Hi, it’s me, I’m still here. I’ve been journaling in paper journals since summertime. I was working through a lot of life changes and honestly did not have the wherewithal to type it all out in this blog, nor was I ready for everyone to read all about this part of my journey.
I found my journals and read through them. I’m not quite sure what to write about yet because the past six months have been such an amazing, refining, difficult, and fulfilling journey for me. A journey of surrender, pain, discovery, and restoration. My journals contain a lot of Scripture, a few letters that I wrote to myself from God reminding me who I am (His daughter), and so many words that are really hard to read about how I was feeling and what I was thinking at the time. Many pages are crossed out with the word “LIES” written across them. I realized that I was writing down lies about myself because as I went through this trial I learned more and more about what God says about me. I learned the truth.
I want to tell you all about the journey I’ve been through in the past six months. I want to share about hardships overcome and friendships made; about sickness and brokenness, and faithfulness, God’s and mine.
This coming Sunday, November 5th, I will be six months free from my drug addiction. That is a huge milestone and I’m very proud about that. On that day at church I’ll be getting re-baptized. I was baptized when I first came to Christ five years ago because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do – and that’s not wrong, that’s okay. But now I want to do it because I’m more aware of who I am in Christ. I agree with my friend that baptism should be about you and Jesus and not a work that’s done to prove something.
For right now I want to share this that I wrote at the beginning of August:
When you decide to acknowledge a hard thing that, until today, you didn’t realize had been stuffed so deep down inside for so long, but it comes bubbling to the surface and makes your eyes all watery; when you decide to do this hard thing, go ahead and crank up the worship music and dance before you do it. Praise and dance and sing; pray thanksgiving to God for going in before you, coming along side you, and going in with you. Because this is no cakewalk. You are going to be hugging the fireball, which is exactly what you need to do for God to refine you; burning out the old and making space for the new.
Today is Monday. Most of you woke up early, maybe wishing it was still the weekend, bribing kids to get out of bed, and hurrying off to school or work.
I have a different sort of purpose today. I’m in the process of healing. In past posts I’ve mentioned the abusive relationship I was in and the drug abuse. It wasn’t just my husband who was abusing drugs, I was too. For years I’d been getting treatment for my addiction from a specialist. I’ve decided it’s time to stop taking the medication that treats my addiction, not to take another drug, and to take on the big bad wolf, quitting altogether and getting healthy. My doctor agrees it’s time. Which means I’m in the business of trusting God. I could not do this without God’s help. I know that because I’ve tried many times and failed for over 20 years.
This time it’s different. This time I have Jesus by my side, the Holy Spirit in my heart, and God coming for me. I may have been wounded by emotional, physical, and drug abuse, but the wound is not fatal and I serve the greatest healer of all, God.
Trusting God is not always easy. If you don’t know God, imagine trusting someone that you cannot see and surrendering your entire life to Him. Then waiting to see what happens on His time, not yours.
During this process, I have to be honest with myself & God, confessing my sins. I have to be willing to surrender to His will for my life. I have to stop depending on myself, let go of the reins, and let Him lead me. I have to be able to be silent and still, listening for His instruction.
Trusting God means going down the road less traveled when most people are going the other way; it’s usually not the way you wanted to go, or thought you were going, but it’s His way, the best way. It is not easy.
Trusting God means trusting the people around you who He sent to help, and trusting that He always has your best interest at heart.
I made the decision to break this chain about a month ago. Since then I’ve gone through many ups and downs, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’m blessed because God has sent many people to help me, including my family, doctors, and my friends.
My friends are integral to this process because they always remind me of my goal, which is to be free and to accept the freedom that Jesus bought for me on Calvary when he died on the cross for me. They are my spiritual supporters, my midnight cheerleaders, and mid day musketeers, coming to the rescue with words of encouragement via text messages and phone calls. A sweet picture or meaningful scripture; just a soft reminder of how important it is that I do this, to break this chain that has held me back and weighed me down for 20 years. The enemy cannot have hold of me anymore.
My family and my doctor keep me in check, ensuring I do what I need to do. Things like eating well and checking my blood pressure. It sounds so simple, but when you’re in the thick of it, when you’re in the fog of war, a physical, emotional and spiritual war like this, it’s hard to remember what you’re supposed to do. If you cannot see the shoreline because the storm is raging all around you, you have to trust the people who love you. You have to trust they were sent by God.
