The Unseen Story


Behold and Become

(Listen by clicking the white play button. You can read the transcript of the story below.)

Hi, I’m Ashley, I grew up in the church and have known about God since I was three days old when my parents brought me to church. Anytime that the doors were open, I was there and I got saved when I was six years old at a Billy Graham crusade. I was always really excited about that. I was really excited to be able to tell people all about the Bible stories that I knew. I was excited to ask people to come to church with me, even though I didn’t really know that there was a way to have a relationship with God, I was still excited to share.

It wasn’t until 2022 when my husband died, that I learned that a relationship with God was something that I could have. That God actually wanted a relationship with me.

I met Jason when I was 20 years old. I was living in Kentucky at the time, and Jason lived in Arizona, and I met him on Facebook. I instantly knew that he was the one for me. And so I would just constantly talk to him, and then eventually it developed into a relationship and ultimately into a marriage. Even though it was a beautiful marriage, we also had a lot of really rough times. We didn’t know how to communicate with each other. We didn’t know that emotions were a good thing to be able to talk about and share and so emotions were shoved under the rug. We also just struggled financially.

He also had a daughter, I came into her life when she was almost two years old. I got to help her become a young little lady. I got to love on her, I got to be a second mom to her. Then 2022 rolled around, and we were coming up on our fifth anniversary. I had to leave our home in New Mexico to go to Colorado for a work trip.

Then April 9, 2022, came, and that day, I was not able to get a hold of Jason. I was calling him I was texting him. I was FaceTiming him. I could not get a hold of him. I started getting worried as one does when one can’t get ahold of a person. I remembered that I had Amazon Alexa speakers all over my house. And I also knew that when he wasn’t feeling good, or he was just tired, he would just lay on our couch in our living room. So I called the Amazon Alexa speaker that was next to our living room. And I heard this little voice, “Mom, is that you?” And I was like, Oh, Naomi’s here. So I started talking to her and was like, “Hey, can you go check on your dad?” And so she did. And she came back and she’s like, “Mom, my dad’s sleep. He’s lying on the floor, and he won’t wake up.” I instantly started getting worried. But I was thinking, Okay, I have to be calm for her.

So I told her that I was going to call her grandma. So I called Jason’s mom and she came over. I got a call a few minutes later, and his mom is freaking out. She’s like, “What’s your address!?” I said, “Why do you need my address? I’m in Colorado, like, are you trying to come see me? What do you need my address for?” And she was like, “No, what is your address in New Mexico!?” And I said, “What’s, what’s going on? Why do you need it?” And she starts screaming, “He’s gone! He’s gone!” And I instantly felt complete devastation. Like what just happened? Like, what do you mean? He’s gone? I quickly gave her the address of my home.

After I hung up I called my mom. She told me to go find somebody. I was staying with my boss and his family and I was standing on their back patio overlooking the city. I walked inside and my boss’s wife was right there, by the grace of God. She was right there so I handed her the phone. My mom told her, and instantly things started moving. My boss scheduled a flight for me to come back to New Mexico the following morning. My mom met me at the airport and together, we went back to our home in New Mexico. I planned a funeral, packed up my entire household within three days, and moved to Colorado.

Read More

I was becoming like Him, being transformed from this broken, absolutely broken, devastated, lost woman. I was being transformed into this amazing daughter of God...I was realizing that there was so much more to me than that broken piece of me.

Email Sign Up

After moving to Colorado, I was just working nonstop. I was just working because, you know, if you’re working, and you’re distracting your brain, you’re not trying not to feel even though you do feel. It’s just suppressed, and it sneaks up in moments that you aren’t expecting. It comes out in ways that you didn’t think it would come out like, my productivity was completely at an all-time low. My thought processes and how quickly I could think and react were at an all-time low. That’s how grief works but I didn’t realize that at the time.

So I was working like 60-hour weeks just because I didn’t want to feel I didn’t want to think. I was here in Colorado, working crazy hours for about two months. I was in church one day and I was telling God, “I am in so much pain. I don’t know how to keep going, I need you to step in, I need you to show me that there’s more. That I can feel better because it hurts. I’m so tired of hurting.

I’m so tired of trying to heal the way that the world tells me to heal. The way that the world is telling me who I am. The way that the world is trying to encourage me and by like the world, I also mean friends. I was expecting friends to pour into me. I was expecting friends to tell me who I was and that I was okay. So it was at this moment in church that I heard God tell me that I should go to Charis Bible College. And I was like, okay, Charis. I didn’t really know what that was. I just knew it was a Bible college, but God was telling me to go and I don’t want to hurt anymore so I’m just gonna go. Within about a month of starting to go to Charis, I ended up leaving my work.

I just completely dedicated myself to school, I completely dedicated myself to reading the word. Every single day, which I was required to do, we were required to read the entire Bible within a year, like nine months. I was doing that. I was reading on top of that, and I’m doing these courses that are talking about the Bible, and how God heals and how you have authority, and all of these different concepts that I was like, I’ve never heard of this before and yet this is in the Bible. This is so fun!

