Treasure in the Ashes

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Authors: Sue Nicewander Delaney and Maria Brookins

Treasure in the Ashes is an interactive workbook that gently leads readers on a biblical journey through the grueling questions and doubt, emotional turmoil, and relational fallout that follow sexual abuse.

This book encourages honest and thorough Christ-centered discipleship through the aftermath of sexual abuse, addressing hard questions and painful issues that are feared and often denied by the Christian community. People using this resource will…

  • Learn to push against shame by giving voice to their stories in a safe setting;
  • Address doubts and questions they harbor about God, and learn to consider Scripture’s rich, bold worldview on the subject;
  • Apply the gospel of Jesus Christ and learn the importance of His character and grace-filled sacrifice to them personally;
  • Be introduced to a biblical self-image, and challenged to gain hope by defining themselves and their purpose in Christ;
  • Learn how to apply the gospel to their relationships with four basic biblical principles;
  • Learn to embrace their story as part of the larger story of redemption and reach out to others with the hope of Jesus.

Table of Contents:

  • Part 1: Welcome to the Journey
  • Part 2: My Story
    • The authors share their stories to introduce the journey, then invite and guide readers to share their stories
  • Part 3: Who is God?
    • An examination of the problem of trust, the importance of Scripture as authority, and some haunting questions about God and the existence of evil
  • Part 4: Who is Jesus?
    • Presents the necessity of the gospel, and invites the reader into a growing relationship with the biblical Jesus
  • Part 5: Who am I?
    • Defines identity according to God’s perspective in Christ, examines heart desires, and explores the theology of suffering
  • Part 6: Who are You?
    • Discovers God’s purpose for relationships and how to biblically navigate them
  • Part 7: What Next?
    • Encouragement to persevere and to share with others the hope they have found


About the authors:

Sue Nicewander Delaney, MABC, ACBC, BCC, has been counseling since 1994. She is founder and training coordinator of Biblical Counseling Ministries in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and serves on the Council Board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Sue has her MA in counseling from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and is author of Building a Church Counseling Ministry Without Killing the Pastor and Help! I Feel Ashamed, and articles in the Journal of Biblical Counseling and Baptist Bulletin. Sue and her late husband Jim were married for 43 years. The Nicewander family includes two beautiful married daughters and six delightful grandchildren.

Maria Brookins has a BS in Biblical Studies/Counseling from Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa. She and her husband, Corey, have been serving God together in ministry since 2004. They enjoy God’s gift of a vibrant and full life with four fabulous boys and two crazy dogs.


Working through the heartache and pain of childhood sexual abuse is both deeply distressing and bewildering. How can we navigate the turbulent waters between defining ourselves by our abuse or pretending that it doesn’t really matter? Is there a better way? …This workbook makes it very clear that while there are no easy, pat answers that will assuage the heart of the abuse victim, there are lasting and true ones that will certainly help. I’m thankful for this resource. I’m sure you will be, too.  ~Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, author of Counsel from the Cross and numerous other books

Sexual abuse is horrifying, painful, destructive, and difficult. Addressing sexual abuse in one’s life or in the life of another can also be horrifying, painful, and difficult and, if not handled well, can add to the destruction that has already taken place. Thankfully Treasure in the Ashes handles this delicate issue with sensitivity without shying away from the harsh realities one must face in the aftermath of sexual abuse. …This is a guidebook, a workbook, an applied theology book, and a source of hope and healing all rolled into one.  ~Curtis W. Solomon, Director: The Biblical Counseling Coalition

Sue and Maria have written a comprehensive manual for helping victims of this horrible crime. Sue’s years of counseling and Maria’s personal experience provide a wonderful balance of biblical truth and compassion for the victim. This book will be an excellent and necessary addition to those offering soul care to broken and devastated victims of sexual abuse.  ~Julie Ganschow, MABC, Certified Biblical Counselor 

This book addresses a very sensitive subject with compassion and clarity. Those who have suffered sexual abuse will realize that these ladies understand their struggles both through their own personal experiences and through those whom they have counseled. The hardest questions are addressed with powerful, God-centered answers.  ~Jim Newheiser, Pastor, Director: The Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship