“Have I officially lost my mind …” When I begin to think about what has happened in the last four months of my life I begin to think that statement above may be true…
I moved to Atlanta back in June 2014 and began my first career as an individual and family counselor. I finally had the life I had been working so hard to get. Financially supporting myself, living in Buckhead, buying that outfit I always wanted, going out with friends … But why did I still have that feeling that there was something more to life than this … This constant feeling that I needed more, a constant chase to acquire more things to fulfill this void.
In January, I made a last minute decision to attend the Passion Conference here in Atlanta. Ultimately, this conference reignited a flame within my heart and shined a light on the fact that I have been searching for fulfillment in all the wrong places. Following the conference, another prayer was answered. I finally found a church in Atlanta, called Grace Midtown.
Attending this church, my desire to lean on God rather than on my own strength grew more and more each day. I found myself longing to grow closer to Him. One night at church, I found the courage to walk over to someone from the church to ask for prayer and a prophetic word (and to be completely honest, if someone would have asked me if I knew what a prophetic word was a year ago I probably would have just awkwardly laughed and said sure.) The person, who prayed for me, ultimately brought me to tears.
God spoke to my heart and made it clear “Ashley, you are valued, you are a Godly woman.” Those words went to the core of me. It resonated in me, that I have been looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places whether it was through athletics, relationships, or superficial things they always left me feeling “not enough” or “not worthy.” I was a slave to fear, to comparison, to judgment and what I had been longing for was freedom of these things.
After that night, the hunt began to find my next step in this crazy adventure we call life. God began to point the arrows leading me to making a life changing decision. I had the opportunity to go to South Africa and see a part of the world that was indescribable. I fell in love with the people and place. After returning home, I knew I needed to see more of God’s creation and to meet new people and cultures to help me grow.
I started the hunt for the “perfect” job or internship overseas. I heard about The World Race back when I was in college and I currently know someone in the organization. But anytime I thought about it I would tell myself, “That’s way too intense, Ashley, not what you are looking for.” God has a funny way of putting the things that scare us the most right into our laps.
A couple weeks passed and I went to my House church and explained to them my burning desire to help others and the need to grow personally and spiritually. After I discussed this with the group, someone prayed for me. During the prayer all I kept hearing was “Lord, take away her fear, take away her fear and open the doors for her.”
That night I didn’t think much of it. But the next morning, I woke up and heard “Ashley, Be Brave.”
Next thing I knew, I was on The World Race’s website looking at the different routes. Basically, I had filled out the entire application and interview within two days (usually takes much longer than that.) By the following week, I found out I was ACCEPTED!
So I will be embarking on the World Race in September 2015 and return July 2016.
The World Race is an 11 month Christian mission trip to 11 countries around the world. One of the unique things about the World Race is that it’s not only a mission trip but also an intensive discipleship program designed to launch my generation into our specific kingdom calling.
Through the World Race, my team and I will serve in partnership with Churches and ministries in local communities to spread God’s love, plant churches, work in orphanages, minister to women and children trapped in prostitution as a result of human trafficking, and bring the restorative hope of the Father’s love to many tribes and Nations.
“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you learn through the journey.” So here I am … I am willing to risk my comfort zone to find my true identity in Him and through that I will find my calling, my heart song. I believe I can only heal others and free others as much as I am whole and free.
“He wants not only your whole heart. He wants your heart whole.” Through taking big risk, big dreams are achieved. Please follow my journey by subscribing to my blog: ashleymiller.theworldrace.org