In four days, by the end of the week, when everyone is saying “TGIF” and making plans for the weekend, I will be celebrating a major milestone in my recovery. I don’t know if I will feel horrible or okay. It will take my body some time to heal. I’ve been abused, and abusing myself, for quite some time.
I do know that God is going to take my brokenness and put me back together, better than ever, healthier, wiser, and stronger. A friend of mine once said that “brokenness blooms beautiful”. All I have to do is hang in until He gets here. To wait on Him, for His perfect timing, to trust in that and to not waver in my faith. To have blind faith that keeps going no matter what. Even when I cannot see the shoreline through the storm.
I’m scared because I have no idea how I’m going to feel and excited because I know that the healing process has started. My body will regulate back to normal over time, and I will start a new journey, whatever path the Lord has carved for me.
Normal. Whatever that means. But I’m looking forward to finding out who Bree is. She’s been missing for quite some time.
It was the summer of 2016. My husband’s birthday and my birthday, a week apart, had just passed. The sticky heat of Florida summer had me praying for rain. We lived in the country with wildflowers and wild animals; it was lovely and I truly enjoyed it’s beauty.
Two days after my birthday a tragedy involving my husband brought me to my knees in the middle of the night. It was too much. I wailed at God. I’d like to say I was hanging on to life by a string, but that’s not true. God was holding me up because I had no strength left. I felt alone and broken. But what I had failed to notice through my tears was that God had seen all of this coming long before the days of summer.
God had put a vision in a woman’s heart to send me a Loved Bible. At the time I’d never seen or heard of “The Loved Bible Project”. I’d also never communicated with the woman who mailed it to me in the beginning of September. This Bible was beautifully decorated with scriptures highlighted, fancy ribbon, and special notes written just to me. Imagine my shock. Why would anyone, especially someone who didn’t know me, take time to create this beautiful Bible for me?
As I read it daily, it’s words sank deep into my heart, patching the aching holes that fear had caused just weeks earlier. It was, to me, a gift like no other, of the upmost importance. This Bible, that seemingly came out of nowhere let me know that God knew what I was suffering. God was with me.
About a month later, following more problems, I decided to leave my marriage. I didn’t take much with me, but I certainly grabbed my Loved Bible. I walked away from my life, everything I knew, and followed the Holy Spirit down a path I’m still on today.
I’ve arrived at a point of rest where God has asked me to “be still” and wait on Him. With time on my hands, I pray and read a lot. I especially read my Bible. While praying, I decided I wanted to make a Loved Bible for someone else, someone specific I was praying for.
I got a Bible, pens, stickers, washi tape, notecards, and lots of ideas from The Loved Bible Project Facebook page. Then I got stuck. I just couldn’t do it, I was afraid to ruin the Bible by writing in it. I was afraid that I would mess it up, or do the wrong thing. I had all these plans, my favorite scriptures, great ideas, but fear took over. Weeks passed.
Finally, I did it. I created my first Loved Bible page! It was exhilarating! I was so excited. I drove a couple of people crazy by messaging pictures of every page I created. Now I can hardly stop. It is so much fun and something I look forward to doing every day that I can. In fact, I think I need to start a new Loved Bible before I completely fill this one up and leave no room for its recipient to take their own notes.
As for the woman who sent me my Loved Bible, Kelli Moore, we are now friends. Though we’ve never met, we hope to one day. We message often and talk sometimes. She is my beloved friend, a beautiful woman, and an angel sent by God; the hands and feet of Jesus that loved on a Bible just for me. And, because of her generosity, I am loving on Bibles for others.
If you have never tried to love on a Bible, you should. It is so simple and fun. Imagine reading the word of God and coloring, highlighting, drawing and decorating all of your favorite verses! You can make one for yourself, for a family member, or even for a stranger. Who knows, maybe that stranger will end up being one of your best friends. All you need is love. ❤️
In my last post “The List of Ten” (please read the post below), I left it as a “to be continued”. I needed to save the second part of this amazing story as it’s own post. It’s deserving of that. It is not merely a series of coincidences, as some may call them, but to me, they are miracles. I say that because at that time in my life, I did not believe these things were possible. When I prayed over my list daily, I told God that they were impossible for me to accomplish alone. But I’m never alone when I’m with Christ, am I? And is anything too hard for God?
