The Great Exchange.

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Do you feel that? The calling for change in your life? The knowing that it is time to take a step closer to God and allow Him to peel those ugly layers off of you? 

Think of the flower bloom that closes up at night.  As it sits in the darkness, it stays shut up tight. It doesn’t reveal its true bloomed beauty to anyone. It’s not all that impressive as it hides its inner beauty. The beauty that God created it to share with the world.

OH, but when the sun shines its amazing light on it, changes start to happen. It slowly starts opening up. It slowly reveals the beautiful layers of silky, delicate petals. At full bloom, the flower is a sight for all to see as it stands firmly, head held high, seeking the light. It allows the light to feed it and nourish it to remain open all day. 

beauty for ashes

We are like the bloom of a flower. 

Ladies, we all have our own battles. Some may be public, an open book for all to see and judge. Some, however, may be kept secret; locked inside a closet with the key thrown away. Either way, we all have our own battles. Seen or unseen, we all have them. 

Battles are hard. Simply put. Hard. They cause scars, wounds, and pain. We put up walls real quick in an effort to protect ourselves. We put on layers and layers that we shut ourselves up in; thinking this is the only way to live and be okay. Harboring the pain, guilt, shame, insecurities, jealousy, pride, bitterness, unmet needs and expectation, sorrow, etc. The weight can become so heavy over time as we push these pains down deep. 

Let me come beside you and encourage you that God has something better for you. He wants to offer you THE GREAT EXCHANGE. 

Isaiah 61:3 

“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.”

God wants you to take a step towards Him. 

He wants to pour His loving, healing light on you and your scars. He wants to exchange your sorrow for joy. Your insecurities for confidence. Your guilt and shame for grace and mercy. He wants to take your layers that you have enclosed yourself in and exchange them for freedom in Him. He wants to help you tear down that wall and open a path to new opportunities. He wants to take away your chains and give you wings. 

All for His glory. All for His splendor. 

So don’t hold back. Give Him all of you. Don’t stand in the dark any longer. Allow God to pour His light on you. Stand firm in who you are in Christ. Ask God to heal you so that you may be able to encourage and help others going through similar battles. 

It may start off awkward at first, but If you continue to try, God will honor it. 

Let God’s “Son” feed and nourish your soul. 


Starla J. 


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  1. Brandi Davis

    May 9, 2015 at 12:58 am

    This is so beautiful. God will always meet us where we are. That first step is so scary but He is there waiting for us.

  2. Starla J.

    May 9, 2015 at 2:00 am

    Absolutely! Thank you for commenting.

  3. Samantha Ford-Godette

    May 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Love this! This is something all women should read and hear. God is always therr eith open arms despite our scars can transform anyone or any situation. I will be sharing on my Facebook page. What a great way to start my morning.


    May 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Lovely post, sounds like a great deal to me!

  5. HungryForGod (Andi)

    May 9, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    LOVE this – gotta remember to do it 😀

  6. Amanda

    May 11, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Lovely post. What a great note to end the day on. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    May 12, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Beautiful, Starla! I loved this line, "He wants to take away your chains and give you wings." What a beautiful picture of the work He does in us.

    May He continue to fill your cup to overflowing!

  8. Sheryl at

    May 14, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    "It may start off awkward at first, but If you continue to try, God will honor it." Oh, so true!

  9. Lauren

    May 14, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    What a beautiful illustration and so true! God won't work in our lives if we close ourselves off to Him.

  10. Traci Rhoades

    May 15, 2015 at 1:04 am

    I think the best part of this came when I realized living like I'm so loved gives Him more glory! A beautiful reminder today. Thank you!

  11. Maria Davis

    May 15, 2015 at 1:04 am

    I loved your analogy with the flower in the sun. Who we are in the Light is so much better than who we are when we shroud our secrets in darkness. Beautiful!

  12. Tammy @ creativekkids

    May 15, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    I love the analogy of the "son" and the "sun". What a great picture for me to think on. Thanks.

  13. Starla J.

    May 16, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Me to!! Thank you for stopping by!

  14. Starla J.

    May 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    We all need a daily reminder.

  15. Starla J.

    May 16, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you so much for taking time to comment.

  16. Starla J.

    May 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  17. Starla J.

    May 16, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    It's amazing how awesome our God is.

  18. Starla J.

    May 16, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Yes!! Thank you for stopping by!

  19. Starla J.

    May 16, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    We are so loved, beyond our true understand.

  20. Christy Hamilton

    May 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    This is just what I needed to read! What a blessing. 🙂

  21. Blessed Mama

    May 19, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    What a beautiful, blessed word, Starla. <3 Thank you.

  22. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    May 19, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    He certainly is! And He invites us to live in communion with Him. The thought is almost too much to comprehend. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us, Starla. Blessings to you and yours, my friend.

  23. Dawn

    June 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Beautiful analogy and such encouragement. 🙂 Thank you! Isaiah is one of my favorites, because he was one who admitted his brokenness an ran to God as a result of it. And this is a wonderful reminder that we have to go to the Lord, with our ashes, and give all we have to him to receive the healing that comes with His entrance into every situation we find ourselves in.

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