A Crown of Beauty Instead of Ashes

Have you wondered how God can give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes?

Here is a sneak peek of my guest post at Medium.com for Koinonia about how God gives us a crown of beauty instead of ashes.

It has been nearly two years since the greatest loss of my life and I could not believe that it still hurt so much. It was a Sunday morning before church. I woke up with a feeling of heaviness and despair, an icy ball in my stomach, and an urge to cry, although no tears were coming out. I just wanted to close my eyes and continue sleeping, hoping I could be with my love again, at least in my dreams.

Two years. It has been two years of living a life that I didn’t choose for myself and I didn’t want. With the unexpected death of my husband and best friend, I lost the things I cherished the most after my relationship with God: my family that made me secure and protected, my godly husband who was the closest person I had in this life, my expectations of a future together and my nest in the beautiful country of Austria.

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Living in Ashes

So many unbearable losses! Every day I long for his love, companionship, and ordinary, daily moments with him. I simply miss his presence, which was an integral part of my life.

Loneliness became my constant companion. Even when I am among people, enjoying their voices and presence, I feel alone. Nobody can understand my grief. I keep talking to people and friends sometimes, but often they don’t answer me, and it is obvious the topic makes them feel awkward.

Nearly every day, I ask God: “How can I live without Thomas?”, “Do you have a future for me and what does it look like?” In my grief, the most difficult thing for me is to imagine my future. All my hopes, dreams, and expectations died. The loss cut them with the sharp knife of permanent separation.

Finding Strength in the Lord When We Face Losses

On that day, I went through the motions of preparing myself for the church, desperately crying to God to give me some kind of comfort and hope and to meet me personally during the service.

He did.

Read the rest of the post at Medium.com and be strengthened and encouraged.

More Encouragement for You

If you need more resources to encourage you and help you when you face losses and deal with grief, I can highly recommend these books. Check them out.

The Book of Comforts

The Book of Comforts by Hadassah Treu

Draw Near: How Painful Experiences Become the Birthplace of Blessings by Hadassah Treu

A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry L. Sittser

A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life by Jerry L. Sittser

Restoration Year – a 365 Days Devotional by John Eldredge

All Things New by John Eldredge

It’s not supposed to Be This Way by Lisa Terkeurst

The Grief Guidebook: Common Questions, Compassionate Answers, Practical Suggestions by Gary Roe

Grieving the Write Way Journal and Workbook by Gary Roe

Suffering and the Heart of God by Diane Langberg

Hope When Life Unravels: Finding God When It Hurts by Adam Dooley

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Your Turn

What losses do you face now in your life? Can you trust the Lord to bring restoration and healing? If you found this post helpful, please comment and share it on social media. Thanks!

My Ziklag may lie down in ashes, but God is able to resurrect my life and bring out the unfathomable beauty of healing and redemption from the ashes. #redemption #healing #encouragement Click To Tweet

Do you want to watch this post as a vlog? Click HERE. If you found it helpful, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thanks!

God’s will for us was and always is to move us from destruction toward restoration and from loss toward victory. #restoration #encouragement Click To Tweet

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16 Replies to “A Crown of Beauty Instead of Ashes”

  1. Beautifully written, Hadassah, “His will for me was and always is to move me from destruction towards restoration and from loss towards victory.”

    I think people are at a loss of what to say because deep grief is hard to understand unless you have experienced it. That’s why grief groups are so helpful! It’s a gathering of a group of people who DO understand because they’re in the trenches of grief too.

    1. Thanks so much for your encouraging words, Lisa! Yes, you are right: grief groups are very helpful because the people there do understand although every grief journey is unique.

  2. It’s amazing the way the Lord can give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes when we are at our lowest. He is truly faithful. I’m not sure what people do without the hope Jesus gives. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! Yes, the Lord is faithful and He gives us hope and brings restoration into our lives. Blessings to you!

  3. Continuing to pray for you. May the LORD continue to reveal His divine purpose and plan as you go forward. I am thankful for the life of your dear husband and for those years of memories you do have.

    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer! I appreciate your prayers! Yes, I seek the Lord to give me the strength to move forward into the future He has planned for me.

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