He Did What He Promised

I am so thankful for where I am in life right. I’m even more thankful that I can recognize that I have been blessed more than I could have ever asked for or imagined. (Ephesians 3:20)

This time last year, I was living in a small three-bedroom apartment that was infested with memories of the destruction that lead to my divorce. It seemed like no matter what I did, a bad spirit lingered throughout each room. Now, God blessed the kids and me with a much larger home, a large enough space to make new memories, and a new space to heal. Here, everything is new. There aren’t holes in the wall that force me to relive who put them there. Yet, I am surrounded by bright colors, large windows supplied with natural sunlight, and most important the presence of Jesus.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! -John 14:12-14

Living with a mood disorder is difficult for not only the person but the friends and family of said person. I fully understand that if I want to have a good relationship with my loved ones, I have to get this mood disorder under control and I cannot do that without divine intervention. There have been moments where I thought this disorder was going to kill me. There were other moments where I felt this disorder would keep me in a slumpy funk for the rest of my life, but now that has all changed.

I see the blessings clearer now. I am beginning to see more of my worth now. I am beginning to see the past in the rearview mirror and have hope for what lies ahead.

Our Father not only answered my prayers, but He went above and beyond to prove to me I AM NOT ALONE and I AM WORTHY OF HAPPINESS AND PEACE.

When we know simple truths about ourselves, it helps disarms the enemy from ever using it against us again. It won’t be easy and I know I will be tested, but I feel like if I continue to do what I’ve been doing, then it will continue to work out for my good.

Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

Amen! I don’t know if I’m saving lives, but I do know that sharing the good news is a part of my life purpose. And I can do so through my blog. I’ve started two other blogs before this one. I wasn’t very consistent on the other blogs because I didn’t have a purpose to write. I would just write any and everything that came to mind. Yet, from the first day I created Healing with Harotian (previously called Harotioan Essentials), I knew I wanted to help people by sharing my struggle and the ways God has brought me out of it. I went into this asking God to be my partner in the creation and content of Healing with Harotian. And all He required of me was to give in to the desire to write, share my heart and mind with fear of judgment or condemnation, and in return, clarity, peace, and self-love, among many other blessings.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many other brothers and sisters.” -Romans 8:28-29

I believe this verse is talking about everyone. Everyone can show God’s love by being a blessing to other people. One of the reasons why I stayed in a dangerous relationship was because I honestly thought life wouldn’t be better than what I currently had. I had no idea that one day I would be surrounded with everything I have today; great friends, unity, forgiveness in my family, and good health.

I say all this to say, if you’re in the dark, keep going, keep believing, keep praying. HE HEARS YOU! He will answer you. He will guide you. He will never leave you. If you feel alone, it is a trick from the enemy. The best advice given to me a long time ago when it came to prayer was, “talk to Jesus like he’s the homegirl”. Knowing that I can have casual prayer with Jesus took a lot of pressure off of me. Thus, going to him when I’m in need felt lighter and easier. The Holy Spirit will teach us how to pray by guiding us to the truth. (John 16:13)

Thank you for reading my thoughts today. Please remember to pray for one another.

Ashley, Healing with Harotian

Transforming the Butterfly

Healing. Curing. Transforming. 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2

“…transformed by the renewal of your mind” What does God mean by renewing my mind? How do I renew something that has been implanted into my character for 36 years? Although the answer may be simple, it is extremely hard to accomplish. There are plenty of ways to renew our minds; meditating on scripture, practicing positive self-talk, and eliminating toxic people/things from our lives. Another way to renew our minds would be to surround ourselves with people who live by this scripture, that way, we have support when it becomes difficult. It’s not for the weak or the lazy. It’s for the determined. It’s for the desperate. It’s for the faithful. 

God has placed wonderful examples of what transformation looks like when He has had a hand in its creation. A popular example would be when caterpillars transform into a beautiful butterflies. Personally, caterpillars aren’t much to look at. They live basic life eating and eating and more eating. That’s the purpose of those little buggers, eating plants for the duration of their lives. Some begin to undergo metamorphosis to transform into a butterfly.

When I think of it, I can’t help but relate. Just think, caterpillars leave their comfortable lives to become something better. They sit still allowing the chrysalis phase to do its thing. No eating. No moving. Just sitting. The chrysalis phase can last from three weeks to three years. Either way, once they emerge, they are not only beautiful, but they can fly! Their world has gotten so much bigger. Their appetites have gotten sweeter. They transform into something they didn’t know existed. They allow nature to take its course. They trust the process. 

So, I think that is how we can renew something that has been implanted into our characters for years. We can trust the process. We can allow God to do what He needs to do because he wants our transformation to be more beautiful than we thought could ever exist. He wants us to FLY!

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. -Ephesians 3:20 

I don’t know about you, but I want to fly. I’m ready to fly. Good thing that I’m determined, desperate, and faithful. Thank you for reading my thoughts. Please remember to pray for one another. 

