Ashley’s Story

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Traveling home from a vacation in May, I was wearing a crossbody purse that I had to fix by hand-stitching the zipper. On the way home from that trip, I was also looking online to purchase a new crossbody bag to take on July’s mission trip to Rwanda, but then the Holy Spirit spoke! Just because we have to be stitched doesn’t mean we are forever broken. Just because we make mistakes or do something wrong doesn’t mean we are left that way with no hope.

God created us so when we ask for forgiveness and ask him to come into our hearts he shows unending grace and stitches the old making us new again. I saw a quote recently after returning from Rwanda that made perfect sense next to my testimony. “You cannot heal wounds by hiding the pain.”

I never wanted to speak about my past. It was a painful memory I wanted to hide and tuck away. But as my relationship with God was growing, more and more I found myself wanting to share. I had the feeling that my testimony could help someone and I shouldn’t continue to hide it. I had to become unashamed and remember that God took my sins and casted them as far as the east is from the west. He stitched my scars and wounds making me new again.

The crossbody bag I stitched went to Africa with me. It held up to the task of travel and a lot of usage over those 10 days. It was a reminder to me, while sharing my testimony for the very first time in my life, that God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. He also uses the broken. Being able to speak about what God brought me through helped me to grow and also grew the minds of the individuals listening to and translating my testimony. May God get all the glory, forever and ever!

Song: Matthew West – Broken Things