My name is Ashlee. When I was a young girl I always thought I had my life pretty mapped out: I would marry young, I would start my family, and I would live happily ever after. The goals I had were worthy, and the aspirations were simple and pure. I never thought I would struggle. I never knew I would go through pain. In my mind, I truly believed that as long as I was living life the best I could, I might be exempt from anything really hard.
After the birth of my 5th child my life started to feel like something was crumbling. I had no idea what was wrong or why things seemed to be strange . . . but I could feel that something wasn’t quite right.
On the night of March 11, 2011 all of my answers would be told to me. That night I sat in my living room surrounded by detectives telling me the answers of what had been going wrong. My husband had been murdered. And he wasn’t just shot and killed, he had been sleeping with the gun man’s wife. With the answers now as clear as day, I longed to fix the problems; only I no longer had a marriage to fix.
I had no answers until he was gone. I wasn’t given a chance to ask why. Everything that once was so stable and sure . . . felt like it was over. The dreams of my childhood were shattered that night. I was living every part of the life I had written in my mind as a young girl: I was happy, I had beautiful healthy children, I was married to my dream boy. I was living worthy of all of it. In that moment it didn’t seem fair. Why was I being punished when I had worked so hard and sacrificed at every chance I could to make all the right decisions?
That night will forever be imprinted in my mind. It was the night that I stood at a crossroad. I felt like everything I ever wanted had been shot out of my life; and yet it was the night that Heavenly Father showed me that He was there for me, and he would carry me when I could not stand.
We will all stand at crossroads and wonder if it is Him who has let us fall, or if it is Him who is carrying us higher. I can promise you that He will never let you fall. He is there when the nights get dark, and the road feels lonely.
He will not leave you alone. Even in those moments when the world has abandoned you, He is still there.
It has not been an easy road since that night. I have had messes to clean and trials to face. I have learned more about myself in those three years than any of the 28 that I had lived before. Our family, and each one of us individually, felt truly broken to our core. I didn’t know how we would go on another day, but as each one has come . . . we have walked hand in hand, and step by step.
Life is not always going to go the way we have planned, but we can still find joy in the path that He has mapped for us.
I have remarried and been blessed with a new daughter. Blending our families has been a lot of work, and some days I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it. Just like God helped me tell my children the next morning that their Dad had died, He has held my hand while I have learned to love again.
The last three months I have started a blog about our journey of healing and search for peace. You can find it at www.themomentswestand.com. It has been a great source of healing for me, and a wonderful reminder that even through the hard days there has always been a source of strength that has come. I have seen Angels, both earthly and Heavenly.
Our journeys are all unique, our stories each their own . . . but we are not alone. We are all a giant family of souls who are searching for hope, love and faith. Every life that has touched ours for good, will leave an imprint on our mind forever. Take every moment you can to make sure the mark you leave is filled with the love of Christ.
I know that He lives, and He will bring you any peace that you seek. Without Him we will break, but with Him we will break through.
Story written by: Ashlee
This story appeared first on Real Imprints.