From Trauma to Triumph
From Trauma to Triumph: A Story of Victory with Ashlyn Hernandez @heartbehindwalls
As I walked in to meet Ashlyn my first thoughts were 'wow, this girl is on fire!'-queue Alicia Keys please!
I sat down and quickly realized, I thought I was coming to bless her...but she was the one blessing me. With her story, her life, her faith and her fight. She encouraged me and empowered me to walk unapologetically as the woman God created me to be. Ladies, you all need an Ashlyn in your life. She will teach you and fire you up...all because she knows the power and love of her Father God.
Her story isn't for the faint of heart and she'll be the first to tell you, she knows her strength is only from the Lord. From a young age of four Ashlyn met Jesus in a very real way and that one encounter gave her the security she needed to endure years of abuse and trauma from the hands of a loved-one. Those years of abuse would later send her on a path of destructive thoughts, behaviors and torment but ultimately led her to fight for the freedom that God promised her. And if I could sum up Ashlyn in one word it would be just that, Fighter.
Her understanding of His love, grace and redemption will challenge your beliefs in ways you didn't know you needed. It is because her belief in His love that she has been able to accept the bold invitation to marry a man behind bars. But as she says "he's behind bars but he's free."
I didn't hide my shock or curiosity as I dug further into her story and let's be frank: how the heck she married a man in prison.
"Hearing my husband might be sentenced to 25 years in prison, yeah, had me shocked and asking Jesus, 'are you sure'?" says Ashlyn. "But I knew what the Lord said and I chose to stand firm in that. Is it easy? No. Do I pretend to have it all figured out? Heck no. I've had to navigate the challenges and adversity that came along with that, even from my own family. But I know God's love and redemption isn't limited to people outside of the prison walls. My husband made bad choices but he also lived in cycles of bondage that were never his fault. He's had to learn to break those things down, we both did. Now we want to use that to teach others to do the same."
How many of us walk around free but behind bars? We stay in bondage to thoughts, lies, pain or culture when Jesus paid for our freedom. Through her own story and her husband's, they have started a ministry teaching people how to live in their freedom and fight for their lives. Her weapon of choice: prayer. And if she could teach you one thing it would be exactly that, how to pray and talk to your Abba Father.
She has overcome trauma in her life and now lives is triumph. Walking that out daily is part of the story. Her and her husband started a ministry called Heart Behind Walls, and seek to bring wholeness to those who are in physical, mental, and emotional prisons. They want to help set every captive free just as Jesus did for them.