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Grow Where You’re Planted- Even in the Ashes

“I’ll start reading my Bible every day when I have time.”
“I’ll go on a mission trip when I have the money for it.”
“I’ll start seeking God after I’m done doing all the fun things in my life.”

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of ever thinking any of these things. Yeah, me too.

I do this thing where I’m constantly waiting until I feel like I’m good enough to be used by God. I always wait for a time where it will be convenient to dedicate my life to Him.

We will never be worthy of the work Christ does in our life. Which is what makes it so beautiful that he justified that for us through His death.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” –Ephesians 3:20

His. Power. Is. In. Us.

Nothing we do apart from His power will ever be worthwhile.

No stage of life we are in will ever make a difference in God’s ability to work through us. Our willingness is the only thing that matters.

I recently made a new friend. As soon as she learned my name was Ashton Elizabeth she was stunned and said she had felt a call to name her first daughter the same name. She had researched the meaning of the name and told me that Ashton means “in the city of ashes” and Elizabeth means “my God is abundant”. Wow.

“In the city of ashes, my God is abundant.”

How did it take me almost 23 years to learn this about my own name?

In the Bible, when you were going through a hard time it was customary to lay around in a pile of black ashes and this made everyone publicly aware that you were suffering. Nothing about this is beautiful but everything about it is easy.

I can equate my modern day ashes to being the broken little girl sitting in the parking lot of a bar during the middle of the night sobbing with mascara all over her face.

I’m sure I gave those Biblical ashes a real run for their money. I was taking the easy way out of a really hard situation. I can promise you nothing about me was beautiful that night.

…but thank God the story doesn’t have to end there.

He gives us beauty for our ashes.

“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” –Isaiah 61:3

He dusts off our ashes and makes us beautiful again. He came alongside me and wiped the runny mascara off my face and told me He wanted to give me a joy bigger than the pain I was feeling. He made me beautiful again.

He offers a hope greater than our sorrows. Bigger than our failures. Better than our past.

He gives us a new name.

We get so wrapped up in what we can do for God that we often forget HE does everything through us. We are nothing but humble vessels.

He can use anyone, at any age, and any stage to magnify His glory. You’re never too broken to be fixed by the Healer.

He can take those broken pieces and put them back together. Your light shines best through the cracks.

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7 thoughts on “Grow Where You’re Planted- Even in the Ashes

  1. My name is Ashley and I recently had someone pray for me and he opened up with “Lord how fitting is it that you call your daughter Ashley and you make beauty from Ashes.” That phrase has stuck with me ever since. This post was amazing Ash, I so enjoyed reading it. I really needed it tonight! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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