“All Stitched Up”by Guest Writer: Blakni Riley

Healing changes things, so like viewing a movie on playback, the ability to pause and observe pain simultaneous with grace, while cloaked in peace surrounds me.  Even when I’ve begged Him to let me go. 

When we first found out something was amiss with our youngest daughter, we hunted scripture to sustain us. 

“The Lord Himself will fight for you. You simply need to be calm.” Exodus 14:14

Fitting words, as we had zero idea we were merely entering a season of mourning that we prayed and believed wholeheartedly against. I don’t doubt that it will always rub my heart that His answer of healing here was no.  I thought Him fighting for me meant He would say yes.  Instead, He fought for me to heal by giving me Himself. 

Forging me in the fire over a period of several years, He took every insult and hurt I hurled at Him in unfaithfulness, and He remained faithful. 

If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is. 2 Timothy 2:13 NLT

As we began our exodus from the fire and into life again, our attention was drawn to a new verse. This verse speaks of rising from the ashes and that’s exactly what was happening, ever so slowly, yet right on time.  Rising, as new creations, scarred as the old but yet completely new at the same time.  

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3. NLT

Scars get such a bad rap.  Sometimes all it takes is one glance and we are transported to exactly what left this permanent mark on our bodies. Often we try to hide them, because acknowledging them requires more than we are comfortable sharing with others. Too many questions, a look of pity, awkward moments, all of it.  You know what I’m talking about.  We all have them.  It’s part of living this life on Earth.  No one escapes it.  It’s just one more reason to be thankful this is not our forever home. 

At the same time, if  our scars are reminders of what we’ve SURVIVED, doesn’t it also make sense that those same scars can also serve to remind us of just how far we’ve come?  And perhaps, maybe we shouldn’t always try to keep them hidden away?  

New tissue forms through the wound.  There is no erasing or hiding of the wound.  It simply provides a covering to promote healing.  A meshing of the old with the new.  Our scars tell a story of survival.  They tell of what was endured and remind us that we have overcome. 

What if our scars are exactly what someone around us needs to keep forging forward, so their wounds develop coverings too?  

Beauty really does rise from the ashes.  Not because it’s a beautiful process.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  No.  It can be significantly hideous.  That’s beside the point.  The beauty comes from the refining of the fire and the transformation of one to something new.  Something truly stunning that draws others near.  

Consider Christ.  His hands.  His feet.  His body.  Broken.  Beat down.  Shattered.  Obedient.  

What did His scars produce?  

Life. 

For everyone.  

True beauty from the ashes.  

Rise up, friends.    

Blakni Riley is well acquainted with the one, two sucker punches called grief and loss.   Yanked unwillingly into the ring after yet another death, she was confronted with her beliefs about Christ. She dared to pursue God based on Who He said He is and is now actively responding to her call to minister to other wounded hearts to share her message of His Faithfulness. Connect with Blakni on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/blakniriley/ Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/blakni https://www.facebook.com/athousandthoughtsbyblakni and on her website: athousandthoughtsbyblakni.com.

We thank you, Blakni, for contributing to this month’s publication of Titus-two.com, talking about “Beauty for Ashes.”

You are loved to Heaven and Back ~~

LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary

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