I have a powerful story that I want to share with you.
If you are reading this, you probably know that I have this kind of strange obsession with quotes. This story that I want to tell you has to do with my collection of quotes.
On March 1st, 2011, I received a Facebook message from a girl that I have never met that blew me away:
Ok so I know you don’t know me at all and I don’t know you either. But I have a story to share with you that I feel like you may appreciate.
About a year ago I was extremely depressed and very suicidal. One night, exactly a year ago..February 28th, 2010, I thought there was no hope and planned to take my own life. For some reason (which I now believe was God’s doing) I got on facebook and somehow stumbled upon your facebook where I found this quote on your page-“1. the path is not straight 2. mistakes need not be fatal 3. people are more important than achievements or possessions 4. be gentle with your parents. 5. never stop doing what you care most about 6. learn to use a semi-colon 7. you will find love” -marion winik
Seeing those words stopped me from making such an awful decision, and I thank God every single day for you and your all too perfect status.
I’ve thought about writing you from time to time but I figured since today marked a year since that night it was appropriate. Thank you so much Ashley! I hope life is treating you wonderfully!
So, holy crap. I had to read it over and over again to let that sink in. I emailed it to my mom and my dad right away, and here’s one of the things that my dad said to me: “This is truly incredible and amazing… you could never imagine how your everyday walk would have profound impact on a stranger.”
Now, why am I sharing this story with you? Well, this may surprise you, but I have been so embarrassed about sharing this with anyone until now!! My aunt is a middle school teacher and I know that she shares this story with her students each year. When I found that out, I felt humiliated. I didn’t want my name tied to the story! And, a few months ago, my parents were encouraging me to share this with my pastor so that he could use it in a sermon…but I kept avoiding it. There’s just something about this that makes me feel uncomfortable. And I think that those were my insecurities speaking through me, controlling me.
Me? I could have had an impact on someone I’ve never met? Why me? This message from this girl brought me to a place where I felt weird and uncomfortable, and I wouldn’t let myself take any kind of credit for it. And the more my family raved about it, the weirder I felt about it!
Instead of acting all “Ashley”, I should have embraced this incredible happening because it is truly the work of Jesus!! A few words that I posted on my Facebook status helped to alter a girl’s life forever!
I tend to be a head over heart kind of girl. Emotions are sticky, and I tend to avoid them whenever I can. Needless to say, this message was extremely emotional, and made me feel all kinds of emotions that I didn’t want to feel! Now, a year later from receiving the message, I am able to experience those emotions a LITTLE better… more like the way that God intends for us to handle our emotions.
There is also this lie that I have been believing: Being confident will make me prideful and selfish. I think that I was so afraid of acknowledging and accepting this event because I didn’t want anyone to think that I was bragging or taking credit for it! Maybe that is why I just kept feeling so overwhelmed and uncomfortable throughout this whole ordeal.
But wait! Jesus tells us that true confidence leads to SERVICE. I want to share this story with you to boast of MY God. Sure, I needed to work on being secure and confident in myself and my relationship with Jesus to share this story with you – but hey, I’m getting there!!
So…I have written all of this to say, you never know how you are going to change someone’s life. And I want to encourage you to go on living your life, with all of your likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and personalities that are only perfect for you and you alone. You are FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE (Psalm 139:14). And whenever something crazy-awesome-overwhelming like this happens to you, embrace it!! Be PROUD to be one of God’s children. Be CONFIDENT in the fact that you are exactly who you need to be, and you are exactly where you need to be. You may not feel like that is true, but hey…you could be in that exact spot at that exact time for someone ELSE’S sake. Think about that one and chew on it some, will ya?