I grew up in a Christian home with born again, Spirit-filled parents. I always knew about God, but never knew who God was. There is a huge difference between knowing about God and actually knowing Him.
I was your typical little girl – danced around in my princess dress, daydreaming of Prince Charming! However, at a young age I developed a fear of people in my life leaving me and I had major trust issues. I never wanted to trust people, or get too close because they may leave me.
When I started high school, I became obsessed with boys and had this constant need for a boyfriend. All the time. If I didn’t have a boyfriend I felt alone, unwanted, and unloved. This was where I got my worth – in boys. It was always the same old story, though, I’d meet a guy and we’d like each other, date for a few weeks, maybe a couple months if I was lucky, then he would leave me. He would break my heart and I was left feeling worthless. When I was almost 18 years old, my dad left us. That only hurt me more. I was miserable and had no hope of anything good happening in life. I also had an eating disorder to top off the brokenness.
One night, I fell to my knees crying uncontrollably, begging God to help me. “Lord, I don’t know what to do. I’ve been living my life for myself and made a mess! I need your help. I surrender. I surrender my life to you. Whatever you have for me, whatever you want to give me, I receive it!” I had such an intimate encounter with God that it seemed I could hear His voice perfectly clear.
The Lord began telling me how much He loves me, and how He was everything that I have ever, or will ever want and need. He gently told me that He will never leave me, never hurt me, never break my heart, and always love me. He is the only one who loves unconditionally. He asked me if I would give Him all the hurt, pain, brokenness, and shame in my life. “I want to take that all away from you and give you hope, faith, love, joy, and a future in place of those things. Will you give them to me?” He asked. “Yes, Lord! Take it all, I don’t want any of it.” I said. Instantly I felt a peace that just overwhelmed me. I couldn’t explain it. He asked me to do something that was very hard for me…trust Him. “Will you trust me, Ashley?” the Lord lovingly asked. I made a decision that night that changed my life. I put all my hope and trust in God. My life has changed so much!
When I graduated from high school I went to Charis Bible College. I learned more about who God is, who I am in Christ and started receiving more revelation of the truth!
My life completely changed!
I still dance and I did marry my Prince Charming, but that is where the similarities between who I was and who I am end. I once was broken, but now I know that I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). I no longer find my worth in men, or even my husband, but know it is in Christ alone (Ephesians 1:3-14). I no longer have an eating disorder and am so excited for life! I have seen the Lord create and restore beautiful things. I am not the same person I used to be, and I am blessed beyond measure!