Monday, July 20, 2015

Legacy

So many of you have commented, emailed, direct messaged and been in contact so many other ways to let me know that you were touched by Ashleigh's story and it is with an absolute broken heart that I'm blogging today to let you know that she passed away Sunday morning with her husband at her side.

After spending an awesome morning on Vail Mountain with Dave and the kids, I pulled out my phone in the car on the way back to the townhouse and read the news.

I felt immediate sadness for her family - her boys David and Noah are only one and two years old.  The thought of them growing up without their mom left me with a pit in my stomach.  Then my thoughts turned to her husband, Brad, and how he'd lost his partner. His blog post last week about them celebrating their eighth wedding anniversary was one of the most touching things I have ever read and the magnitude of his loss is almost unimaginable.

I only met Ashleigh in May and it was in the most random of circumstances, but I felt an immediate connection to her story and on the way home from meeting her I remember talking to Dave and being almost unable to put into words how strong and inspiring I found her.  Through various text conversations over the last couple of months she would throw in throw in these pieces of perspective and insight and I was often left wondering how I would handle a situation like the one she was in.  At every turn, every blow and every disappointment she never stopped praising Jesus and never gave up hope. 

Throughout the day yesterday as I checked in on Facebook and read through the hundreds of posts on her wall, I was left in awe again.  Dozens and dozens of people leaving accounts of her friendship, kindness, strength and passion for Christ.  Her legacy was tangible immediately and it left me not saddened, but inspired.  The impact and influence that she has had and will continue to have for the Kingdom of God is encouraging and inspiring me to live each day for Him.  To not take a moment for granted and to love deeply and strongly.  


The following is from her husband's blog post from today:

 And the present sting of death is actually a temporary inconvenience.  You may know the end of 2 Corinthians 4 from the T-shirt fundraiser:

 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

But what you may not know is what immediately follows it in chapter 5:
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling... So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

And that is Ashleigh.  Whether here or in death, her aim was to please God and point people to Him.  Her "earthly tent" - her body - was destroyed by cancer.  But she is celebrating now in an eternal building built by God.  She is enjoying her eternal weight of glory.

If you are wanting to do something for her family...

In lieu of flowers, you can donate to Ashleigh's FirstGiving page to help meet her goal to raise money for IBC research.  Or if you'd rather, you can donate to Noah and David's scholarship fund by donating to the brashleighboys@gmail.com PayPal account as a friend (if you also have a PayPal account), or you can donate directly here if you don't have a PayPal account.

22 comments:

  1. My heart aches for her husband, 2 sons, and her family/friends. What an inspiring woman who made such a huge impact on the world in her short life. What comfort there is in the fact that she's no longer suffering but up in heaven with God. Thanks for sharing her story, Andrea. It really puts everything into perspective.

    Lauren
    www.postgradinprogress.blogspot.com

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  2. I have followed along with Her story and was so heartbroken to hear this yesterday. What a truly amazing woman she was. Praying for her husband and her sweet boys!

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  3. What an inspiration Ashleigh was to us all! I'm so sad for her family. Praying for all her boys!

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  4. I just can't stop thinking about this precious family. Praying for Brad and her boys (and her family too). What a legacy. Thank goodness for salvation and redemption.

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  5. This is so devastating - so so sad! Often in these tragic moments, we learn such incredible lessons that God has placed on the situation. I know I definitely have... x

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  6. Bless, sweet Ashley. So heartbroken for her family here!

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  7. Such a sweet post Andrea. Ashleigh is dancing with Jesus and she has so many people praying for her husband and her boys. I'm so thankful that you introduced all of us to her so she had a chance to touch so many more people with her incredible faith.

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  8. I found Ashleigh's blog/story through you, Andrea, and felt the same immediate connection and draw to her. She was such a light - she just glowed in pictures and under circumstances where glowing should have been the absolute last thing you'd expect. I believe that that glow has everything to do with her unwavering faith in Jesus. Truly amazing, and SUCH an inspiration. I'll be in continued prayer for her family as they go forward in this life without her (breaks my heart for those sweet boys), but knowing that Ashleigh is whole and healthy once again in heaven is such a comfort after all that she endured. And knowing that she will be reunited with her family one day is also a comfort.

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  9. My heart shattered when I read this yesterday. And my heart aches for her sons and husband, and all of her family for that matter. Her strength was truly inspiring and her love for God as well. I pray that she is enjoying eternal life in heaven free of pain, free of drugs, free of bad news and heart break. I know she is smiling so big protecting those three boys from above. Thank you for introducing her to us via the tutu. Her life and strength through the worst situation possible was inspiring to read about. <3
    ~Tiffany

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  10. She honored God in her life and in her death - what an amazing example to live by! Thank you for helping continue her legacy by sharing her story. Lots of prayers for her family & friends!

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  11. Her steadfast faith was an inspiration to so many! She is content with Jesus now. Praying for Brad and her two boys.

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  12. Praying for all who knew Ashleigh.

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  13. I am so happy that you met. I have no doubt that it was God bringing you all together whether to give her another friend, bring us a lesson, or what. I won't know…but I do know that I am so glad I was able to find her blog and read up on it. What an amazing testament to God's faithfulness and love.

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  14. Was so so sad when I saw your IG post about Ashleigh's passing (had to read it several times), then found Brad's post on her blog. My heart breaks for him and the boys. keeping them and their extended family and friends in prayer. What a testimony she was - loved her statement about her hope was not with doctors, or her family, but solely and wholeheartedly in Jesus (paraphrased).

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  15. I have the biggest lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. So sorry for the loss of your friend. She was truly inspiring and I'm so thankful for the hope we have in Jesus. Praying for her hubby and little boys.

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  16. Oh sweet Andrea, I know how you hurt. Thank you for sharing and introducing us to Ashleigh. Her husband is amazing and his post and witness is something I hope to remember and share with others. You are an amazing friend (real and cyber). I'm praying for you and hoping you know what a blessing you are to so many.

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  17. I was so sad when I saw this on your instagram. I cant imagine the sorrow her family is feeling right now, but what a glorious party she is having in heaven.

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  18. I have been following her journey since you posted about her originally. While I have never met her (or you for that matter), I was so impacted by her outlook throughout this whole process. What an incredible woman. She has inspired me. Thank you for sharing her story.

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  19. Thank you for sharing Ashleigh's story. Her faith will continue to be an inspiration to me (and to many others) for the rest of my life.

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  20. This breaks my heart. As someone who lost her mom too early, I can, in a way relate, but having such young sons.....breaks my heart. Thank you for introducing us to such an inspiring, amazing, strong woman. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

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  21. This is so sad, but so inspiring too. What a legacy Ashleigh has left for everyone she touched with her words. HeSrtbroken for her husband and boys. May they find hope and comfort in this really tough time with Gods presence holding them close.

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  22. This has been on my mind & heart since I read your post on Instagram. I've been praying for her husband & sons. It's also made me so grateful for the simple everyday pleasures. Thank you for sharing her story & inspiration with all of us. Continuing to pray for her family & friends.

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