Meet Ashley...the survivor
When you meet Ashley, you are immediately greeted with a great smile and charming personality. However, few may be aware that beneath the surface is a woman of great courage, grace, and elegance. Ashley Strickland is a survivor.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, she was raised by her mother and grandmother. These two women shaped her faith and raised her to honor God. In her heart, the “three amigos” were inseparable and a source of great strength. Although she grew up knowing the Lord, she found her biggest struggle to be worrying. In a twist of irony, she used her tendency to over plan to graduate from Georgia State University with a degree in Risk Management & Insurance. In her words, “I have been inclined to think about all possible negative outcomes and spend time making a plan to solve each one of them, no matter how outrageous the idea.” Needless to say, as a woman of faith she recognized how worry and fear were keeping her from having all God wanted for her. Despite it all, Ashley continued her relatively normal life.
However, on October 26th, 2015, her life changed in a way she could have never expected or planned for. Just five days after giving birth to her daughter Jordyn, she went to the emergency room for abnormally high blood pressure. After an X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, and two failed spinal taps, doctors suspected she had a brain bleed and needed to be transferred to another hospital. An ambulance ride, and one MRI later, it was confirmed.
“I had experienced a brain hemorrhage. After an angiogram to asses any possible brain damage and need for surgery, doctors confirmed I had suffered no structural damage to my brain and didn't need surgery! Doctors, however, whispered to my family that I looked better than I actually was. I spent 3 days in the ICU begging God to heal me and send me back home to my family. I've literally been through the valley...But God. I've cried, wrestled with God, prayed, begged God to extend his mercy and grace toward me and to heal me. I asked Him to please let that trial be my testimony..And He has! I came home November 2, a week after being admitted for having, with no damage to my brain and bodily functions” Ashley Strickland
The Lord healed her miraculously. Yet, her story didn’t end. In fact, the emotional trauma of almost losing her life was not easily shaken. To make matters worse, her grandmother had just passed away a year before. At a time, when she needed her the most, she wasn’t there. This sadness was magnified by needing to take five pills a day, being a mother of three, a wife, and being plagued by anxiety. In her words, “If my anxiety was on 10 before, it was on 10,000,000 after that experience!”
But God... Ashley was able to remember the foundation of her youth and upbringing. As she’s always loved music, she began to immerse her environment with worship music. Her goal was to not listen to songs with lyrics just asking God for things. What gave her peace were songs praising Him for who He is. “What a beautiful name” by Hillsong and “Made A Way” by Travis Greene were two of the many that helped her to feel calm and focus on the Lord. If there was ever a time to trust God, Ashley realized, this was it. “The whole experience made me closer to God, but it also showed me just how much I let fear dictate my every thought. I knew it and told myself a different story as to not have to face the fear of facing fear but I couldn't deny it after that. Renewing my mind has really been the silent battle of that experience.” Ashley Strickland And now, two years later, Ashley can proudly say she is fully recovered from an event that nearly sought to take her life! When she thinks of that time, she’s reminded of her favorite verse, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,owers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 This experience reminded Ashley that God has a plan for her life. Recently, while seeking God for her purpose, her husband reminded her of her passion for photography. In Ashley’s words, she always been known as the family historian, like her mother. This ignited a passion in her to pursue photography. One class after another, and some great equipment has now empowered her to be a well sought after photographer in the Atlanta area. Her pictures are breathtaking. Ashley’s ability to think out every outcome helps her quickly decide the best way to capture a person’s inner beauty with every flash.
Ashley believes she’s a woman of victory because she recognizes that the Lord has entrusted so much to her and she’s able to manage it all. Ashley recognizes that her hope lies in Him and that every fear can be resolved in His love. She’s also reminded of the strength and resilience of her late grandmother. Surely, Ashley has inherited some of these very qualities. Join us in congratulating Mrs. Ashley Strickland for being January’s Woman of Victory! Your ability to count on God relentlessly for your peace and healing is truly what makes you victorious. May we all learn to seek God in the midst of our most trying moments. God is here to rescue you from every obstacle and surround you with his unstoppable love.
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