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                 IN THE ASHES

                        STORY BEHIND THE BOOK


In Japan, there is a curious form of art called kintsugi, the art of mending broken pottery with liquid gold.

Kintsugi is the very definition of contradiction.

Broken pottery, by itself, would quickly be thrown in the garbage. It is worthless and unappealing, especially to an art enthusiast. Gold is just the opposite. It is valuable and alluring–even worth fighting for. How curious it is to blend the worthless and the priceless into one piece of pottery. Instead of discarding the broken pottery or simply repairing it, this 400-year-old technique highlights the "scars” with gold.In kintsugi, the pottery becomes valuable BECAUSE it was broken.

Did you know that in your brokenness, God can create something exquisite and resilient? Like the pottery used in kintsugi, we have all experienced brokenness in one way or another. We all have scars. Many of us have tried to hide our scars, hoping no one will see them and some of have denied our scars by pretending everything is fine. None of us want the cracks, but the cracks are what makes the masterpiece. Your beauty lies in your brokenness.

My own life is marked by broken pieces and deep scars. If it had been up to me, I would have thrown out every busted piece of my pot until none of it remained. I tried for years to ignore or hide my brokenness, but those pesky cracks were inescapable. I’m so thankful God had other plans. He picked up each hopeless, shattered part and lovingly mended me, piece by piece, with His love and grace.



I am convinced that the only way to truly know and love someone is to understand the mess they have experienced in their life. To understand the mess helps us fully appreciate and celebrate the victories. For you to fathom how bound I was by shame and fear (and many other things), you must first understand the mess I was delivered from. So, in my new book, I am inviting you into my mess.

 I am a survivor of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). Sadly, SRA is something that exists on the periphery of our society but is often ignored. It is completely understandable why no one wants to talk about it. SRA is the very definition of messy. Horrifying, actually.

Most of my readers will not have experienced, or perhaps even heard of, this specific kind of abuse, and that is okay. This book is still for you, and my message is for anyone who wants freedom, especially from the bondage of trauma.

I pray that as you read each chapter, that your roots would strengthen, growing deep into the soil of God’s love for you. Anything is possible with God.

I share many of my own personal reflections throughout this book, many which are painful. You will not relate to all my experiences, but I pray that as you reflect, that you will encounter the love of God, whose glory shines into the darkest places. As we journey through this book together, may the living God restore the ashes of your life into living embers of His glory – a living testimony of His goodness.


Included at the end of each chapter:

  • Reflection/discussion questions

  • An empowering prayer of repentance and declaration

  • Some chapters include a “Spiritual Toolbox,” which teach you how to demolish spiritual strongholds.

  • Some chapters also include a “Weapon of God” section, which are key strategies to fortify your spiritual freedom.



“What a powerful read and spiritual weapon for our freedom!  I have known Lauren and her husband Kyle for 17 years.  They have helped me grow in freedom in Jesus personally and professionally in an enormous way.  I am grateful for who they are in my life, marriage, and ministry. This is a divinely inspired and anointed resource for the Kingdom of God.  Everyone experiencing any offenses in Spirit this is a must read.  Anyone desiring to know Jesus deeply and intimately this is a must read.  And anyone who has experienced any trauma or lost belief that you could be forgiven and free this is your pathway to freedom.  Laurens vulnerability and triumph over the darkness of trauma can and will transform anyone who does not know the fullness of life, joy and peace Jesus purchased for us. I was freshly convicted after 17 years of walking in freedom in Jesus teachings that there was a deeper work necessary within me regarding the traumas of my journey.  The Lord placed this mountain of truth in my path exactly when I needed it.  Whether you are a mature believer, non-believer or new believer, this book will BLESS you. 

Glory to God for what He has done in and through Lauren’s courage, freedom, and ministry of writing.”


Randy Chambers

NFL Chaplain and Founder and President of 4 Coaches International

"Having known Lauren for many years and having full confidence in her integrity of heart, I highly recommend “A Garden in the Ashes” In the book Lauren communicates her highly vulnerable and very raw story of sexual abuse with great clarity and details the painful and powerful journey to freedom and redemption in Jesus Name. Integrating the Word of God and Biblical principles into her personal story provides the reader with a priceless opportunity to learn how an awareness of our Identity in Jesus can disable and defeat the dark powers of fear, shame, condemnation and control. Ultimately, this is a story of the mysterious and redeeming love of God."


Scotty Kessler

Director of the Robert E. Colman School of Discipleship at Faith Seminary

“Few brave sojourners would dare venture into the dark caverns of their past to facilitate healing for themselves. Fewer still would share their journey for the benefit of another’s healing. Lauren Nelson is among this thin sliver of courageous warriors--boldly surrendering the painful splinters of her life to the Master Carpenter, trusting Him to fashion them into arrows, carrying truth and hope into the darkness. A Garden in the Ashes is a welcome drink of fresh water for life-parched souls."


Deborah K. Krajcir, LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

“A Garden in the Ashes is meaty, hopeful, and passionate. As Lauren shares her journey from brokenness to wholeness, she invites the reader to break difficult and paralyzing strongholds. This is a powerful tool for those seeking healing and restoration from childhood trauma.”


Debbie Warner

SRA survivor and Pastor at South Sound Foursquare

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