This inspiring testimony tells how Ashley intends to battle back against fibromyalgia and other obstacles to become a Christian Counselor and Leader:
My name is Ashley Drye, and I am called to be a Christian Counselor. I am from Austin, Texas. I am very excited to begin my journey with the Christian Leaders Institute. I live in a large city that is full of wonderful opportunities for Christian Leaders. We have a unique way of mixing the Austin style within our churches. I am looking forward to being a large part of the church community and spreading the love of Jesus.
I began my journey with God in my mid-twenties. As a child, religion was not a part of my household. My parents were not for or against religion, but they simply did not place any importance on it. I was lucky to have friends that went to church, and they would take me to their Wednesday night groups. I really enjoyed those days, but I had no vested interest in God. In my teenage years, I began to develop physical and emotional symptoms, such as severe pain and depression. It would be a decade before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
Having Fibromyalgia changed all aspects of my life. My pain became so severe that I could not sit or stand for long. I became bedridden and that made my depression worse. I ended up having two children in my early twenties. My pain stopped me from being active with them, and they had to adapt to a simpler lifestyle. Working became difficult for me and eventually, we became homeless. We moved into a faith-based women’s home. There I was surrounded by the works of Christian Leaders.
I was surprised by the kindness of strangers. I was invited to church and went along, even though I was hesitant. I was sitting in church, listening to the preacher and his words touched me. I started sobbing uncontrollably. People in the aisles were handing me tissue after tissue. Later on, I would recognize that I cry when I feel close to God. Since then, I have had moments where I am close to God and moments when I am trying to get close. My relationship with Him is like a marriage. I am learning to nurture it.
My spiritual dream would be to comfort people when they are facing the worse lows of their life. I want to help people navigate life and gain comfort when they need it. Some obstacles I have faced are my physical limitations. I am working on strengthening myself so that I can act for God in a positive way. I can envision myself in a few roles, but my main goal is to be a Christian Counselor. I want God to work through me to bring emotional healing to his people. My other goal is to be a beacon of hope for others. I am hoping God will continue to work in me and help me grow.
I am currently still a single mother, and we live in public housing. A free education is invaluable to someone like me. It is life changing for my children and me. I am excited to see the ripple effect from this experience. I have learned that even one good work from God can ripple out to many.
Learn about minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.