A sweet quest post from my sister in Christ.
In the darkest times of my life, when the tears poured down my face as I gathered the broken pieces of my life close to my heart, two lies were spoken over me time and time again. I would always be broken and should be ashamed of it and I would never be used in the kingdom of God again.
Enter Isaiah 61, where He speaks of beauty. Beauty received and beauty bestowed. Both were the longings of my heart and I am guessing the longings of your heart too.
One of the most holy parts about leading Beauty for Ashes Uganda has been the opportunity to see and bestow beauty. We get to watch as miracle after miracle is performed for the poorest of the poor: clean water where there was none, children attending school who had prayed for it for years and mamas who’ve been abused finally realizing their worth. It doesn’t stop there, though. I get emails every day from donors and advocates and those who’ve gone to Uganda with us that detail how God is using this journey to bring beauty to their own lives They are finding perspective and inspiration, they are believing and trusting for more and seeing God in action in their own lives and in the world around them.
You see, these promises are for us and through us. We can read these words to find promises of hope and beauty for our own broken places while feeling commissioned to be bestowers of beauty and rebuilders of broken places.
So hold out your hands and let me speak the words over you. I know you might be in the grocery store, in car line, surrounded by littles or by work or dishes, you may be snuggled up in your bed — but I invite you to allow one minute for holiness. Stop, quiet your heart and receive. For you and through you. If I were with you, I would ask you to close your eyes. I would rest my hands gently on your head. I would let my tears for your brokenness and for your longing to be more to fall down my face as I spoke gently over you….
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
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 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.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.”
Did you hear Him whisper that He will bind up your broken heart? Did you hear Him whisper that He will use you to stand with the broken? This is for you. And through you. I commission you. To heal and to be healers in this world.
If you want to be a part of beauty in Uganda or anywhere else in the world, email Candice or I. We have friends all over the globe and would love to put you in contact with amazing organizations so you may be a part of rebuilding the broken places. firstname.lastname@example.org