Her arm, shoulder and hand had tattoos. Her hair had this crazy bleached out streak in it, her style was definitely different than my own.
And because of her differences, it was easy to assume she didn’t love Jesus like I loved Jesus.
But that was just not so. Ashley loved Jesus with all her heart! And her love for Him spilled out onto those God brought across her path. The tattoos covering her body were Scripture she clung to. And in her short twenty-eight years she impacted the world for Christ in ways we probably will never know until we get to heaven.
God called Ashley home just a few short weeks ago. Her absence leaves a gaping hole in our lives and we grieve because of our great loss. We grieve for the husband and daughter she left behind. We grieve for the experiences lost and the incredible way she served so many. How can we ever replace that? Our loss was heaven’s gain!
But I refuse to call Ashley’s death a tragic accident. It’s easy to see it that way. One so young with so much living yet to do, suddenly gone. A family left behind. A daughter who will never have her mom pick out a prom dress with her. A husband with an empty space in his bed. Questions that seem to go unanswered.
But it’s not tragic for Ashley! She is now living in the presence of the Savior she loved so dearly; more ALIVE than she has ever been. Dancing with Him, singing with Him and gazing on His face. She is HOME.
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His control. Philippians 3.20
It’s so easy to live like this life is all there is. To grab and cling to the here and now and forget that we don’t really belong here. This is just a stopping ground, a place to camp out until we reach our real home.
Ashley lived in the knowledge that eternity was coming! She knew her hope was not in this life, that slips through our fingers like sand, but in the life to come. She lived with a confident hope that her last breath here would be her first breath in heaven. And it was!!
I want to live this way! Totally sold out to Jesus. Holding nothing back. Making every moment count. I want to live. I want to laugh. And I want love like she did. Like Jesus calls me too. I want to remember this world is not my home, I’m just passing through . . .
Spilling His grace,