a story to tell.

i love knowing where people come from.  hearing people’s stories and understanding how god has worked in their lives is one of my favorite things.  i’ve had the privilege of listening to a lot of my squad share their lives with me.  at eighteen and nineteen years old, these people are no stranger to heartache, pain and regret.  they’re also no stranger to grace, redemption and second chances.

a few of them had asked me to share my story with the squad. ha. no thanks.  it’s just not something i have a habit of doing.  i usually give people the version that goes something like, “i was born.  life was hard.  i found jesus.  the end.”  but, i knew it was something i probably needed to do.  and as much as this thing is about me helping them find freedom – i also wanted a little more of my own.  so i put on my big girl pants and stood up and told the story.  i told the parts that have previously only ever been discussed on a certain red couch.  i cried a little bit and maybe said a bad word.  or two.

i told them about how when i was twelve or thirteen years old i would cry myself to sleep and the only thing i could think to pray was “why me, god?”  i didn’t understand why my life was happening the way it was and i certainly didn’t understand where god was and how he could possibly be good in the midst of such hard circumstances.  i told them about how i spent a lot of years feeling forgotten, abandoned and alone.  how i spent so much of my life choosing to be defined by what was going on around me because there was no settledness within me.

but then i told them about how god has worked.

about how he’s slowly but surely, through a lot of processes and screaming and declare-unto-faithing turned my bitter, confused, angry “why me’s” into “why me’s” that could basically be interchanged with “thank you’s.”

thank yous for the way he continues to redeem the people and situations in my life.  for the experiences i’ve had, the people i’ve met, and the things i’ve seen.  thank yous for how he’s always brought me people to fill the holes.  because he was always there.  thank yous for the ever increasing understanding of who i am.  for the voices that remind me over and over of the things that are true.  thank yous for the ways he continues to use me for the kingdom and the reminder that it’s really not about me.  thank you’s for the scars i carry and the tears that have washed me.

today, i’m thankful for each of those “why me’s.”  because they brought me here.

6 thoughts on “a story to tell.

  1. Everything the devil intended for bad, The Lord can use for good. You are a “rescued” one Ashley. Romans 8:28 is a living word that is being expressed by your life. Many crowns in heaven await you. I love you so very much. Mom

  2. Oh Ashley, you and your life are anything but ordinary. So many people never get past the pain, the hurt and regret. It took a lot of courage to get to where and who you are today. You are a work of art on heaven’s canvas. I love you more than crawfish.

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