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MY STORY

About me…. Might be the hardest question to answer in roughly a few words or less.  I can say there is a lot I would love you to know and perhaps more I'd rather you not know, but what’s the point....being vulnerable is the first step of courage after all.
I might easily sum it up with a few words: Ordinary…in every ordinary day-to-day way. But if you held me up to the light you might find something extraordinary seeded in my heart. A gift I was given that lit a passion and a beauty in me I never could have imagined.
         I didn’t always know I had it. In fact, most of my life I didn’t believe I had much to offer. I listened to others opinions about me and never had the capacity to think any different. Appearance, protocol, expectations, judgments-those were the ingredients to my identity.
         “What will you amount to?”
         I don’t know….whatever you tell me? Whatever I’m supposed to be? Whatever pleases you? Whatever makes others happy?
I grew up not knowing I had a choice to turn and listen to what God said about me or what He wanted to write on my heart or how He saw me. But a cruel and tragic night changed all that for me. The world around me suddenly fell silent and dim. My eyes blurred and my ears became dull. I didn’t want to hear anymore and I especially didn’t care to see.
         I was not prepared for that kind of pain and I believed my only choice was to run…run away from what was familiar, who I thought God was and the lack of goodness in this world.
         As far as I ran, God never lost sight of me and when I finally stopped, He was there.
         To say I was transformed does not adequately describe how my heart intersected with His. I was made new in my heart and in my mind. The pain, the lies, the grief, the rejection, the abandonment, the desperation were lifted off and His love, His gorgeous, life-giving, passionate love ignited every part of my being and left me in awe of who our God truly is.
         I made a pact with the Lord. I told Him, “God, whatever You are doing…I’m in!” He has taken me up on that and I’ve been privileged to partner with His extravagant love daily. He has kept all His promises and fulfilled dreams in me I had long forgotten.
         I gave Him my heart and He gave me all of Him.
         And that’s how I’ve ended up here…..writing, speaking, sharing, teaching-basically living to make God famous and to usher in His tangible love for all to experience. He longs for us to experience His presence here and now while we are on this earth. He’s not holding out until after we die, rather He’s pouring out for ALL the world to know.
         So whether it’s through a message I share on any typical Wednesday up the street at our church or through a story filled with characters facing real life trials or stopping in the every day duties to let God move on a broken heart…..I want to make God known for who He truly is-a loving father who heals, restores, redeems, accepts, transforms…..His love never fails. How He chooses to use me, I go with complete confidence that this world will truly see “the goodness of God in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13)
 
Blessings and joy,
Ashlee