So, it's February. One month into this New Year's resolution (see About section) so I wanted to take a minute to thank all of the friends, family and strangers that have left/sent encouraging messages regarding the blog. This has definitely been a bit out of my comfort zone...it's not that I am not open about my faith, feelings and sentiments but I prefer people get to know me before I pour my heart and soul on them. In this world, people are so quick to judge. I think we often associate judging with alternative lifestyles, ethnic diversity, etc...but I have been judged a time or two in my life just for my faith. I actually had someone I loved dearly say to me, "I cannot understand how such an intelligent woman can believe in the whole Jesus thing." This statement was like a betrayal on a epic level and left me brokenhearted. It was the only time in my life, I actually felt like I could empathize with Jesus and the betrayal He felt from his friends.
It's interesting the opinions people immediately form of you, when you are open about your faith. Being so transparent about not only my faith but my soul has been a bit terrifying. But having everyone around me so supportive has been encouraging. I think my 'freak out moment' came a few weeks ago when I realized everyone I randomly meet, that looks me up on Facebook, now has an immediate window to my soul. The new co-worker, the cute guy I meet out, the friend of a friend of a friend...one click of the mouse and welcome to Ashley's soul. For a split second I kinda wanted to throw up. It was a bit suffocating to realize how much of "me" is out there. And it magnifies how much of myself I don't share with others. What is probably even more frightening, is I fear I'm just getting started on this journey.
So for everyone that understands how challenging this has been...thank you. You have been so encouraging and I thought of you all this past Sunday. Paul is by far my favorite writer in the Bible. I think it is amazing how he ended up in prison, only to write a good majority of the New Testament. Anyway--I love this passage of encouragement Paul wrote to Timothy during a time of discouragement:
2 Timothy 1:3-8a
"Timothy, I thank God for you. He is the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again. I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother and grandmother. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord."
For some reason, when I came up with the idea to blog, I felt very led to do it. It's not something I was super excited about it...fearful is a much better description of my feeling. Fearful, terrified, and a bit stubborn to get it started. But as I write more and more (and edit, edit, edit) I feel more encouraged that it has been the best resolution I've ever committed to. And for those that have asked...yes, please share with anyone you think might enjoy it. The goal of this is encouragement for everyone's eyes that land on it. And again...thank you. Only 11 more months to go.
Faith, encouragement, and maybe just a bit of throw up,
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Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.