Meet Ashley Gilman

Meet Ashley Gilman

Hi, I’m Ashley Gilman. I have a new life in Christ, and I struggle with pride, judgment, and gossip. That was difficult to say the first time I went to Re:Generation, but it is much harder to admit to the whole church. However, if I’ve learned anything during Re:Gen, it’s that confession is a powerful tool to bring us closer to God and to each other. I don’t think I could get through this program without the support of my community of women and mentor, who have been vital in growing my relationship with Jesus. During step 3 (Trust), I was really struggling with the fact that I could rarely feel God’s presence. My mentor pointed me to 1 Kings 19:11-14, which says:

"So He said, 'Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.' And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'” 

This shows me that God isn’t only with me when I can feel the tingling of my heart; instead, even when I can’t feel Him, He is there. A few weeks later, my group of loving women in Re:Gen helped me get over my anxiety of praying aloud for fear of judgment.  Although this journey has been hard, my relationship with Jesus has blossomed. I feel that, no matter how many times I stumble or fall, which is often, I have a God who will always help me grow closer to Him through the process.

I mentioned earlier that pride is one of my struggles, and it has been a persistent one. I’ve discovered that one of the biggest themes of my life is the recurring cycle in which I think I know what is best for me, I do not get what I wanted, and then God gives me something a thousand times better. For example, my freshman year of college, I applied for many different organizations. There was one that I didn’t really want, but I applied for it anyway as a fallback option. Guess which one I got into! It seems like a small and silly thing, but I was mad that God wouldn’t give me the desires of my heart like the Bible says He will. I skipped the first meeting to show God that I was rebelling against His plan, but something told me I needed to join the second meeting. A year later, I met my husband in the very same organization that I resented. And he has been the biggest blessing from the Lord. Through experiences like this, I am learning to trust in His ways more than mine each and every day.

Today, I am a high school teacher, and I have definitely experienced feelings of anxiety about returning back to school. My only comfort is in knowing that His plan is the best one.


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