BEAUTY FOR ASHES

Do you believe that when God takes something away from your life that He replaces it with something better?   In other words, as a song sings… “Beauty for Ashes”?   Well, I never really thought about it very much until lately. And, let me say “better” is a relative term. Better to some may not be better to others. Let me explain a little.

When I was traveling – in my last job – I used to have a backpack that I had all kinds of “stuff” in.  On my next to last trip, part of that “stuff”  was my $35 pair of sunglasses that I had had for three years. I purchased them when I got my new glasses. I loved them and they fit over my glasses and they didn’t have a scratch on them. I kept them perfect for three years, and that is saying A LOT! Not one scratch! I remember where I had them. I had put them (in their case) in one of the pockets on the side of my backpack. They must have worked their way out of the pocket. So… I didn’t have sunglasses. I was VERY sad! Not to mention I HATE throwing away money. I have always worn sunglasses too! My eyes have always been very sensitive to light.

Anyway, on my last trip, I was in Chino Hills, California with a pair of sunglasses that I had purchased at Walmart. Nice but not quite like my other ones. Not as expensive either. Nonetheless, as I was about to leave a parking lot where I had been shopping for food for the week I was there, I looked in the middle of the road and there was something laying there. As I got closer I could see it was a glasses case. I was so afraid the car coming was going to run over it before I could get to it. You see… I always find things to pick up along the way. My mom and dad have even called me a “trash picker” because I find things all the time along the side of the road to bring home. Very nice things that people just toss out for whatever reason.   I guess it’s better than finding another dog and bringing it home… although that almost happened a couple of times… ok, back to my story. I parked quickly and ran to the street where the glasses case was laying. I picked them up and found a pretty nice glasses case and the corner had been chewed by some sharp little puppy teeth – awwww… the person that lost this had a puppy…then I opened it up and neatly wrapped in a glasses cleaner cloth was a VERY NICE pair of Ray Bans. They were prescription sunglasses and WAY TO STRONG for my eyes. However, the frames are very nice. I took them to my eye doctor when I had my appointment and asked the lady at the glasses counter about them. She said they were fairly new and cost around $250. So… when I get new glasses I just may use them for my new frames … I am not sure…selly

Then, if you want to hear another story about having something taken away (or losing it) and something better provided it will be about my job situation. You know I had the last job only 64 days… I loved it. However, it was beginning to wear on my neck and back with all the traveling. I was doing OK though. Then after 64 days they let me go for a stupid reason… I have NEVER been let go from a job in all my life… and I am not a young whipper snapper… lol. Anyway, they let me go and I was totally devastated and depressed for several days!  I could not understand why God took this job away from me… or better phrased… why He allowed it to happen.  I don’t believe He “took it away” … Anyway, If you know me you know that I don’t get depressed. I am a very positive person and usually always upbeat and think the best of most situations. This was different. I just knew this had been the right job for me. I guess they thought different.  Bygones…

I survived and after a few days began to carry on. I began to put more resumes out and I mean more! I applied for unemployment and got it. So I was on my way. In a month and two days I received an email from a Training Manager for a computer learning center here in the area. We made a time for an interview. My phone interview was on a Friday evening at 5:45 pm and lasted an hour and forty five minutes. I have never had an interview of any kind that lasted that long. When we first started though, our conversation was about dogs, so I knew it was going to go well. LOL…

During the interview she asked if I would be interested in doing a “Test Teach” for them next week sometime. This is where I would be giving a presentation for them so they could see my style of training, etc. So we agreed and she made a statement in closing but I wasn’t sure what she said … so I said… “I apologize, you broke up, could you repeat?” I was shocked with her statement and very pleased at the same time. She repeated it and she said… “I think you would be a great fit for our team.” I was just about to soar through the ceiling… but I graciously thanked her for her time and told her I looked forward to next week and the Test Teach. Then… I hung up the phone and felt elated …Beauty_for_Ashes_Graphic I was so excited. I haven’t felt that excited in a LONG time. To shorten the story, I did my test teach on the following Wednesday and by Friday at 6 pm I heard back from the Training Manager. She said she wanted to call me before the weekend and offer me the job if I wanted it. OH MAN OH MAN!!! I of course said “YES!!” You see, this is a Training job … only Training. Training software which is what I am good at. Microsoft Suite software. They pay for my Microsoft Certifications and that is A BIG DEAL to me. Very little travel and mostly around the Metroplex area. Very little overnight travel. Oh my goodness… I start on June 1st.

So… yes, I believe God sometimes allows “things” to be removed from your life for various reasons but He knows what is best for each and every one of us. He sees the BIG picture. We only see a little right now. The Word of God says this about what God gives…

Isaiah 61:3 New International Version (NIV)

  “…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.”

Beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning and peace for despair. This Video below is an old song sung by Crystal Lewis and Ron Kenoly but it is such a good song for this scripture. The words are a bit different but the meaning is the same. God gives us what we need … all we have to do is to have faith and trust His heart. He will never lead us wrong. We may not understand the circumstances sometimes, but He always has our best in His heart.

The Video – Beauty For Ashes – Crystal Lewis and Ron Kenoly

Now did God place those sunglasses there… well, I doubt He made the other person lose them so I could find them… but all things happen for a reason. If you love the Lord… all things work together for good. His Word tells us so.

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

The job… yes, I believe God planned for this new job to be mine. I heard in my heart last year, while I was sitting in the call center… wondering when … OH WHEN… I could get out of the call center and into a job that suited me and my abilities better. I was praying and just pouring my heart out to God that day. I remember it like it was yesterday. I heard in my spirit… “Leah, you will be out of here and in a new job by June of next year.” Folks, that “next year” is 2015! This year! I start my new job on June 1st! So… I believe He planned it for me. I don’t understand all of the particulars but I know it’s for me and from Him. The other job was just a “passing thing” I guess. Also, it might have been meant for someone other than me – I mean my time at my last job may have been for someone else to gain something from that instead of me. I believe those things can happen. I believe my time at the call center was for mostly someone else or more than one someone else. I grew a lot there too, and I believe God worked through me to touch others there. So… just because you are in a particular place doesn’t mean you are there only for you. It might be, and more than likely, is for someone else also.  And, more than likely, it is not forever.

So, with all that said, I will close for now and pray that you find your “place” that He has for you as well. I know many are searching and hurting out there. I know some are in bad situations whether it be a job or relationship or geographical location. I get it! I have been right where you are, more than likely. Keep trusting that the Lord will provide a way for you.

I just thought of this and have to share it… When I was at a church down in South East Texas, we had a concert that was fantastic. A particular narration during the concert was done by the Worship Pastor. His voice was so compelling and spoke volumes to me and to many others at the time. I want to share those words with you now. I just feel led to share his words. They will touch your heart, I am certain of it.

“Holy is the Lord our God. Almighty, Omnipotent Majesty. The Most High God. This same God that fashioned the universe and called the world into being, knows you by name. He has ordained this time in your life. This very minute. This exact second. The Father is concerned with all that concerns you. He knows your heart. He knows your struggles. He has seen you in the times of incredible victory and He has been there in the times when you have been overwhelmingly defeated. Calling you by name… crying out to you to cast your cares upon Him. He calls out to you now with a still small voice. Come to me… all who are tired and weary with cares. Find rest in my arms. Come home.”

Wherever you are… He has you there for a reason. He loves you so very much! After all, He calls you His beloved!

The Song – He Knows My Name – Paul Baloche

The Video – He Knows My Name – Paul Baloche

https://youtu.be/uu9K5kzKPcQ

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