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A Simple Story: Ashley Williams

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A Simple Story: Ashley Williams

What’s your personal testimony? This question can often seem daunting to someone who was raised in a Christian home or to someone who believes their road to Christianity was “smooth” or “easy”. However, God has a beautiful way of using even the simplest stories in unimaginable ways. Ashley Williams, one of our very own talented summer staff, shares how every testimony is important and can be used to bring glory to God.

Growing up in a Christian home and going to a Christian school, I never felt like I had a story to tell because everything in my life was great. Nothing bad ever happened to me that made me suddenly shift my focus to Christ. From an early age, I realized the importance of a relationship with Christ because I had his love modeled so well in my life through my parents and teachers.  Eventually, I began to understand that even though nothing crazy ever happened to me, I still had a story that was my own to tell of God’s goodness and faithfulness in my life.  

The Bible tells us that we will all go through hard times in our lives. As I got older, I started to experience loss, heartbreak, mean girls, plans shattered, etc. Each one of those situations brought a lot of pain, either physically or emotionally, but the one thing that remained was how God protected and comforted me while still pursuing my heart each day. People always say that God won’t give us anything we can’t handle, but what I’ve come to learn is that he does give us things that we can’t handle so we can rely on Him.  

 My human mind is constantly making plans and thinking about the future.  I planned where I wanted to go to college, where I wanted to cheer, the guy I wanted to be with… I thought I had it all figured out. Each one of those doors was closed, not because God didn’t want me to be happy or have things go the way I wanted them to, rather because he wanted me to walk through different even better doors. He showed me a path that was far greater than my human plans and has used me in ways that I could have never dreamed of.  

 Once I shifted my prayers from “God change this or that” and asked God instead to change me through the circumstances I was in and use me for his kingdom, I began to see him in mighty big ways. The Bible tells us to “fix our eyes on him”, so for me, that means to stop dictating my life and my plans and follow him wherever he tells me to go.  Rather than wondering about all of the what-ifs, I focus on what God has put in front of me right now and can rest in knowing that he is using me to make a difference for his kingdom.  Right now all I can see is a big mystery of my future. But I believe God keeps his will a mystery because if we knew it all then we wouldn’t need him. I’ve come to realize that it’s not my story that I share with people, but I am telling HIS story through mine.  My relationships, my career, my everything is in his timing and will be used to glorify him, so I’m choosing to follow his plan for my life rather than my own because he is the author of the best stories. 

Ashley Williams