Beauty in the Pain

I have had such a hard time knowing what to share through my blog and what might just leave you all depressed, no one loves a Debby Downer. Back when only a few friends and family read my personal blog (and maybe at that) I was much more free and verbally explosive. But maybe it’s not so much the fact that any one of you, my amazing and supportive followers, would read this, but the fact that I can not find the words to describe what I am going through. Maybe that is what scares and frustrates me the most.
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I don’t value much in myself right now, but something I have always liked about myself is that I have almost a weakness for being vulnerable, maybe too vulnerable, a little too open with the wrong people, but I also think vulnerability can be a strength. So, for what its worth…this is where I am at.
I’m sad. I am not completely sure why either. I guess you can call it depression, but I haven’t seen a doctor so I can’t say that officially. I think something may be off kilter with my hormones. I recently started taking vitamins and they are helping SO MUCH! I can tell such a difference.

I have been inspired by Casey Wiegand to share, share it all…with that quote she always refers to that freed her and speaks to me so much as well …

“I find beauty in not only the beautiful things in life, but the bittersweet and sad as well. To me, there is something poignantly lovely about the human experience from its splendor to its grief. God created all our emotions, not just the happy ones, and for His good purposes. That's why a good cry can feel so good. And hitting our limits forces us to look outside ourselves for a Savior. It is in the plea, when we're at our end, that we can find that which is truly life-giving. Personally, my moments of deepest grief, deepest pain, have resulted in the most beautiful seasons in my heart. I've met God more intimately in those moments than in all the other pleasant ones combined. What isn't completely lovely about that?"-Leslie

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The other day I sat with my good friend Holly in Coldstone for two hours crying our eyes out. Her dad passed away a few months ago, she misses him so much, he was the man in her life, she doesn’t know where to go from here. I couldn’t say much because there is not much to say in such pain. But I would tell her I knew even though God didn’t save her dad the way she prayed and believed He would and could, if we really believed He loves us the way we say He does, than I know He cries more for her than I do and I know He will take care of her. 

Then we would talk about my pain and how I pretty much hate myself and feel overwhelmed by my sadness and have forgotten who I am. Can I really even know who I really am without the Lord? We talked about the vines and the branches and not being connected to the source of and how we are a shadow of the people we used to be when we were much closer to the Lord. 
We are both strong women who have been the ones who are there with advice, strength, love, etc. Now we are broken, lost, far from God. We spoke truth to one another, back and forth. I felt ridiculous being needy in front of this girl who has lost her father, but she found giving back from the strength she had forgotten… healing. I think I felt the same thing. And so in the middle of our tear fest at the ice cream shop, I REMEMBERED and there was something so beautiful about having no answers, being in pain, loving each other in spite of it all…right where we are at. 

Nothing has changed, per se, but I want them to. I have believed so many lies, they are deep in my heart. But I am the one who fights, I am the Peter who is a little over zealous for their own good, who many times speaks before they think, who is far too serious, emotional, intense, and really really messed up. If this time was to humble me and give me perspective, well it has been a success in this aspect. 
What is the quote?
"Anyone God uses significantly is always deeply wounded. . . We are, each and every one of us, insignificant people who God has called and graced to use in a significant way. . . On the last day, Jesus will look us over not for medals, diplomas, or honors, but for scars." (Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust)
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And so I must go meet with the one I love, and not DO anything but receive the healing my broken heart needs. 

This is a video I made over a year ago, but its very appropriate for now. God’s song to me, to you too.
I will show you love: Kendall Payne






20 Thank you for your thoughts:

  1. my beautiful ashley, i know how you feel, for years i felt sad and didn't know why. but like you i had to look to God and that was the only way. beautiful post. i shared about my struggles with that recently, you might enjoy reading it. sometimes knowing you aren't alone in your feelings helps. love you. http://laluceimagery.blogspot.com/2011/09/depressionanxiety.html

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  2. Ashley, I'm totally keeping you in my thoughts. I'm not exactly sure why we experience such extreme emotions. Whether we are overly excited or awfully upset or depressed. I'm just not sure why we have to go through these emotions that are undesirable.

    We are who we are, nothing is just peachy when it comes to life. It's not that we aren't trying to be the person we want to be- it's just that we aren't even sure where to begin to make things turn around for the best. My heart is heavy with the feelings you are expressing. It is heavy because I know all too well what those feelings are.

    Just know that I am thinking of you, as I'm sure so many others are as well. If you want to express yourself, do it. Whether it is as glamorous as I believe you to be- or as awful as you might feel. Be you- because I can assure you that I will continue to show you my support as a bloggy friend and reader.
    With my truest sincerity.... Brooke Anna

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  3. Please believe me when I say that I feel your pain. I too struggle with depression and PTSD due to my injury. I wish I had good advice, but the best thing I can do is tell you that God does indeed love you - He loves both of us - and that you're not alone.

    I love the quote. Love it.

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  4. I hate that feeling of just being depressed when you don't know why. I get that feeling sometimes now that I got married and had to move far from home. I think for me its a lot of homesickness for what used to be. And now that I'm an adult there are so many stresses that weren't there before. But Jesus is there through it all and He will help you to come out better than you were before. Did you say you are preggo? Forgive me if I misunderstood...but if you are that is a time when you can feel down just because. And after about three months it will pass...God bless and will be praying for ya!

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  5. I think that type of depression lives in most of us. For years I felt the way you do and never expressed it. I think that's why it took me so long to pull myself out of it. It's good that you have someone to share with. I feel myself slipping back into the 'hole' when I think about how much I miss home and my family. Sometimes I wonder just how I ended up where I am. It's mostly due to the events that happened before Katrina hit New Orleans. It chokes me up every time I think about how drastically my life has changed.

