Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Story, Pt. 3

This is a continuation of my story. You can click here to find Part One and Part Two.

Last time I left off, I was sitting in a mini-golf shack. In the rain. Having a pity party.

Oh, that's not what I would have called it at the time. I'd have said something about how life was difficult, and I was tired and stretched thin. I would have told you that my heart was broken, and hurting and didn't I have the right to sit in that little shack and be angry with the world?

The rain outside just kept coming, more and more steadily with every passing second. No kid, not even the bratty, woodland-creature decapitating sort would venture out under those conditions. I kept an eye out for them, of course, but for the first time in weeks...I was alone. No "she sprayed me with the air freshener" arguments to settle. No bedtimes to enforce. No silly girl drama over flip flops to handle. Just me. And the rain. And my notebook.

So I did what any stressed out writer with a notebook does. I started writing. Actually, I started praying. I grabbed the closest pen and started to scribble.

God, I don't know what you're doing here. It doesn't seem fair. I'm here at camp in the rain, by myself. I'm loving on these girls with everything I've got, but I don't feel at all loved myself. I'm trying to pour myself out here, and I have to admit, I'm running out of...everything. Of love, of compassion, of joy, and patience. I can't do this. 

I paused. What was I there for anyways? Why was I at camp again, for the third summer in a row? What was God thinking letting that guy break up with me and then sending me off for a summer to love people? Tears pooled in my eyes. I felt like someone was squeezing my heart like a tube of toothpaste. This whole thing just wasn't working for me. For crying out loud, where was the someone to love me?

I scribbled a few more words of pain and angst, letting the tears flow. After all, no kids were coming in this nasty weather. And then something clicked in me.

The rain. The abandoned mini-golf shack. The solitude. If I'd been meeting a guy there, it would have been incredibly swoon-worthy. But at that moment? My Father had chosen to meet me. No interruptions. (Which, FYI, is nearly an impossible thing to accomplish when you're a camp counselor!)

This was a love story of epic proportions. And I had been missing it the whole time. I started to look back over my whole life. I pieced together the different places God led me and taught me and worked for my heart. And then I turned my focus to the summer and everything that had happened.

I had GREAT, and I'm talking awesome, friends surrounding me. Two of my best girl friends, and a guy who worked extremely hard to protect my heart and be my friend. Awesome teachers who truly had hearts towards healing and helping me. Structure to help me get my breath back after a breathless spring. One of my closest friends and I shared a back porch, and we spent a lot of time having heart to hearts there in the early morning hours. There was a specified time for me to read my Bible.

All of these things "fell into place" without me even thinking about it. But in that moment I saw how the Lord had moved things around and put me in that place at that time, just to show me how incredibly loved I was.

I really did have a story.

And so do you. :-) God doesn't give some people a story, and others nothing. He's got a purpose for your life and things are happening now that will play a part in who you are in the future. Never doubt that He's got something great going on for you. Keep your eyes open and look around. Sometimes the ways God chooses to work in your life are surprising... :-)

Love always.

Ashley

6 comments:

Emii said...

This really did come at the right time.
"He's got a purpose for your life and things are happening now that will play a part in who you are in the future. Never doubt that He's got something great going on for you. Keep your eyes open and look around. Sometimes the ways God chooses to work in your life are surprising... :-)"

Thanks so much, Ashley.

Luv,Emii

Ashley Mays said...

Emii,

I'm SO glad these words helped you. God is so good to use my words to encourage others. I love hearing about it!

Ashley

Sierra said...

I've really enjoyed reading your story.Stuff is still falling in to place for me, though I'll never really get to the part where everything makes since, God will teach me what I need.Sierra

Ashley Mays said...

God's always doing something! :-) I don't think we'll ever really get to a point where everything makes sense to us here on earth. I guess we'll "get it" all once we make it to heaven. :-)

sarah said...

I hope God doesn't want me to die soon. I just got diagnosed with leukemia and a rare disease that only 5% of the world gets, and mostly in third world countries. I have pushed everyone away, and stay alone all the time.

Ashley Mays said...

Sarah, I am so sorry to hear about the really hard things you're facing right now! I'd love to just wrap my arms around you and give you a big hug.

Lord, we pray that you would give Sarah peace and comfort through this difficult situation, and that you would bring people into her life who are willing to be a strong support system for her. We pray for your healing in Sarah's life! Amen.

Sarah, you are NOT alone! Praying for you.