Do ever struggle with your identity? Do you know who you really are? Ashley Shepherd shares how God helped her answer those very questions. Enjoy today’s #YourStory with with guest Ashley Shepherd.
I will never forget in 2012 waking up one morning and looking over at the laundry and feeling like I couldn’t breath.
I remember as a little girl when I was swimming I dove down and as I came up there was a float, and I couldn’t get to the top. I panicked and swam around trying to catch my breath.
That random Monday, as a stay-at-home mom of 2 boys with a traveling husband, that same panick struck me.
I felt like a failure as a mom, cook, homemaker, and wife.
I felt like I had lost my identity.
People referred to me as Wilson and Levi’s mom, Ryan’s wife, the preacher’s daughter, and Keeli’s sister.
I felt a strong calling from God on my life as a little girl but found myself as a adult in survival mode.
I would wake up and count the hours until I could go back to sleep.
I had gained weight because of stress and let’s be honest – my love for brownies.
My pant size defined me, and I felt like no one understood me.
Women who had already raised their children would gently remind me how this time was fleeting and I would secretly scream YES, because I felt like I was drowning. I was drowning in dishes, the laundry, and the fact that I was an awful cook.
A friend of mine invited me to a MOPS (Mother of Pre-schoolers) group at a local church. The only reason I agreed was because they had child care and free food, but God had different plans.
He used the women in my small group at MOPS to WAKE me up.
I quickly learned that FEAR hates COMMUNITY and the reason I lived in fear and my insecurities was because I isolated myself.
God awakened my heart and I started to understand that I put my identity in so many things instead of the ONE who beautifully designed me.
I began to listen to the Father who created me for a purpose, and I started to live AWAKE.
You were created for a purpose. Click To Tweet
I believe we have a choice each day to walk in defeat or IN HIS LIGHT, and I am grateful for the group of women who encouraged me to rip the labels off and to find my identity in HIM. The Lord has blessed me with an incredible ministry of leading women in the Word and helping them rip off the labels that they allowed to define them and point them to ONE who beautifully designed them.
If you are struggling with an identity crisis go to Psalm 139:14 and remind yourself that you are “wonderfully and fearfully made.”
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made... PS 139:14 NIV Click To Tweet
About Ashley ~
I am a small town girl with a dreamer’s heart. My husband, Ryan, and I raise our 2 boys in East TN; we have a huge plate full of life that we wouldn’t trade for anything. I grew up a preacher’s kid and have always had a heart for the Word. I am the type of personality that needs accountability, so when I launched an online Bible study with my friend Jamie last fall, God brought over 9,000 women to one community. We named it Beautifully Designed and now have over 14,000 women from all over the world reading the Word together, praying together, and giving each other HOPE. You can learn more about our community at www.beautifullydesigned.com. We would love for you to join us as we all fight to live our purpose for HIM.