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Shlee’s HerStory: Be Not Afraid

Ashley (Shlee) Schofield is well-loved by the SoCal wmGirls! Below is Shlee’s honest and relatable HerStory on overcoming fear, her sweet homecoming to the Lord and a bright future with Him!

So often I feel alone, scared, and unsure.

To feel better, I’ve filled these voids with fading pleasures – toys as a girl, clothes as a teenager, and men as a young woman. Travel, work, school – you name it, I’ve put something seemingly important before God.

Every year for Lent I give up materialistic joys I fill my life with: sweets, wine, coffee, etc. I starve myself of beloved things, only to binge after 40 days.

This year I decided to do something different. I vowed to give up worrying and work on myself.

The idea actually came from my ex, who didn’t believe in God, and challenged my faith practices. He questioned why I didn’t do something real and lasting?

Seemed like a novel idea, so I embarked on a path to self-betterment through God.

I’ve tried to control my life changes before, but I learned how fulfilling it is to let God take the reigns.

Funny, because this isn’t the first time I’ve learned this lesson. I’ve walked away from God before – felt lost and confused – and came back to Him again.

Needless to say, I was at a point of separation from God again at the onset of this Lenten season. I filled all my time with my ex and lost my conversations with God.

As I embarked on the realities of God, I awakened to the unrealities of my “romantic” relationship. I was living away from home, family, and all my loved ones in hopes I would marry my ex. I got caught up with “the one” I’d be with forever, when really I was slipping from the ones who I’d been with forever – God and myself included.

“When you forget your true identity as a beloved child of God, you lose your way in life. Insecure and frightened, you act not freely, but out of fear. You become preoccupied trying to please others and you lose the confidence to be yourself. You work hard to avoid rejection, or abandonment, and you may cling to people more from fear than freedom. In making compromises you may please people but lose touch with your original blessing, the connection to the deep and everlasting love of God. Jesus announces to us, “Do not be afraid. I dwell in you till the end of time.””

I read the above passage on the last day of Lent and that day broke up with my boyfriend, decided to move back home, and renewed my life in walking with the Lord.

He paved the way to change and gave me the strength to pursue the life I wanted.

Now my life is more full than I could ever imagine … with real people, love, and God. I often talk with Him en route to work and at idle times when my mind wants to worry. I never feel alone because He is always there and I am peacefully content in a way I’ve never felt before.

My life may not always be a bed of roses in the future, but it’s a lot less thorny with Him.

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