Ashley’s life spiraled out of control after a devastating experience as a child. She received the help she needed at The Foundry and is rebuilding her life, relationships and is moving forward.
“I had a good family. I played sports all through school. Everything was going great,” Ashley says as she describes her happy childhood. But when she turned 14, all that changed.
A typical teenager; she began babysitting for a family with two young children. Their father was a coach and teacher at her school and a deacon in her church. “I was sexually molested by him and his wife,” she says, “and after that I just kind of lost myself. I had to go through a jury trial and although they never said my name on the news, everybody knew. It wasn’t so much the trial or even the incident itself that hurt me, but how everyone treated me afterward-almost like I deserved it.”
After the trial, Ashley began searching for something to make her feel better…to feel comfortable with herself…to fill the void in her heart. She started drinking and smoking pot and eventually that led to taking pills and methamphetamines. Over the years she had five children with two different fathers, but she never married. “I got more and more into the world of drugs and my life became an unbearable, terrible situation. What I hate so much about my story is that I knew the whole time that God was what I really needed. But I just didn’t know how to apply Him to my life.”
Eventually Ashley was sent to jail because of her drug use, leaving her children in the safe care of loving relatives. When she was released, she came to The Foundry. But that wasn’t yet the turning point in her life. It wasn’t until she began to experience and understand the meaning of grace that her heart began to heal and her life started to change.
“With all that I’ve done and everything I’ve been through, I thought there was no way I could ever change or God could forgive me. But He has! At The Foundry I’ve been shown God’s grace through the amazing people here, and they’ve shown me that it’s possible for me to be like that-to be more like Him. God shines through here so much.”
Ashley is working at The Foundry’s Dental Clinic and hopes to become licensed as a dental hygienist so she can support her children when she returns home. “I realize there’s so much more to life and so many things I can do to help my kids and prevent them from doing the things I’ve done,” she says. Most important, she can teach them that only God’s love and grace can make them truly happy. “I’m headed in the direction of happiness-and my kids can feel it coming too. My 10-year-old son recently wrote me a letter that said, ‘I love you mom, you are the best. I cannot wait until I get to see you.’ Things like that are just great.”
Ashley received help at The Foundry. To learn more about this program, please visit their page on our resource directory.