Lust. Fornication. Depression. Mental illness. Alcohol/Drug addiction. Ambiguity in my sexuality. Heartbreak. Revenge. Abusive Relationships. Jealousy and hatred. Bitterness. Anger.
Let’s be real, I’ve been through it all. That’s the key phrase though.
From the time I was 11 up until I was almost 22, I let all of these terrible things determine my destiny. Not once ever paying attention to who I am and whose I am.
My parents raised me up right. Kept me in church, youth choir, dance ministry...allat. You know I had to hit the vacation bible study every June followed by the church picnic where I could show off and show out *spins around like JJ from Good Times*. But my heart was never focused in the right place. I was a believer in God and the story of Jesus Christ, and thankful for him sending his son, but man I had a funny way of showing it. Faith without works, and sometimes…. No faith.
There were many times and many nights during those 11 years when I wanted out. I needed temporary happiness to fix that feeling. Temporary pleasure. When pain came into my world, I'd drink it away, smoke it away, sex it away… anything I could do to distract myself from the whirlpool that was my life instead of calling on the One who could heal it all. I spent so much time blaming other people (and MYSELF) for my circumstances, when all it really took was for me to start looking at God with a closer eye and a purer heart.
A lot of my college nights were spent crying out to God for help during times I felt as if I were physically being attacked by the devil. I could feel him in my body. In my spirit. I could feel that my time was coming to an end here on earth. No more chances to be saved, and no more chances to live the life God had always wanted me to have. And that's when it clicked. This is not the life that God wanted for me.
I stopped drinking, doing drugs, fornicating, and started doing anything I could to get God’s attention.
I needed him to see me.
With mustard seed faith in myself and a miracle from heaven, God began to turn my life around. I began to see things in a new light. I had a renewed heart & mind, & a transformed spirit. It was literally as if God reached down, picked me up out of the valley, & placed me on the mountaintop. The view was different. UPPER ECHELON!!!
I prayed the devil’s spirit all the way out of me & told that ass not to come back! At 22 years old, I gave God a YES! & rededicated my life to Him. Since then I've been running like mad to fulfill the call on my life. Basking in the glory of God, walking in my anointing, & inspiring other millennials to do the same. Living with Him at the forefront of everything I do has been LIT, literally!
Life isn’t perfect for me now, & it isn’t always easy either- But I’ve learned to put God’s will before my own & focus on fulfilling my assignment by living a holy life. I’ve learned to be quick to give & slow to take. Quick to listen & slow to speak. Quick to forgive & slow to exhibit hatred, anger, or bitterness. Quick to give it to God & slow to seek revenge. Quick to let God just be God!
Now as a millennial, i’m walking with God and learning more and more about his love and his story each and every day while also living out my own. I am not perfect. I still twerk sum when I hear Future come on! But God sees my heart, and he knows I belong to him. His love is the center of my being. Welcome to my journey through the Book of Ashley.