• Ashley Goldman

The Fire Can Burn You or Refine You

Updated: Jun 8

Our story seems to be several stories combined into one, all a picture of the Lord's faithfulness and nearness during a long, hard season. We could never have imagined how the last few years could have gone, but nevertheless, He was in the fire with us equipping us with all we needed. Let's rewind to the spring of 2018. I owned my own event company and Craig was in full-time ministry as a Student Pastor in Nashville, TN. One Sunday as I was driving to a wedding I was planning, the Lord audibly spoke to me and told me that we were going to move to MI. This thought is NOT something that I would have come up with myself as this was never on our radar, but I had heard the Lord as clear as day. It is cool when he speaks to us like that. We leaned into that word and asked the Lord to confirm this was what he wanted us to do. We knew it wasn't the right time, but we prayed and waited for the release and guidance. In the fall of 2019, we felt the Lord was leading us to move in December to MI, but we had NO clue why or for what? We had no jobs, no real reason to move out of Nashville, but when the Lord calls you to go, you go. I sold my business - a business that I had built from the ground up and Craig stepped down from his role at our church. On December 16, 2019, we said goodbye to everything we had known, a city that we loved, jobs that gave us security, and a community that loved us and we headed north. It was heartbreaking and at the same time exciting because the Lord had confirmed this move over and over and we knew this was our next, but here is the catch - we had no job or no prospects. We kinda felt like Abraham in Genesis 12:1 when the Lord told him to "go to the land I will show you." On paper, we looked crazy moving into my mother-in-law's basement with no job, but we held tightly to His leading. In January 2020 the Lord opened a job up for Craig at State Farm which has been such a gift and in March we finally moved out of my mom's basement and into a home we bought! Things were looking up. But the Lord wasn't done with our story and this is where things get painful. One morning in June I was home alone with Porter while Craig was at work and a neighbor broke into our house, assaulted me in our kitchen, and picked up Porter and ran out the door with him, attempting to kidnap him. I caught up with her and fought hard, as any mother would do, for our son and was severely beat up in the process. Thankfully the police showed up just in time to catch the neighbor and help us get our son back. It was horrific, traumatizing, and honestly, all of our worst fears had just manifested. We didn't even have time to process because we had to get out of the house and into a safer location, so once again we moved into a new house. This was our fourth move in 10 months and we felt defeated, tired, and confused about what the Lord was doing. This story was painful and at times we questioned his goodness in it all. It honestly felt like we had just obeyed his prompting to move and took the biggest faith move of our lives only to be met with horrific trauma here. The Lord met us in our doubt and our weakness. He picked us back up and put us on our feet. Looking back at last year it is only the Lord's nearness that got us through. Fast forward to today and I am still healing from the trauma, but the Lord has done SUCH A work in my mind and heart (thank you EMDR therapy/counseling). I can now share the story without feeling triggered or getting emotional. We LOVE the new home the Lord gave us and we feel like we can settle in and start digging deep roots here. Looking back at last year we see the Lord equipping us with the courage and strength we needed to get through some of the hardest days of our life. If there is one thing we can take away from it all is that the Lord is near even on our darkest days. He walks through the fire with us and on the other side, there is beautiful refinement.

If you find yourself in a dark season, I see you. You don't have to walk this alone, let Him help you. Keep pressing on.

xoxo -The Goldman's