The stories of people who have been through unthinkable pain and experiences makes one want to cry, while standing in awe of the beauty that has come from all the chaos. God will bring beauty for ashes from the experiences of: the darkest pit, the most shattered heart, the fractured mind, broken lives, and bodies.
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💕Isaiah 61:1-3” The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to com
💕Isaiah 61:1-3” The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 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.”💕
Pushed To The Frontlines
By Tiffany Jacobsen
My name is Tiffany and I’m a believer who has struggled with my identity in Him and self worth. My life didn’t start out easy, but God he never left my side(Deuteronomy 31:6). Most people are welcomed into this world when they are born, that may have been the case for a short time. But my story is far from waking up as a child in the loving arms of a father and mother. My parents were both addicts, at one point in my life they were trafficking me and drugs. My innocence was taken at a very young age by them and the people they partied with. My worth was already diminished, my innocence robbed by the very ones that were supposed to protect me. Eventually my dad left, and my mom had me until the age of two…until one day she chose to not want to be a part of my life either. She chose drugs over me.
Who was this little girl nobody wanted, who was she that people thought they had a right to take my innocence?
The day came when a neighbor heard this little girl crying, she called the police saying that nobody had been in that home for weeks and there was a girl inside the house. The cops came and found this girl in the corner, legs crossed soiled diaper, blanket and teddy bear, legs stuck crossed because that was the position of protection after violations took place. So, at an early age I learned I was unwanted and worthless, not worth protecting. This, I believe was the time when God had been my 911, he protected me under the shadow of his wings until the police found me.(Psalm 91)
The day they found me was the day you’d think I would be brought somewhere safe. That’s not how my journey evolved. They had called my dad who had moved to Wisconsin and went to rehab, which is where he met his new wife, my stepmother. They brought me to his new family, and it was just the beginning of a pivotal point in my life and led to how I would be defined by others and my worth not acknowledged. My dad was a businessman, had his own business as an IT and still trafficked drugs. He was hardly home, always in his office. So, I was left to be in the care of his new wife. It looked perfect on the outside, nice house, luxury vehicles displayed in the yard, we sat in front row on Sunday, and I went to private Christian school until I was in 8th grade. I participated in cheerleading and track, in school. But looks on the outside aren’t always what they seem.
Every day I would be walking on eggshells not knowing what mood my stepmother would be in. You see this woman my dad married was emotionally and very physically abusive towards me. Again, another message learned in life by the world that I was not worth protecting, I was not worth being fought for. At a moment in time she had finally got caught after all the years of abuse she had bashed my head until I blacked out and had ringing in my ears. The next day cops came to the school to take me to foster care because her abuse of me had been reported. Did my dad leave her… did my dad fight for me.? No. Another day just left and forgotten, another message I am not important.
The day I went into a foster home was the first day I felt God’s peace, I finally felt safe. There were horses on this farm, and this is an important part of my journey, near these horses, was the first time I experienced God’s presence, comfort and peace. To this day horses are a huge comfort for me; yet this moment of peace and comfort lasted but a few days.
My mother had found out I was in foster care and wanted to take me out of my one safe place. Side-note she was still active in her addiction, she found my dad made a good amount of money back in 80’s, $600,000 a year was a substantial amount of money, she didn’t want me, she wanted the child support. So, I was taken out of my one safe haven into more chaos, drinking, drugs, partying and more violations of my innocence. My mother would get drunk and tell me she never wanted me, I was a mistake, and because of violations, I was also a slut. These are the words that defined me growing up.
The county caught on to the abuse and at age 15 I was emancipated from my mother. I then went to teen crisis centers, hospitals, lived on the streets. I was making bids on beds at Dorothy Day House so I would have a warm bed to sleep in. I tried getting a hold of my dad through phone at shelter, of course my stepmom answered and told me he couldn’t help me; again, he chose her over me. Throughout this timeframe, I felt lost I had no meaning… I had wanted to die I had many attempts of suicide, but God kept saving me, I didn’t know what my purpose was. Of course, through this journey I found someone that told me he loved me, and I fell for it.
19 and now married, I became the victim of domestic violence, my husband brutally beat me for three years, we had a son together. He beat me while I was pregnant and in front of our son, Dante. After he tried taking my life, I divorced him and gave my son up for adoption so he could have the family I never had. The toll it took on my heart to let go of my son so he could have a better life was heavy, to give him a life and family I couldn’t offer. It was the hardest choice I had to make, to know he was safe and had family gave me peace in my heart. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices of the heart for those you love. Those sacrifices can be heartbreaking but necessary, a sacrifice I wish my parents would have done for me.