    Ashley, you aren't alone. Even though we have our different reasons for being sad, we all experience the same pain.

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  6. Ashley,

    I'm sorry to hear that you are experiencing some low low's. It's no fun but you will make it through. I have battled depression for years and God will guide you back to happiness. I have been seeing a dr and doing therapy and it has helped me tremendously! Hope this helps!

    xoxo

    http://bresbaubles.blogspot.com

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  7. I'm sorry you're going through a rough time, but am so thankful that you know where to go to heal. God is so good and faithful and I love that He can take our hurts and scars and bring beauty from them. Praying that for you.

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  8. I too was inspired by Casey's post with that quote. I too can understand what you are feeling. I have been dealing with anxiety and post-partum depression. Some days are good, others it's so bad I don't know how I will get out of it. For me, it helped seeking medical attention and the medication I am taking has helped tremendously. I wish you the best and pray that God will bring you peace in whatever it is you are feeling.

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  9. Ashley, a few months ago, I was asked to submit my 5 favorite blogs in a feature. They just posted it, even though I sent it 3 months ago. Since your blog is my favorite, a link to your blog is listed there. I would love for you to pop over and see it...sounds like you need a lift! Go to: http://www.simplystacie.net/2011/09/tuesdays-top-blogs-according-to-mom-4-real/

    Hope it brings a smile to your face and your heart!

    Jessica
    http://mom4realky.blogspot.com

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  10. Thank you for your honesty and humility in posting this. I don't think you're being a debby downer at all... you're being honest with yourself and with your readers. That is beautiful. Knowing that you have struggles makes you more human and real. God is good and he will help you get through this difficult time. Blessings and prayers being sent your way sweet girl!

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  11. Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings and thoughts. I have been there and know how difficult it can be to even talk about it. I applaud you, your honesty and courage.

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing this. It's so hard when you are sad and don't know why. Where do you start to heal a pain that has no known source? I'm glad you have your faith to see you through these dark days.

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  13. Can I be bold enough to say "I know."? Because I do, I really do. From the bottom of my soul...I know. Thank you for being open and vulnerable with us, the faceless audience. I share that gift/curse of vulnerability and openness, however, my hubby calls it being genuine, which is much nicer. Thank you for being genuine.

    Let me say just one more thing..."May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He turn his countenance upon you and give you peace."

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  14. Ashley,

    this is an ongoing thing for most of us. truly, it is. the trick is not to be isolated. having some really honest friends certainly helps. also, i think that it is a residual longing for the perfection that we have lost. no matter what we say, do, feel, have, or accomplish in this life, that aching for eternal beauty and perfection will always be there. sometimes the ache can be a painful heart throbbing that strikes a melancholy chord in our days.

    don't get me wrong...there are certainly practical, daily, and physical things that we can do to help us along...but if you never put a name to it or a finger on it, it's okay. He knows; and don't you think that he longs for you too? yes! just keep taking it minute by minute:)

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  15. Ashley, you are so real on your blog which why I love reading your posts. I have battled with depression too and am glad to know I'm not the only one. My husband has been without a job for two years, and it makes me feel a lot of pressure. Anyways, all that to say that my emotions are always a roller coaster of up and downs, but I have learned God is always constant. Last week our preacher spoke about how we are never alone. God never leaves us or forsakes us. It is reassuring to know that He knows everything going on in our lives. Also, my mom gave me an encouraging quote, "Anything that makes us need God is a blessing." I hope that you are finding encouragement and that you are able to feel better soon. You seem to be a very gifted person, and I think God is using you in more ways than you know!

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  16. I absolutely adore your candidness. I, too, am trying to figure out how much of "me" to show the blog world. I know you are beautiful to the Lord whether you see your beauty, or not. It isn't about you, it's about what He wants to do with you. Don't worry, for you are "fearfully and wonderfully made."
    ~ Liz

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  17. I think anyone who pretends everything is fine all the time is lying to themselves. After my 4th baby I had post partum pretty bad and knew that I needed to seek help. I was embarrased and ashamed that as a mother I didn't even want anything to do with my children. I was overwhelmed and hated myself for it. I did take an anti-depressant for over a year and I'm glad I did. I feel for you in my heart. You are in such a lonely place and it's difficult to fathom life without sadness sometimes. Please know that you are a light and you are strong. I am and will be thinking of you, my friend.

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  18. I appreciate you sharing your heart. You know you're in my thoughts and prayers!!

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  19. Ashley, ever since I met you, some 10 years ago, you have been an inspiration to me. Your love for God and His children you have poured your heart strings onto those you don't know. You are a beautiful young woman inside and out. God will never put on us more than we can bare. These times make us stronger and humble us. You are away from your family and friends but very close to our Heavenly Father. I love you my sister. I pray for peace to come into your heart. You are not alone.

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  20. I was so touched by this post, Ashely, and want to thank you again for being so open and sharing! I have struggled with when to share certain things on my blog as well and am someone who often shares too much too soon with people and am too trusting...so I related to a lot of what you are saying here too in some forms...plus, recently, I've been down, felt sad for reasons I can't quite fully explain though I have an idea some of the root and lonely even though I know I'm not alone, but am usually happy and upbeat at least 90 percent of the time and am just going through one of the lows in the roller coaster of my life, which I know happens to all of us. I just wanted to thank you for who you are and let you know how lucky I have that our paths crossed in blogland...I think you and I are very similar, and I know things will get brighter for you very soon...you are such a light for so many!

    Liesl :)

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