Wednesday, December 7, 2011

{ Walking Upright }

My heart has been so full with God’s sweet smell lately. Everywhere I go, everything I do, it seems that I can smell His presence. I know that sounds totally crazy, but it’s TRUE! He is with me at every moment. I cannot say this has always been true.

Up until about 2-3 weeks ago, I thought my relationship with Him was strong thriving, growing, but he opened my eyes to all that I had been missing out on. I often forced myself to open my Bible, read what I thought “I needed to” to be filled. There weren’t many times when I just read for pleasure, for the burning desire to know Him intimately.

Please don’t take those words the wrong way….I’ve ALWAYS wanted to know Him intimately since He revealed Himself to me 4 years ago, but I got to this plateau kind of; became stagnant. I’ve shared recently about the hardened heart I’ve had lately due to the persecution I’ve experienced. Well, I think this was what was causing my not feeling His presence as vividly as He would have had me. I subconsciously didn’t want Him to lead me where He wanted to lead me because I knew that it would inevitably cause me to be persecuted.

He has changed this burdened heart of mine. He has opened me up to fully see Him, feel Him, smell Him, and KNOW Him deeply and intimately. One way that He did this, was lead me back to my …. BOOK.

4 years ago I sat down and tapped away for about 3 months, the final project was a book. It was therapeutic, eye opening and inspiring. It opened my soul up to hear Him in a way that I had not heard Him before. This is what began my journey with the living breathing God; the One who saved my soul. After writing the book originally Brian and I pondered publishing it. It was a deep burning desire within me. I just wanted FAME. I wanted people to know who I am.

Obviously since I have no book as of today, we decided this wasn’t the avenue God was leading me on. I realized it was me that wanted notoriety and there was nothing about the Lord our God in the book. In the past 4 years I have grown into such a loving, tender relationship with Him and He has truly helped me step into the role He ordained for me…wife, mother, friend, sister, ministry leader. It’s within accepting these roles that He has revealed Himself to me in new and exciting ways. And it’s within these relationships that He has led me back to my book.  

Moral of the story ….. we are moving forward with publication. But, He is the leader in the prospect. There is a good possibility it could be ready for distribution by the first of the year, but I’m completely following His guidance. It is He I want the world to know. It is the grace He showed a sinner like me that I want people to see. And it is the love that He pours out that I want humanity to know. This is my desire now....not myself.

Stay tuned for more on Walking Upright.

Here is an excerpt:

I thank God every day that He didn’t listen to my naïve, immature request. My life is full and blessed beyond measure today with the love I share with my four sweet children. The actions of our parents can only impact us as deeply as we allow them to. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be His name, He can restore within us an understanding of what true love is. He can renew our mind to what is holy and good and refocus our lives on Him. 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2

Once we have done this, our lives truly change. I stand in complete awe of the changes God has set forth within me. The angst I lived with for so many years, the torment that took place within me, all washed away by His love. 

I am honored each and every day that God has set me apart from this world, when I am so unworthy of His love. I turned my back on Him at an early age; believing that He had first turned His back on me. 

Each of us as individuals set out on a path in life that seems best suited to us. We don’t often ask what God wants for us; we just go full steam ahead, making a path along the way. The journey is vastly diverse for each and every one of us; but is a journey nonetheless.

The journey I endured in life was so difficult at time I contemplated my reason for living on copious occasions. There haven’t been many days that could be characterized as easy or joyous. I’ve suffered from panic attacks, bouts of depression, an anxiety disorder, an adjustment disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. I agonized through childhood sexual abuse, emotional abuse, an emotional breakdown and alcohol induced date rape. I fought a battle with addiction and sexual promiscuity. I was hospitalized for numerous days at the age of 18 for self-mutilation. The dark tunnel I walked through threatened to swallow me up through the early years of life. 

Please respect these as my words, ones that will be copy written soon, however they are not today. 



Samantha Lambert said...

Hi Ashley! I assume you're looking for some feedback. If not, please delete this :)

I love that you're telling the world your story - it is a beautiful one to tell. As I read your excerpt, I asked myself a few questions
1) What does Ashley want us to take away from her story?
2) What can the readers learn in reading this book?

I ask myself these things because it seems like a biography at this point (which is perfectly fine if that's what you're going for).

Considering this is only a small portion of the book, I could be way off base. This was just something I wanted to point out. You are a beautiful writer, though!

womanwalkignupright said...

Thank you my sweet Sam. From this excerpt, not a whole lot was actually supposed to be "taken". Just a small excerpt that showed a tiny hole into the story. It may not have been the best excerpt to choose, so I may need a disclaimer on that matter :) It will be somewhat biographical. What I have here is from what I call the "foreword". it's an overview on life, before chapter 1 starts.

Samantha Lambert said...

It is great for a foreward! If this isn't the whole thing, perhaps you could add a blip at the end about what you hope your reader gains from reading your story. Even if it is biographical, what do you want readers to take away from spending this time with "you"?