This indescribable loss was followed by two more abusive relationships. Searching for a love that was never given to me when I myself couldn’t define love. One bad choice after another. I kept slipping away into more hopelessness. My private Christian school education planted faith in my heart. I still had that seed of faith and it was fighting inside me to grow and fight to live. It was after the third abusive relationship that I knew I would never settle again and wait on God’s best, but before that could happen I had to heal and love myself.
Over the years, I have had a long season of being single. A season where God has healed my heart. For the first time in my life at age 41 I am strong enough to face this head on and face the pain and feelings that come with it. The fear of sharing my story after being silenced for so long, consumed me. But to rise up in boldness and share my story to help give hope is why I finally stood up and wrote.
I thought, nobody wants to hear about the dirt of the family and that is exactly what I was…the dirt. But…during these years of being single I have filled my heart with God, I have let God fill and heal those empty places. He proves over and over again how amazing his love and grace are. He has been my comforter and healer through this all. He gave me strength when I was weak and gave me the boldness to rise up out of the darkness and keep fighting for freedom.
After all that happened to me, I was diagnosed with complex PTSD and this led me to engaged in an intensive outpatient program that helped me grow stronger and overcome these memories that haunt my mind. I was very blessed to find a christian counselor. So, in this season I have absolutely realized that God is my number one focus and everything else will fall into place. He picked up the shattered pieces of my heart, my broken dreams, all of it rebuilt something beautiful. My heart is now full, I’m beginning to let people in, I’m not afraid to love again. My standards have been set high, because for once in my life I love myself and know that I am worthy of love, that in itself was hard to say even a year ago. I believe getting the help you need to get to the root of the issues is absolutely necessary to move forward in this journey we call life. Without it counseling and God helping me through, I would still be in a very dark place, stuck in the past no vision for what’s ahead. But through it he has given me amazing healing and fresh vision for what’s ahead.
Through this journey of healing I have made some amazing friends and I have finally begun to enjoy life again. I am starting to stand up and speak my story and I pray it gives hope. I now volunteer with human anti-trafficking ministries and I will do whatever it takes to raise awareness and fight for freedom for those still out there. It’s time to arise and fight, because if God can help me overcome, He can help anyone. He is faithful.
When God isn’t the filling of that void, it can lead to bad choices and relationships.
Most of us that have had past histories similar to this seem to attract these things. Hence it’s important to stand on the frontlines and raise awareness for trafficking and to fight for justice. Being a victim of trafficking no longer defines who we are.
Knowing God fills that void is an amazing comfort. When we start filling ourselves with God’s truth, these are the fruits:
• We no longer settle for being treated a certain way.
• We value who we are.
• We start dreaming again;
• We start hoping again.
It took many years to get where I am today. I pray that whoever is reading this right now knows you are worth fighting for and God loves you with an everlasting love. He doesn’t see the mistakes or the stains of your past. You are truly a new creation in him.It is my heart to tell women that you are valuable ,you are priceless, his heart beats deeply for you. He loves you with an everlasting love.(Jeremiah 31:3)
His love that is everlasting and what has changed my life. I now live in faith, I spend a lot of time in my word and prayers and have such a huge passion for the voiceless and to give hope to those still feeling hopeless. My journey is far from being over and has had many detours each day, but I keep pushing through, because when I am weak ,he is strong. Truly it is because of HIM that I have made it this far. He brought from the darkest pits into his amazing light with a newfound hope.(Psalm 40)
Please if you’re in a situation you need to get out of, please reach out. I did and it was the beginning of the rest of my life. God has you in his hands. Step out in faith and let guide you. You are never alone in this journey ,he will send you people to love and support you, I am living proof of that.
This is only a part of my journey I’m sharing with you. I share my story not to gain pity but to show how God can turn our ashes into something beautiful. Because I have been through these things my relationship with God has been strong, he was my strength, comfort, my peace, my everything through it all. I will rise above all this and have a dream to help others overcome what God has brought me through and out of.
This is how God has changed my thoughts into his truth:
To the world I was worthless and unwanted. But to God he sees me as priceless and he adopted me into his family. The king is enthralled by my beauty and he created me for such a time as this, to encourage and give hope to women and to those that have felt abandoned and rejected. I am worth fighting for, he fights on my behalf. I pray my story touches someone’s heart and shows you just how big God is. He never leaves us or forsakes us. I pray I can help other women step out in boldness and share their story. If I can touch one person’s life and give hope, that will bring so much joy to my heart.
