When I put the ashes of my life into the hands of the Lord, He fulfilled His promise in the Bible and gave me beauty. On my wedding anniversary last week, also the anniversary of Angel Gabriel’s journey to heaven, and with divorce papers on the way, I expected the worst when I opened the mailbox. Instead, I saw the glory of the Lord once more.
I rifled through the small pile of mail, I opened the single thick envelope, and within 30 seconds the Jeremy Camp song “Walk by Faith” came on the radio. The timing was perfect. I burst into tears – of joy. On the very day I did not think I could stand any more pain, the Internal Revenue Service had written to say it had granted Walk by Faith Ministry 501c3 tax-exempt status.
For anyone unfamiliar with applying for this status, the process is extremely long, daunting, challenging, overwhelming, and expensive. While most people might not find beauty in receiving a letter from the IRS, I did.
In the very same year my husband abandoned me and cut off spousal support with no warning or explanation, choosing a lifestyle incompatible with a healthy marriage, and decided to divorce me, I watched my marriage and vision for my future burn until there were no remains but ashes.
But when I surrendered all to the Lord, He not only took the hardness off my heart and changed me from the inside out, but He gave me the vision for Walk by Faith Ministry and the time, strength, and ability to create it and to apply for and receive non-profit status.
Rather than fall into an abyss of despair and give up on God and His purpose for me and my life because of my husband’s choices, I gave Him my brokenness and He gave me His beauty. He took the broken woman I had become and created through me a ministry that would share the Gospel and help broken lives like my own.
Now, through Walk by Faith Ministry, which specializes in the people and dogs the world has given up on, the Lord can use me and others to touch the lives of people just like me and dogs like the ones in my care.
When amidst ashes, mourning, and heaviness, we have two choices. We can get swallowed up in the pain of it all, or we can give God our broken hearts and let Him be glorified in the beauty He creates.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 KJV