Dear Future Children

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dear future children,

The world weeps and headlines flash and people cradle their heads in their hands, press face into palm as they wrestle with the endless barrage of questions that will never have enough answers. It seems like every day brings a new tragedy, another set of people being rendered orphans, widows, and childless parents due to actions of unexplainable evil.

I haven't met you yet, but someday I will. And it wrenches my heart and baffles my spirit when I think of the insurmountable problem of explaining to you why these things happen when I can't explain them to myself.

How can I possibly begin to explain the existence of evil; how it seeps out of every dark crevice of the world? How bad things happen every day and oftentimes, there's no explanation for it? How can I speak of the horror of human history that always leaks into the present? Are there words to describe the desperate brokenness of this world, account for the downward spiral of humanity?

What can I say of a madman who guns down innocent people, of monsters who drive vans into crowds, who kidnap children to be soldiers and force a rifle into their hands?
How can I explain the senseless hatred that turns one against another for something as insignificant as the color of their skin?

Can I make plain to you that there will always be those who take moments of grief and tragedy not to comfort those who mourn, but to politicize, on both sides of the spectrum?

This world weeps and aches with a desperate need for hope and light and truth. I wish I could explain to you why bad things happen or why some humans seem to have an endless capacity for evil. I wish I could tell you these things are rare, but they happen every day.
I cannot prevent these things from happening or tell you why they do. This world is broken and evil permeates the surface of the earth. We battle against things that often have no face; against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness.

No, there won't be a way to keep you from these things. But I can show you the hope and light and truth of the One we follow. I can teach you that we are called to love one another, whether that means holding the door at the gas station, bringing food to the homeless, or stepping up and stepping in to mourn with those who mourn, following in the footsteps of the God who came into our brokenness and didn't flinch away. I can set an example for you of how when others raise their fists and point fingers to blame, we can hit our knees and lift up prayers and praise.

When this world gets chaotic, I can lead you to the Rock that is higher than I. Because I can't keep calamities from you, but when it feels as though the evil in the world will overcome, I can remind you of the One who has overcome the world.

We are not promised an easy, pain-free life. In fact, when we read the Word, we find it's quite the opposite. But we are called to be patient in affliction, steadfast in prayer because maybe we don't know what tomorrow will bring, but we know to Whom we belong.

Of all the life lessons that I'm determined to teach you, the one I want to impart most of all is an unwavering belief in hope. I don't believe there is such a thing as a hopeless situation, only a hopeless person. I refuse to let you be one, and if I do my job right, you won't let the people around you be without hope either.

We are all children of hope and we are called to be harbingers of the greatest hope in the world, Jesus Christ.

No, I haven't met you yet, little ones. But I will. And I will not bring you into a world without hope because every breath you and I take is filled with it. I will raise you to be the light where there is none, make peace where others make war, and hold up a banner of love that overtakes every creed of hate. I will teach you these things as the Father has taught me. I believe in the greatest of loves because that Love has believed in me. He believes in you, too.

And so I have hope. For you, for myself, for every busted up and broken person, place, or thing on this planet. We are never without it. We just have to take the time to see it and let it grow.


your future mom


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What am I but a speck of dust to the One who made nebulae and the sea?
Who am I that He who flung the stars into the sky
Shaped mountains and spoke trees into existence
Would want to know me?
How can I cope with the weight of a Love
Who planned from the beginning of time
To pursue my heart no matter how far I ran?

Throughout the entire Word
One vein of His heart
Pulsing with a constant hum
“They shall be my people, and I will be their God.”
Over and over
From the Old Testament to the New
A constant revelation of His nature

Not a distant, angry tyrant
Hung up on rules and regulations
But a Father whose mission has always been
One of relationship and reconciliation
Far be it from me to overlook my need
For the One who knew I needed to know Him

God with us
God for us

We are not alone


darkness is losing

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Week.

You say you are not strong enough to keep living
And yet too afraid to die
When really the bravery was always in you
To give hope another try

I cannot pretend to know
What it's like inside of your head
My ears are deaf to all the things
And all the words your demons said

But I want you to know that
With every battered breath you take
Every time you remind yourself
That you're going to make


You remind the rest of us
We're going to make it


You are not the things
That echo in your head
You are not the dreams
That you think are dead

You are not the graveyard
Of the thoughts that have turned to rust
Or the hopes of tomorrow
That you laid down in the dust

You are not the fear
The pain
The heartache or the things
You think are done in vain

Don't you dare say
You aren't brave
or strong
Or that you're too far gone to save
Because believe me, you're wrong

