...from Ashli, currenty serving somewhere on the African continent:
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on ABANDONMENT. A few days later I got an email from my adorable girlfriend, Rachel, who was basically exhaling her life through written word. She talked about her husband who is in medical school and the process they are walking through to get him into his Residency. She talked about life as a wife, a businesswoman, and her desire to be a mom one day. She told me more about the new city she is living in and how different it is from home – ya know, the place she is most comfortable. But then she said something that struck me.
She said, “It’s funny. When I read your blog on abandonment, it made me realize that I am so blessed to not have to deal with true abandonment or even walk through what you are walking through. Your words bring me back to reality as I realize that life is really not all that bad. “
When I responded to her e-mail I could not type quick enough. I had so much to say in response to this and my thoughts were running faster than my fingers. As I struggled to get it all out, I felt God say, “You should tell everyone this.” When God speaks, it’s loud and clear. All we have to do is listen. So to you, world, I say listen intently. He has a lot to tell you.
Abandonment is for you. It seems scary and hard. It’s intimidating because no one ever wants to feel abandoned. No one wants to see abandoned children in hospitals and some of us hate to see abandoned animals in shelters. We don’t want to abandon “stuff” or people or feelings, even. But trust me, abandonment is for you. All of us, at some point, have to give up something. Even if it’s our size 4 jeans for that dang 6/8, abandonment is inevitable and unavoidable. And it’s for you.
But for most of us, abandonment looks differently. God called me on the World Race for many reasons but one of them is for alone time with Him. In Africa, it’s impossible to be distracted with Facebook because Internet is just simply not an option most days. I am not distracted by phone calls, e-mails, text messages, cleaning my room, going to my 9-5 job, church services, serving in the countless programs within my church, or anything else. Out here, in No Man’s Land, Africa, it’s just me and God. And He likes it that way. For some of you, God is calling you to abandon something in order to have alone time with him. Sports in itself are not bad, but God just might be asking you to give up a few nights a week to hang out with Him. Church in itself is not bad, but this might mean that you don’t serve in 5 different ministries this year – in order to experience Him alone.
Dare to ask God what He wants you to abandon during this season because abandonment is for you.
Because it looks different for all of us, World, mine is not anymore “true” than yours. Some of you may think that abandonment here is extreme because we left everything we know and you are still at home living your day-to-day life. We all have a choice whether to enter into abandonment or not. For me, I chose it when I chose the World Race. I knew going into this that I would not have some of the same “luxuries” here that I have at home. For you, choosing abandonment can be a day-by-day thing. Either way, it’s a choice that we have to make. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding it, abandonment brings forth the same results and from it will flow blessings.
You can choose it. I dare you.
So much of my love,