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  • Writer's pictureAshley Thomas

Awesome or Ashley You Choose

“You don’t have to be awesome and do everything; you simply have to believe that the One who is truly awesome loves you through everything”

- Ann Voskamp: The Broken Way

1, 2, 3 years ago I walked into an office I felt didn’t belong to me. I sat in the chair, I faced the wall and thought to what?

I’m a planner and there was no plan.

There was a team in the other office, a building full of people, countless volunteers and an organization with 17 years under its belt.... I was doubling the budget, staff and size of the organization. Just who in the world did I think I was?

While I didn't (or don't) have the perfect answer for that. I knew I wasn’t going to be silent any longer. I knew I wasn’t going to shrink back in fear. I knew I wasn’t placed in a role to fit the mold. I knew I wasn’t going to be OK with staying the same. I mean come on..we are a greenhouse for people... we have to grow, we have to continue to discover what it means to flourish - and that means everyone: the organization, the donors, the volunteers, the board, the staff and of course our beloved members. The foundation had been laid, how were we going to build on it? The last three years have presented A LOT.

I have encountered new life. Babies at Hope Street are one of the greatest gifts.

I have faced death and grief head on. Each time I swear I won’t let my heart fall for another’s still happening.

I have made mistakes. I want to prove people wrong, and sometimes I move too fast.

I have done some good. That’s hardest for me to see, but in reality there is a building full of broken people who know they are loved simply because of who created them. There is a community on 26th and Capitol that believes in themselves and the power of WE. I’m part of that. I am proud of that.

But more than anything I show up. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be expected to show up, but for now I sit in my chair, I face the wall and think now what? So far...the what is pretty loud and clear because of the I press on.

It’s been 3 years since I became the Executive Director, and if I’m honest most days I’m tired - but His grace is new each morning and for now that is enough.

P.s. thank YOU to those who have made the “leadership burden” lighter...I wasn’t prepared for it, but you have held up my arms and I’m so thankful. The expectations are stifling at times especially when placed on top of the ones I already give myself. The irony...the people often making it lighter are the ones I came to “serve” - I love God’s upside Kingdom.

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