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Ashley Ferrell

Transforming Joy

I do not remember a time that I did not know of God. I grew up in The Salvation Army. My whole family was involved in the church and on the outside, seemed completely functional. It was all a façade. My mother began to date a man who was abusive, and an addict of several sorts. During my teenage years, I became extremely depressed because of the circumstances I was living in. I gave into my depression and was very lost for a long time. I moved out of my parent’s house and moved in with a foster family thinking that things would get better. They didn’t.

At this time in my life, my church was assigned new pastors. I would not be who I am today without their influence and investment on my life. I rededicated my life to Christ and decided right then and there that I would no longer be depressed, that I would no longer hide, and that I would run to the arms of Jesus. I became much more involved in my church and my depression lessened as my spiritual life deepened. I accepted God’s calling on my life and haven’t looked back since.

I was broken and extremely alone. My God transformed me into someone who is now, not only whole, but stronger because of my past. I now know that God used all of the negative things in my life to teach me how to help others who are in those same circumstances. Psalm 94:14 says, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” This is the transformation that I saw in my life; and because of that, I will bring the joy of God to all those who I encounter for the rest of my life.