And don't you dare say
That you aren't worth


Because every morning
When you decide to get out of bed
Whether you want to or


You show us all what a warrior looks like

So, no, I don't know your demons
And God knows if I could slay them for you I would
Because I believe that light drives out darkness
And we overcome evil with good

And I want to destroy the things that hurt you
And all that makes you cry
I promise you that though I might fail
I will always, always try

My promises are brittle
Feeble and weak
But still with every breath
It's them I'll strive to keep

And even if I fail
There are still these to hold

Perfect love casts out all fear

No weapon formed against you shall prosper

Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden
And I will give you rest

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son
That whosoever believes in Him will not perish
But have everlasting life

I will make a pathway through the wilderness
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland

My power is made perfect in weakness

I know that hearing this doesn't mean
You don't have monsters left to fight
But when the devils are lurking in your mind
And you're not sure you'll make it through the night

Please promise that you'll remember
Darkness is always driven out by Light

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

ashlyn xx


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Caught up in fear so dark and so deep
I never found words to describe it

Where words failed me then
Now they rush in and speak
Of your everlasting grace

I was afraid of everything
But now it's of your peace I will sing

So, I raise this monument up
The pillar is set in the ground

Fear can't hold me now
I raise this monument

And lay my burdens


deep waters

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Gasping, wheezing

Head breaks through the surface

Suck in air with aching lungs

Pulled back under the next break of waves

Of water so deep you find it hard to exist

When it feels like your only options are

Get out or drown

Because you've fought so hard

Battled so long

And you can't do this anymore

You just can't

Whispered accusations cast at yourself, cast at God

If I could just get it together, then everything would be okay,”

How, how, how, can God be good when it hurts so bad?”

Try harder, do better, you can pull yourself out,”

Why, why, why,”

But when we come to the end of ourselves

And there are so many questions that don't have answers

Maybe our greatest shortcoming is looking for solutions

Instead of looking to the solution

Maybe instead of finding a way out of deep waters

We should trust in He who goes through them with us

The deepest hope comes from the hardest places

The darkest pit of hell only magnifies His light

And it's when we reach the end of what we can do

Choose instead to cling to what He's already done

When we know it isn't just about coming through

But about coming through changed

Closer to the image of Christ

Closer to who we were made to be

That we begin to walk in the freedom of knowing

It isn't about escaping or drowning

It's about learning how to swim 

He remains

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It's an all too familiar feeling

That soul-sucking, draining, never ebbing hole that rests between who you are and what you strive to be

Who you know you should be, but just..aren't
Your feet are close to the edge, it crumbles, you might fall, and it's too much, too much, too much.

Because you try, try, try

But you're never quite enough, enough, enough

And there's nothing you ever been so aware of as you are your own inadequacy

The war you're waging has you losing more ground than you're gaining

Your own brokenness is staring you in the face, commanding all of your attention

When you fall into the same temptation again and again and start to wonder how there could ever be enough grace in the world to redeem you

When the rug is pulled out from beneath your feet, suddenly you find yourself not being able to hide anymore

Dirty hands, downcast eyes, the overwhelming knowledge that you've got nothing much to offer

Except for a broken heart and wounds so deep they threaten to swallow you alive

But, friend, what is your patch of darkness when it's held up against an infinite source of light?

Because the truth is, there isn't anything so broken or messed up that grace can't step in to make whole

Lay down your arms, it's safe to trust, He's safe to trust

You don't have to be in the trenches alone

There is One who sits with you

Holding your hand, cradling your heart, and whispering

That He knows exactly what you're going through because He's been in the trenches, too

When it's all said and done, maybe it isn't your job to be enough

Maybe fighting against inadequacy is a false choice

Maybe perfection is a less worthy pursuit than progress

Maybe the mess isn't meant to be fixed, but shaped into a message about grace and hope and light

That is less about who you are or who you are not

And more about who He is in you, through you, and around you

About how when you are faithless

He is forever faithful

When you are weak

He is strong

When all other things fade away

He remains


the struggle

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

There's no shame in the struggle

No shame in the strain

In those days where the effort between this breath and next

Is almost too much to take

The times when tears fall and all hope seems lost

There's no shame in the fighting

In the grit, in the groaning

Things clawed for, peace barely gained

T h e r e i s n o s h a m e

He is there

In your mess

In your heartache

In your war torn mind

In the whispered prayers

Where you're not sure anyone is hearing you

He is t h e r e

And you know what?

He loves you

Every last, beaten up, torn down, messy, broken part of you

The parts of you that you love

The parts of you that you hate

Is fully loved, fully cherished, fully accepted, and fully His

So, go ahead

Live like you believe it


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