Beauty from Ashes.
That is the title of Breaking Free by Beth Moore, Week 6. Wow! What a chapter this turned out to be.
The story below is one of horror. One no female ever expects to encounter, but it happens all to often even in todays society.
2 Samuel 13:7-19
David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.”So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down. She took some dough, kneaded it, made the bread in his sight and baked it.Then she took the pan and served him the bread, but he refused to eat.
“Send everyone out of here,” Amnon said. So everyone left him.Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food here into my bedroom so I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom.But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, my sister.”
“No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you. ”But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.
Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!”
“No!” she said to him. “Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me.”
But he refused to listen to her. He called his personal servant and said, “Get this woman out of my sight and bolt the door after her. ”So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. She was wearing an ornate robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornate robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.
Happily Ever After
As little girls we dream of growing up and living happily ever after. Our Prince shows up to rescue us from what ever our childhood had tormented us with and we ride off into the sunset with the man of our dreams. We get married in a beautiful ceremony, white dress, lovely flowers, etc. Then we hope for babies and to live happily ever after. Till the end.
What happens when those dreams are shattered? When we are used and abused? When all we see in the mirror is a young woman broken and shameful? What then?
The reality is many women feel they are not worthy. They feel broken, used and shameful instead of beautiful and worthy of happily ever after. Much of why we feel this way isn’t always what has happened to us personally, but what society is doing to us.
Women are being demoralized by porn, rape, beauty ads, feminism and lesbianism. As women we are loosing what the Lord had intended for us.
13 All glorious is the princess within her chamber
her gown is interwoven with gold.
14 In embroidered garments she is led to the king;
her virgin companions follow her—
those brought to be with her.
15 Led in with joy and gladness,
they enter the palace of the king.
2 Corinthians 6:18
“I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
WE are the daughters of the KING!
We have an advesary though. The enemy Satan. He prowls around like a roaring lion seeking for someone to devour. He knows how effective and influential women are in the Lords plan, so if he can keep us in strongholds of exploitation, sexploitation, distortion and desolation, then we will be much less than what we were made for.
Coming from one who was abused and promiscuous as a teen I see that as women we have two options. We can either live in shame and regret because of our past hurts and sins OR we can live redeemed as the daughters of the one true King.
The Lords plans for us are so much more than what we could have ever planned as little girls. Our Happily Ever After was the design of the Lord. We can have happily ever after no matter our past, if we grasp hold of the Lords hand and choose to walk in His merciful light. Allowing His truth from the Word take hold of the dark places of our hearts to heal us of our wounds will give us the strength we need to let go of shame and regret.
I have chosen not to let the enemy make me think I am less than enough. I choose to live redeemed in the Lord.
What about you? Are you living in shame and regret or are you living redeemed? If you’re not quite there yet, what can you do now to move in the direction of redemption?