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Woman I Admire: Ashley Stock

I have endured and continue to endure the many trials and tribulations that life unexpectedly dishes out, as we all do. There are times when life hits me so hard that I catch myself just retreating into my room and falling to my knees just to cry. These are times when I feel most alone and at a loss with what to do. While there is always that constant knowing that God is there to hear me and help me walk in the darkness, the experience is still a painful one. I am fortunate to have a handful of girlfriends whom I could call at any given moment, knowing they love me unconditionally and their opinion of me never changes. This truth pulls me out of those dark inner moments and back to myself.

Ashley’s youngest son, Sawyer.

Ashley Stock is definitely one of those friends. A trusted friend for 10 years and our friendship has continued to grow as life continues to move so fast.

We met when she was 22 ,and I had just given birth to my 4th baby ( I was 30). She was engaged and in the midst of getting ready to be married. She had this sweetness about her and we connected instantly.

I remember when Ashley had her first baby, Wesley. I ran into her husband one afternoon in the CVS parking lot. I had asked him how Ashley was doing and he said she was struggling. As we talked I told Ben, (Ashley’s husband) that when I had my first child I went

Ashley’s youngest son, Sawyer.

through this stage of not wanting to be around anyone, all I did was cry and I felt deep sadness for months. I literally thought there was something wrong with me and I remember feeling, “if this is what having a baby does to you, I don’t want anymore”. I shared all of this with Ben and he said that Ashley had been going through the same things. I reached out to Ashley and I wanted her to know she was not alone in how she was feeling, but my heart felt for her and reached out to her in love and sisterhood.

Although we had an instant connection initially, I felt that we were connecting on an even deeper and honest level now. As Ashley pushed past her own struggle, sweet Wesley began his struggle with Sensory Processing Disorder, which is on the autism spectrum. This experience as a Mother is almost incomprehensible, but watching my friend stand up so bravely and with so much love and face this reality was a show in love and courage that I will never forget. My compassion for my dear friend and this precious boy is immeasurable. While Wes has struggled greatly with sensory contact of any kind, I persevered out of my own love and connection for this sweet soul until he felt safe enough to allow me into his world. What a gift to witness and be reined into this little boys heart. What an honor to witness my dear friend stand up tall and learn about the misunderstood world of her precious son and educate the rest of us.

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