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chanda and daryl san juan capistrano (1)

My Personal Testimony

Hi. My name is Chanda Ashley. I live in Utah with my husband and my two youngest children. I'm a follower of Jesus. I'm a stay-at-home mom, wife, graphic designer/ux designer and an entrepreneur at heart. Over the last 12 years, I have felt my heart bending further and further towards living in daily obedience to the Lord. That's not to say I've done a stellar job of it. I've had many defeats and regrets over a past that is scarred with disobedience. I have my own personal struggles every day. And, yet, I have felt God's mercy wash over me at my lowest points. Unfortunately, He and I had several "Come to Jesus" moments before I finally surrendered to Him. I still remember the sunny day, out in my backyard having yet another argument with God about the state of my physical and mental health. And I remember at the end of my diatribe, Him saying so quietly to me, "When are you going to trust me?" And, I don't know what happened in that moment. I was struck. Convicted. I always believed I had unwavering faith, but I had been lying to myself. I had to repent and I remember feeling so badly that I had not ever trusted Him beyond receiving my salvation. I had not trusted Him to lead me in my life at all. He sure bailed me out of countless bad choices and scary situations. And what makes that worse, was that I knew He was. I could feel it. I could see it. But man, I was so stubborn! 

I was struggling with anger issues stemming all the way back to my childhood that were spilling into my life at home and struggling to be a stay-at-home mom and had recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto's and other issues and I was so physically exhausted, I could barely get up, much less through the day, much less run after toddlers or show up for my poor husband. Once God spoke those words to me, I just threw my hands up, literally, threw them up! "You win! I've made a mess of everything. I don't know what I'm doing. And I'm tired of fighting with You! I'll do whatever You want." 

 

That was roughly 12 years ago and I haven't looked back. I can definitely say it's not been easy. More often than not, when I am asking for wisdom and guidance, I am met with a strange quiet, which I used to think was because I was asking wrongly (which, maybe sometimes, I guess) or because I had somehow fallen out of fellowship with the Lord. But, over time I came to realize that it was Him asking me to be patient, as He always was with me. I don't always like it, but I expect it now. He will reveal His will for me in His time. It is for me to stay close to Him. To be in His Word. To talk with Him every day. And to trust Him with my life.

As my walk with Jesus grew stronger, I found myself asking Him constantly to use me. Give me a mission. When my two youngest girls were little, God finally helped me realize my mission field was home. I had to be faithful to a promise I made to God that if He allowed my husband and me to have our two girls when I was just shy of 40 years old, that I would raise them to love Him. And I'm happy to report, I was faithful and they do. And my husband had not set foot in a church in idk how many years but I began praying for him every night after he fell asleep in bed. And a couple years later, my husband re-committed his life to the Lord. And my oldest daughter (I have four children), had not been in church much since she was  a child, but I had started praying for her, and about a year and a half later, she gave her heart to the Lord. And my son just came to faith a few months ago. So I KNOW God is Good, God is Faithful, and God is Just. I know He has heard every single prayer and I am so profoundly thankful. I have watched as family members who never had any interest in Jesus came to be saved. I believe in Acts 16:31, (when the jailer came to Paul and Silas after the earthquake in the prison, the doors flung open but they didn't escape) which says: "They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 

I also believe in Philippians 1:6, which says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

As my children have grown, I've seen God move in such loving, merciful ways with my family. But a few years ago I felt like the field was starting to change for me. I was very restless. So, I started asking God to show me what was next. I've asked constantly for a few years. I've started and finished and even let go of many things, trying to understand what path He has for me. Realizing through it, that He's been preparing my heart and the skill I will need to step into what my next mission is. And, as usual, I get frustrated at times, because I wanna get busy, but God always wins. And He remains quiet until I am quiet enough to hear what He wants. Day after day, waiting on Him, feeling somewhat lost but plodding along. I have been journaling for years and I was recently reading through some old logs and then I just knew. He gave it to me. My next mission. And you know what? I'm absolutely terrified! And excited. I don't wanna mess it up or get in the way. And then I say, "Okay, Lord. I'll do it. I'm scared but I trust You." So pray for me. I want to be faithful. I want to be found doing my Father's business when He comes to rapture us into the clouds soon. 

I will close with this. I am just an ordinary woman. Not a ton of formal education. Didn't come from anyplace noteworthy. Nothing special but special in God's eyes and heart. And I know I am going to spend eternity in a very special place. And I don't know about you, but I cannot be thankful enough for how patient and loving and good God has been with me. And if you aren't trusting your life to Him yet, I have to ask you why not? He will move mountains in your life. And He's waiting for you to let him.

 

Behold, today is the day of salvation. 

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