"Draw me closer, oh my Lord, draw me closer, Lord to Thee." For the past three months, this has been my prayer. Three months ago, my world was rocked. It has taken me almost the full three months to get to the place where I am now. It is a good place. We have a baby on the way that I can feel growing! We have been discussing names, and laughing at each others' reactions to the others' favorites. We have made grand plans for new sleeping arrangements, and schedules. I have thought about this baby and what he/she will bring to our family, and what we can bring to his/her little life. I have decided that this baby will be blessed in so many ways, and so will we. We have an opportunity for so many new things that our family would not have experienced without our new addition. :)
Three months ago I was missing all this joy and hope. Then, the idea of all these new opportunities was completely overwhelming to me. I do not apologize, though, for being honest. My hope and my prayer is that by sharing what I was truly experiencing, that someone else might find the strength and courage to make it through similar situations - knowing that you will not be stuck in that place, and you will find a way out. I think Satan uses our shame and guilt to create ugliness. I could have said I was fine. I could have pretended that I was okay. I could have lied. The one thing that I did know during those dark days was that I could trust my Lord! I had never had to trust Him like this before. Everyday, I would wake up in a haze of panic, and I would just start praising Him for all He had brought me through before. This journey has honestly taken me every bit of one day at a time.
During this time, I have pulled away from many things - hobbies and friends especially. I didn't want to hear anyone or anything but my Jesus. I appreciate all my friends who let me push them away, and then draw them close when I needed them. You are my true friends, and I love you, and will definitely return the favor! To those of you who have looked me in the eye and spoken His truth as I needed to hear it, you are precious to me, and I will always treasure you. I have had to get to a place where I knew my only hope came from the Lord. Once I could stand on that, He started moving me and revealing new and exciting things to my heart.
"Let everything be lost in the shadows of the light of Your face. And let every chain be broken from me, as I'm bound in Your grace. For Your yoke is easy, Your burden is light, You're full of wisdom, power, and might...and every eye will see YOU...So captivate me, oh Jesus, set my eyes on You. Devastate me, with Your presence falling down. Rushing River, draw me nearer. Holy Fountain consume me, with You, and captivate me, oh Jesus, with You!"
These are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs - "Captivate Us" by Watermark. Those lyrics have been my heart's prayer the last few months. I know many of you have had several experiences where you've had to "shut out" the world just to hear His still small voice. I've heard it now. I've heard it before, but the place I was in and my fears and insecurities got in the way and made my mind too loud. I love the quiet that I have in my soul right now. There is peace where it was missing. I am now super-expectant for all the Lord wants for our baby. When I see his/her little face, the thoughts that accompanied my mind in the first days will be thrown into the sea of forgetfulness. We are having a baby people!!!!!! We get to experience the joy of a new life at an older age. Hopefully we'll be much wiser in every way.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. I just wanted to share my heart with you today. So many of you watched me walk through a valley that you'd never seen me in before. Thank you for not shutting your eyes and leaving me there. I know everyone likes the "happy Ashley" that I really am, and I just want you to know...she's back! One of the most tragic things that I can think of happening is when a sister falls down in her race, and the other runners step over her. I don't ever want to do this to my sisters. I'm usually a middle-ender in a physical race. (This means I'm more toward the middle to end crossing the finish line than at the front.:) So, when you are in this position in a race, you see a lot. If I see one of my sisters fall, I promise to help pick you back up. We all need someone with whom we can be completely honest. If you don't have someone like that, you need to find her! I have shared with you something that was not easy, but someone needed me to be honest about it. I have been faithful to Him through this, and He promises that He will be faithful to me, even if I'm not faithful to Him. Awesome huh?