April 7, 2015

Think of Me

Every human on the earth longs to be remembered. In the small mundane day-to-day tasks, or the big projects of life—we don’t ever want to feel forgotten. We like to be acknowledged for the things that we do, and noticed for the sacrifices we make. We like to be seen when we do something right, and still loved through our mistakes. We want to be remembered when we aren’t around, and protected even when we are. It is a basic human desire—for others to think of us. So we aren’t forgotten.

One thing I have learned: some days we will be forgotten. And no matter how hard we long to be remembered—sometimes we are not enough. 

I knew all along it would come, and eventually it did.

There she was, standing on the stand raising her hand promising to tell the truth—the only witness. The only person who saw the gun fire. The only one who actually knew exactly what happened that night.

I could not take my eyes off of her. I had to hear it all for myself; I forced my mind to listen to every word in hopes of finding answers, or at least finding a way to stop needing them.

Why. How. When? A murder, an affair: the two things that had taken over my thoughts and had filled my soul with doubts for which I constantly was seeking answers to.

As the first words came out of her mouth my heart yearned for her to look toward me and say how sorry she was for all I had gone through. I kept waiting and waiting—like a pathetic jr. high girl waiting for someone to ask her to dance. I just knew she had to have been thinking of all the pain the kids and I had suffered because of that night. She just had to understand my need—for any of the three of them to offer me some sort of an apology . . .

Every few questions I leaned closer, hoping to catch the words I somehow was waiting to hear.

Soon, the two of them glanced longingly toward each other and whispered, ‘I love you’s. My heart began to pound out of my chest. A hatred I have never felt before sprouted an anger full of resentment. How dare they pretend that everything was ok between them. How dare they make a mock of the fact that I would never have that chance. How dare they pretend that they could over look the bad decisions they each had made—when Emmett was killed because of his.

A black hole engulfed me as I let my hatred kindle in my heart. Ultimately it was because of them that Emmett was not there to look across the room from me and tell me the ‘I am sorry’s I still longed for. Did no one think of me? No one remembered that I had a voice—that I was even alive. That night . . . did they honestly think they were the only three people in the world? Did not one of them remember I was sitting at home—with no answers—trying to figure out how to be enough?

My mind reeled with every question, and every doubt it had stored inside.

Each word she spoke drilled and drilled into me a truth I had feared: You were not enough. You were not enough for that gun. You were not enough for her. You were not enough for Emmett. You were not even enough for anyone to walk away. You are worthless—and no one is thinking of you. Not then, not now . . . maybe never.

My heart yearned for someone to think of me. Even for that moment, for someone to remember the pain I had suffered, or the burdens I had come to bear.

I looked around the room—no one was watching me. For all the times I had wished everyone would stop staring my way . . . for the first time I wished someone could see me. Anyone. I wished someone would come take the stand with proof that anyone knew—or cared—who I was.

I wished Kandi would look out into the crowd and tell me she knew it had been hard for me. I wished Rob would stand up and say how sorry he was that as he was reminding Emmett to go home to his family . . . he himself should have thought of us before reaching into his hoody pocket for his gun.

I felt so alone I wanted to crawl into a hole. I felt so small I could almost feel my self-esteem melting into the floor.

The hard thing about waiting for someone else to complete your healing, is the feeling of brokenness that comes when they fail to meet your silent expectations.

On the drive toward home that afternoon I felt deflated. Not because of the facts I heard for the thousandth time—but because of the words I did not hear. After some time of driving silent in my anger I flipped on my phone and let my music play.

Soon the play list turned over and a familiar song came on. It was a song I had taught my little sister Ali’s young woman class at our church a few years back. Tears began to fall as I felt each word sink into my heart.

Do you wonder if he knows who you are?
Do you wonder if he knows the secret pleadings of your heart
He has numbered every sand of the sea
And he longs for you to know that he believes in you.

Can you feel the quiet power from above
Can you feel his strength surround you when your own is not enough
He has blessed you with his spirit from on high
And he longs for you to know what lives inside of you
Oh, be true

Daughter of a king
The father's royalty
Heir to his divinity
He's calling your name
To come and take your place before his throne
He has always known
What he created you to be
A daughter of a king

You hold the promises of all eternity
Rise to claim the noble birth right you were sent here to recieve
He has loved you since you lived with him before
Let him lead you to the gifts he has in store for you
Oh, be true

Daughters of a king our father's royalty
Heirs to his divinity
He's calling our names
To come and take our place before his throne
He has always known
What he created us to be.....
Daughter of a king.

In that moment I knew the lies I had been fighting all day were just that. I was surrounded by the love of One much greater than the three I had been waiting for. I remembered the truth of the promise that was made to me long before I even came to this earth—I was enough for Him. In that very moment my heart was overwhelmed with the love of God and I could almost no longer remember the hate that had entrapped me all day long.

Truth will always win—for it is in truth that we find someone who WILL think of us. We find the true healing we seek, when we are able to reach to the One who will always remember us.

Just like I had many times before I walked into my house—not surrounded by the hate I had for those who had forgotten me—but filled with the love of the One who had remembered.

We are always going to be reminded that we are not enough; we are easy to forget when something seemingly greater comes along. But I promise you this: Someone is thinking of you. He not only thinks of you when you feel alone—He remembers you when you really are forgotten.

Daughter of a King video


Ludlows said...

