john and ashely marsh walk through a hall

Beauty out of Brokenness

Marsh Collective


John and Ashely’s story as a couple mirrors that of their once-neglected and now reclaimed city.

They are the proprietors of Marsh Collective, a conglomerate of business ventures dedicated to resurrecting the city of Opelika, Alabama. Through a vulnerable recounting of their past tumult, the Marshes share how healing in their broken lives became their inspiration to bring hope to others through business.

John and Ashely Marsh

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Guided Reflection

Reflecting on the Story

  • What do you think of the Marshes’ story? How does it testify to God’s redemptive work?

Connecting to your Work

  • The Marsh Collective helped to revitalize Opelika not through church programs or some other overtly “spiritual” initiative but through a construction business organized according to the values of the Kingdom of God. In what ways could your organization invest in the community and participate in God’s ongoing redemption?

Personal Application

  • “There’s hope for people who are broken,” says John. “There’s beauty in broken things.” Where do you see brokenness in the places you inhabit—your home, your workplace, your neighborhood? Where is there an opportunity for God to bring beauty out of this brokenness?
  • How might you participate in God’s redemptive work and bring hope to others through your work? You might think that such redemptive work only matters at an executive level, but people can make a difference no matter their role. Even small changes could be made to shift your work toward a redemptive focus.
  • God worked redemption in the Marshes’ marriage and in Opelika, in part, because John and Ashley resolved to stay in the places God had put them. Where in your life might God be calling you to stay and see what he will do, even if it’s a difficult place?

Heavenly Father, thank you for the redemption you have orchestrated in the lives of John and Ashley Marsh. Thank you for the work you are doing to redeem our private lives and the work you are doing to redeem our communities. Please help me cooperate with you as you engage in your redemptive work in me and guide me in the ways I might act and redemptive work in the messy middle of my community. Amen.