Monday, January 30, 2012

Why I share Jesus

Let me preface this by saying: this blog will be LONG, it will be REAL, it will be BLUNT, and it will be COMPLETELY ME.
Have you ever sat at your computer screen and said to yourself, “There she goes again, another God status, why can’t she just stop?” Or maybe screamed, “We get it, you love God, we don’t care!” Or you could be the one thinking, “I love God too, but you don’t see me talking about Him all the time.” Or, finally, you could be the Christian thinking, “She really should not be sharing such personal information with the world, there’s just stuff that shouldn’t be shared.”

These are all legitimate questions and thoughts if you don’t understand what it is I am writing, and who exactly I am writing about. If you knew me at all before I began shouting Jesus from the rooftops, FB, anytime I get the chance, you probably look at my life and think, “Puh, Ashley, a lover of God. Nothing but a hypocrite, I know the things she’s done.” And to that I would say, you are completely correct. Recently I have found myself coming against opposition, in which I count as joy, but in a way I understand where some people wonder because quite truthfully I used to be much different.

My life before Christ was dark, it was ugly and it was shattered. As many of you know or may have read, I am currently in the process of publishing a book—at which I will say some of my blogs don’t contain all information so that the book gives the entire story. This blog will be no different—but I will address my previous life.

If you knew me during my high school years your memories are probably of the “crazy girl”. One who was taken out of school for “emotional issues” during my senior year. Was I crazy? You bet your bottom dollar I was {at the time}. I was confused, I was scared, I was heartbroken. I lost touch with reality, a reality that I had based around a relationship at such a young age. I thought this boy was going to save me from this life that was awful {one that paled in comparison to the life I would lead after this} and when he moved on, as most boys do at that age, I thought my life was over {a bit over dramatic? UM YEAH, and so many girls believe this today! A boy breaks up with them and their life ends. I know the feeling, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, life is so much more beautiful with Jesus}

At the age of 9, I began believing a lie that Satan whispers to EVERY SINGLE PERSON that has not accepted Christ as their Savior. Before then, we are all separated from God and we are all living a life that believes a lie Satan tells. It stinks, but it’s truth!

I was no different.

After being sexually abused, I began to believe I was worthless—good for only one thing. This wasn’t an instantaneous belief I adopted, but as I look back now I can clearly see what Satan was doing. As the years of my life began to pass by, as I entered my teen years, rumors began about me and people began telling me how worthless I was. An abusive stepfather, a family member who disliked me, a friend who wanted everyone to turn away from me—whatever the pawn, Satan used any means to distort my mind into thinking I was completely worthless and a “harlot”. This mindset damaged my self-esteem, it damaged my relationships and it damaged my control. But, that’s what Satan wanted. {He wants us to think so lowly of ourselves that we don’t reach out to God to change our life. He wants us in a miry pit in which despair threatens to suffocate us.} I became exactly what He wanted—a broken, battered, shattered excuse of a human being. After a situation in college led to what was most certainly a rape, my life spiraled so completely out of control and for 3 years I turned, dark, cold and void of any emotion. I began drinking, A LOT, I told myself I was good for absolutely nothing except sex and I would simply be the person everyone already knew I was—the “harlot” that  Satan had led me to believe I was at the tender age of 9. As my life continued to spiral out of control, my convictions went out the window. I was willing to do anything for a smile from a man; I was willing to do anything if it meant a man would give me attention. All I wanted was for someone to tell me I was worth something, that I wasn’t a total loss cause.

If you knew me during my college years, for the love of goodness, your memories are completely accurate and your impressions of me rightfully STINK. {Like seriously, rotten, stink} You knew me during the darkest, most trying time of my life. Every single thing you thought of me, every single thing you saw me do probably made you shutter. And it should have. I was a mess, a complete and utter mess. Nothing seemed to dull the pain, no amount of alcohol, no man I was with seemed to make me feel good enough.

Satan continued to pull me down, and he eventually brought someone into my life that he absolutely meant to destroy me. A girl walked into my life when I was 20 and she worshipped, and yes I mean LITERALLY worshipped the ruler of this worldSatan. I compromised everything I knew to be good in this world, every time bit of self-respect I had left. I gave up on the girl that God made as perfect and good and I embraced the girl that Satan had made me….and my life forever changed.

How did my life forever change? I completely turned my back on God. I believed that He had forsaken me long before I had turned away and I decided to live my life for “ME”. I didn’t need to answer to anyone. I was the ruler of my own destiny, maker of my own world. I didn’t need God for anything, I could handle this life completely on my own. And that’s just what I set out to do.

The drinking got heavier, and I was then introduced to the world of drugs. Illegal drugs that most certainly are illegal for a very good reason. It wasn’t just something small like pot, no I engaged in many things that made me lose all my inhibitions. Up until the age of 20 I had refused drugs at every chance I could. I was scared to death of them and stayed away even when friends would engage. It was at this point in my life, when everyone turned their back on me and I turned my back on God that I decided to give up on life and give into anything that would keep me from reality.

