Tone Series with Ashley Canara
Documented by Lisa Larson
what do the words ‘so worth loving’ mean to you?
No matter what you have experienced or are currently experiencing you are not defined by that situation, person, experience, etc. These things certainly play a role in shaping who we are and what we believe, but there is always more.
We all have moments we are less than proud of where we maybe respond poorly to a situation or have an unkind reaction to someone, but that does not make you an unworthy person. To me, So Worth Loving says that you are MORE than your hard circumstances or bad experience and that regardless of what is written in your past, there is much more in store for you because we are all WORTHY of more...more love, joy, happiness, and laughter.
when you hear the words dark and light, what comes to mind?
For me, dark and light is the constant pull between what is and what I hope for: Sorrow & Joy, Heartache & Love, Tears & Laughter, Confusion & Peace.
It is embracing the hard times because we know that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and that light will be heaven.
did you find God in the middle of a dark season?
Yes, on October 9, 2018 my boyfriend passed away very unexpectedly and in a horribly tragic way. I arrived home from work and found that he had died by suicide and in one split second my whole world had completely fallen apart. As police officers filled our home, I remember lying face down in our front yard just wishing I would die –I had no idea how I was ever going to live beyond this lossand, to be honest, I really didn’t want to.
After a few months and once the initial shock began to wear off, I quickly realized that the ONLY option I had for surviving this was to hand it ALL over to God –the questions, the heartache, the guilt, the depression, the doubts, the insecurities, and even the brief moments of happiness or laughter I would experience.
Experiencing the traumatic loss of Jonathan catapulted me into deep, deep sorrow and intense grief in a way I did not even know existed and throughout the last 16 months I have fought through my own suicidal thoughts in the times when it felt like the pain of continuing on was just too much to bare. It was in those moments that I would beg God to rescue me and literally pray away the darkness in my life. It was also in those moments that God showed me a love that I am so undeserving of, yet, He gives so freely.
His relentless pursuit of my heart in this heartbreaking season of my life is the reason I am still alive today. In the moments of anger, confusion, and doubt towards Him(and others), He has responded with grace. In the moments when it seems as if I have no more tears left to cry yet they keep on falling, He continues to respond with the comfort of a sweet memory or a gentle reminder that there is more in store for me.
what did you learn about His love for you at that time?
The number one thing I have learned about God’s love through my life, specifically the last 16 months, is this: He does not take away or numb the pain, but it is through His love that I can hold onto hope for more to come.It is through His love that I have the desire to keep fighting and to keep going.
His love is deep, unchanging, and relentless. It is only through a love so great that there could be any belief that “He works all things together for our good” even though our circumstances would tell us otherwise.
what would you tell the next generation about God?
God loves you immensely and so desperately wants to be #1 in your life. No matter what your story looks like, there is absolutely nothing you can do to make Him love you any less. He truly is a good, good Father.
Also, do not wait until you are in the midst of a storm to pursue him wholeheartedly. Do it now so that you can be prepared when the storm hits for we are not promised an easy life. Pain/suffering will come in some way, shape, or formand it is only with God that you will find a way through those times.