It was in pouring my heart into the Bible and pouring my heart into these lessons and just being surrounded by God, that I learned that God wanted a relationship with me…like me! Little ole me. God wants a relationship with me. Thank God. It was in learning that he wanted a relationship with me that I saw that I have worth. And that He loved me.

Then in October, it was October 27. It was the first snow of the year. I loved that fact. I was like, Oh, it’s so symbolic, He washes us as white as snow. I was on my way to school that day. And I was thinking, Today’s the day I’m supposed to take off my wedding ring. I was mulling that over. Then we were in the beginning of our worship time and I took off my ring. Immediately after I took off my ring, the song How Great is our God came on. That is a song that I absolutely love. It means a lot to me.

I instantly just start crying and then my mentor comes over. She tells me that God is like, so proud of the choices that I’m making and just encouraging me in that moment, completely unaware of what happened. And I just cry more. And I’m like, “You don’t understand, I just took off my wedding ring.” Then later that night, I had a friend come over, and he was just speaking over me and gave me a verse in Isaiah 55, God’s ways are better than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. And it got me thinking like, What does God think about me? If his thoughts about me are better than my thoughts? I honestly don’t have good thoughts about myself. So I was like, “God, what are your thoughts about me?”

I just started writing down all of these adjectives, like holy and righteous, whole and beautiful and glorious. Any new types of adjectives I could think of, I was just writing them down. And I was like, Okay, we’re gonna see what the Bible says about these adjectives. So I pulled up my phone and pulled up trusty old Google, and it was like, okay, Bible verse this word. And I started writing down, all of these words that were actually in the Bible. So I was writing them down, not only just the reference, but the whole scripture, and I would write down the definition of that word. And I was so intent on if I can write this down, and if I can find it in the Bible, then I cannot argue with these words.

I can’t argue with God that I am not righteous, I can’t argue and say that God doesn’t find me righteous. So I have this, pretty hefty little stack of papers now that are about who God says, I am. It was in doing that, that I started having a shift, in how I saw myself. I started having a shift in my identity. Instead of seeing myself as who I thought I was for people, I started seeing myself as who God says I am, I stopped seeing myself as the girl who lost my identity. Before I saw myself, as a mother, I saw myself as a wife, I saw myself as a daughter-in-law, I saw myself as a homemaker, I saw myself as what I could be for people.

After losing my husband, having moved, and therefore, not being with my child, I lost that sense of identity, I lost who I saw myself as because I was no longer those things to those people. So replacing what those things were with what God says, I am completely transformed everything. And in that time of really, really learning who I am, I healed so much. I was already healing by being in the Word and God changing all of these things, but it was when I started learning who God says I am, that everything shifted.

I also realized, that anything the Bible says that Jesus is like, I also am because of the Spirit who lives in me. I think of it as one of my life verses now and it’s Colossians 2:10. It talks about how I am complete in Him. In that moment of reading that verse, I was like, wow, like, I am not broken because of God. I’m whole.

On the flip side of I am whole and no longer broken, is that I am whole in Him because I am like Him. Because Jesus is full of joy. I get to be full of joy. Because Jesus is full of love. I get to be full of love because Jesus is the most patient person to ever exist. I get to also be patient. It was also really transformative. Just to think of it that way because I was like, “Oh, I have joy because Jesus has joy.” Joy started exuding out of me. I had friends commenting on how I was radiating Joy. Even though it made no sense, at that moment, it was just six months after losing my husband, yet I was exuding joy. I’m overflowing with joy. And I could never describe that. I was like, Is this okay? I think it’s okay. Jesus says it’s okay. So of course, it’s okay.

It also taught me that because I am complete in Him, I don’t have to care what other people are saying, I don’t have to care that I’m not grieving the way that I’m supposed to grieve. I get to be who God says I am. That’s the only person that I want to be is who God says I am. I don’t want to be the version of me that people are saying, I have to be, I don’t want to be feeling the way people are telling me that I have to feel. I get to be what God says I am.

There’s a saying that you become what you behold. And so when I am holding the things around me to make me feel better, I’m going to become more like those things. And those things, tend to make you miserable if they are not the right things. When I started pouring myself before the Lord saying, “Okay, God, like, what are we going to do about this? Like, I need you to step in, I need you to help me feel these things. I need you to help me feel better.”

I was directing my eyes toward Him and focusing on Him rather than the things around me. I started becoming what I was beholding. I was starting to become full of Him because I was beholding Him. I was starting to become happy because I was beholding Him. I was starting to become healed. Thank God, I was becoming healed. Because I was beholding Him. Thank God, I was starting to still see myself who, He was saying that I was. Because I was beholding Him.

I was being transformed from this girl who had no idea who I was. I was becoming like Him, being transformed from this broken, absolutely broken, devastated, lost woman. And I was being transformed into this amazing daughter of God and realizing that I was a daughter of God, I was realizing that there was so much more to me than that broken piece of me.

My hope in sharing this story is actually to help people find hope. I understand what it feels like to not have any. I understand what it’s like to have lost the most important thing to you. It is even worse to lose yourself. And that’s where it feels like there is no hope but there is hope and as you’re finding God you’re finding hope. And I hope that my story helps people realize that.

More God Stories

Send this to a friend

Hi, this story is AMAZING! Please take a moment to listen: Behold and Become!