• 9184942_s

    All Is Not Lost

    As I lay in bed I am reminded of my life and how much it has changed from this time last year. My mind wants to say, “I’ve lost so many things that I dearly loved”. How could it be God’s plan to lose a life that I loved and a ministry position that I felt made for? I genuinely loved people and loved serving. This is one of those moments that God’s still small voice gently spoke to my heart. All was never lost Ashley. Then I was reminded that those who lose their life save it.

    Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

    I always saw this as, leave your life of sin behind and follow Jesus. Well, I was following Jesus and even serving in ministry. This is not about going from darkness to light. Don’t hold any life too tightly that you are not willing to release if God asks you to. Even if that life is noble and giving. I have lost the life I knew to find another.  His words are life! I could have never known what this scripture truly meant without losing my life. The life that I loved. The life that I thought I would have forever. I had already made plans to retire in that life. Am I willing to lose that life to gain another? Yes. It is not God’s way to short change anyone. I believe He has plans in store for me that I could have never imagined.

    Heb 10:35 So do not throw away your confident trust in the Lord; Remember the great reward it brings you! 36Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

    Matthew 16 Verse 26 also hits home. I’ve told the story before. A day or so after realizing I had been deeply hurt and betrayed by those I loved most, I shut my bedroom door, jumped onto the bed and screamed and cried into a pillow. Why God?! Why did you allow me to lay on my face and beg you for months to reveal truth to me only to let it go on? Didn’t you see my pain? Didn’t you hear me? Why?? I felt so abandoned for a moment. Then I stood over my husband and the Holy Spirit spoke to me… His heart is more important than your happiness. This my friends gave me a new mission and a new hope. This pain was no longer about me. This pain was allowed to reach into my husbands soul and heal him. He told me that he believes now that he had to have everything stripped away for God to get to his heart. He was gaining so much on the outside with a successful ministry but the word says, what good is gain if he forfeits his soul? We lost our life to save it. Our happiness is not the goal. The goal is a soul right with the Father. If that means stripping things away, so be it. I will bare scares and I will fight battles but I will do so knowing a soul was saved. Not only a soul but a life was saved. As I said earlier, happiness is not the goal but the crazy thing is, we are happy. Being right with God brings such a peace and blessing. God can do wonders with a mess. Does he not take the weak things to confound the wise?

    I did question at one time, “Have all promises and blessings been forfeited because of sin?” I was gently reminded of His character. He is not a harsh father. He loves us and wants good for us. The word says in Chronicles 7:14 and Acts 3:19 that if you repent and turn to God, a time of refreshing will come and He will restore you and your land. This says that you can make a really bad mistake but your loving father will not only forgive you but wipe it away AND restore you and your land.  All is NOT lost. Lose your life to find it.

  • When waves come crashing 2-3

    When Waves Come Crashing Part II

     

    During this last “crashing wave” on my life, so much was uncovered. I always knew and even spoke about how I would handle situations if I ever had to face them. “If that ever happpened to me I would….”  By the grace of God, I didn’t handle it the way I had always imagined. I thought I would handle it with hate, shame, no forbearance, rejection and weakness. Guess what… I didn’t. The grace of God allowed me to see some things that were hidden inside of me. I know they were planted  by the Holy Spirit, but it was by the painful trial that they were extracted. There will be times in your life that you think you “know” how you will handle things. Or maybe you may  think, “I could never get through that”, but let me just encourage you… God has a power that we cannot even comprehend or understand. It’s not natural and it’s not our ability to stay composed. I have been carried by this grace in my weakest moment.

    2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    In your darkest hour, God will give you a front row seat to His grace. He will carry you in His strength and give you strength that you didn’t even know existed.  Do I struggle daily with wanting to throw some sand on top of the beautiful jewels found through this trial…. YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT! It is a choice my friend,  you have to allow the waves to refine you and keep you refined. Don’t get bitter, allow God to reveal beautiful things buried in you.

    1Peter1:6-7 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed”.

    with love,
    ashley
  • Welcome to the Journey :)

    I’d like to welcome you into my life. The good, the bad, but most of all the redeeming love of my Savior! One of the highest compliments I have cherished is being called “real” by my closest friends. I feel that is the most productive way to help others. Why sweep things under a rug when others can be helped and healed by your own journey? Join me in uncovering the character of Christ through the ups and downs of life.

    with love,

    ashley

  • When waves come crashing

    When Waves Come Crashing… Pt 1

    I live on the Gulf Coast where I get to enjoy beautiful beaches. Everytime me and the kids walk along the white sand, we collect seashells. The gulf is vast but there are always unique finds under the sand. The waves crash on the shore and pull away bringing in new creatures and uncover hidden jewels beneath.

    I would like to take a moment and compare life to our experiences on the beach. The word tells us that God’s love is vast and deep and wide. Ephesians 3 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    I want to know this “fullness” that He speaks of. There is love and there is fullness of love. That tells me you can go deeper in the love you already know. He always loves us, but there are moments in our life that are breathe taking by the extremes He will go to to show His love for us. It may be in times of joy, in times of need or in times of sorrow, but He will always show His love.

    Like the oceans crash on the sand, life sometimes crashes on us. I believe this is a time for pulling away of the surface and revealing whats hidden underneath the sand. We have jewels inside of us that sometimes take pulling or uncomfortable trials to uncover. to be continued…..

     

    with love,

    ashley