My story is one of joy, pain, and restoration. Reflecting on my story there is one common thread I see interwoven throughout every second: God is good. I hope you see that too:
Growing up, I was surrounded by the most loving and generous people on this earth. A family who encourages me in truth and loves me from the love of God. When I entered middle school I began struggling with anxiety. Not the kind of anxiety that made your heart beat faster when you thought you saw a shadow, but the kind of crippling anxiety that almost caused me to drop out of school. This was the first time I had to lean on the Lord and use His strength to overcome my weakness, little did I know this reliance on Him was going to become far too familiar.
When I entered high school, I had one thing on my mind. College basketball. That’s all I wanted to do, that’s all I was working toward. Basketball was my first passion and really one of the very few things I had ever excelled at. During my freshman year, I started dating my first real boyfriend. We dated for a few months and broke up. The break up left me wondering who I was and searching for my identity. This is when I again turned to scripture, but this time it was to find the truth about me. To find the declaration of who I truly am and who I was created to be. This break up ignited a deep desire to study scripture which later saved me.
Sophomore year rolled around and all I could think about was my college scholarship. I was working harder than ever before. I was starting my varsity basektball team as a captain and was ready to take the season by storm. I felt like everything was falling into place.
One morning, I woke up with an excruciating headache. I didn’t think much about it, I took some medicine, went to school, and then to my daily basketball workouts and practices. The next day I woke up with the same headache. And these headaches continued constantly for the next few days. It’s now been almost four years and I still live with that same headache with no real diagnosis. It has been four years of constant pain, but that wasn’t the part that tore me apart. I could live with constant pain, but what this sickness took from me I could barely handle losing. It took basketball. One of the side effects of this sickness was that I pass out when I exercise. So, this meant no more basketball. A dream I had worked literally my whole life for was taken away so suddenly.
I began praying, “Lord, take this away. I believe you can! I know you are powerful enough to take this away!” I thought that was the prayer of a faithful servant. It wasn’t until a few months into being sick that I realized that was a selfish prayer. I wanted the Lord to bend His will to my desire of being healthy enough to play basketball again. I had to change my prayer. My prayer now is, “Lord, I know you will take this pain away one day. Whether it is on this earth or in heaven, I just ask you would take it away at the point You will receive enough glory. Show me the purpose in my pain.”
It was after studying scripture and deciding to believe God is good that I could pray that prayer above. Being sick completely changed the trajectory of my life, but it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.
WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, there Ashley Jordan. That doesn’t even make sense. The thing that brought the most physical and emotional pain is the best thing that’s ever happened to you? Well, yeah, it sounds crazy, but let me explain.
When the Lord took away basketball, I was left without a way to process. Basketball was my processing mechanism, so without it how was I supposed to process my pain and confusion? My Mimi encouraged me to start writing. When I started writing, it became clear to me the Lord called me to a life of ministry through writing and speaking. You see, the Lord took away something that would have lasted maybe five years longer and exchanged it for something that could make an eternal impact.
The loss of basketball showed me my desire for speaking and writing the truth of the gospel. It is a blessing that The Lord revealed to me my purpose at the age of fifteen. I got a jumpstart on my purpose. I was able to start writing and speaking earlier than most people.
This is why I am called into ministry. This is why I write and speak fearlessly. Because The Lord is faithful and he has transformed my pain into my platform. He has called me to this field of work and I humbly accept. Not because I think I am the most fit for the position or because it’s a quick way to get money (we all know there is no money in ministry), but because God is good. There is nothing I would rather do with my life than to declare that truth, day in and day out, through writing and speaking.
Ministry is my call, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best call. The Lord could have chosen to allow me to play basketball and used that for His glory, but He called me to something else. Follow what the Lord has for you and don’t compare it to where He’s called others.
After my short nineteen years of life I have had to grow up quickly. I’ve had to endure pain, but I have experienced unbelievable joy. Not joy of perfection or feeling like I have it all together, but joy knowing that the God of the universe is on my side and loves me. And I want you to have that too, that is why I am going into ministry.
my God’s story.