Take the Shackles Off My Feet So I Can Dance (Ashley)

Most people are too embarrassed to talk about their struggles, because they think it makes them appear weak. But, in reality, we are doing more harm to ourselves and to others by pretending we have it all put together.

People, it is time we start taking our masks off!

Stop acting like you don’t have an addiction. Stop acting like you don’t have an issue with lying. Stop acting like you aren’t in pain. Stop hiding behind insecurities. Please just stop for one moment, and take your mask off.

Being vulnerable isn’t cowardly, it’s actually courageous. So here it goes, my mask is coming off.

My name is Ashley Sue Morrell. For most of my life, I’d say being involved with boys has been one of my biggest struggles. I’ve been boy crazy since I came out of the womb.

Okay, that is a slight exaggeration. I’ve only been obsessed with boys since I can remember. And you might think, “Oh Ashley, that’s not abnormal.” And you’re right, it is natural for people to be boy/girl crazy. But here’s another struggle of mine: I’m a fixer. And that quality, combined with a boy obsession, set me up for some problems. If you’re a girl who is similar to me in that way, you understand where I’m going with this.

I think we (as in you too) have a type, and it’s the worst type: I call them the badly-behaved-good-boys.

These BBGBs are our kryptonite. As most girls do, I loved the idea that I could have the power to change someone for the better; that I could make some “bad boy,” into the best kind of person. I loved the idea that I could influence someone, not just a boy, to want to change their heart. The frustrating thing is that when you have that mindset, it is so difficult to get out of it. I know that there are so many girls that have that same mindset about guys. I know that I did, and occasionally still do.  I wanted to change bad boys so badly, that I would do what ever it took to get the results that I wanted.

But ladies, listen to me and listen to me carefully: the only one who was changed by me was me. Not a BBGB.

Ultimately I  lost myself to boys at a young age; I lost myself because I put my identity in a guy versus in Jesus. I gave myself up in hopes that it would help me keep the guy I wanted. I was in no way, shape, or form prepared to take on the consequences of my actions.

Sadly, I had known better, but I still chose to ignore all the warnings. I had the best parents there to guide me. I had grown up in church, and I was taught the difference between right and wrong. But I was so focused on trying to fix BBGBs , that I ended up losing myself in the process. I became extremely jealous of other girls. I became comfortable with lying to my parents. I became more and more insecure about who I was and how I looked. I was drawn to gossip: I didn’t want to talk about my own issues, therefore I ended up talking about other people’s problems.

I felt so guilty about the person I was becoming, that I isolated myself from some of my family and friends who would have helped hold me accountable. I’ve always known God, but during those two years of my life, I chose to ignore Him because I felt ashamed.  I chose to run away from the One who had the power to give me relief.

The truth is, ladies and gents, guilt comes in the form of conviction from the Holy Spirit. However, shame is a weapon of the enemy. Shame keeps you in shackles, but wearing those shackles is a choice. You don’t have to wear them because Jesus came to break them.

That is the beauty of my Jesus. He wanted me even though my heart was turned away from Him. No matter how far I ran from Him, He just kept following me. He chased me down, and He broke my chains. While I was so obsessed with boys, my Jesus was obsessed with me. And that’s something that blows my mind. I had abandoned Him. I literally did not want Him a part of my life. But, even when I couldn’t feel Him, He was there; not for one moment did He abandon me.

If Jesus did not abandon me, He won’t abandon you. So what if you’ve made a lot of mistakes? So what if you are in a sticky situation? SO WHAT if you don’t live the typical Christian life style? So what!

You do not have to let your mistakes define who you are. I have made so many mistakes, and quite frankly I continue to make mistakes daily. And the mistakes I make aren’t always small. But the truth is, the only way I can face the guilt of my wrongs is with God’s love. His love for me gives me the courage to push forward. I refuse to believe that God’s work in me ends where my mistakes begin. On the contrary, I believe that God begins to use your mistakes and your struggles to prove Himself. No one is too far gone for Him. Your past is not your future. Jesus cares way more about you as a person than He cares about your mistakes. He has the power to break your addictions. He has the love to heal your heart. He is calling your name, and He is ready to give you purpose.

Listen to me: Jesus Christ loves big. And He loves you more than anything in the universe. So take those shackles off your feet and dance your heart out. You are not condemned. You are free.


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I (Ashley) am guessing that you probably want to know a little bit about our purpose for this blog. Well, Brett and I know that walking out a life of faith can prove to be even more complicated than one would think; we just wanna be here to encourage you and uplift you with our testimonies. In Revelation 12:11, it says that we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimonies. We don't claim to be perfect, in fact we are far from it. However, the only way we will ever impact lives is if we stop acting like we have it all put together, and instead be vulnerable with our experiences and allow God to use them to encourage others. Go big or go home, am I right?

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