Monday, March 07, 2011

Discovering My Story

So last time I talked about how I spent a good deal of my teen years thinking I didn't have a story. That God had given other people like friends of mine, or speakers at conferences these great stories of pursuit and rescue and redemption, but I'd somehow missed the boat. All I could muster in response when people asked me about my testimony, or my story, was, "Yeah, uh, I've been a Christian since I was four. That's about it." Don't get me wrong...I wasn't perfect then, and I'm not at all perfect now. I just somehow felt that being rescued from a life of "worse" sins than my own was a story more worth telling. Yes, I was wrong on so many levels.

I didn't realize that what I thought was nothing, was actually God working together a whole lot of somethings to make my life exactly what it was supposed to be.

Let's pick back up around my sophomore year of college. By that point in time, I'd sort of put the whole story obsession on the back burner. Everyone around me knew I was a Christian, but we'd all sort of moved past the campfire "how did you become a Christian" conversation. Those who cared knew the gist of it, and those who didn't care...well, didn't care.

Sophomore year was a pretty great one for me. I loved the classes I was taking. I was really enjoying my work study in the English department. My roommate was fun, and I had great friends who also lived on my hall. I had the boyfriend I'd always wanted. I was so loving life. And then summer came...

I wasn't living on the hall with my friends any more. Even though I didn't miss the homework, I did miss the classes I'd been taking. And then, suddenly, my super awesome dream boyfriend broke up with me. Over email. And I had to go to camp the next week to work as a counselor. Where I would tell kids that Jesus loved them even though I was really feeling less than loved. Throw all that together, and I was a mess. A total, complete, heart-in-a-puddle mess.

In the middle of finding lost pajamas, lost Bibles, and lost toothbrushes for eight middle school girls a week, I found out I'd been assigned to the mini-golf station during free time. I hated mini-golf. It's where all the bad kids went to see how many ceramic woodland creatures they could decapitated before the counselor noticed.

I won't lie--I was so angry with the situation, and I was so angry with God for everything that had happened. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why this was a good addition to my story. Where was my rescue? Where was my redemption? Why did I suddenly feel like last week's newspaper?

Certainly this was no great story. It was more like a tragedy. 

One day I found myself trudging through the woods in the middle of a thunderstorm, not at all in the mood to maintain order at my mini-golf post. I had a notebook with me. I plopped myself into the mini-golf shack. And started writing.

I'll tell you the rest of this part of my story next time I post...looks like this one's getting a little long. :-) In the meantime, check out my blog ( and see how my story's coming along these days. As always, I'd love to hear from you, and you can contact me here.

Love always.


Taylor said...

Ashley, that is exactly how I feel! I don't have some major story of heart break or secret sins. I became a Christian at the age of four and have tried to live my life for Christ ever since! Not exactly an exciting story huh? I can't wait to read the next post!!!!!!!


Ashley Mays said...

Taylor, I'm so glad you're able to relate to my story! I think a lot of us feel the same way. :-) I KNOW God has something awesome in store for you. :-)


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