Ashley Clark

"It's all because of Jesus."

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Growing up, my family situation was never quite right. My relationships with my parents and my brother were never normal, and their relationships with one another were not normal. My family was taught the truth, but over time, my father's heart drifted away from Jesus. Then my mom fell away from the Lord, along with my brother. All that was left was me, broken, confused, and desperate to know what it was to live in a normal family with normal relationships. I was in college, about to start my senior year. I needed stability, so a wonderful family opened their home to me, knowing that I had issues, that I was broken.

It was one of the sweetest times I had with Jesus that year. I learned so much. Sometimes there are points in your life when God puts up a mirror in front of you and says, "Really look at yourself! It's time to fix some things." One of the things I was shown was that I was self-absorbed and only thought about myself. Junior, Natalie, and Rebekah (the family I lived with) helped me immensely with this. They showed me what it was to take care of the hearts around me. I know that I am a better person for them being in my life.

Jesus did some really kind things to encourage me that year. One particular time I was out with some friends shopping. I had just talked to my father on the phone and my heart was hurting; so, I went outside until I could “recompose” myself, and a lady walked up to me and asked if I was ok. I said yes, and then she looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Remember, this is only for a season.” I knew that was Jesus reminding me that he may scourge his children, but he does not leave any of us without hope!

After that year, I did feel scourged, to my very bones, but I remembered what the Bible says about scourging: “Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness for those who are exercised by it” (Heb. 12:11). Almost a year to the date that my life had fallen apart, Jesus gave me my heart's desire. I am now married to someone I have loved since I was a very small girl, and we are happy, living around our family and friends in Christ. Life is wonderful! And it's all because of Jesus.

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