The Phantom Boot

When I was a little girl, I used to slip on my mom's heels and walk around the house. I dreamed of growth. I dreamed of having my own heels. I dreamed of being like my mom.

Over the course of time, I did grow. I did get my own heels--plenty of them. And I did--I hope--become like my mom.

Then one month ago, I broke my foot. It did hurt, especially at first, but beyond the physical pain was a growing frustration. I couldn't walk normally, couldn't wear normal shoes, couldn't do a whole host of things I had grown accustomed to doing. My independence was slashed, and some of my confidence went down with it. I learned such a greater empathy for those with disabilities, and such a greater sense of appreciation for the capabilities I enjoy every day. I hobbled around the ACFW conference last week trying hard to act like normal, but really, feeling a bit disheartened. Everything--even going to Starbucks for a sweet tea or two--required so much effort and energy than it used to.

This week, my doctor gave me glorious news. I can now start wearing normal shoes again! Can you say, "Hello, glitter flats"? But you know what? A funny thing happened when I took that heavy black boot off.

I still couldn't walk.

Well, not well, anyway.

The heaviness I'd grown accustomed to--the phantom boot as I like to call it--had changed the way walk. I had to adjust to this boot--this thing that was used to help me, but when it was gone, I kept assuming a heaviness that wasn't there.

For the past few days, I've been walking around in my flats, practicing.

I'd forgotten what it means to walk with freedom.

Today, you may have just come through a season of struggle, like me. Or maybe you're still in that season. You have grown into your high-heel dreams. It has taken time, and effort, and a lot of prayer and wishing. Then maybe, one day you fell, and it all came crashing down.

Take time to heal. You need that for your heart, especially if we're talking writing dreams.

But after you have taken that time, and after the healing is well underway, I want to ask you a question.

Are you wearing glitter flats, but walking with the heaviness of a phantom boot?

Jesus took that weight from you. He has set you free. So, go in freedom. Dance with joy. You are no longer broken. You and your dreams have been healed, indeed.


  1. What a great analogy! I came here looking for a blog hop stop (now that's a tongue twister!), but I came away blessed by this post! Thank you so much!

    Susan Manchester
    susan.manchester061 at gmail dot com

    1. Susan, thank you so much for saying that! I hope you stick around the blog and I get a chance to chat with you more!

  2. Loved your post, Ashley. When I was a little girl, you could buy little plastic glittery high heels at the Dime Store and I always had a pair or three (for when my cousins came over, we could all have a pair) I'm fascinated with the blog hop. At 63, all this blogging/social media is quite a learning curve for me. Hope you don't mind if I copy and paste for the basic idea :) I'm sure you wouldn't mind helping an old Grami who loves God with her whole heart with a great new historical Christian romance VOW UNBROKEN debuting in March! But let me know if you do AND if you want to do another HOP in the spring! I want to be a part and will donate a free book and something for the grand prize! Blessings from Texas!