Holly T. Ashley

Oh? Did I type that outloud?

Wretched and Rebellious

There was once a woman so wretched, so covered in filth, she lived life as a hateful victim of circumstance, glorifying herself in her own pity with bitterness so mean that she could skin a cat just by looking in the poor soul’s general direction.

She was told by a world of the best psychologists and well-meaning pastors, that the pain and hurt that she endured was worthy of some time to heal – that it wouldn’t always be this way… “healing takes time.”

For some it might be hard to understand why a loving God would allow such horrendous crimes such as childhood molestation or rape. Why the “good” die young, or why “bad things happen to good people.”

Unless, that is, that we remember who we serve…. and the wretched, rebellious, sinners we are.

The Bible gives an enormous number of examples of rebellion, trials, and suffering, for us to learn by – unfortunately, we tend to focus on Scripture that feeds our desperate need for validation.

In my case, my validation was to be allowed to go through life as a victim and to allow the bad actions of others to affect my thoughts, feelings, and determine my hateful actions.

That immature and unholy, self-righteous, indignation lead me to a life where I continued to abuse myself and allow others to abuse me as well.

For twenty-five years, I lived my life to validate, justify, and in my mind, “redeem” myself. I went so far into a big-black hole of darkness that every decision I made – every thought I would think – and everyone that I chose to have in my life – was nothing but wrong.

After 10 years, 3 abusive and useless marriages, and life as a stripper – you would think that I would have learned my lesson and straightened up.

But I did not.

I might have “perked up” when I quit dancing and took my children to a church down the road…

But I was not ready to repent. I wanted to hear, “Jesus loves you right where you are.”

And that is exactly what my “tickling ears” wanted to hear.

So, I continued on. I went to work at a reputable corporation, dressed to the nines, taught the youth at church, worked with victims of violence…. all while walking the unholy road of darkness – no accountability –

Just making sure to check the boxes that everyone required of me.

And for the next 15 years, I was the epitome of a white-washed tomb.

The Holy Spirit of God stayed true to His righteousness and left me alone…

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 Jn. 1:5).

I was not living in the light of the Savior – I was living in darkness, apart from God almighty, and far, far away from His love, comfort, healing, and redemption.

Jesus had said to me, “Pick up your bed and walk.”

“No, I’m good.”

“There is none good, no, not one”

I never realized – or took it upon myself to even consider – that on those days when I was molested by my grandfather –

The day the boy and his friends next door determined to violate that little girl (me).

That as Satan stood before God and asked permission, stating to the LORD God almighty that I would curse His name and deny Him forever….

– God said, “give it your best shot.”

*****************

We live in a time (so far) where we are still free to practice our religious beliefs – and we do so whole-heartedly… well, as far as we believe that is – with a w(hole-in-our) hearts.

The Scriptures are not filled with stories of our personal vindication – The Word of God is filled with a Christian’s persecution.

I think we need to take a year to study about persecution… trials… being steadfast in the faith. We need to take a break from praying for God to prosper us, heal us, rescue us…

We need to get over ourselves, pick up our bed, and walk on – in the  light of the Lord Jesus Christ – praising him that He hasn’t killed us over what we thought about last night… or what we said that disgraced His name just yesterday… Or simply thank Him for rescuing us from those life-long decisions, that should have killed us…

When I awoke from my slumber of hate-filled pride – I lay prostrate on the ground of my little condo. No children – I lost them in the mess that I made of my life.

No possessions to speak of.

No job. I had lost that too.

No money.

But I did have an Almighty LORD – who, for “His name’s sake” alone – wasn’t finished with me.

And so, I live to tell my story – if only for one more day –

And I will sing of His praises. I will sing of His glory. I will cherish redemption, restoration, and the hope of a full and eternal recovery…

And I will do it with an urgency – unbecoming-of-others…

knowing that there are those who are not as blessed as I am –

They may not have tomorrow.

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph. 5:11).

We all talk about being “transparent.” But are we?

There is someone, somewhere, that needs to hear your story. Don’t wait to bring them into the comfort and love that you have found in Christ Jesus.

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This entry was posted on June 24, 2019 by in Call to Action.
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