Hey, Iím Ashley and this is my world.
As a little girl growing up, my life looked good from the outside. My parents loved me and cared about me and it seemed like I had everything. But something was missing.
I was a bigger kid growing up, and I always tried to be accepted by my friends. I always pretended to be who they wanted me to be instead of just being myself. And I ended up lying about a lot of different things.
As I grew older I realized my parents fighting a lot at home, which made me never want to be there. I would stay at my friendís houses for days not wanting to go home. This put a lot of separation between me and my parents, especially because I would continue to lie to them.
Soon I started partying. My life became filled with drinking drugs boys and I even began to cut myself. This continued on for several years. One day a friend of mine brought me to church and I accepted God into my life. I felt a real change. However I couldnít break free from the life I was living.
At age 17 I realized I was two completely different people. To my parents and some friends I was a good church girl. But nobody knew about my partying or the extent of my depression. I started doing cocaine with a friend from school which made me even more depressed.
One night after coming home late and lying to my father again, he decided to search through my car. He found a journal I had written everything in and read it. After reading it, he was scared for me and realized that God was the only one who could help.
He took me on a road trip not telling me where we were going. On the ride he confronted me about my addictions, and even when I could have been completely honest with himÖI lied.
We arrived at a discipleship house for women who have addictions. And while we were visiting I met this incredible woman who for some reason I spilled my heart out to.
I realized I had come so far away from who I really was and that only God could provide me the comfort, hope, and love that I needed.
Coming back from the visit I made the decision to join their 6 month program. It really felt like it was the beginning of my life. Through those months I found my purpose and reason for living and I can say without hesitation that Christ has freed me. Through my relationship with God I have found out who I am.
Since completing the program I finished school and got my diploma. Iím working now and I have the incredible opportunity to sing on my worship team at church.
I strive everyday to live my life as an example for God. Iím allowing Him to freely work through me and be who he has called me to be.