In a continuation of a small series called Behind the Song, Katy explains where the song Beauty for Ashes comes from and how it ministers to her heart.

The Father’s love. It’s something that is irrevocable and unexplainable. And so true and pure. And yet, how hard is it for me to accept it at times? It’s so funny how as humans we create entire religions around working hard and just trying, trying, trying, to earn something that is already ours. We already own it. But we still stress and strain ourselves attempting to deserve it. Why? I don’t feel worthy a lot of the time, so I’m quite sure that is how the rest of humanity feels too! The thing is, is He loves us, period, end of story, that’s it. He loves me, He loves you, and there’s nothing that could ever change that. I’ve read it so many times that neither height nor depth nor angels nor demons could separate me from His love…but it doesn’t always sink in.

Sometimes I get this picture of God as my Father just offering me something…and I’m just way too busy thinking about myself…how I have failed or how I’m not as good as someone else, and I’m not even paying attention to what He is offering me! He’s right here, offering me His love that overrules fear and doubt and even the endless amounts of “whys” I ask, and I’m too distracted to even accept it. All I have to do is stop TRYING so hard to get into His favor, and just RECEIVE it instead. It’s so simple, and yet so hard.

When I was going through an intense and deeply difficult time in my life, I wrestled constantly with His love for me. I felt like maybe God didn’t love me anymore. It was hard to not equate His love for me with what was going on around me and what was happening TO me. I almost didn’t even feel like I could receive His love because I didn’t know how while I was hurting so much. During that time, we were in the car a lot, driving sometimes long distances for different reasons. On one of those drives, I heard something in my mind that wouldn’t stop. Over and over the line “I am the one You love” sang in my head for almost the entire two hours. I knew it was from God because I wasn’t in a place where I was “feeling” particularly loved or favored. I was in quite the opposite place, and yet this song began playing in my head and it wouldn’t quit. It became my declaration. It became the thing that I sang whether I felt like I was the one He loved or not. Love is not a feeling. It is a reality. And it needs to be our reality every single minute of every single day.

Beauty For Ashes

by Katy Carnohan, Copyright 2016

Beauty for ashes, peace for my strife
I’m trading my sorrows for a new life
Hope when I’m weary, comfort for pain
I lay down my burdens to lift up Your name

I am the one You love, I am the one You love, I am the one You love, I’m Yours forever

Sight for my blindness, freedom from shame
I give You all my life for what I will gain

So I run to You and I yield every part
And I love You with all of my strength and my heart
You loved me through sorrow and You loved me through pain
And you brought me to life for the sake of Your name


Katy Carnohan has been a worship leader for 19 years now, and continues to bless Five Cities Vineyard with her amazing song writing talents. You can find out more about her music at katycarnohan.com.