The details surrounding it are fuzzy, but I remember the exact moment with perfect clarity.
I was a junior in high school. I don’t remember why I was home alone, because my mom was always there when I got back after practice. Maybe she was grocery shopping? And I guess dad had a late meeting that evening; I’m not sure. My brother was a freshman in college, so he was gone too.
I walked through the front door and was met with an unusual silence, but the enemy in my mind was screaming.
To be honest, I can’t surface whatever it was that triggered me on that day, but I remember that it was the darkest I had ever felt. I was drowning in feelings of shame and worthlessness. A secret trauma I had experienced was crushing me. I was in so much pain. Pretending I wasn’t became too much to manage. I wasn’t thinking clearly. All I knew was I needed the pain to stop.
So I walked over to the drawer with the knives. I took out the sharpest one, and I held it to my wrist. This was never part of the plan. It wasn’t premeditated. It was a rash moment of weakness and blind emotion.
I closed my eyes and felt the cold metal against my pale skin. Lies screamed through my brain from every direction. They were all-consuming. Until...
“They love you, Ashley.” I heard. Not audibly, but in my spirit. My family’s faces came to mind, and I knew it to be true. “So do I,” said the Lord. And it knew that to be even truer.
I’ve never dropped an object so fast in my life.
Valentine’s Day is generally full of overpriced bouquets of flowers and cheesy posts on Instagram. It’s fun to celebrate love, and we should. But this morning, as I looked at my beautiful daughter, I remembered that love saved my life.
And it wasn’t romantic.
It was the love of God, so great that He sent his Son to spare his life in my place. And it was the love my parents never stopped pouring into me. Years of hard work, praying for me, providing for me, playing with me, praising me, preparing me for life. When it counted most, their seeds of love reaped a harvest of second chances.
Mama, your love is more powerful than you may ever know. It matters. You matter.
🖤 If you are struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide, PLEASE send someone a message right now. Or call 1-800-273-8255. You ARE loved. You DO matter. 🖤