Best Love,

Ashley, Healing with Harotian

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Not to long ago, I was wallowing in self-pity, trying to figure out how did I get so far from God. One day I woke up and found His presence to be faint. I was lost. I was confused. I was carrying the world on my shoulders. ” How did I get here?”, I would ask. Once again I found myself begging for Gods love, begging Him to take this weight off of me, begging for Him to save me. I begged, “Father, please meet me where I am! Please forgive me for putting the world before You”. Once those words were said out loud, I then realized where the disconnect began. As many of us do, I drifted into what the world wanted from me instead of living in the truth of who I really am. 

The other day, my son and I were doing homework together. One of his spelling words was “hare”. He proceeds to ask, “Mom, what’s a hare?”. Once I told him it was another name for a rabbit, I went into the story about the tortious and the hare. I ordered it on my amazon audible app and we intently listened to the story about how (**SPOILER ALERT**) the tortious triumphantly defeated the hare because he was so determined, he didn’t allow distractions to get in the way of him reaching his goal. The hares problem was that he assumed he would win because technically rabbits are faster than tortious’, and because of that arrogance, he was convinced that he could indulge in those distractions and still come out on top. 

As I was listening, it hit me. I have been living my life like the hare. And God knew it. As I cried out to Him, the plan He has for me was set in motion for me to realize I have been living like the hare. I’ve been assuming that I have to be further than I am, thus pushing myself until I crash and burn. And when that happens, I lose. My mental state is on the fritz, my overall function becomes almost nonexistent, along with the desire to stay hidden from the world. Once I get to a place where I see a glimmer of hope once more, I start all over, working hard to get back to a place of peace. 

I never once considered to take it slow at a pace that suits me and that it is ok if my life is not in the same place of my friends and family. I now see that every step I’ve taken from the time I was born up until now has prepared me for this moment. There is no better teacher than life experience. Although I am only 36 years old, I’ve seen what this world has to offer. Maybe even too much. And trust me, it’s nothing to brag or be proud about.

Now is the time to be the tortious. Now is the time to take control by setting healthy boundaries to make sure we aren’t trying to live up to the worlds expectation. Throughout the story, the tortoise became tired and hungry, but he kept going. Fortunately, we have one advantage that the tortious didn’t have. Yahweh! When we get tired, when we became famished, when we feel the odds are against us, the answer isn’t to look for the world for answers, but look to the Word. 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

A couple of months ago as I was crying out for God to save me, He pointed me towards the story of the Samaritan woman. Once I obeyed, I was able to see that Jesus wanted me to sit at his feet, allow him to remove the burdens I was carrying from shame and guilt. As I meditated on that, now He is pointing me towards embracing my journey. Now that I think about, I’m not sure if I asked God to reveal what journey I’m on. The only thing I know is meditating on His word and listening to it as much as possible was transforming me, is transforming me. 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. -Romans 12:2

It wasn’t until this morning that I realized the season that God has me in; forgiveness. People have been coming into my life that I thought I would never see again. Even though, people are also disappearing from my life just as fast. 

I recently had a conversation with my father whom I sore I would never talk to him again. I thought the conversation was going to lead me down a dark place, but it didn’t. We were able to be open and honest with each other, thus prompting healing to begin. I never hated my father. I just pretended he didn’t exist. Now I see that is a very unhealthy way to live. Somehow, after having a conversation with him, I feel lighter and now I get to practice creating healthy boundaries with someone that I have a lot of history with. I am able to live in the gray of our relationship instead of living in the black and white with expectations. I will be able to say, “yes, I’m mad at you, but I’ll talk to you tomorrow” versus “yes, I’m mad at you and I never want to see to you again” every time there is conflict. 

Slow and steady wins the race. We are all on our personal journey, whether if you believe in God or not. We live our lives like the hare by allowing ourselves to become distracted. We are all here to do something more with our lives, rather than filling the pockets of Netflix and Hulu execs by streaming shows and movies a million times a month. We could spend that time investing in ourselves, not allowing major distractions to detour us from answering the major question in life: why are we here? The desires of your heart are there for a reason. If there is something you’ve been thinking about doing and you cant stop thinking about it, then I think that is a great indication that you are meant to do that. Whether you succeed or fail, at least you wont be stuck with a “what if”

Jesus said, You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” -John 14:13-14

I asked for Him to meet me where I was, instead of expecting me to meet Him where He is, and He did just that. I asked Him to save me from myself, invading thoughts of hopelessness and negetivity. He did just that. I asked Him to help me get to where He wants me to be, that I can do so with a healthy mind and heart. And He’s doing just that. I want to be clear, I don’t want to make it seem that God is a genie in a bottle. He grants us our prayers because He loves us. He wants better for me. I was in a place undesearving of a princess of the Almighty God the Father. He wants different for us, but He also has to make sure we want it for ourselves. Thus, allowing us to get to a point where we’ve hit rock bottom and we need no one but Him. Allowing Him to do what He always promises to do, take care of me. 

He has taken care of me by sending people in my life who genuinely love me. People who are sitting at the sidelines during my race, cheering me on, no matter how slow I am going. I’ve been blessed with people who will tell me the truth versus going along with every bad decision I want to make. 

So now, I am the tortoise. I will embrace this season of forgiveness while moving at a pace that is healthy for me. I thank God that He wants to see me free from a unforgiving heart. I’m grateful that I am that important enough and loved enough. If He loves me this much, then be encouraged that He loves you all the same. 

