Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Finding Forever

Morning Glory on Plane.
I remember like it was yesterday, 9 months ago sitting in the New Jersey Airport when a woman’s voice came on the loud speaker announcing the departing flight to Dublin, Ireland was the last flight going out that particular gate. Suddenly a panic feeling came over me and I started to wonder just exactly what I was doing here, was I making the best decision for my life, or was I just going through some crazy faze. And maybe tomorrow I might wake up regretting ever purchasing this ticket. One thing for sure it was too late to turn around and by her announcing this was the very “last” flight going out that gate it translated in my ears as the point of NO return. But what brought me here? The fact that I accomplished all of the goals I had set for myself as a young 20 something. That I should feel proud at this point in my life because I had degrees, a job I was passionate about, numerous awards and titles behind my name. But where was this desire for more coming from and why was I willing to leave everything behind to fulfill it. More adventure, more love, more goals, more discipleship, more travel but most importantly more God. 

So this is what 6 yrs of hard work and dedication led me to purchase a one-way ticket across the world with NO plans or direction on when or if I would return. To go backwards and relearn everything I’ve once learn. To question and dig deeper into this faith that I wholeheardly trusted for so many years, and to redefine myself not as the Ashley Joy everybody known me to be, but instead the woman I lost touch with a long time agoI knew this would be a life-changing experience. Despite my fears in that moment I boarded the plane with the loves of my life right beside me supporting me to do WHATEVER my heart desires, which, luckily has always been the case with my parents. 

Paris, France
I felt the need in this season of my life to throw away all of my independency I held so dearly. My own self-righteous feeling of being a “strong-black woman” and become that little girl who parents faith in me made me feel strong even in all of my weakness. To become that princess who daddy sits on a throne smiling at her radiants of beauty. I felt a need to become vulnerable opening myself up to experience a world of wonder even on the expense of losing myself. I didn’t know that Ashley Joy boarding the flight but I knew that was the Ashley I desired to be. The Ashley who left comfort and routine for travel and adventure. I knew I didn’t want to be that Ashley stuck in the office all day, everyday paying bills with my hard earned money. I wanted out, I wanted more. I wanted missions trips to Africa and sight-seeing in Paris. I knew that Ashley boarding that flight would never be the same and from that day forward my life would be just what I always knew God wanted it to be. And for the first time in my life I was okay with the sacrifice that came with it because more than anything I like who I am now. I love my life. 

I can see clearly not because of my own revelation but because of who I am in Christ. I feel like Moses when he protested to God “who am I that I should carry this special task” but actually who am I not to be. Having peace of mind is my saving grace. I need it and living in mental chaos is like death to me. I found the peace of God in the Irish mountains, in the beauty of Paris, the diversity in London, and until you witness 70 yr old women dancing to the sound of their own laughs in Spain, you know nothing of passion.

How ridiculously blind we are to love sometimes. The intimacy I shared with Christ the past 9 months has birthed a transformation in me. Leaving little focus on my love for Him but instead a focus on His love for me that never changes. You can look at something a million times and you still wouldn’t see the beauty of it until you actually look at it. I’ve never realized how cute the freckles which lies across my face were or how bashful or innocent I look when I smile. I didn’t recognize how my eyes sparkle every time I hear the sound of a love ones voice, or the unwavering loyalty and unselfishness I have towards others which was evidence of God’s touch on my life. We can be so oblivious to the obvious blessing God gives us in human form. It took me forever to realize but now I see and now I can forever see and I never want to lose sight. I am able to walk in confidence in a love that transcends above anything gained by natural logic, positive thinking, materialistic merchandise or the insights of a “successful” career. This intimacy changed everything about my life and my love for others. Christ, not I becomes my total source of life. And with that I can go anywhere, I can do ANYTHING. I can look forever and ever. I can stare at the object of my love, devotion, passion, and adoration because…
              The greatest discovery of all was finding forever inside of ME.


  1. Wow... This has so much power behind it.. so much inspiration.. sis I'm so proud of you ... I love you and your love for others.. your passion for life and the Lord...

  2. Hey lovebug!! Thanks for always being an inspiration. These were the same thoughts that ran through my head when I went on a missions trip to Ecuador. Thank you for propelling other young women towards Christ. Well done! I've given you an award. Please stop by my blog to pick it up.

  3. What a great post sis. Thank you for sharing. I too went through a similar journey, not like you but I went through a series of trials & tests and saw God PURPOSELY CHANGED my plans & put me on a DIFFERENT path. Looking back at the thorn filled path now, I wouldn't change it if I could because like you, I have discovered something that transcends anything this world as to offer even my own goals & dreams and now only anchor my joy, my life my very being in Christ.
    Blessings to you sis!


  4. Hallelujah and Amen. Thank you Ashley for sharing His life through you with us. You have truly inspired me to be me and love Jesus at the same time. Keep walking on water my sister. You never know whose in the boat watching you!

    Faith Talk

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