I quit writing.
That’s not a very fun thing to say since I’ve been called to write, but I quit nonetheless. I’d like to say it’s because life got wild and exciting and time to write has eluded me. The truth is that I have been on a wild and tumultuous tumble the last six months, but I didn’t really want to take anyone with me on it or talk about what was happening. It’s not all that fun to talk about.
What do you do when you launch yourself full force into something you believe in that has no option to turn around and go back? More importantly, what do you do when the unthinkable happens and the path you were so sure of crumbles beneath your very feet? What do you do when you have no safety rope?
That happened to me. No not a breakup, not another death. This time it was like God said, “I’m going to pull the rug out from underneath you, but I got this. Girl, I got this.” And away we went.
This last 18 months I started baby stepping onto the path of missions and becoming a part of an organization to spread the message of the gospel and a God who loves a hurting world. This of course is very near and dear to my heart. I’m kind of God’s girl. I was in love with the process of the translation tools of the Jesus Film and wanted to be a part of the 1,500 languages of God’s love to a broken world. As each door opened to be able to do this I walked through it timidly and with hesitation, but I walked through it nonetheless.
The time came when it was needed for me to turn away from my double work life and become single focused on raising the funds to be able to do this. In an act of faith and feeling the pull to step down from my full time job as a marketing director, I lined myself up for a move to Florida and jumped.
I fell. I fell hard. In a ten day period everything crumbled and fell apart. I had stepped down a path of no return to the life I previously led only to find that the road crumbled beneath me. Three months later I am still wearing the bruises and feeling the losses. This is the part where God pulled the rug out from underneath me.
Do I have any answers? No. Can I explain it to any degree? I can’t even wrap my mind around it most days, let alone explain it to someone else. Do I feel completely embarrassed and shaken to the core? Yes. Do I have any words? I didn’t until today. I just couldn’t bring myself…I just couldn’t do it.
Am I going to be okay? Yes, I believe I am.
It is only tonight that I have found my words deep in the depths of the unknown. To the people that have joined me on this journey and this faith walk, thank you. You see, I would much rather live a life of daring faith and take the chance of crashing and burning than to live a life of security, dullness and unfulfillment. Most of us have not been tested in this department. We’re too afraid of the fall that we never even try and leave the ground, so in the dry dust we set up camp and live. We will get tested. I sure have.
This life is way too short to not breathe in the air when you soar and the dust when you fall. I feel scarred. I feel marked. The scars I bear of a heart that has been ripped open time and time again are the beauty marks of someone who is willing to go through the pain of getting stronger, has a heart that is still beating and is living a called life and a life filled with passion, emotion and love. There are lots of jobs out there. There are lots of houses out there. There are lots of beautiful people out there. There are lots of towns and cities out there. So yes, I’m on the market for a job and am on the market to live in a new market! My apologies, it’s not easy to watch.
Don’t worry. There’s more to my story. This chapter may be extremely uncomfortable and difficult to write about, but there will come a time when it won’t. I look forward to telling that tale too. I won’t quit writing forever. God’s got this. He’s writing my story…and it’s a really good one.
Thank you for being a part of my journey.
Ashlee Bratton – author of the book “Life Before The Lottery: Living Beyond The Bucket” is a professional photographer, freelance writer, and (when she has to be) an inspirational speaker with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and master’s degree in business administration.
Along with completing 29 of the 30 things on her 30×30 list, her writing contributions include numerous publications such as Vail’s EAT magazine, creating a 56 page Visitor Guide for a mountain ski town, blogging and guest blogging, being featured in multiple newspapers and e-zines, and various other projects.
Currently, she keeps her camera in hand in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, is a complete and total foodie, and takes plane rides for fun. She likes things that go.