Learning to Rely on God

On 4 June, 2016, 14-year-old Ashley Jones was riding shotgun in an all-terrain vehicle, in the mountains of Colorado. The ground was muddy from the previous night’s rain, so when the ATV took a turn too fast, the wheels lost traction, and the vehicle flipped over onto its right side.

As she fell, Ashley instinctively reached out her right arm to brace herself. Under its momentum, the vehicle kept sliding on its side through the mud, her arm trapped beneath the bar between the front and back seats. When her brother lifted the ATV off her arm, it felt completely detached from her body.

Talking to Mel on 180, Ashley described how, astonishingly, she got to her feet, bleeding heavily, and started to walk back down the mountain. When Mel asked her what motivated her to start moving, she said she’d thought of her father, who had died only three months earlier. ‘I knew my family had already experienced the loss of a loved one. And I was like this is not going to happen again.’

‘There’s no one coming for me. So, I can either sit here and see what happens, and take those odds, or I can work and fight for myself right here, and get closer to help.’

As she walked, Ashley worried that she would lose consciousness from blood loss. Desperately, she prayed for help. ‘Literally a miracle from God, the bleeding stopped when I was walking down the mountain.’

The nearest medical facilities couldn’t help her, so she lay in an ambulance until a helicopter could fly her to Denver. In surgery, they found that her arm bones had been broken in multiple places, tearing through muscle and skin. The only part of her arm that hadn’t been lacerated was her main artery. She didn’t even need a blood transfusion, which is profoundly unlikely.

‘They tried to save my arm,’ Ashley said, ‘but because of the severity of the accident, I would have had no control of my right arm. And if they tried to suture it up, the infection probably would have killed me anyway. And so that’s when they decided to amputate, to save my life ultimately.’

Would I take back the pain?…Absolutely. But who it’s connected me with, and who God has brought into my life, and the opportunities that have come about, I don’t know if I would find the same opportunities not being an amputee

After losing a family member and a limb in quick succession, Ashley struggled with questions about what the future would look like—and she wondered why this had happened. ‘I looked at my Mum, and I was like this has to be for something. It can’t be for nothing.’

Over time she’s found out what that something was. She’d always been Daddy’s little girl, and she constantly wishes her father were still here with her. That emotional pain comes along with the phantom pain from her lost limb,

If Ashley could have her father back, she would in an instant. ‘Would I take back the pain? And would I like to feel some relief from that for two minutes? Absolutely. But who it’s connected me with, and who God has brought into my life, and the opportunities that have come about, I don’t know if I would find the same opportunities not being an amputee.’

Ashley had no idea initially whether a career as a runner was still possible for her. She had to learn to write with her left hand, to tie her laces, do her hair, and open a water bottle single-handedly. But that vulnerability has brought her closer to God. She always resisted the temptation to spend the day in bed, but there were lots of days where she knew only God’s strength would get her through.

‘If you rely on someone so much, you want to know who they are. And so that’s been the process of my faith. And again I’d have to say I’m not perfect in my approach all the time, and I do stumble and fall. But I try my best to just keep moving forward, and keep making strides towards being more loving, and someone who really embodies what God is talking about in Scripture, and trying to encourage others through this story.’

About the author

Jonathan Craig

MORE GREAT READS FROM

Learning to Rely on God

On 4 June, 2016, 14-year-old Ashley Jones was riding shotgun in an all-terrain vehicle, in the mountains of Colorado. The ground was muddy from the previous night’s rain, so when the ATV took a turn too fast, the wheels lost traction, and the vehicle flipped over onto its right side. As she fell, Ashley instinctively…

Bring What you Have, and Let Him Multiply

You’d think the chance to audition for one of the biggest Christian bands in the world would be super exciting. But when 17-year-old Jen Ledger got the chance to play with Skillet, she just felt terrified. ‘I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse,’ she told Alex when they caught up recently. ‘It was so intimidating…

God’s Patience in One Man’s Life

Part of having faith is knowing that God has a plan for each of us. But we also know that sometimes we can’t know how that plan will play out. Sometimes God plays the long game. When Tim Bisagno was ten years old, a visitor said that if, later in life, he was struggling, he…

How a Gideons Bible Changed Anna McGahan’s Life

Through starring roles in Underbelly, House Husbands,  the Doctor Blake Mysteries and Picnic at Hanging Rock, Anna McGahan became a familiar face on Australian TV. But with the rise of her fame, her self-esteem was crashing. She’d come into acting pure-hearted and trusting, but by age 23, she’d realised her industry treated her as a…

God of Always

Can you think of one word to accurately describe this year so far? ‘Crazy’ doesn’t come close! As much as there have been some dark moments, we’ve also been touched by some awesome messages from people all around Australia, listening to the radio, connected and united by awesome tunes. This is the story of one…

Building the Kingdom, Brick by Brick

When Alex’s brother got Lego sets for Christmas, he’d always end up asking his big sister for help. ‘It would take me like months to build a little truck!’ she admitted. But on Nine’s Lego Masters, you had less than twelve hours to build some of the most elaborate creations ever assembled. You might think…

Under Pressure

Only a couple of years ago, at just 15, Coby James started writing songs every day. He’d played guitar all his life, but this creative growth spurt was different. ‘I think a girl broke my heart or something,’ he said, ‘and I just wanted to find a way to express it.’ ‘They were just like…

The Unstoppable Bethany Hamilton

If a shark bit off your arm, would you be happy to jump back in the ocean every morning? That’s exactly what Bethany Hamilton did. At just 13, after a horrific shark attack, she chose to confront her fear to pursue her passion. If you’ve seen the movie, Soul Surfer, which tells her story, you’ll…

Christ’s Royal Blood Can Wash Away Fear

Is it just us, or does March 2020 feel like it happened millions of years ago? If you can think back that far, you’ll remember that, for a little while, the world was in a state of limbo, as we tried to work out what we would have to sacrifice to beat COVID-19. When new…

Trusting in Better Hands

The fire was bearing down on her hometown of Cobargo, but Rachel was less worried for herself than for her boyfriend. She knew his family’s property was in even more danger, and she thought the blaze would get to them before her. But when she spoke to him that morning, he told her they were…

Recent Articles

Focus on the Positives

Choosing to find positives in tough situations is a skill we’d all like to have—but sometimes there’s something even harder. Trusting God when life seems to be changing so fast we don’t even know if we want to keep up. Joel Vaughn, Christian pop-rock artist, took some time with the Vision180 team to reflect on…

Your Unpredictable Usefulness

In Australia, we’re used to Christmas done different. Snow covering the landscape? Try, sand at the beach! Crackling fire? Try, a backyard BBQ! Carols at the door? Try, at a huge outdoor music bowl. Vision180’s Mel chatted with Aussie singer Joel Smallbone, half of the award-winning Christian duo, For King and Country, about doing a…

Never Too Young

Have you ever felt like you’re too young to make an impact? It can feel like we’re always being told that we have to wait a few years to be taken seriously, or to impact the world in the way we want to. Well, the Vision180 team had the opportunity to chat with the Swedish…

An Aussie Nurse at War

The night sky was bright with flames. Bombs fell just behind the trenches, shattering the buildings and setting tents alight. As the raid continued, four nurses dashed in and out of the attack zone, rescuing their patients and carrying them to safety or placing tables over the wounded in an effort to protect them. One…

Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.