Here are his words..........
For a while now, I have wanted to share my heart and what God has been showing me over these past months. You all have been following Ashley share from her perspective, but I feel that as a husband I have a unique perspective to share.
Last September, our lives were changed forever. I could have never imagined that life could be so hard, or that God is so sufficient. My entire outlook on life has been shifted, and in many ways it has been for the better. I have personally encountered a lot of pain and trials in my life, but nothing could compare to this.
Ever since I have met Ashley, she has been everything to me. I love her more than I ever thought possible. She is the best thing to happen to me, short of Jesus. My biggest fear has always been that something would happen to her. I would always think to myself that there was no way I would be able handle it if anything happened to her. I can handle going through hardships myself, but the thought of seeing my wife suffer was more than I thought I can handle. What I know now is that I had been seriously underestimating how powerful the grace of God is.
If you would have tried to tell me a year ago that Ashley and I could make it through this trial, I would have seriously doubted you. If you would have told me that I would be able to forgive the man who did this to my beloved wife, I would have told you that you were insane. I am very protective by nature, and I do not take it well when someone near to me is wronged. The amazing thing is, through all of this, I was wrong.
I remember Ashley bursting into my office when she escaped like it happened 5 minutes ago. I can picture her, terrified and bloody. There are some days that I cannot get the image out of my head. I remember exactly how I felt….and to this day it rocks me to my core. I felt an extreme and immense love for my wife. I literally felt Jesus calm my soul, and the one thing that I cared about was making sure that Ashley was okay, and that I was doing everything I could to take care of her. I can honestly tell you that in that moment I had no anger within myself. None. My coworkers tell me that I amazed them with the way that I cared for Ashley. They said that they would have gone after the man. They said they would have killed him. A year ago, I probably would have told you the same. I had no idea how to take into account just how powerful the love that Christ has bestowed upon us is. There was no room for me to have hate. My wife is part of me, and she was broken, so I was broken.
The day, and weeks to come, continued on in a blur. We were blessed to have good friends come to the hospital, and Ashley’s sisters joined us that night. Ashley has spoken of this, but what I will say is that I am extremely grateful. We both felt more loved in that time than I can ever remember feeling loved. Over the next weeks I hardly left Ashley’s side. I served her as much I possibly could, but she was asleep a lot. This gave me a lot of time to think.
I honestly struggled greatly through this time. I felt extremely guilty. I am her husband. I am supposed to be her protector. She was on the same property as me, experiencing the worst thing I can imagine, and I had no idea. I wrestled with this relentlessly, and sometimes still do. In my mind, I had failed her so greatly. What I had to come to grips with is that God is a good God, and that He loves Ashley far more than I do. I realized how extremely limited I am, and how much better at protecting Ashley than I am. It is honestly a miracle that she is alive now, and I know it is purely because God was protecting her all the way through. God is very gracious and revealed more truths to me every day. I really feel like I learned a lot of what it is to be a husband in this time. I was a proud man before. I thought that I was a great servant and a great protector for my wife. I thought I had it all together. God has used this time to grow me greatly, and I still have a long way to go.
Almost every day, I have to leave Ashley and go to work. Every day, lingering in the corner of my mind, is a crippling fear. I realize that something terrible could happen again at any instant. However, every day God gives me the strength and ability to trust in him, and to put Ashley in His hands. He gives me the strength to be the leader that I am called to be, and to point her towards Jesus.
Writing this today, I can tell you happily that a year ago I was very misguided. I had a very small view of God. What I have learned is that God’s grace is sufficient to get us through any trial that life may throw our way. I have learned the peace and love of God in ways that I could not have imagined. I can tell you that Ashley and I both have complete forgiveness for the man that did this, which can only come from the Holy Spirit. I have learned what it is to be a servant, and to love my wife. Being Ashley’s husband is my greatest privilege, and I thank Jesus that He has let me take this role.