As I said before, I thought this was such a silly idea. But within 9 months of praying, all of these things had come to pass. To review, my list included these things (as well as a few others that are so very personal, I’ve decided to keep them private for now):
I want Mark and I to move out of this hotel we’ve lived in for two years and into an apartment.
I want to get a car.
I want to reinstate my driver’s license and fix my tag so I could drive legally.
I want to marry Mark, in a church chapel, officiated by a pastor (not a notary).
We had a car, but it wasn’t running well, wasn’t dependable, and wasn’t legally registered. I began riding the bus to and from work daily. I’d never taken a city bus anywhere before and was quite concerned I wouldn’t be able figure out how to do it, but I did. I took the bus for a couple weeks until the great city of Jacksonville decided to change the bus routes, causing me to have to make 2 stops, with an hours’ wait in between. So I decided I needed a bike to ride to and from work. The hotel we were living in was only about 3.5 miles from work. So I thought “seven miles a day, I can do that!”. But I hadn’t been on a bike since I was 12, and now just over 2 decades later, my muscles were screaming at me “are you crazy?” The Pastor at the church we were attending at the time bought me a good, road worthy bike. This, the first in a long line of blessings to come. I road my bike all winter long, albeit a Florida winter, it still gets cold, and it still rains. I carried a huge backpack full of my work clothes, shoes, lunch, makeup, hairbrush; everything needed to put myself together once I got to work all sweaty.
I rode that bike for nearly 4 months until Mark’s mother decided to give us her car. Give, yes, I said give. She no longer drove it, and she’d been thinking of getting rid of it. I believe God helped her think about giving the car to us. It was, and still is, and amazing blessing. So now I had a car, but I did not have the money to register it, or pay for taxes, tag, or to reinstate my suspended driver’s license for unpaid traffic tickets. I kept praying. One day, my mom decided to help me with these expenses. I felt like the blessings were raining down on me! Soon I was a legal driver with a legal car, and driving again. Praise God! I am so grateful to our mother’s who blessed us with these gifts.
One of the other things on my list was that Mark and I be married in a church chapel. Now remember, we had already been living together for over 10 years. We had talked about marriage, but could never afford it, or other circumstances prevented it. Mark usually suggested we just marry at the courthouse with a notary. But since coming to Jesus, I wasn’t having any of that! I wanted to be married by a Pastor in a chapel. At the time, we were attending a church that met in a school, so there was no chapel, and we were not truly happy at that church for different reasons. We had been visiting other churches, trying to find something more traditional. We found Deermeadows Baptist Church, and both really liked it. We met a Pastor there, whom I’ll call Pastor “Michael” (because I haven’t asked his permission to use his name in my blog). Pastor “Michael” had been at Deermeadows for a long time, and was a senior member of their staff. He seemed to like Mark and I, and we both liked him. After about 3 months of attending, we asked about becoming members of the Church, which Pastor “Michael” counseled us on. He talked to us about what it meant to be a member of the church. Shortly thereafter, Mark and I told the Pastor that we wanted to be married. Pastor “Michael” did premarital counseling with us for a few weeks. We felt so loved and not judged by Pastor “Michael”, despite our current situation and our past.
Deermeadows Baptist is a huge Church with a large campus. The main sanctuary holds thousands. One day, while looking for the ladies restroom, I stumbled upon a couple of doors I’d never seen before. An ethereal glow emanated from the glass in the doors. I tried the handle, it was unlocked. I walked in. It was the most beautiful little chapel I had ever seen. Wall to wall in stained glass, with the centerpiece, a floor to ceiling stained glass of Jesus. I sat down and cried my eyes out, thinking “this is where I am going to be married. Mark and I will stand under that picture of Jesus and make a covenant between each other and God, to be wed and love each other forever“. And so it came to pass that we were married there on September 26th, 2015 by Pastor “Michael”. Though I couldn’t afford it, my family gifted us with things like a photographer, a make up lady for me, my dress, Mark’s suit, and a reception. Pastor “Michael”, however, returned the checks I’d written to him and his wife (who would be there to help). “It’s part of my ministry” the Pastor explained, and he did not want to be paid. Bless.
