Before saying goodbye that Sunday in the foyer of the chapel, and with more wisdom and light than most adults I know, Ashley shared how rock solid her faith is that one day she’ll be made whole again. Her testimony and love of the Lord, particularly given the challenges he’s given her, is something otherworldly.
“I know who I am,” she said with the conviction of someone who knows her soul is much, much older than her body.
As I watched her greet a friend, I wished I had her faith and strength as a teenager. Thinking of the moment weeks later, I now realize how wrong I was; I wish I had that faith today.
The lasting impression of this remarkable young woman isn’t just what she’s overcome, or how she’s adapted to her limitations or even how positive she is in the face of heaven’s trials.
For me, the lesson is how much a smile reveals about a person. In the case of Ashley Evans, it tells the world that she knows something special and she’s not afraid to share it. She is grounded not on physical terms, but on eternal truths.
I can hear the words again: “I know who I am." Yes she does, and the world is better for it.
And for her.
Jason Wright is a New York Times best-selling author of eight books, including "Christmas Jars," "The Wednesday Letters" and "The Wedding Letters." He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.jasonfwright.com.
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