IMMANUEL

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

Immanuel
God with us
God for us


We are not alone


-ashlyn

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

it

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

too

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

it

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

not

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

monument

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
up
up
up

And lay my burdens
down
down
down

-ashlyn

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

-ashlyn 


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



-ashlyn

girl

Tuesday, June 20, 2017





Originally featured on Burning Youth


Girl
Braids and ball caps
Hair bows and stuffed animals
Flower crowns and chipped nail polish
Lover of all things bright and beautiful
Adventures and staying up reading past bedtime

Girl
Owner of scraped knees
Porcelain figurines
And worlds created in her imagination
When did you trade the books and toys in your backpack
For the weight and burden of the world?

Girl
The one with the caged and wary heart
You're a little weighted down
With lies and tears and promises that weren't kept
Shackles around your ankles
The burden of shattered trust

Girl
Did you know those places that seem beyond repair?
Those places..yes, girl, those
Those are the exact same places
That the light gets in and grows
The seeds planted in your soul

Girl
I know what you're thinking
How can something that hurts so bad
Ever be turned into anything resembling good?
But I know you
Because I am you

Girl
I know the nights you've spent
Sobbing into your pillow
The victim of your own unrelenting thoughts
The days that the hustle of going through the motions
Was enough to send your head spinning

Girl
Shaking hands with 'braveheart' written across your palms
Tigress earning her stripes
I know how hard you have fought
To never, ever let the battle make you
Anything, but soft

Girl
She who has galaxies in her eyes

Girl
The one with a nuclear warhead for a brain

Girl
Raging hurricane in the place of your soul

Yes, you, darling, you
Are a mountain shaker
Because you belong to the One
Who casts them into the sea on your behalf

Girl
Do you know how bright you shine
Each and every time you reflect
The light of the Morning Star Himself?

Girl
Do you know your own preciousness?
That which is Divine became that which is human
In order to not only partake in your brokenness
But free you from it as well?

Girl
Do you know how brave you are?
How strength drips from your fingertips
As you sit with a pen and a page
Writing out the psalms of your broken heart?

When you could feel the first cracks of your hopes and dreams
About to avalanche around you
And the tears were streaming down
And you whispered, “Thy will be done,”
You positioned yourself in the safest and most glorious place
On either side of eternity

The next morning
As you began praying for someone else who was hurting
And His voice interrupted you with the reminder,
I AM close to the brokenhearted.”
Pulled you close and invited you to be filled up
Before you began pouring out
And suddenly, your pain didn't seem so overwhelming
Because you realized you weren't alone

Yeah, maybe he left
Took advantage of your gentle heart
Emotionally manipulated you while having the audacity to call it love
And it scares you that something could feel so real
Yet be so far from the truth

But what have you to fear when Love Himself knows you by name?
When He who is Love
Never leaves
Never forsakes
Never abandons
Always pursues

You claimed you were a fool
But aren't we all fools in love?
And if your greatest crime was loving too much
What have you to be sorry for?

Girl
Don't let this destroy you
That boy was broken so he did broken things
But you're broken, too
And that can only be fixed by the One
Who was broken to make us whole

Girl
You loved and you lost
But if you bow out with grace
Can you ever really lose?

Girl
You have a fire inside you
Somewhere deep in your chest
It cannot be quenched by temporary people
Not if you choose to keep the flames lit

Girl
You have fought hard battles before
Bruised and bleeding, you have carried on
Step by agonizing step until you saw peace again
You'll make it out of this just fine

Girl
You are a royal Daughter of the Most High
And you deserve a love that treats you as such
A love that would go through hell for you
A love that would cross oceans for you
A love like the One who went to the grave and back again
Just to have you by His side

Girl
Do you hear me?
You already have a Love you can never be separated from
Not by darkness, not by principalities, or even the powers of hell
So, girl, listen-
Anything less is only a counterfeit

Girl
Wait for this love
Give this love
Be this love
Because I AM does not give His heart in pieces
And neither should you
-ashlyn

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