Turning Trials to Triumphs

I have been trying, for a little over a month now, to figure out how to explain the book From Battle Scars to Beauty Marks by Ellie Lofaro. The title of this book, and its subtitle, Turning Trials to Triumphs, is what intrigued me. I’ve heard Ellie speak a couple of times and, in addition to being a gifted Bible teacher, she’s incredibly funny. There isn’t much in this book, however, to make you laugh.

In Battle Scars to Beauty Marks, Ellie shares the stories of seven incredible women, who’ve experienced the worst of life; a son turned to drugs, physical abuse, anorexia, infertility, the loss of a child, rejection, and more. It isn’t an easy read; emotionally, that is. But, it is an interesting one. What you find in the stories of these amazing women is a tenacity and faith that is unwavering. In some instances, there has been healing and resolution, and in others, the final chapters are still being written.

I had the chance to speak briefly with Ellie about this book (not that we are tight friends, we were just at the same conference right after I finished her book). She calls these women her heroes. Their beauty marks are courage, hope, honor, grace, humility, strength, and faith. Beautiful character traits that we all desire and somehow hope to acquire the easy way. But, as we know, that isn’t always the case. As one woman put it, “I wanted Jeff to grow up strong and healthy and loving God . . . . Is that too much to ask? . . . . So what do I get instead – all the fruits of the Spirit!” (O.K., this part did make me laugh.)

My favorite part in this book are the Bible verses quoted in the very first chapter:

Habakkuk’s Cry found in Habakkuk 1:2-3

“How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.”

Let’s be real. Have we not all felt that way at some time or another? Verse 5 though, holds God’s reply:

“Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”

I love that! You may or may not want to read this book. I’ll leave that up to you. But, if you are going through a hard time, know that God desires nothing more than to take your trial and turn it into His triumph. Watch, and be utterly amazed!