Ashley’s Strength

Four years ago, I revealed that I was molested for over seven years by my father who was a pastor. He was found dead, in his home, a few days after I disclosed. Due to the mental anguish and distress of losing him, being blamed for it, and still working through the abuse, I took a razor and shaved my head. Some people would have reached for drugs, a bottle, or even a razor to cut themselves to gain some sort of control.

I cut my hair… it was the only thing I could control at that time. I couldn’t change what happened to my father. I couldn’t change how my family turned away from me for it. I couldn’t change how his community hated me.

Yesterday, I took scissors and cut my hair… but this time it was symbolic of the transformation, healing, and freedom that has taken place over these four years!

I’ve never felt more liberated! God has done some of his best work in me. And he would never let me hate any of the people who hated me.

The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that I can’t control what others do but I can control my response. I choose love… love speaks so much louder!

I hate that my father is gone and I honor the good he deposited into me. Ironically, he taught me Jesus and that’s the best gift I’ve ever received!

Ashley has since founded Project Be Brave, learn more here.

This Spotlight Story was shared via our Share Your Story feature, through which survivors can offer their experiences as a source of insight, support, and ultimately hope for the community. In order to create a safe and supportive community for all our readers, we do not share the names of perpetrators or the specifics of court cases. All posts are reviewed prior to posting, must adhere to Darkness to Light’s guidelines for appropriate content, and may have been edited for length.