Oh, did I type that outloud?
The saddest part of my day today was realizing how much time has been wasted by setting boundaries on my heart for those who deserve to enter, all the while begging… making excuses for…. waiting…for… those underserving people to simply have the least bit of desire to enter… to just love me…
I have spent a lifetime making excuses for… and wishing I could figure out why… my mom abused me and treated me the way she did, why my dad abandoned me, why my grandfather molested me, why the 14 year old boys next door raped me (I was about 6), Why my step-father thought it was funny to watch me cry and scream in horror as he pretended to have the Indian Chief on the phone and he was going to sell me to them (I thought they would scalp me and kill me – I was about 5ish)… why I couldn’t do things the right way… his way so that my ex would quit hitting me, quit cheating on me, or why I kept dating and marrying the same lying, cheating men throughout these years – only their names changed, the behavior was always the same…. Yet, the one man who entered my life and put a ring on my finger… the God-fearing, gentle giant who adored me – I left ½ way to the alter and ran to the other side of the ocean….
Why would I put such a boundary line against him? A big, fat, gigantic line in the sand that says, “You love me unconditionally therefore, YOU MAY NOT ENTER!”
Well, here we are 25 years later, and praise Jesus, he did finally enter! Sometimes I wonder though if I have a neon sign over my head that flashes “Enter at your own risk!”
None the less, he has my back and I love him for it. He knows me better than anyone and all my horrible secrets and loves me anyway – he sees me for who God says I am, rather than what I have been told that I am and that is hard to find, but easy to obey!
He makes my life worth living and gives me inspiration to start each moment fresh and new. He also helps me to set new, healthy boundaries and to trust Godly judgment for without it, we would be… well, stupid, angry people who, like me, 25 years ago, kept trying to make people love me – when they didn’t deserve me! Worse were those who I let close enough to my children – they certainly deserved better! They are my blessings from God and they deserved the best!
But since I cannot go back and change the past, I can count on God’s promise to use the bad for our good, to those who love Him and to those who are the Called, according to His purposes…. And I thank Him for that! I can also take my past experiences and use them for His glory and that is exactly what I intend to do.
I am married to David Ashley, AKA: the Pastor of Pump. We own a fitness company and a speaking ministry. Together we are Cross Strength Ministries. A couple who God introduced 29 years ago (as of 2012) and patiently waited for me to get a clue, before bringing us into heavenly matrimony March 19th of last year! With both of us on the same exact career/ministry path, same hopes, same dreams and more love and appreciation for one another than either of us ever thought possible!
Holly T. Ashley
Holly is a certified behavioral health, addiction, family and violence counselor, in addition to a personal trainer and group fitness instructor; She is also a published author, writer, columnist, speaker and Nashville recording artist. Holly was 20th Centuries “Ms. Arizona” 3rd runner up to Ms. America and “Model of the year” and has appeared in multiple films, commercials and Television programs.