To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
It was my second session ever with a Christian therapist. (Am I allowed to share this bit of taboo information?) She looked at me and asked, " So is there anything that you've been reflecting on from this week that you want to share?
"Yes" I said. " I've been reflecting on the fact that I think I am crazy and there is no hope for me."
" Julie" she laughed, " If you are crazy then I am crazy!"
" Good to know there is two of us then." I smiled
She leaned over and looked me in the eye, " The truth is whenever there is growth and change it can be very scary, you grieve your old self as you acknowledge the wounds and uncover the lies you believe. As you set out on this journey seeking His truth, the path may seem very unsettling at first. You are learning healthy boundaries. You are learning that it is OK to question things and express yourself. You are learning to trust again. This may be new ground and unfamiliar territory but remember that Jesus promised that if we seek Him
we will find Him.
Jesus wants to
give you beauty for your ashes.
Trust me Julie, you will one day be able to spread your wings and fly."
I giggled as I pondered the fact that I have a crazy therapist.
The option that I am sane amidst all the crazy triggers, depression, pain, built up walls and self- beat up sessions I've been going through while detoxing from unhealthy relationships, spiritual abuse and years of squashing all my emotions underground didn't seem very likely.
I mean what did I have to offer Jesus during this fiery furnace season of my life?
All I had was
Not something that is a worthwhile gift to bring to the feet of Jesus in Christian circles. In fact it is can be an unspoken mark of shame. I bet most who struggle with pain, depression or mourning do so in
For most of my life I practiced white knuckled Christianity. I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and cleaned me up before I came to His feet.
Kind of like fixing your hair before going to see your hairstylist.
Painting your toe nails before going to your manicurist.
It is just plain goofy logic don't you think?
But I couldn't see how Jesus could redeem such ugly, shameful things. Who wants to admit they are in a season of mourning, ashes or heaviness?
My pride says, this is NOT the route to go if you want to, Win Friends and Influence People.
The TRUTH said, " Every single one of my children have seasons of mourning, heaviness and ashes.
There is no shame. I want you to say
good bye to self sufficiency
and grab my hand my beloved. Jesus took me to the foot of the cross where grace and suffering meet. His grace and love poured over me with abundance.
It was there that I traded my ashes for beauty. The beauty of His truth, hope, love and grace embedded into my heart.
The oil of joy came by knowing the truth that I was loved, fought for and not alone.
Was I skipping and clapping my hands kissing babies and spreading fairy dust wherever I went after that?
It was a quiet joy found when I meditated on His truth and worshipped Him with my heart and soul.
I am loved.
There is hope.
This season will not last forever.
It is a process.
Jesus is giving me beauty for ashes.
To know that makes my heart sing.
To my beloved readers. Have you had seasons where you have found yourself in a place of mourning or heaviness? Have you felt shame for feeling such things? What beautiful things is Jesus making from the ashes in your life?