After completing six months of brain therapy and returning to my job with newfound deficits, I was asked to give a talk on being a miracle. At the time, it burned.
Sure, on paper my recovery and return was a miracle. But the reality of it? The daily grind of it felt anything but miraculous.
Instead of seeing that I had survived, returned to work, and rescheduled my wedding as a miracle, I saw my struggle to adjust to how my body, my life, had changed after the accident.
Why do we focus on the daily struggles, the less than perfects, rather than seeing the bigger picture? Why do we refuse to trust that He is still working even when our story doesn’t look exactly like we think it should?
I had spoken to the same group of high schoolers with some friends just weeks before the accident. We shared our testimonies and spoke about how hard it is when your faith becomes your own in college.
This same group of GodTeens received the news of our accident and followed our recovery. They left comments and prayers on Caring Bridge and asked me to post pictures of therapy.
Then, eight months later, after I’d beaten all medical odds and returned to campus, my job, fiancé, and life, they asked me to come speak at their retreat about being a miracle.
It all felt too soon; it felt unfounded. I was still adjusting to life after: to team meetings where I couldn’t hear half of what was said, trying to type notes at ACrew meetings with my impaired hand, and overcoming self-consciousness of my tilted face as I approached my wedding.
At the time I didn’t feel like a miracle.
“If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” -Matthew 17:20
I knew He could. I trusted He could. But, at the time, I felt like He wasn’t.
The prayers that many people and myself had prayed felt unanswered and mountains I had asked Him to move seemed unmoved.
Even If You Don’t
I decided to give that talk and, as I reflected on my story, on this Scripture verse, on the previous eight months, I began to see the big picture. I began to see the mountain range.
Rather than focusing on all of the details that weren’t exactly as they used to be, I saw all of the mountains He had already moved.
I saw how He had fought to stabilize my brain pressure in the ICU on top of various infections and pneumonia. I saw how He had helped me remove the tubes in Atlanta – feeding tubes, breathing tubes, neck brace, catheters, and IV’s – so that I was able to eat, walk, move, and breathe again unassisted. I saw how He had helped me in Knoxville get back to the girl I wanted to be, to the life I had planned to have, as I began to plan my wedding, study for the GMAT, and drive again.
Sometimes it can be so easy to reflect on all that we’re up against rather than all that brought us here.
That is why I blog, speak and share my story. To encourage you to remember, even when it seems like your life is an unanswered prayer, that He is still moving mountains you don’t see.
As I talked to that great group of kids about being a miracle, I remembered how much He is in control of my life, of my story. We don’t know what tomorrow brings, but we can rest in the fact that He does. We can rest in the fact that His mountain range is far better than anything we could ever drum up on our own.
Brad, our priest, and I recently shared our story with The 700 Club. We reflected on all of those mountains that He moved for me, for us, through the power of prayer. Here are a few screenshots from the piece.
“Today, almost 10 years later, Ashley and Brad enjoy their time with their three little girls. Time they know they might not have without the power of prayer. Ashley said, ‘If it weren’t for those prayers and those comments and that encouragement I wouldn’t be where I am today.'” -The 700 Club
Remembering what He’s done is one of the best ways to trust what He’s doing.
Tune into Freeform (ABC Family) this Wednesday at 10:00 am or 11:00 pm EST to see more of the story or check out this link for the recap if you’re unable to watch.
“But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul” -MercyMe
What mountains have God moved in your life? How have you trusted Him when it seems some are left unmoved?