I’ve been asked why I wrote Beauty for Ashes. It’s purely a work of fiction, yet I believe that we can all relate in some manner.

Nathan Drummond has a secret—one that he’s held inside of him for twelve years. If he had confessed his transgression, his life would have taken a completely different path. It may have cost him his freedom. Jail time would have denied him his college scholarship and his career path. He pushed the truth down deep inside of him where it festered for years. Life circumstances caused him to come face-to-face with the people who were impacted by his youthful folly. Nathan wasn’t locked up in a jail cell, but he was locked in a world of guilt that wouldn’t allow him to be free.

You may be saying, “I can’t relate to that. I’ve not done anything that could send me to jail.” That may be true, but are you completely free? So many people are enslaved by habits that we know are wrong. Envy, pride, lust, and the list could go on. Sometimes those habits are hard to break, but imagine the freedom of throwing off those sins that entangle us.

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34) There you have it. That says it all. “Everyone who commits sin” includes—well, everyone. We all fall short. (Romans 3:23)

Nathan took a long time learning that if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36) Maybe our sin isn’t the same catastrophic event that Nathan’s was, but the wages of sin is still death. (Roman 6:23)

I hope you will read Nathan’s story. There is so much that he can teach us.

Kathleen Neely



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