Beauty in the ashes

burningbook-e1362437188798-150x150Column Post by Aj Luck

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

T. S. Eliot

Writing has always been a comfort to me, so when I found myself in an ugly, uncomfortable abusive marriage several years ago I found solace in my journal. In 2000 I attempted to write my first novel.

Today, I ran across an old journal entry from 2009. I would love to share it with you.

Dear Journal,
Yesterday afternoon I decided to crack open my “novel in progress”. It’s been years in the making now, and I wonder if I will ever find the courage to finish it. There are months where I can hardly stomach to look at it, let alone work on it.  Each plot line is a memory that reminds me of the abuse and neglect. I hate myself for not seeing it sooner. Why did I stay so long? It’s my story. I thought it would be easier, “more therapeutic” to write from a voice of fiction. Maybe I was wrong. Each moment was walked out through rainstorms of tears and crying out to God for healing.

I keep trying to get the words right, but I still hate him.  What will people think of me if they ever really read this?”

Who am I kidding—I mean, really? My therapeutic writing is more like evil vengeance.  I want to erase the pain.”

After I wrote the journal entry, I grabbed my manuscript and decided it was time to get honest about the motive behind my words. They were mean and manipulative. How could God get glory out of my story when I was holding onto my wounded heart so tightly?

In my heart I knew what I needed to do. I stacked several hundred manuscript page and placed them into my fireplace as a burnt offering unto the Lord.

I watched the pages twist, turn and squirm under the heat. My eyes glistened with tears as I saw them dance with the flames while watching the words melt off the pages. Hanging my head, I cried. With each fallen tear I was finally able release many years of hurt. For the first time ever I gave myself permission to walk away from my past.

It was at this point I decided to give myself permission to leave the book alone until I felt truly ready to pick it back up and write it from a heart that is no longer wounded but full of compassion. I want to be the vessel through which God can continue to tell His story of redemption. This is where I need to trust God’s timing—not only for healing, but for His purposes for my life.

I would like to encourage you to do the same. I know you have been through some painful things in your life as well. Won’t you allow your pain to be an offering to God, allow Him to truly bring you beauty for ashes?

 . . . . . . . . . .

AjBioPic9.12Aj is a blogger, bookworm, wife and mommy, and an author of children’s books, spiritual thrillers, and inspirational works. Aj’s blog, Shattered Perspectives, is dedicated to encouraging and helping women who have suffered and/or are struggling with abuse. In her spare time Aj can be found nursing cold Diet Cokes and searching for awesome bargains in nearby thrift stores. She resides in Florida with her husband, son, two dogs and the biggest diva of a Siamese cat ever, and can be reached by email at

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

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