This morning was one filled with denial and shock, followed by anger and sadness because what had happened wasn’t fair. As I began asking myself why something so horrible could happen to someone so compassionate and loving, memories of all the things she did to better the kingdom of God began racing through my mind. She was an angel in our midst who is now with the Father.
Early this morning, Ashley Marie Curriston went to be with the Lord following a severe car accident. Saying the world was a better place with her in it doesn’t began to describe the impact this woman of God had on everyone she came in contact with.
When I first heard the news, God gave me the sweetest image of Ashley. On Sundays, I tend to sit in the front because I don’t like distractions especially when I am worshipping God, but I would often find myself fixed on Ashely during praise and worship. We all have pathways to God, meaning when or how we feel closest to God and for Ashley and me praise and worship was our greatest pathway. Some may feel close to God reading the Bible or seeing God in nature, but praising God is how we felt closest to Him. When God gave me this image of her this morning, I broke down in tears because all I could think about was that she was in heaven doing just that: crying out, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
With Ashley, what you saw is what you got and I loved that about her, just like when she worshipped God, she did it with her all. The same was true with every other area in her life. I realize the Lord’s ways are so much higher than our own, but to take such a sweet angel who was so on fire for God and was so compassionate about feeding God’s hungry children, I began to wonder why God would take someone who accomplished so much for the kingdom at such a young age. I then began to think about Jesus; in His life he accomplished so much, but it was through His death that the world was changed forever. My prayer is that even though we can’t answer why this happened, God would give us peace that He is accomplishing more than we could ever fathom. I pray this be a wakeup call to everyone that our days are numbered so we better make the best of them as Ashley did. I pray everyone who reads this would look at the priorities in their life and ask how they stack up against what God has called us to do. Ashley’s motivation was based on what she could do for others. It’s true the world was a better place with her in it, but her memory in our hearts makes us better people because her passion for Christ was so contagious.
We all have everlasting life whether we want to admit it or not; however, where we spend it is up to us. Ashley would tell you the same and she would also tell you not to weep, but to rejoice because she is with the Father in heaven. Death is only the beginning and death can’t kill what never dies! Nothing can separate us from God’s love so even though the pain you are feeling is very real, know that there are far better things ahead than lie behind.
It will break my heart not seeing her across from me worshipping God, but knowing she ran the race and kept the faith and endured till the very end and that she is with the Father gives me such joy. Ashley impacted everyone she came in contact with and probably the people they came in contact with; we can call it seven degrees of Ashley, so I pray the way she lived her life would be an example to others and that even in her death others would be impacted by the way she lived her life with love, acceptance and forgiveness. We love you Ashley and we miss you and we can’t wait to see you again on that sweet day!
Jeff, your words are bitter sweet. Thank you for sharing them. I can’t imagine worship without Ashley. I will miss her greatly.
Jeff, Thanks for sharing so beautifully about Ashley. You’re absolutely right-she served God and others with all her heart. We will miss her greatly!
I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write this tribute for a young lady that has impacted so many lives positively, including my children and my wife……. I pray that God’s peace be with her family & that they may be sure that she is in heaven worshipping the father as we read this.
Heart breaking. My family and I heard the news last night and are still in shock. I grew up with Ashley..she had the kindest soul I have ever known. Everything ugly about this world – Ashley was the opposite. Her love for God was inspiring. Thank you for writing such a sweet tribute.
Beautiful comments about an angel taken too soon from her familly. She obviously touched many in her short life and made lasting impressions on hundreds. It all starts in the home and Mike & Eileen laid the best foundation a child could ever have…my prayers go out to you and I send all kinds of positive vibes to support you through this time of loss.
Thank you so much for writing about Ashley. She was one of my closest friends. Because I live in Ohio… I didn’t find out until two days ago. The only thing that gives me peace is knowing where she is right now. Thank you again.