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You Have To Leave The Ashes First

There is a verse in Isaiah 61:3, that says “He will give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” We all love the symbolism of receiving a beautiful crown and leave the ashes of our life behind. At Xquisite, we truly believe that is possible, so much so that we refer to the ones we serve as “diamonds” encouraging them to leave the ashes that have weighed them down. Ashes smell, cannot be formed into anything tangible, and leave a dark residue. We often experience diamonds that are covered in ash.

Recently, we had a diamond come to us for help. She was experiencing traffickers that were stalking her and in extreme trauma and anxiety, it was very clear that she needed resources we could not provide. Together with another organization we got her a plane ticket to get her to a shelter program. This diamond smelled of ash, her bags were pungent from the smell of weed. We got to the airport and with the help of TSA walked her through security, where they had to remove a pocketknife and a vape pen. Getting her to this point was indeed a challenge!

At the crowded gate, there was one seat open in the waiting area for this diamond to sit and try to breathe to settle her anxiety. The seat was next to a random stranger in a beautiful red track suit. This beauty was named Mona, who warmly welcomed our diamond as she sat writhing in anxiety next to her. I called the receiving organization to find out where our diamond should meet them, and was told, we won’t be meeting her, she will need to order a Lyft to take her to their shelter miles away. It was very apparent that our diamond would not be able to navigate this path alone.

Mona, the random stranger sitting next to our diamond said, “I’ll help her!” We quickly made a plan for them to meet when the plane landed, because their seats were far apart. I hugged our diamond, who smelled of weed and filled with anxiety and watched her bravely go into the plane until she was no longer visible. About an hour later, Mona called and said, “we made it” and I called for a Lyft. We discovered though that to meet her Lyft she had to go through a busy airport, to another building on the second floor. Mona realized that this was another insurmountable challenge and while we remained on the phone, she walked alongside our diamond and made sure she was safely in her Lyft and I heard her tell our diamond, “I wish you well, it was very nice to meet you.”

Who does that in our crazy busy world today? A random stranger who cared enough to help someone she didn’t know that was covered in ash, and committed to do what she could to help. Mona so inspired me. Then I wondered was Mona really a random stranger? Was she an angel who we got to witness care for our diamond? I believe Mona was placed strategically in a crowded airport with the only empty seat next to her, and I believe God looked down and gave me a wink, a God wink, letting me know He’s got our diamond. We need more Mona’s in our world!

Mona has texted me twice and wants to come have coffee with me and see how she can volunteer with us. We often champion women, and men who do amazing things and receive crowns and awards, I wanted to take a moment to champion the Mona’s in our world who love unconditionally and ask for nothing in return! We need more Mona’s to lift us out of our ash and lead us to beauty!

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