I want to share a burden that has been so heavy on my spirit the past week. I have been brought to tears many times, and at one point, out of no where in class, just because I feel so incredibly blessed to be in this season. I found out last weekend that one of my old roommates is engaged. All of my roommates are in a relationship of some sort. Two have boyfriends, one is now engaged, another is married, and another is married with a baby. And by the way, they are all younger than me. You see, this was all supposed to be happening in my life, too. Supposed to be. I was the one with the steady and certain relationship. I was the one that was confident in my plans. My wedding was in sight in the near future. That is all I have ever wanted. But that's just it. That is all I have ever wanted. Those were my plans. But obviously the Lord has something very different in mind for me right now. I am not telling you all of this so you will have pity on me or feel sorry for me. That is the last thing that I want. I don't want you to think that my life is going all wrong, because it's actually going just the way it needs to. When all hell broke loose in my life, at the time, it felt hopeless and devastating. And it didn't matter what people told me. I couldn't see past it. But now, whew....but now I can look back and I see the Lord's sovereign hand all over my life and every event. I am brought to my knees because He picked me to step away from my life. I feel so honored. And so special. He called me. This is such a rare thing. So rare. Sometimes I ask, "Why me?!" And that question used to refer to the suffering and seemingly awful circumstances I was in, but now, when I ask "why me?" I am really asking, "Why do I get to be called away to spend this time with you, Lord?" He must have some big, good, and special plans for my life. He is so faithful and sovereign. As much pain and heartache as I have gone through with different things, I can now say that I would do it all over again for the sake of knowing Christ. I would rather my soul hurt for some time than my spirit be hurt because I lack fellowship with the Father. Because no matter how much your soul is hurting or your physical body, when you know the Father, there is peace that surpasses all understanding.
Something that has been a huge struggle for me for a long time, and I know for so many other people, is locating my spirit. We get so bogged down and frustrated with trying to discern what the Holy Spirit is saying and what we are saying. I have been talking about all of this recently with a few people, and today, the teaching was just what I needed to hear. We tend to worry so much and make things much more complicated than they really are. Everything is starting to make sense. The bottom line is fellowship with the Lord. That is it. I'm done trying to figure out my purpose, career, life, etc. I already know my purpose, and that is to be one with the Father. When we are in fellowship with Him, things start to become clear. He longs to reveal to us because He is not a God who wants to confuse us. I'm going to be honest and say that no wonder things have been so rocky and shaky and back-and-forth in my past. When we are always saying, "Today, God told me this," and then the next day, "Oh, now God told me this," it simply means we are lacking in true fellowship with the Lord. We often approach God and His word with our soul, and that is why everything is so incredibly confusing because we are going off our feelings and emotions, which is absolutely ridiculous. We can't touch God with our body or soul, but only with our spirit, because GOD IS SPIRIT. A brother shared a good word this morning: When you know that the Lord has told you something, then that word is the same for you the next day and the next until He tells you something different. I'm done with the fickleness, and dealing with the fickleness of others. Do I need to overcome an addiction? Just fellowship. Do I need clarity? Fellowship. Do I need direction in my life? Fellowship. Francois has given us an example that fellowship is just like tossing a ball, or frisbee in my case ;), back and forth with Jesus. You say something, He says something back. Another brother made it more clear in saying that it's just like tossing a ball because when God throws something at you, He can't toss it back unless you throw it back to Him first. I'm at such peace with life because Jesus IS MY LIFE. Yes, things are still hard, but I don't feel as much swaying back and forth as I used to. He is regulating everything inside of me.
I can't believe my time here is almost up. We leave for Israel in 2 weeks, and I am at total peace with going. I'm sure a lot of you have heard about the bombing in Jerusalem a couple of weeks ago, but we are just following the Lord's leading, and as of now the trip is still on. I am getting so excited. We looked at our itinerary this past week, and it made me even more excited!
I am trying to soak up and receive everything that Jesus has for me the next 2 weeks here. I am not the same. I know that I know I will NEVER be the same. I'm still Ashley, but a lot of things are changing. I have more of the reality of Jesus Christ. And it's nothing that I have done. It's all Jesus inside of me. I have said this before, but I wouldn't want my life any other way right now. It's the most satisfying thing doing what the Lord has called me to. I still don't know what He is going to call me to next. I still have no idea where I will be in a few months, but I am at complete peace with that. I'm just waiting on Him. I trust Him. I need Jesus. I need Him so much and I give Him my future and my life.
I really can't wait to see all of you again, whenever that time comes. I pray that the love of Jesus becomes so real to you that you cannot hold on to your own life anymore. I pray for His breaking and cutting in your life, so that you may refined and molded by Him. I pray He will come after you with His constraining love and captivate your heart so that you will never be the same.
JESUS IS LORD OF MY LIFE!
p.s. I have reached the full $11,500! All glory to my Heavenly Father! I had no doubt in Him, because with Him, ALL things are possible!
p.s.s. If y'all would like to see pictures of my time with LEGACY, go to my facebook page and there are quite a few!