Praise God that I was HIS CHILD and HE WOULD NOT TURN HIS BACK ON ME, because He brought into my life at the same time, my husband. Brian was brought up as a New Age believer—they believed in the elements of the world and that all roads eventually lead to a “heavenly” place. But He did not believe in God, and He most certainly did not believe there was a Satan. We argued a bit about beliefs, but something about him made my knees weak. He was everything I had always wanted, yet at the same time as completely broken as I was. His life was completely different than mine. He grew up with money, with stability, with vacations all over the world, a college degree, but he was damaged by his life just as I was.

What began as lust, quickly turned into love, but the love didn’t erase the sin we were living in together. We moved in together after 3 months, were engaged after 6 and moved all the way across the country to the beautiful state of AZ after 9.  It was during this time that God miraculously revealed Himself to BOTH of us and it was then that our lives BEGAN to change. It wasn’t an instant realization of what we needed to do, but a stirring began in our hearts. One that led us to God! When we were faced with the reality that we may never have children, we saw for the first time that there was something more in this world—and we were possibly going to miss out on this part of life. It was a life changing moment and one that God used to draw us closer to Him!

We decided to have a baby, got pregnant immediately, moved back to VA and began a life together as husband and wife. It was there that He revealed Himself to Brian and softened my hardened heart to remember that He had not given up on me, I was worthless and I was chosen, holy, set apart. It was then that He set us on a new path, one in which I am forever grateful.

You see, I write about Him because I know a life apart from Him. I know what a life in this world can do to someone. I know the heartache felt, the lies told, the damage done by the prince of the power of the air. He held me in captivity for more of my life than I have lived a new life. I led a life controlled by Satan for 14 years…that’s a long time. But more than those things, I know the power of the resurrection, the new life that He instills and the grace that He bestows.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved.”
Ephesians 2:4 & 5
I know what it feels like to have your sins wiped away—sins that you thought were so unforgiveable they simply led you to the next sin, and the one after that, and so on and so forth. I know that His blood on that cross atoned for my wicked life—how can I keep quiet about it? I did nothing to deserve this life, His grace was simply poured out upon a wooden cross.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”
Ephesians 2:8
How can I not scream to the world, one in which lives the same way I did, that there is a better way? How can I not tell the world that we are so special to Him, created for a purpose, chosen, set apart?
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
Jeremiah 1:5
I am not ashamed to speak about Him, as I have learned from my brother Paul:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Romans 1:16
I have simply found the life that I was meant for, that we are all meant for. We were created for His works, separated from Him because of sin. We can each live a life consecrated to Him, we must simply be willing to crucify our flesh,
“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Galatians 5:24
You may ask yourself now, why is she okay with sharing all of this information? Why doesn’t she keep it to herself? The answer, I CAN’T. I know there are people living a life just like mine, and I want them to know Jesus. I want them to know there is a better way. I don’t want to live my little life with my little family and never have to worry about anyone else. The heart that God has given me now, it is one that aches for mankind to accept Him. It’s a heart that understands that many won’t, but it’s the same heart that led Him to that cross knowing that many would not accept Him as well. Did that stop Him?

No, it didn’t, and the things people say about me, the lies that go on about me, the stigma I get of being a “Jesus freak”, it won’t stop me! I will happily admit, yep, I am a Jesus freak—He saved me from a terrible, horrible, disgusting life.

Am I ashamed of the life I lived? The better question is, am I ashamed of the time I spent away from Him? The answer to the latter is yes. But, no, I am not ashamed of the life that I lived because it is that life that gave me a testimony, it is that life that led me to my knees and it is that life that Jesus died for. We should all be ashamed of a life that is not with Him, but the individual sins that kept us from Him, no those are not shameful individually; they are simply SINS. A sin is a sin is a sin. Each one equal in God’s eyes, no one worse than the other. They all keep us from Him and they ALL deserve death. The life that is separate from Him is what is shameful and it is that life that keeps me humble and kneeling in front of the cross. 

God has given me a talent, one in which I want to use to bring Him glory and praise--this talent is writing what is on my heart and it is what keeps me writing about Him all of the time. Just because I write so much doesn't mean that I feel any closer to Him than someone who doesn't write, it just simply means that He has laid something on my heart that I believe He wants me to write about. He is the source of why I do EVERYTHING. 

So, the moral to this book I have written you today is this …. Why am I filling your FB feeds with my love for Jesus? Because He is what I love the most. He is what my life is about. Why do I share my personal information—to help the one who is lost and broken and I was.Why do I write blogs? To share my love for the Savior of the world.


Erin said...

I love the truth in this post. God covers all our past sins and saves us from all the things we have done. We are made new in His love :)

Erin said...

I love the truth in this post. God covers all our past sins and saves us from all the things we have done. We are made new in His love :)

Erin said...

Wow, sister this is an amazing post. What a ministry you have! Thank you for your honesty, you have such a beautiful heart! So thankful to have met you on here :)