The Princess in Process: My name is Ashley. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter, and a funny dog. I love Jesus and my desire is to make His love and power known throughout the world. I want you to know that God loves you and calls you royal. I’ve worked in ministry and in mental health for several years. I helped to operate a homeless shelter for some time and have enjoyed working with individuals and families in the context of therapy to achieve harmony and growth. And I love the beauty birthed through the many processes of life…I am not prefect. In fact, I’m far from perfect. I’m all sorts of messy. And I want to explore what it’s like to be a mommy, and wife, and daughter, and sister, and friend, and therapist, and writer, and teacher, and learner all at the same time by sharing my journey through this blog.
For more on why I call myself a Princess, read My Princess Story
A Princess in Process
People do not like process. Especially North Americans. We’ve become brilliantly reliant on convenience. Convenience that some parts of the world do not know exists.
When something breaks, we want it fixed immediately. When we are hungry, we expect immediate satiation. When the internet doesn’t connect instantly, we yell at the computer. If I order an appliance, I want same day delivery. If the phone takes too long to ring, I hang it up because I assume it’s not working. If the youtube video takes time to load, forget it.
It really is comical. The demand we have for instant gratification. And I’m not saying I don’t completely relish these comfortable conveniences. I’m just noticing how this need for immediate results positions us to loose touch with the meaning of process. We don’t understand the beauty in it. It becomes a waste of time and irrelevant to cope with a process, much less learn from it.
Have you ever tried to get a loan for a house? Or let dough rise? Or get a job? Or loose weight? Or get married?
How about grieve? forgive? learn?
It’s hard. The truth is that the most beautiful things in life involve process: relationships, babies, homes, education, gardens, parenting, cooking, baking, pearls, salvation, you name it! It seems many of us walk around with all sorts of emotional baggage just because we try to jump to conclusions and results rather than walking through the (sometimes painful) process.
A widely known social faux pas is to publicly disclose that one is in an unhealthy place, or in the midst of any sort of (difficult) personal process. It is usually considered embarrassing to show that you are going through a hard time. Being buttoned up, hair done, shiny, and put together is more or less expected. Often this cultural pressure is so deeply ingrained that we do not even realize we are essentially succumbing to it.
As a church, we also can hide from the dynamics of process. It seems there can be shame and negativity attached to being in the middle of a hard journey. We want to fast forward and hear the person testify about how they found breakthrough and healing and are walking out sobriety, purity, freedom, etc. It is very rare that we highlight the story of someone who is actively engaging in a battle – a mental health issue, an eating disorder, a divorce, an unwanted pregnancy, or an addiction. We hide our journals and do not tend to expose what we are learning as we are learning it. It feels better to attain a revelation, polish ourselves up, and share with those around us once we feel we have learned a lesson through the hardship life provides.
Some processes are meant to be kept quiet. Sometimes we are intended to walk through hardship alone with our Maker, or with our family.
But, I would like to expose myself in some of my processes in order to normalize the fact that we are all on a journey. And Jesus loves us and uses us in the midst of our process. To show that process is ugly and hard and beautiful simultaneously. More than anything, to show that God is good and gracious and abundant in kindness. He says everybody gets to play. Everybody has a vital role in the Kingdom of God. Everybody is broken and is being healed of something day by day as they walk with Him in love. This means your teacher, your pastor, your parent, your neighbor, your child, your spouse, your mentor, your coach and your friends are all on journeys of their own. And perhaps if we aim to invite others into these difficult and joyful seasons of growth, we will learn more along the way.
So I’m learning to embrace process. If I don’t then I choose to stunt my growth. Process is hard and painful at times. If you’ve ever grieved a loss, you know exactly what I mean. But if we skip over the journey, we miss incredible treasure that God has placed for us along the way. Let’s Be brave and embrace the processes of life by finding meaning in the joy, in the pain, in the peace, and in the storm. It’ll be worth it.
And so that’s why this blogging journey is a life uncovered – By a “princess in process.”
Scripture about being in process:
“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who ARE BEING saved” (2 Corinthians 2:15), ”
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who ARE BEING saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18),
“Now I would remind you, brothers [and sisters], of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you ARE BEING saved…” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2),
“And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, ARE BEING transformed into the same image from glory to glory. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthian 3:18)