Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



This morning as we were driving Dave slipped something he had stumbled across into the CD player. I listened with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as our pastor began to speak. It was the audio from Ashley's dedication service. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I was taken back to the morning that we took our sweet Ashley Kate to our church for the first time in her life. We had just been told that without a multiple organ transplant she would not survive. I had been trying to come to grips with our news when Dave decided it was time to take her to our church and give her back to the Lord. It was this morning that the actual written words of Ashley's story began. I remember that morning so well. I had been trying for days to put something, anything in writing for Pastor Tom to read. I knew there would be no way we could stand and speak so I tried over and over again to think of something to share. I struggled not because there was nothing to share, but because the things I new in my heart to be true were so difficult to see in print. As I listened to him read our original "Ashely's Story" letter to our church family I became so thankful that I struggled through and told a piece of her story.

At the conclusion of the audio this morning I couldn't speak. I could barely hold my sobs inside. Dave asked me, "What do you think of when you hear that?" I could not answer. Then he shared with me what he was thinking. "When I hear that I think of answered prayers." How beautiful to hear him say that. He was right. That is exactly what her life is. Answered prayers. All I could do was nod in agreement.

If you had only known our Ashley a year ago you would see what we see. Her life is evidence a thousand times over that God is there and He is listening. He is busy working in her life and answering prayer. He doesn't always answer the way I would like for Him too. His answers are not always swift, but they are real and they are right. Without the ability to go to Him and know that He cared, that He loved her, that He was alive, and that He was doing what He knew was best for her I can assure you that we would have crumbled. Just knowing that she belongs to Him and that she was created to bring glory to Him helps me see that there is a purpose behind all that she endures.

As I type she sits next to me on the bed shaking her head "No" to all that I say. She says "no
even when she means yes. She knows she is ornery and she shakes that head with passion trying to convince me that she knows what she is talking about. She grins and growls and then slaps at the keyboard. To see her sitting up and causing trouble is such a blessing. She has such a long way to go, but I know in my heart that she belongs to Him and she is working on His timetable and not mine. I can't imagine the joy He must feel in His heart when He looks down on her. The joy she brings to me is indescribable.

I have no idea what tomorrow will hold for our Ashley, but the best feeling in the world is knowing that He does. I can lay my head down and rest knowing that she is in the palm of His hand and she is safe. I gave her back to Him because I trust Him and she was dedicated to bring glory to Him. My prayer tonight is that she does.


At 11:12 PM , Blogger jtcosby said...

That is such a beautiful story! I love hearing how far Miss Ashley has come. It is a pleasure and a blessing to be able to pray for someone's as special as your family. Thank you for reminding me of the gifts God gives packages we may not think we want to open. I know I am learning...I am a SLOW learner! :)
Love, in Him, Tamara

At 2:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember that service so well, and how beautiful Ashley looked. How happy she was as Pastor Tom read the most heartbreaking story. She knew then and knows now how God has put her with such a special family to raise her, and love her. I remember thinking what a wonderful family are. I am so happy to read about her progress each day, I know she will continue to get stronger! Thanks for loving so much to share her with the world!

At 11:20 PM , Blogger sarahdodson said...

What a precious post. Your daughter is one blessed girl to have you for her mommy. :)


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