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Ashley Williams testimony

This past Sunday, before our baptisms, Ashley Williams shared about God's saving grace in her life.  Here is what she shared:

My sister, Katelyn, loves to ask questions. Why? How? What? As her little sister for 18 years, I have had great practice trying to answer these questions. Growing up though, neither of us were asked many questions about our faith. We went to church and then came back home and continued on with our lives. It wasn’t until last spring, when my sister was saved by God’s grace that she began to ask these difficult questions of me.

When I got to school, my sister and others I met through Volunteers For Christ began asking me about my faith and telling me their own stories. Amazingly, the Lord went to work on my hardened heart.

Starting at the beginning of school, I went to almost every VFC event, but Tuesday night Core Group has been the most impactful. In that small group setting, I witnessed interactions of others talking about and diving in to the Word. Slowly, through conversations, I began to be more open and more curious about the gospel. Through the love of Christ, I was blessed to have incredible leaders walking alongside me and praying for me.

One night, one of my best friends gave me a book about how to love the little things about yourself, knowing that those are gifts from the Lord. Later, I flipped open the book to a page that read, “Love your Complexities”. “Well, I am certainly complex,” I thought. I attempted to jot down a few things that I thought made me complex, the last word being the one I started with — complex. All of a sudden, I realized what I had been missing all along.

It is so simple. The foundation of God’s love, grace, and compassion is a gift for us, and all we have to do is willingly say yes! All we have to do is run – run straight into his arms because he is waiting for us and is excited for us to come to him. It’s that simple, and finally my eyes were opened to this.

The following day I found an article on Facebook that was about the shooting in which nine Christians were killed. The shooter came in, demanded everyone lay on the floor and then had people stand if they were a Christian. He killed those who proclaimed their faith in Christ. The article I read was a letter to those students who had died. The author asked one of the hardest questions of herself and of me, if I were in that situation, would I say yes? Would I willingly stand, proclaiming my faith, knowing that I would die for it? I called my sister after sending her the article and we talked about it together. She asked me those hard questions; Why did you send me this article? What do you think reading it? How would you answer that question? In the course of that conversation, I realized my answer, which was one that God put on my heart. Yes. It was a simple yes.

That day, October 6, 2015, was the day that God took my broken life and pieced it back together. That was the day that my heart took on the greatest change; I now understand that Christ took on our sins, my sins, so that when I get to the gates of Heaven, God will see me as if I have lived Christ’s life and not my sinful one. Because of God’s incredible grace, Christ took on my sin and now stands by me, gives me strength, and guides my heart to live life through Him.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the lord, praise the lord! O my soul.