I am so grateful you listened to the Spirit and started the blog and continue to post. I needed to be reminded that I am enough. I know this is one tool Satan uses on me a lot, telling me I am not enough, that I am a horrible mother, wife, daughter etc. that I am not enough because I am easily forgotten. Thank you for reminding me that I am enough in His eyes and that I am truly never alone or forgotten. Bless you Ashlee for sharing, enduring and your wonderful example and honesty.

Anonymous said...

Ashlee......you are a spiritual GIANT!! Thank you for courageously sharing your light. You help me, inspire me, and make all of the challenges we face seem doable with Him. I feel like you are the best friend I have never met because that is what real friends do.....you make me better. Thank you and bless you always!♡

Natali McKee said...

I don't think I have ever heard that song before. The words are spot on. It is so hard to deal with life sometimes but that song reminds us of our potential. Thanks for your blog.

Christine said...

Thanks. :) I needed that today.

Kimberly said...

Thank you. This was the exact reminder I needed to see today.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, doesn't seem enough for how I feel. Thank you for sharing this!

Anonymous said...

You need to move on...enjoy your new life with your new husband. Quit dwelling on the past and writing about the other woman and her family.

Teresa Warner said...

Your message comes at the most perfect time in my life. What a beautiful reminder of our Father's never ending love for us. Your words moved me to tears...again. Thank you for continuing to share your message with the world.

Unknown said...

God bless you, my dear! Sending you love and prayers!

Anonymous said...

You were amazing on Dr. Phil yesterday! You were so poised and classy. I have no words when it comes to Kandi, she refuses to take any responsibility and it sounds like her husband is the same way. My mouth fell open when Dr. Phil read the statement from him, saying everything was Emmett's fault...clearly this man has not learned anything or taken any responsibility for the murder he committed. It seemed like Kandi wanted to dump the mess she created for her kids onto you also, and the fact that you blog. She is where she is, her husband is where he is and their kids are suffering because of THEIR actions as parents and the selfish way they've lived their lives.

Keep inspiring us Ashlee, you are an amazing young woman!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing!!

Anonymous said...

You are a very strong woman. If I am half the woman you are, I will be blessed.

Anonymous said...

I watched you on Dr. Phil yesterday and it has stirred so many emotions in me. I can relate in so many ways but in so many ways your story is not mine.

I am shocked at the lack of empathy that Kandi is showing towards you! I understand she wants to move on. Unfortunately, when you make a choice like she made you first need to make amends with those whom you have hurt. She's saying "I'm sorry" over and over but her body language and emotions are not showing that. Sure, she has to live with guilt everyday. I just hope that someday she will realize that in order to move on she's going to have to deal with the issues of her heart! She still needs to be humbled and show love. Love to those who she has hurt.

I love that you are not listening to her tell you to stop talking! You are helping others. You are telling YOUR story...that was her choice to be a part of YOUR story!

Keep telling your story! I hope to see you at the event in May!

Anonymous said...

You have made a tragedy into such a beacon of hope! It reminds us all that even in times of turmoil there is light! Take pride in not only what you have overcome, but the poise you have done it with :)

Cindy said...

I was wondering if your husband might be willing to write a post on your blog. It would be interesting to hear things through his perspective and how he met you, what his first impression of you was, how he struggled to bring your family closer together through such a hard time in life, how he helped you, how you helped him, etc. I have so much respect for your current husband and I hope you guys are truly happy. I think maybe hearing his version of things might help some readers who question if there are any decent men out there realize that they do exist.

LisaC said...

As I watched the Dr. Phil show, I knew early in the episode that I wanted to send you a message of support. You are a class act, and you handled this encounter with a level of grace and composure that most would have been incapable of. My father was repeatedly unfaithful to my mother, and one of his affairs got out of hand and hurt our family deeply. I hated my father for many years because of it, and it took me decades to finally forgive him. I have not seen the woman since that time, but recently returned to my home town. Today, I have a wonderful life. I pride myself on being kind and positive. But at the same time, I have rehearsed over and over what I would say and do if I come face to face with her. It wouldn't be a screaming rage fest, but I know I would not be as gracious as you were to Kandi. I wish I could just let it all go, but I just feel she deserves to know what her choices did to the lives of five young children. At the same time, I do believe that God would want me to forgive, learn and forget. Thanks for being a (rare) great example of doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

I am in awe of your bravery and resiliency Ashlee. We are dealing with infidelity in our marriage, and I know how it hurts and shakes me to the core of each cell in my body, but your situation...? It multiplies every awful aspect of this painful act by 1000+%, and how you put one foot in front of the other each day absolutely impresses me to no end. You ARE good enough, sweet enough, beautiful enough, brave enough, strong enough, human enough, loving enough, smart enough. And then some!!!!!! What a gift to your kids, your example of being a good person, despite the horrific situation you and your family were presented with that fateful night. I saw some clips from the Dr. Phil show, and I see how pained you still are - and I hope in time that you will feel even more at peace with this truly beautiful, albeit sometimes cruel world.

Liza said...

Sweet Ashlee, I have followed your blog since your very first post. I am in awe of your courage, dignity, vulnerability to allow us to feel a sliver of what you feel and your testimony. You are changing lives and everyone who knows you is changed because of you. What an incredible example of a mature, selfless and dignified woman you are. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us. You were radiant on Dr. Phil. You were glowing. You are so beautiful and the way you spoke so collectively and precisely was awe inspiring. I hope with time you will see the good that will come from facing Kandi. After all this time, it felt so good for me to watch you say everything you said to her. We've waited for this day and you nailed it! Bless you. Thank you for being who you are.

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