In the middle of the day, God brought me to my knees in my kitchen.
Before going through this journey, I never really felt what it meant to need God. I loved God. I believed in His word and I strived to follow Him daily. However, I don’t think I understood how much I actually needed Him day to day. Everything had been so easy up until this point. I never really struggled. I never knew what it meant to truly be dependent on Him. I had never really been desperate for Him.
The Lord is a loving Father. He sent His only Son into this world to save us, not to condemn us (John 3:17). Often times when I felt I had sinned against God, I had immense shame and guilt that would cause me to hide from Him. Guilt and shame are not things that come from God. He isn’t condemning. He is full of grace.
The Lord is a loving Father. Every loving father has to discipline their children and redirect their paths at times. I experienced the beauty of His discipline for the first time and it completely rocked my world. There was no shame. There was no guilt. It was through the smallest whisper you could imagine and it WRECKED me.
I am such a control freak. As a teacher, I would create just about every worksheet and unit plan that I used in my classroom. I insisted on everything being exactly the way I wanted it. I would spend countless hours creating and designing things at home that I felt would increase engagement for my students and would meet them where they were. All those things were good, but after awhile I got distracted. I became very prideful and I believed this lie that said I was in control. My actions told God that I didn’t need Him. I stopped mediating on His word and started doing my own thing. I gossiped a lot and didn’t love people as well as I could have. I was thinking a lot about me and not so much about others. This happened so slow and so quietly. I didn’t realize it until that day in the kitchen.
This year has been a weird year. My husband and I moved to a different city, bought a house, and decided that I should take the year off teaching. In all honesty, we decided that because we believed we’d be pregnant by now and my husband knew I wouldn’t be able to quit teaching in the middle of a school year. I’ve been using my time creating and designing products for teachers at home, but my schedule is very flexible and allows for A LOT of quiet and stillness, both of which I’m not used it. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and spend reading God’s word, which has been an incredible gift.
I was reading Isaiah 37 this particular morning and was pouring my heart out in prayer. I had asked God to search my heart and reveal any sin that may be hindering my prayers, and boy did He reveal! It was an indescribable feeling. It wasn’t an audible voice. It wasn’t a vision. It was a feeling, by means of the Holy Spirit, of just knowing. That morning God took the blinders off my eyes and I was able to see my pride and selfishness.
It was as if God was saying, “Ashley, you have gone off the path I have set for you, but because I love you, I will put a bit in your mouth and I will return you back the way by which you came (Isaiah 37:29). I am the Creator of the World. I set the stars in their exact place. I created you. You’ve never been in control, but my daughter, rejoice in the fact that I am and that I love you deeply! I will show you how much you need me through this and I will be there for you. Even though you have sinned, my grace is sufficient and I’m here to bring you back.”
Now, God did NOT audibly say those things to me, but the Holy Spirit did minister to me in a mighty way with that message I described. It was a very quiet whisper that completely brought me to my knees. It was like God held a mirror up and I had to take a hard look into it. I was broken, but not in the sense of guilt and shame. I was broken by His amount of love and grace that I felt. I SOBBED in my kitchen. I mean I ugly cried. It was at that time that I knew I needed Him and He was there for me. I had been so stubborn and so resistant to listen. It took something as big as infertility to finally get my attention and give up control. I saw my shame, repented, and was met with the arms of my loving Father who promised to walk through this with me. I gave up control this day and for the first time in awhile, I really trusted the Lord. I surrendered and I was so free.
This was the start of something really beautiful.
What are some things you are holding onto that are distracting you from hearing God?
What are some times where you have felt the love of God?
What’s keeping you from complete dependency on God?