I have copied this post from here-http://268generation.com/blog/2009/04/shine-your-light-and-let-the-whole-world-see/
It's just such an amazing story I have to share. If you haven't heard Louie Giglio tell Ashley's story, you've gt to. It's incredibly encouraging.
Still Shining Brightly!
Ashley Akinns 6/21/84 - 4/29/07
She lived a life of fun and laughter and loved God in the end.
I will never forget the first time I held Ashley’s journal in my hands. Though I already had a copy that had been transcribed by her brother, Jacob, actually holding her written life’s story, captured in an everyday composition book, was something else altogether…it felt like a sacred trust.
The transcript of the journal first came from Ashley’s dad after many conversations by e-mail over months of time. This particular e-mail read in part, “So you always say you wish you had known my daughter. Well, this will help you know a little bit more about my Princess .” So I downloaded the file and quickly realized I was reading her own words, personal snapshots of her journey beginning in the fall of 2006 and continuing until the the final entry on April 28, 2007. As I read the pages I couldn’t help but weep with sadness and joy as I watched in detail as her heart began to beat with the love of God.
But holding the journal revealed so much more about her, her personality beaming through the ALL CAPS wording, multiple exclamation points, unwavering energy, humor and varied ink colors. But nothing prepared me for what I felt when I saw what followed her last recorded words. Opposite the last line of Saturday’s entry was nothing but an empty page, an inescapable affirmation that her life on earth had come to an end.
Innocently, the last words she penned after spending a weekend at home with her family were, Tomorrow I am driving back to Gainesville after church and sushi in Riverside. We are going to Sushi Cafe-
What is interesting to me is that there is no period at the end of that sentence…just a squiggly line that seems to say “To be continued” more than “The End.” The next day, a one-car collision took Ashley from those she loved. But it did not dim God’s plans for her life. No way. Ashley found life in the One who overwhelmed the grave.
So, on this day that marks her death, I’d like to share her entry from February 8, written seventeen days after she encountered the grace of God in a personal and life-altering way.
Feb 8th ‘07
I went to a Bible Study with Christa tonight and that was actually kind of fun and cool. Everyone was like hey Ashley and did not make me feel like all awkward and stuff. It was like I belonged there. They sang some songs which I did not know and everyone else did but it was cool. My favorite I came home and looked up the lyrics, here they are cause I love them. I don’t know why but I started crying when they were singing it and I just wanted to lift my hands like they did…I did not but I talked to Christa about it afterwards. She said it was just a way of worshipping God. Jesus did take me just like he found me, with all my failures and screw-ups. He loved me just like I am. He has shown me so much compassion and mercy and he LOVES me. That just blows me away, ya know…
[change to red ink]
Everyone needs compassion
A love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A Kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
So take me as you find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King…Jesus
All I can say is wow.
Ashley, I cannot fathom the loss your family and friends carry and I know they miss you with everything within them. Yet, I can say with certainty that those lyrics you loved so much are coming true in your life today. Your Savior is shining amazingly through you!
Your friend, Louie