appearances don't matter

posted on: 4.19.2012

© Eros Turannos
"...let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted." Hebrews 12:1-3

I'm Ashley, going against all odds since 1991.

My mom's water broke on February 12. I had to stay in the hospital about 21 days until I was clear from infections. The following year my parents divorce. At age 5 I was deeply scarred by grief when my dear grandpa died. At age 8 I entered the fashion industry, knowing what it felt to be rated & humiliated by the standards of society. By age 12, Endometriosis accompanied my womanhood, suffering from this painful health disorder although at the time I was unaware of it. During the years of 13-17 I had an unhealthy relationship that added to my emotional baggage. At 16, I was being cyber bullied by seniors in my school who would take pictures of me and Photoshop them on skeletons, among other things. The fall of my 17th year was chaos: my dad was framed and put in prison unjustly, my great-grandma (who raised me) passed away & my mom's [bad] relationship with a man 10 yrs older than her took a toll on me. Add the fact that I had unbelieving parents and that's a recipe for destruction.

Needless to say, the enemy had a target on my life. If I had followed through with my suicide plans, I would've never lived to see my 18th birthday or graduation. If I am writing these words today it is only because of Jesus.

In a nutshell, I've given you a taste of my life. In those moments, I was powerless. Everything around me, all my circumstances, pointed to my weakness. I should've given up on my life... and I was going to. Until I understood the cross.

God lead Jesus to the cross... He lead Jesus through torture. It was God's will for Jesus to endure mockery. And by the time we thought it was over, Jesus died on a cross. He appeared as a slaughtered lamb. When it all looked like defeat before those who mocked him, it turned out to be the biggest victory we've ever known. Our history is still impacted by this moment.

It doesn't matter how things look around us. What matters is who we serve. We serve a might, faithful God that has made a way for us. He adopted us as His when we deserved hell. He can take our circumstances and use them for OUR good... ultimately, His good. We can trust Him with our stories... We must persevere and endure.

I write this to you, but mostly to myself, because our circumstances do not define our end. God does! The beauty of the crucifixion is that the cross was not the end of the story. The present situation shall pass! I'm a living testimony of how God changed all my circumstances and used it for His good because I pressed on and believed His promises when things were against me. I've seen His hand move. He restored everything and multiplied it.

My dad got saved, went to my graduation and was baptized that summer of 2009. My mom broke up from her bad relationship that year and is now doing way better. I'm on friendlier terms with my ex (as friendly as exes can be, haha), I'm dating a wonderful guy I'd like to spend the rest of my life with & I'm still believing I'll one day be healed from Endometriosis. Until that happens, I'll keep reminding myself that appearances don't matter. This is not the end of my story.

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

17 Smiles:

  1. Oh sweet girl, I love seeing your heart and the ways that our good Lord has redeemed you and brought glory to His name through you! Sending my love!

  2. Wow, thank you so much for sharing your heart! I can't imagine how difficult it was to write and how scary it is to put it out there - at least that's how I would feel!
    Praying that the Lord will use this post to help others see that He can carry us through anything and that by Jesus' blood we are made new and what defines us is the cross - not the bad things that have happened in our lives.


  3. Thank you so, so, so much for this! Your honesty and bravery in sharing your story all point to the strength our God has given you, and it's beautiful =)

  4. You are such a powerful and beautiful woman of God. Proud and honored to be your friend :)

  5. Thank you so much for sharing. this was beautiful. as much as the enemy tried to mess with you, you were protected and covered by his grace from the beginning. you're a living testimony to his goodness and thank you for allowing us to see a little bit of your life.

  6. this is amazing. you are amazing. it's so encouraging to hear god's work in people's lives that are similar to our own. so glad i found you. your heart is beautiful. love.

  7. I typed my heart out and the computer was used by the enemy to delete it! ahhh. Well I love you and your heart for Christ and this post was beautiful. I said a lot more in the first comment but I'm so exhausted I can't replicate it :/. Blessed by you my dear :)


  8. wow. you are so sweet and kind. and honestly, you're one of the most beautiful women i've ever seen. God is using you to impact lives, whether you see those impacts or not. don't ever change who you are, how He made you. because you're here for a reason. we all are. thank you for sharing your heart. it means so much to me as a follower that you're so humble.
    you've greatly inspired me girl. :) maybe one day i'll get the guts to share my own story. pray for me? :D

  9. this is so powerful and beautiful.

  10. I read this a few days ago and could even comment. This is beautiful. Nearly crying again as I reread this. You are a beautiful testimony of what God can do in a life. Love you friend!

  11. Wow wow wow, your story is incredible! The Lord is just incredible, isn't He? clearly, He is doing some beautiful things in your life and your testimony is such a precious example of His goodness and mercy. Love it!

  12. This is so beautiful! You're such a light to many others with this blog. No doubt this further illustrates the hope you have living inside of you.

    Just emailed you lovely :) xx

  13. This just gave me chills. So so blessed to know you, friend! Christ has done such a beautiful work in you.. and it's just the beginning!


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