Beauty for Ashes

Natasha Mwangi

whem-art-display

There’s a song by Crystal Lewis and Ron Kenoly called Beauty for Ashes that states in its chorus:

“He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair…”

This is exactly how I felt at my beloved Welcome Home Evangelistic Ministries 5th Anniversary Dinner where I was invited to share a brief testimony.

As I spoke with my dear friend, sister in Christ, mentor and Spiritual Mother, Reverend Winnie Manu, I felt choked up as we looked upon my art display. I had this mental imagery of the juxtaposition between my sales endeavours Pre and Post Christ.

Both endeavours being intimate and personal, however one was in bondage to Satan’s plans for my life – which weren’t really plans for life but to kill, steal and destroy my mind, body and soul…and the latter endeavour was/IS for the glory of the One True Living God – Jesus Christ – who is the author and giver of abundant life.

I remarked tearfully, “Look at this, I am still selling something of me – a God-given talent that He nurtured and developed in me in order to share his glory with others. I’m not selling a piece of my tail for money anymore and God would NEVER have me do that!”

He provides and has proven himself faithful over the past 19 years!  He has pulled me out of the mud and mire and has placed my feet upon a solid rock.  Thank you, Lord.

God is truly good. He is the One who redeems and heals with everlasting hope, true peace, and life giving purpose. He alone is truly able to create beauty from dirt, filth, shame, pain, hatred, guilt, betrayal and much more.

I strongly encourage anyone who’s experienced some kind of trauma, pain, betrayal or whatever you need that requires a miracle – a change of heart, a change of physical health, relational help, despair, anything – to try Jesus. Just try Him. You have nothing to lose.  I used to think this ‘God’ stuff was pure foolishness until I had a dynamic encounter with Him.  But that’s another story….

Before I met Jesus, I went through many types of counsellors in the past – nurse, social worker, crisis counsellor, psychiatrist, psychotherapist – and one even said I would never heal of sexual abuse but encouraged me that I would learn to cope with the pain. I disdainfully responded, “Whaaat?!  Then I may as well go home and just kill myself right now because I can’t do this for another 20 years.”  I had already had a number of suicide attempts under my belt by that young age in my early 20s.

But what that counsellor did not know was that – JESUS HEALS! – AND FOR FREE!!  (I will save for another time of how a demonic spirit of rejection swirled out of my body a week before I actually gave my life to Jesus!) Healing doesn’t usually happen overnight (though it can) – but with God, ALL things, ESPECIALLY HEALING, truly IS possible. He loves you more than you realize!

[And let me just say I am not discounting counsellors as I myself am still working on a Master of Divinity in Clinical Counselling.  I’m just saying true healing and freedom is in Christ Jesus alone.]

Check out the words to the song Beauty for Ashes. This really explains why I love Jesus. He has done so much for me and I yearn to share the hope of glory because I know what it feels like to not see any way out of darkness…

CHORUS:

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair (2x)

VERSE 1:

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy o’er your head
Know that tomorrow brings wholeness and healing
God knows your need, just believe what He said

(CHORUS)

VERSE 2:

When what you’ve done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings wholeness and healing
God knows your need just believe what He said

(CHORUS)

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I’ve been set free
I’ve been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I’ve been set free
I’ve been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

(CHORUS 2x)

Songwriters
Crystal Lewis

Published by
Metro One (ASCAP)

~ by Natasha Mwangi on November 17, 2016.

Thank you.

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