True friends know that when someone says to pose for a picture, funny faces are the only option. Love you so much @alexcoccaa. (at Lenora’s Legacy Estate)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:1-3)
(Huge thank you to Olivia White for taking, what are most likely, the most incredible pictures I’ve ever seen. You’re so great at what you do!) (at South Carolina Botanical Garden)
My soul comes alive in fields of His glory. I am His, and He is mine.
“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt. When that day comes,” says The Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’ instead of ‘my master.’
I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion. I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as The Lord. (Hosea 2:14-16, 19-20) (at South Carolina Botanical Garden)
Okay friends, it’s crunch time. My first World Race fundraising deadline is coming up fast… June 27th! I need to have $3,500 in my fundraising account on that day to be able to go to Training Camp in July. $1,625 has been raised so far (WOO HOO!) so that leaves only $1,875 to go!
If you’d like to help support me while I’m on the field, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved!
1) Click the “Support Me” link on my blog (www.ashleyganahl.theworldrace.org) if you’re interested in supporting me through a financial gift.
2) Continue to pray for me. Please pray that The Lord would continue to bless this trip and bring in funds. He is SO good and has been incredibly faithful!
3) Buy an awesome new shirt! Check out my Etsy store (ashleygworldrace) to see the new shirts I’m selling to help raise funds. I think they’re pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. (To make things a touch easier, there’s also a link to my Etsy store through my Facebook and my blog.)
4) Spread the word! Share this post with your friends and family to spread the word about the World Race. Sharing is caring! :)
Thank you all SO much for all of the love and support you have given me so far! It has been incredibly humbling and I have felt so loved by each of you. I love y’all!!
Reliving middle school. I’d be lying if I said I don’t absolutely love this song.
What an incredible version of an old hymn. I absolutely love this.
If you decide to get hooked on any song this fall, let this be it.
Jehovah Go’el – Lord My Redeemer
Please let me preface this by being as clear as possible: I acknowledge that there are far more difficult situations for the Lord to call us into and there have been, are, and will be more painful things that people experience. This is simply my account of a new journey that Abba Father is leading me through and using to teach me more of his goodness and kindness and love. He teaches us all differently and is incredibly creative in the various ways he chooses to do so.
He spoke to us in the late, rainy hours of the last days of summer. Abba asked us to end our dating relationship. We obeyed. There was no reluctance, no anger, no fighting, and no distrust. We know our Father is good. We know his love is perfect and fulfilling and that his word is entirely reliable and trustworthy. We are loved by a good and perfect Dad. Anything he asks of us is for our good, for the good of others, and for his glory. So, we listened.
Here’s where the human aspect comes into play. Although we know how trustworthy the Lord is, that does not mean that what he asks of us is not difficult, scary, or painful. Sometimes what he wants most from us and for us is the most difficult, the scariest, and very painful. He does not desire us to be overwhelmed with a situation, filled with fear, or writhe in our pain. But, he does want us to trust him to lead us and purify us and draw us close to him through hard experiences, times of fear, and moments of pain. He creates a path through the difficulty that didn’t exist before. He comforts and brings overwhelming peace in the face of fear. And he soothes, mends, and heals the pain.
Rob is facing a phase in life that requires him to be completely Father’s. Knowing this, we listened when Father asked us to step away. That moment of telling Abba, “Yes” together was tear-filled. Neither one of us saw it coming in the weeks prior.
Usually in the ending of a relationship, something has gone wrong. Someone has been betrayed. People have grown apart, become too different to manage. Or the relationship was toxic and not healthy for either partner. This was not our case. We were continually growing closer together, closer to our friends, and closer to Father through dating each other.
So how did we process ending an already beautiful and wonderful and loving relationship that seemed endless? We had our most romantic and lovely night together. Ever. We shared our favorite wine. We danced in the kitchen by candlelight. We sat in his empty cottage on a blanket and shared our feelings, our thoughts. We recanted our favorite moments together. We prayed over each other. We cried and we laughed. Then, we parted ways.
It was the most romantic experience of my life.
This brings me to the beautiful lesson that Abba Daddy taught me in that moment: he loves to redeem every thing in our lives. Throughout our relationship, Rob and I experienced so many moments of the Lord redeeming our past by using our relationship to heal us. In my past, I had only experienced painful, dramatic, and scarring break-ups filled with screaming, name-calling, and abuse. But this time, this break-up, the moment was filled with so much goodness. So much grace and mercy. So much healing. So much honesty and kindness. The Lord loves to fully redeem and heal every part of our lives and our hearts. And if going through this relationship was only to learn what a beautiful break-up is like, it was all worth it. That piece of my past and heart was mended, healed, and redeemed. It was given hope.
I want you to know that relationships do not have to leave you broken and shattered if they end. They can leave you more whole than you were in the beginning. They can leave you more loving, more compassionate, and more yourself than you’ve ever been. The Lord is so faithful to his promises. He is so freeing and filled with joy.
I don’t know what the future looks like. What I expected it to be has been completely turned on it’s head now… But I know it’s going to be much more than I could ever ask for or imagine because my Father, my Abba, my Daddy is already there. He’s the Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning and the End. And he is already at the end, waiting for me.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
Bring me your weakness, and receive My Peace. Accept yourself and your circumstances just as they are, remembering that I am sovereign over everything. Do not wear yourself out with analyzing and planning. Instead, let thankfulness and trust be your guides through this day; they will keep you close to Me. As you live in the radiance of My Presence, My Peace shines upon you. You will cease to notice how weak or strong you feel because you will be focusing on Me. The best way to get through this day is step by step with Me. Continue this intimate journey, trusting that the path you are following is headed for heaven.
'The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.' – Psalm 29:11
'The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.' – Numbers 6:24-26
'But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.' – Psalm 13:5
— Jesus Calling (February 4)
You have to let the roots grow deep, and stop worrying about the leaves. In due season they will be made new.