When life gives you lemons

When life gives you lemons, it throws them in your face really hard and fractures a bone, gives you a concussion, and splits your eye open. JK. Only sometimes. This past week, I was in Florida for a conference with a bunch of our high school students. Per tradition, we played captured the glow stick in the dark on the beach. I’m highly competitive and of course went 100%. Gabe (9th grade boy) and I were scheming for our next run/play. We would run the flanks then cut into the middle and criss cross to confuse our opponents. When we cross paths, we collided extremely hard. His forehead crushed into my face. Everything went black for a few seconds as I fell to the sand. My entire face hurt, so I wasn’t sure what I hurt. As I began touching my face, I looked down and there was blood everywhere. I told Zack to take me off the beach immediately as I didn’t want to scare the kids. Gabe was also hurt, but in a little better condition than me.

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We both went to the ER. Gabe had a cut in his forehead that they were able to glue together. He was a tough dude! I had a giant gash in my eyelid, major swelling, bruising, and a concussion. Because I blacked out, they needed to do a couple of CT Scans. They found no permanent brain damage or internal bleeding. THANK GOD. They did find a fracture in my right occipital bone (below the eye). After 4 hours of waiting, I was finally given some pain meds and could relax.

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I told the doctor I was getting married in a few months and asked if she could do her very best to make the stitches really small. She understood and told me I would be the most beautiful bride still. As she began, she told me she was going to try and only use 5 stitches, but ended up having to use 8. I was bummed, but more than anything, wanted everything to heal the right way. She also gave me a tetanus shot (omg why do those hurt so bad).

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If i’m being completely honest, I was so scared. Many tears were shed as I thought about the recovery and my wedding day. I was also told that I may need to have surgery to repair the fracture. I sat there crying in Zack’s arms. I really wasn’t strong enough in that moment, but that is why God put someone like Zack in my life- to be strong when I can’t be. I also had an amazing group of high school girls back at the hotel praying for me. After 7 hours in the ER, I was finally able to go back to the hotel and rest. On Thursday, I mustered up the energy to go to dinner with our high school students and take a battle wound picture with Gabe.

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I’m home and recovering currently. Zack took me to Sephora because I told him a I need a really good concealer to cover my scar when I’m able to put makeup on again. It was really hard to be out in public and in a store filled with gorgeous women with perfect faces. As I stood there in line, I looked at Zack and started crying. I didn’t feel perfect. I felt broken. The stares made me uncomfortable and I just wanted to get out of there. I know I’m going to have to overcome this as the days go by. I’m 5 days out from the accident. Since then, the swelling has decreased about 80% with the 20% left in my cheek where the fracture is. My bruises have hit the gross yellow stage. I’m on major pain medication to keep the constant headaches and pain from the fracture at bay.

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I’ve been so grateful for everyone’s love and support. Your kind words and prayers do not go unnoticed. I’m just so blessed that it wasn’t more serious. It could have been a lot worse and I know God was with me that night on the beach. I ask now for your prayers as I have an appointment with a surgeon tomorrow. He will determine whether or not I need surgery for my fracture. Please pray that this measure is not necessary and that they will allow it to heal itself. This has been a huge learning experience for me. I love making plans and attempting to have control over everything in my life, but God loves to wreck my plans and thus make me so much stronger. I’m still going to get married, and it’s still going to be the best day of my life, even if I have scars on my face.

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Thank you all for your hugs, positive encouragement, and your prayers. You all are my rock and remind me that God will always love and accept the imperfect.

xoxo

Ashley

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