I dropped the bag of corn…

I freaking dropped the bag of corn.

As I walked the streets in Guatemala with my contact, he told us of all the widows that lived in this village, that they had absolutely nothing, no hope, no money, and no food. He handed us each a bag and told us to walk with him, that we would go to each widow, and hand deliver a bag of corn to them – something that would be substantial and sustain them in such a tangible way.

I stood at the street corner laughing, chatting with those around me, and decided to make a game of holding my bag of corn.
I tossed the bag of corn in the air like a basketball…
It was when it came crashing down into my arms that I realized it wasn’t tied shut…
And that was when I dropped the bag of corn.

I felt the heat rise from within my bones and overcome my face. I could physically feel the change in my skin color from pale to blazing red, leaving my ears on fire in the wake. It was then that I felt the push of shame come up and force the tears out of my face as I made direct eye contact with my ministry host.

I was drenched in shame that I would take something so light, someone’s food source, that I would joke around like that, how dare I, I should of listened to all of those people growing up…I should be more serious. I should act my age.

I dropped the corn in February 2015 while on the World Race. I sat here thinking how the hell would I ever express what happened these past 5 months as I traveled through Central America with 30 beautiful souls that I once told you about. Leading a squad on the World Race was nothing like I would of imagined; it was hard, it wasn’t glamorous, it was risky, it was simple, it was challenging, it was rewarding, it was ugly, it was beautiful, it was radical, it was learning, it was teaching…….it was living.

I remember leaving for this trip and thinking that I needed to be every ‘right’ answer for those I was leading and those I was leading with. That maybe I should step into being a smidge more serious, remember all the right answers, quit joking around, and realize that these are people I’m leading. How dare I fail them. How dare I even think of throwing a bag of corn in the air.

In these past 5 months I have had not only the honor to work along side of 30 beautiful people, but live with them. You see, a great co-leader of mine once stated how lucky we were to live along side of those we were leading for a month (instead of just visiting for a few days). To let them in on the inner workings of our lives, our vulnerabilities, our weaknesses, but most importantly to see just who we truly are. To lead by example of letting Christ show through our distinct and beautiful personality that He created. And be nothing but.

The bag splashed down into my arms and the force of it kicked out corn all of the dirty street. I immediately looked at my contact and then dropped to my knees to pick up the corn, to salvage anything that I possibly could for the widow that this bag belonged to. He simply grabbed my hands, smiled at me, and said, “It’s okay.” I stood up, brushed the dirt off of my pants, wiped my tears, and shrugged quietly behind the group as we went to the next house.

I stayed behind and tried my best to cover up my tears. It was then that two girls came running up to me and said, “You’ll never guess what happened! We saw from a distance that a homeless widow found the corn and put it in her pockets to take! You were meant to drop the corn!”

While leading, I would be standing on that so called street corner, trying to look like an adult, stern, to give great speeches, to have all the answers, or to be this dignified woman. But I was meant to be filled with joy, to be silly, to laugh, to talk to those around me, and to play games. When we don’t actively let God use our personalities that He created and designed – we keep Him from spilling out that extra corn for those around us.

I wouldn’t trade these past 5 months for anything, honest. Thank you to everyone who supported me – I hope and pray that you know you did more than just support me. You have supported 30 beautiful souls on M-Squad, you have supported radical evangelicals in El Salvador, you have supported a man to serve all the orphans and widows in Guatemala, you have supported a school in Honduras, you have supported a small village of believers in Nicaragua, you have supported a deaf school in Panama, and you’ve continued to have a hand in supporting the Great Commission. To see how God has overflowed in my life to actually let extra seeds fall out is because of people like you and I am so thankful that you’re in my life. Thank you for coming along side of God’s hand to help mold me into the woman that I am today, to refine those hard edges, and let me stand confident in who I am. I pray we can all drop the bag of corn.






2 thoughts on “I dropped the bag of corn…

  1. Emily says:

    This is great, Ashley. An amazing reminder of stepping in to who the Lord made us to be, knowing that even when we think we did the worst thing possible, He can make goodness come of it.

    It was such an honor to get to meet you this year, and to see the very real way you interact and impact those lives around you. As a leader, you were goofy, and strong, and honest, and just a great testament to how we are not called out into missions to fill a mold, but rather to bring who we are to the communities we are called to and see the awkward, funny, and inspirational ways bonds are created and faith increased.

    Welcome home, you’re awesome 😉

  2. Michaela says:

    Ok so two comments in less than an hour, is that weird? ;P
    Nah, anyway… The Lord really spoke to me through what you wrote here, especially when you said “When we don’t actively let God use our personalities that He created and designed – we keep Him from spilling out that extra corn for those around us.”
    It reminded me about all the talk at Training Camp regarding the “false self.” Sometimes I feel I need to be a certain way and don’t allow the personality God gave me to shine through. I never thought about God maybe wanting to use to it bless others so thank you for speaking from your experience and shedding some more light into that for me. 🙂

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