Updated: Mar 28, 2020
If you've read my "About Me" page, you know I am currently at Liberty University finishing my Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Communications. I am engaged to Jackson Dennis. I am also on a traveling worship team here at Liberty, which brought me the Liberty in the first place.
The journey of how I have gotten to where I am hasn't been filled with luck. It has been an experience that has shown me how I am fully known by the Lord. It is evidence that shows, he takes what he knows about us and ties it all together to be just what we need. I pray this sparks curiosity within you so you begin look and see how he's displaying his love for you and how he is weaving you dreams, desires and needs into one answer.
Welcome to part one: A Dream
When I was younger, I always thought that dreaming meant sitting and thinking up your wildest fairytale. Like the prince and princess type stuff. Or how to date, "Mr. Dreamy." Which, those were short lived because I quickly learned those were a cheap spin-off to what a real dream could be. As I got older I realized that there was a different type of dreaming. The type where the Lord lays a vision of something on your heart and takes you on a journey to get there. Along the way you are able to use gifts you have and find new ones. More than anything, you draw near to him as you ask where your next step is and you are lead by him, amazed at how he opens doors you never would have seen before.
A couple of weeks ago, my roommate Hope and I bought some lavender seeds from a cute little market. Once we were home, we read the instructions for planting and went for it. We took the seeds out, laid them within the top layer of dirt, added water, covered it with a bag (to lock in moisture) and placed it by our window. Just 2 weeks later, there was one plant who had grown an inch or two. Hopefully more are following behind him.
Dreams are like seeds. You catch a vision of what they'll look like once they're fully grown, even though they'll look nothing like that fully developed end result. They'll sit dormant until they are discovered, planted and cared for. But as soon as they are, the growth begins.
Just like the little lavender seeds, dreams start small. It is typically a glimpse of a vision. There are so many steps before you see the final product. For Hope and I, as our little plant grows, we'll need to place it in bigger pots, water it more frequently, keep giving it the nutrients it needs and trim off the dead leaves so that this plant continues to flourish.
Take a moment to re-read this word picture & let the visual continue to sink it. Discover, care for & grow.
A Dream- A seed laying dormant until planted and awoken.
Growing up I watched my mom lead worship in church. As I grew up, people around me pointed out that I was gifted in singing, so I just assumed I would follow in my mom's footsteps! You could catch me singing in any home video, talent show, choir and church event. This was the discovering stage.
For years I wasn't planting this dream into the right soil. Every performance I did just seemed empty. So much so that I almost began to dread singing. I had so many nerves and the praise of people was so empty. Only filling me for a moment.
Sophomore year of high-school, my family and I began attending Bayou City Fellowship in Houston, Tx. when it opened A few Sundays in, leadership shared their need for someone to lead the student worship sets. Just a few months earlier I had started playing the guitar. When I heard that, my thought process went a little something like this,"well I've been singing for my whole life... and I know about 3 or 4 guitar chords, so I should just go for it!" *raises hand* They chose me and I was in! (I was the only one that volunteered.)
Amidst the struggle of learning as I went, and honestly a few embarrassing moments because this was so new. This love for worship music came out of nowhere!
The nerves weren't there in these moments, versus at a performances. There was a difference. The difference was that I had begun to lay seeds into a field fit to care for my dream.
Around my junior year, I recieved a text from my youth pastor. "Hey Ashley, Robbie Seay is coming to lead the student worship tomorrow, want to sing with him?" Y'all, this was huge. Robbie's music had played throughout our house on multiple occasions. His song, "New Day" was a Kidd-household staple on difficult days! Needless to say, I was honored to lead with him.
Over time, Robbie was integrated into Bayou City's worship, and at one point he asked me to come lead too. Shortly after, we opened a Cypress, TX campus and I was able to step in fully with this worship team as we began to establish this new branch. In this season, there was something about it I had tapped into that was huge. I could tell all of this was happening for a specific purpose.
The opportunities and challenges began to nourish my dream. The lessons I was learning we invaluable.
Senior year was one of the best years of my life. Which sounds crazy. Because I actually dealt with many difficult things and had countless difficult conversations. But, that was the year that I stepped into a new type of relationship with Christ. This year proved to me that the Lord knew me, and he had more planned for me than only accepting Him and doing my best to live a "good life."
He revealed my life purpose to me; to restore hope for a future to other women the same way he restored my hope for a future, a play off of Jeremiah 29:11. He also tagged on that I would be blessed when I sing his praises. At the time I thought that second part was really sweet, A.K.A. I totally underestimated what the Lord meant when he said that.
Eventually I went off to college and lessened my involvement at Bayou City. Up to this point, I had been in a greenhouse for growth. So when I left, it was weird. I started over at new place and felt like I had taken a hundred steps backwards. I now only lead worship once a month. I also lived in a dorm, so it wasn't like I could sit in there and play. It was a sad season for me. And, if you've read my blog post abut facing hard things, you may also remember it was around this time is when I went through a difficult break up.
After so many months of flourishing, I found myself in a tough spot. I didn't understand why this was happening and it all felt so bleak. Little did I know, that as much as this season stunk, the Lord was still at work. I just couldn't see it. Even this low season was feeding into my dreams and aspirations. There was a different type of caring for taking place, one that was building my character.
When we are given a dream, there will be ups and downs. There will be very physical obstacles that will make accomplishing those goals feel impossible. Come back next week as I talk about those tangible obstacles that were present and reoccurring. For now, reflect.
Reflect: I'd challenge you to set aside 15 minutes today to go over these short devotional styled questions.
Do you have a dream?
What has the Lord put inside of you? What are you going to do to nourish this dream?
If you don't have anything that comes to mind, ask! Use this time to sit down and see what comes to mind. For starters, what's your story?
Often times, the Lord will take what the enemy meant for harm and turn it into good. For me, that was growing up without a father. The statistics for girls without a present father are not too great. But the Lord took the hopeless in me, restored it and now He has set me on a course of restoring hope for other women. What struggle have you had? What does the Lord have to say about it?
He works all things out for the good of those who love him. Romans 8:28
See you next week!