.  My heart is so broken for her.  For several hours that night we just talked and cried, and talked and cried.  God was so merciful…His grace was so evident in my beautiful friend.

I went to church the next morning and during worship we sang songs about God’s goodness, His worthiness to be praised, His wisdom…and all I could think was…”but, why God?”  Why this?  Why now?  Where is your goodness in all this?    As these thoughts filled my head for most of the day I wrestled with what I knew to be truth, but what my heart could not understand.  Then the title of my blog came to my mind…Beauty Instead of Ashes…and the Word that it comes from

…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 gladness instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise instead

of a spirit of despair.”

Isaiah 61:2-3

Beauty, goodness, praise…all in the midst of trial and pain….and all available to us because of Christ and what He has done for us.  Then the Lord brought  to my mind a picture that I had taken several months ago…


Once a year these unattractive, thorny, cactus (which are everywhere in South Texas) bloom these beautiful flowers.  Beauty in the midst of thorns.  Beauty that is more pronounced because of the thorns.  Beauty that is found because in our weakness He is strong, and His grace is sufficient, and He is close to the brokenhearted.  And that is where His goodness is found…


P.S.  I covet your prayers as I love and serve my dear friends…the road will be long.


5 thoughts on “beauty instead of ashes…

  1. You are a blessing…. thanks for the wisdom, reminder of HIS Word, and for being the friend who is just there for her… love you! We are praying for them and you all!

  2. great post, Jenn. sounds like you are being a very good friend.

    I can also attest to the way God makes beauty out of dark times. He is a Redeemer.

    I hope your friend will find the strength to cooperate with God as she walks the journey of grief.

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