These are the things that pushed me to the frontlines of trafficking to help others get out, show them the love God showed me.All these detours, these rejections, the hurt, the lies, the injustice ,they truly pushed me to rise up and fight back. To fight for the injustice of others, to be a voice in boldness. We have a choice in what we do with our wounds, we can either sit in our ash heap and stay stuck or we can rise from the ashes of our past and let it push us forward to the frontlines and keep pressing through. I won’t stop fighting for justice and raising awareness. I will continue to work with ministries and do what I can to stand in the frontlines, I pray to one day have my own ministry. But I truly believe if we all unite together and become aware and step out in boldness we can make a difference in someone’s life. Together people can make a difference.We are world changers.
We truly are Overcomers. No longer victims but victorious. You have the victory, because if God is for you, who can be against you. Let that be comfort to you knowing he is always there and he will guide you each step of the way. There is healing, there is hope. Be brave enough to step out in faith and watch God work for you. He can and he will help you through. We are true Esthers of this generation walking in boldness for such a time as this. Rise up overcomer , you have the victory. Thank you for listening to my story.
Beauty for Ashes…….
You are loved. You are here because there is an assignment from heaven that literally no one else can accomplish. Life is a tapestry, a journey if you will that can bring beauty for ashes in so very many ways. Growing up, my dreams were of becoming a world-renowned actress, hoping to bring light, joy and hope to the wor
Beauty for Ashes…….
You are loved. You are here because there is an assignment from heaven that literally no one else can accomplish. Life is a tapestry, a journey if you will that can bring beauty for ashes in so very many ways. Growing up, my dreams were of becoming a world-renowned actress, hoping to bring light, joy and hope to the world through true stories. Surviving the insanity of the nineteen sixties, and heading out for Hollywood, I was so sure that life was simple, talents were rewarded, and everyone was reasonable.
In less than 2 years, I ran after drug addiction, rape, numerous abortions a result from looking for love in all the wrong places, and discovering that way to many people were selling their souls in pursuit of all the wrong things.
At twenty-three, I became a victim, blaming everyone and everything for all my own choices. My mother, who is still alive at this time, eighty-six, looked at me one day when I was detailing my latest grievance about how I was wronged, and said, “Diana, you are right were you have put yourself”! Ouch!
Blinders lifted, and I realized, I did have quite a bit to do with always being in the wrong place at the wrong time, choosing relationships that were not healthy, and the most insane thing? Thinking I could find meaning and destiny, through ANY fleshly pursuit.
Meeting a woman who exuded, love, joy and peace, no matter what the trial, I thought, I wonder what she has that I don’t. Lori, was the woman who helped set me on course to bring
“Beauty for ashes, Strength for fear, Gladness for mourning, Peace for despair” *
Asking this wonderful EXAMPLE of the REALITY, of having HEAVEN ON EARTH, she said to me,
“Honey, it is JESUS”, then went back to what she was doing. Well, working together, I remember one of the greatest lessons I learned from her concerning life, direction, and helping others find theirs.
A maid who worked at the hotel, I was a desk clerk in, continually was a no show, came in late, did a poor job, and caused everyone else to have to work harder etc. Calling this woman into her office, I knew Lori had decided to fire her, and working at the front desk, I could hear everything that was said.
“Honey, Lori, began, when you took this job, you agreed to be reliable, a hard worker, earn your wages, and you asked for this job. But sweetheart, this is not what is happening. You may think in your head, you are but your actions are saying you are in the wrong place! It is unfair to our employer, your co-workers, and guess what? It is mostly unfair to YOURSELF! Now we are going to let you go, as you have made it very clear, this is not the job for you, but if you will let me? I want to pray for you, where God wants you, and you should be in a job that you love, cant wait to get to, and are really proud of.”
I saw this woman, not only get fired without trauma, I saw her hugging and thanking Lori, when she left with a huge look of relief. Later we heard, a door opened to do another job very shortly. “NO, IS NOT REJECTION, IT IS DIRECTION” are the words I heard about a year ago.
Now here I am after so very many years, trials, and experiences where the ashes of what I experienced are long gone and beauty reigns in my heart and mind. I have the peace, joy and insight that Lori, possessed and? I can only say one thing. JESUS!
Say it here