As the baby’s father cuddled her, the mother went on to explain how getting help from AAA Life Services was just what she needed to get her life back on track.
There was a beauty in watching that young mother speak and hold her baby at that dinner.
It was the ultimate picture of what happens when someone chooses to be made new by the gentle hand of God.
A song sung earlier in the program “Beautiful Things” echoed her story exactly: “You make beautiful things out of the dust. …You make beautiful things out of us. You make me new.”
After the woman spoke, I was amazed at how well I could relate to her struggles. Well, maybe most of us can. She’s not the only one who’s spent time at the bottom of that pit.
Another young woman made her way to the podium after that and started her story out with a question, “Have you ever felt shame? Real, deep-down shame? Shame for the things you’ve done, where you’ve been and what’s been done to you?
“That’s where I was when I was a 20-year-old college junior.”
I was amazed at this woman’s candidness and the freedom with which she shared about her own destructive behavior.
“I was doing my best to outrun God’s love for me, “ she said. And went on to explain how her hurt damaged her relationship with God.
She too, ended up at AAA Life Services where she received love and peer counseling and was awakened to the redemptive power of God.
Concluding her testimony, the young women let us know that in the end she turned to God. And joyfully she informed us that she and her new husband had their first child on the way.
Joyce Meyer was a victim of mental, physical, emotional and sexual abuse as a child. Easily, she could have walked the road of the victim. She deserved to right? I mean, just look at her past.
But today Meyer is one of the world’s leading teachers of the Bible. She’s authored over 80 books, has spoken to over 200,000 women in her conferences and reaches a potential 4.5 billion people with her Christian television and radio show, “Enjoying Everyday Life.”
Meyer’s life epitomizes what God can do through a person who is yielded to him.
In her book “Beauty for Ashes,” Meyer’s reaches out to victims of abuse who are, just like she was, trapped in a life of shame, fear and unforgiveness.
She writes: “My schooling, degrees, experience and qualifications to teach on this subject come from personal experience. I always say, ‘I graduated from the school of life.’ I claim the words of the prophet Isaiah (see below) as my diploma. … God has exchanged my ashes for beauty and has called me to help others to learn to allow Him to do the same for them.”
So what do you think? Have you been burnt and got some “ashes” you’re dealing with?
Handing them over to God can be a beautiful thing.
61 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, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 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.