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Mary Ashleigh Tried to End Her Life but She Had Two Reasons to See the Bigger Picture

Mary Ashleigh Browning's Story

Mary Ashleigh Browning wasn’t supposed to be pregnant.

Adding anything more to the emotional chaos in her life wasn’t part of the plan.

When the doctor confirmed it, there was shock, and there was fear, as any woman might feel, let alone a 19-year-old still trying to figure things out.

"I thought that maybe taking my life would end all the pain.”

For two years, she’d been in a relationship with a guy who she’d made the center of her world. The effort it took to make it work seemed to swallow up every minute of every day.

She’d pushed away friends and family. She’d gotten to the point where she was crying all the time. Eventually, she realized depression had set in. After a bad morning argument when she thought all was lost, when she felt life wasn’t worth living any more, she decided to swallow a bunch of pills.

"I thought that maybe taking my life would end all the pain,” she said.

She had no idea she was pregnant when she tried to take her life. There were two new lives, as it turned out, growing inside her. It took a couple of years after Sophia and Kinley were born and the unhealthy relationship had ended for that flicker of realization to fully shine in Mary Ashleigh's heart.

A Persistent Brother

Mary Ashleigh’s brother, Rickey Jones, had been inviting her to NewSpring Church in Spartanburg for several years, as had many friends.

The chatter about the church on her social media feeds was deafening.

Although Mary Ashleigh was curious, she was still too angry at God to agree to go.

Despite her excitement in being a mother, despite feeling she was chosen to take care of her little girls, she blamed God for the bumpy, painful path her life had taken.

But, a message series on relationships in 2015 peaked her interest. As a single mom, she had no idea how to handle dating, let alone a relationships. She thought it might finally be worth the visit.

"I was just at this place in my life where I wasn’t moving forward,” says Mary Ashleigh, a nursing student.

For several weeks, Mary Ashleigh felt her heart skip at the end of the service, when Perry Noble would ask people to leave their seats and pray with someone to ask Jesus into their lives. But she resisted.

After every Sunday at NewSpring, she would tell herself, “I need to come back and listen to this."

Then one Sunday it just clicked.

"I really felt like God was saying, 'go.' This is real. Jesus is real."

Her brother, who had kept inviting her, and who was sitting next to her the day she met Jesus, was the one to baptize her the next week.

"It was pretty awesome to be part of that next step,” Rickey says.


More to Life

Mary Ashleigh can see God’s providence clearly now.

"Had I ended my life, I would not have gone on to have the daughters I do now," she says. "I felt there was a purpose behind it, and that was God."

She sees the privilege of raising her two children, and others she serves in KidSpring, to love Jesus.

She feels hope instead of struggle.

"I would be lost, and I wouldn’t feel like I had any kind of purpose, other than waking up, going to school, and taking care of my children,” Mary Ashleigh says. "I wouldn’t be trying to improve anything in my life, but living day to day. I feel like I’m a lot more positive and hopeful about my future now because I’m building a relationship with Jesus every day."

Watch the video at the top of this page to see how Jesus rescued Mary Ashleigh.

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