Thank you for reading my thought. Please remember to pray for one another. 

Signing off, 
 

Ashley, Healing with Harotian

Unashamed

As I’m sitting on the edge of my bed, tears streaming down my face, all I can think about as my husband is telling me he wants a divorce is,  “why me?”. “What did I do to deserve this? God, where are You in this?”. I begged my husband not to leave. I begged and pleaded for him not to leave our family. I promised him, whatever I did, I would fix it. But it was going through one ear and out of the other. I felt abandoned. I felt embarrassed, but most of all, I felt ashamed. “What kind of person has two failed marriages before the age of 35”, I would ask myself. “What are my kids going to think of me? What will my family think of me? I’ll never find someone who loves me as much as my husband loved me. I must do everything I can to get back”, I would cry out. For months, I blamed myself. Two major questions I would ask God, “why me?” and “how can I fix this?”. I went to marriage counseling. I read what seemed like every book on marriage I could find. I allowed him to use me, placing me in compromising positions for his own benefit. My husband fooled me into thinking the breakup was my fault and there was still time to make him come home, I just needed to continue to preform my wifely duties, all while living his life as if he were single. The more time that went on, the more ashamed I felt. I was doing things for him that made me really uncomfortable, sometimes it would even be illegal. The last thing that shame would allow me to do is look beyond my own circumstances and see the grace in the situation. 

Prior to my husband leaving, he was physically, emotionally, and spiritually abusive. Every time my husband hurt me, I would cry out to God asking Him to change my husband into the husband that I thought he was suppose to be. I thought God was suppose to do what I asked of Him. I thought no matter what, God was for marriage and that He would do anything to fix it. But shame hid the truth from me. Shame had me convinced that the abuse I was facing at the hands of my husband was well deserved for all of my sins. Shame had me convinced that  I deserved every attack, every verbal beat down, every hateful thing done to me. 

That was almost three years ago. Thank God, he delivered me from such abuse. He taught me that what happened to me was not my fault, nor was it something I deserved. He is teaching me that I no longer have to walk around with a shameful heart. Sometimes I feel that I’m not good enough due to the things I have done. Sometimes, I feel that I will be alone for the rest of my life due to the things I have allowed to happen to me. But everyday, Jesus continues to teach me that that feeling ashamed is not my burden to bear. Shame is not apart of who He wants me to become. He is teaching me that what the enemy intended to harm me, God is going to use it for my benefit. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” -Genesis 50:20

We aren’t meant to live with shame. Shame is a tactic used by the enemy to keep us trapped, feeling hopeless and defeated.  Our Heavenly Father is not the father of shame. He is the Father of love, glory, and mercy. He cleanses us from our sin and saves us from ourselves. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

A year after my husband left, I had hope for the future again. He is helping me not feel ashamed or embarrassed. He is given me grace so that I can forgive my husband for the hurt that he has caused my family and I because he, too, is a child of God. So I end with this: “Following Jesus does not end our pain, but it does transform it. Although God never causes our pain or shame, he can use it for our benefit, for his purpose, and to help other people.” -Christine Caine, Unashamed 

Defeating Goliath

Hello Friends, 

Most people know of the story of David and Goliath. A biblical story, starring a young Shepard boy named David, who believed that with Gods help, the Israelites would defeat the Philistines, whom had a fierce giant fighting for them by the name Goliath. The Israelite army did not believe that Goliath could be defeated. But David did. A small boy with no military experience defeated Goliath with three things: a rock, a sling shot, and faith. All three defeated Goliath. At the end of the story, it was the Philistines that ran away in defeat because Goliath was their only plan they had to defeat the Israelite army. (1 Samuel 17)

Mental illness is my Goliath. For so long, I’ve been living like the Israelite Army; living in defeat. Thinking that there was no way out. Thinking that Goliath has defeated me and I have no where to run, becoming still in one place because Goliath wont let me move forward or move backgrounds. I’m not sure why I thought it has to be one way or the other. Before now, I never considered that there was a third option; trusting in God with what He has armed me with and leaving the results to Him.

My biggest problem is, I look around me, comparing my journey to the journey of others. I compare what they have been armed with versus what I’ve been armed with. I would complain about how small and insignificant my weapons were, screaming that it wasn’t enough to get me out of the hell I was living in. And no matter how many times God saved me when he turned nothing into something, I would still overlook the obvious; faith and trust in Gods plan.

My scripture for this month is:

“And I am certain that God who began the good work within you will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” -Philippians 1:6

This month, this scripture is important to me because no matter how hard things get, I have to remember that God will never forget about me and the work that he is doing in me is good. I know that I am meant to be apart of something large in Gods kingdom, we are all. I have to remember that I have to be David. I have to face my Goliath full on with what God has armed me with and faith in Gods plan. 

I have plans. I have dreams. And a lot of times I allow Goliath to stomp all over them. But not anymore. Recently, I have learned something that changes my whole perspective on this fight called mental illness.

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” -Margaret Thatcher

Thank you for reading my thoughts. Please remember to pray for one another. 

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