Last night I tiptoed down the hallway, peaked in to my boys bedroom, and see them snuggled into bed. I watch my ‘soon to be’ husband, close his eyes and fold his hands while Tripp and Cash follow in unison, they being to say Grace. My heart smiles and I listened to the sweet words that come out of Tripp’s mouth. Calmness sets over me and I am reminded once again that I have found my missing piece.
In a few days, my entire world will change. I will be saying my vows to the man who has stolen my heart. I’ve been asked a lot recently, ‘Ashley, what is it that makes him different?’ ‘Why him?’ And why are you changing your name to ASHLEY CLINE, you have worked so hard to brand ASHLEY HORNER. It doesn’t take me very long at all to answer their question, in fact the reasons stand out like a huge elephant sitting in the corner of my living room. From the outside looking in, he seems average but on the inside he has the richest heart & the purest eyes with the most beautiful soul I have ever seen .
Before I get into that I want to tell you a little back history of relationships for me; For the longest time, I sought after relationships all entirely wrong. I’ve let selfish men enter my life, men who were insecure and cared more about his ‘selfies’ than me. I’ve let men emotionally abused me, constantly talked down to me and make me feel like I was worthless. I look back on those relationships and I wonder WHAT THE HELL was I thinking?! I’ve had a man who told me to get out or he was calling the cops, in my very own house! I’ve had my name taken off bank accounts, and shame on me for being such an idiot and allowing my name to be added to the bank account in the first place. Im not going to sugar coat it, I’ve been choked out, to the point where I’ve passed out and fell on the floor. But the wakening moment was when my young son walked into the dining room and knowing little ears were there he continued to use profanity with a raised voice and no matter how many times I begged him to quite, he kept on. Thats when I saw first hand, the way Tripp looked at me, confused, wondering why anyone would talk to his mommy like that. It was as if I finally woke up, pushed all the bad out and began thinking about the important things in my life. Sometimes it takes you going through complete shit to realize there is better in the world. Its scary to think that most girls can’t ever get their head above water to think that there is someone out there better for them, its like they are constantly walking down the same street and falling down the same hole. That was me, I was that girl. I am very forgiving by nature and happy through any situation, I love pretty much everyone and everything that comes into my life. Sometimes people see that and and become so envious of the brightness in your life that they try and cover it up and take it away.
I centered my life around all the wrong things, in the pursuit of seeking happiness, I thought by landing success I would be happy & content. I achieved what many would call famed success and I still felt empty. Beyond success, I sought after financial success… and after I overcame everything taken from me; rebuilt myself and worked my ass off for financial security; I achieved it. But the common factor with both of these things, is by human nature if you allow it, you’ll never be satisfied and can be dangerously addicting. After I realized how wrong I was and what I thought would bring me happiness, the fame and financial success, that none of that was true happiness.
I started looking at life in a completely different way; I looked at the relationship I was in and thought to myself, is that the kind of man I want my little boys to grow up to be like, would I want them to treat the women in their lives like I was being treated and the answer was a big fat NO! Slapped right on my forehead, as if I was asking God for a sign, he hit me with a billboard. From that moment on, I put God first in my life; reflected on my roots, how I was raised as a little girl and the testimony my father was in my life. I honestly believe some of my poor judgment and being naive with my relationships had to do with me losing my father in my early teens. I know for a fact that if my father had met some of the men that entered into my life they wouldn’t have been there long.
So you ask me what is special about my relationship now and it can easily roll off my tongue. He is the man, that as soon as he walks in my door he drops his bags picks me up in his arms and wrestles with the boys, a man who regardless of what is going on in his life is always puts himself second and is eager to hear about my day, he his selfless. He is a man, that I pray Tripp and Cash will grow up to be like. A confident man, loves his job, thankful for his blessings and is so humble. The way he loves me and his affection towards me and how I watch him show my boys love as if they were his own, he is patient, a leader, and is a man of God. So yes, most people are shocked that I am changing my name to Ashley Cline but to me the reason is quite simple. My career is great, and important to me, but nothing is more important to me than my relationship to him. My family will always come first over my career. I am still the same girl, with the same motivation, drive and passion and possibly even more so today. I love him, he is love. On a firm foundation our relationship was created but all the right reasons and started with deep roots! We have blossomed into something so beautiful, that you have to see to believe. -Ashley Cline (soon)