So now we’ve come to the best part of this post. The most amazing miracle of all, what I asked for first; to be able to move out of the hotel we’d lived in with our beloved dog for 2 years. How we got there is a long story, but once there, we were stuck due to financial problems and bad “rental” credit history. We tried to apply at apartments time and again, but were denied each time due to our credit history. I understand that I was responsible for the bad credit history. I take full responsibility for our situation. This hotel was not nice. It was full of, well, people like us, people with problems, and bad people. Drug dealers and such.
At the time I was very much involved with an online bible study. It was the end of January and we were studying Acts and I read the story of Rahab in the Bible for the first time. I read how she lived in the walls of the city, on the outskirts of society, and was doing whatever she could to care for her family. I also read about how she’d heard about God and the great things He was doing for His people. And she believed. I imagine that she had nothing but bits and pieces of information about God that she heard in passing, or from the men she “worked” for. I felt so much like her. I connected with Rahab. Living on the edge of society, in the bad part of town, hardly surviving, and doing what she could to care of her family.
When a couple of God’s people came into her city as spies to determine how they could capture the city God had promised them, they met Rahab. (Please forgive my recounting of this story from my memory, as I may have some of the details wrong, but the main point is spot on). Rahab trusted what they told her, and trusted that they would save her and her family if she would just believe and have faith. Rahab had faith. Perhaps just a mustard seed of faith that she kept deep in her heart, but it was there. So much like me, in the beginning of my coming to Jesus. Having not been raised in Church, and knowing nothing of God, Jesus, or the Bible, but I like to think my faith was strong. I’ve said before: if God will take my life and trade it for the life He has planned for me, the life Jesus died to give me, I will take it!
“I am Rahab”, I thought.
Rahab knew God was going to take the city, and so she helped the spies and told them what they needed to hear: that the whole city was afraid of God and what He was doing through his chosen people.
I wrote in the bible study comments that day about how much I felt akin to Rahab and why. I explained in an open, honest, vulnerable way that I knew what it’s like to be Rahab. I wrote more details than that, not because I wanted pity, but because I was so amazed that I could relate to a woman who lived I don’t know how many thousands of years before me. I was hardly able to type through the tears. Rahab inspired me. Her little bitty faith saved her and her families’ life and made her the great great+ grandma of Jesus. Rahab, just an ordinary woman, like me, being used by God for greatness. “Could He use me?”, I thought.
Later that day in the bible study, a woman whom I will call Robin (to protect her privacy) commented. She did not know me at all, except from the comments I’d written over the time I’d been involved in the study. She asked, very timidly, if she could help me. She didn’t want to make me feel like it was charity. After all, I had not asked for help. Because she asked for it, I gave her my P.O. Box address and a few days later I received a card from her with a beautiful message, a monetary gift to add to my bank to help us move, an a picture. The picture was of a young girl in a 3rd world county, to whom she’d donated, in my name, a bicycle that would allow that girl to get to and from school. I cannot type this without crying. God is SO amazing. He works miracles everyday!
I could end this story here, and it would be nice. But we aren’t even close to the end.
Over the next few weeks, everyday when checking my P.O. Box, I began to receive cards from other women who did not know me. Cards from all over the country. Some cards contained monetary gifts; $1, $5, $20 or more. All of them came with handwritten words of encouragement, or scriptures, and they wrote about how my story, and my willingness to be so vulnerable and honest was inspiring and encouraging to them. I also received a beautifully bound bible that I still take to church each Sunday, a bracelet engraved with the words “Sisters in Christ“, and other gifts. I would bring the envelopes home, and Mark and I would sit on the bed in that hotel room, and pray over each envelope before we opened it. Most of the envelopes had no forwarding address and the letters were signed with only first names or initials. Meaning, no “thank you” was expected. I received a total of 46 letters and cards. I had no idea that my story of my broken life was encouraging to these woman.They told me I was a blessing to them! Which, by the way, completely breaks me down into tears, even now, years later.
The money I’d been gifted was enough for Mark and I to move out of that hotel and into a second chance house community who ignored our credit because we put down such a big nonrefundable deposit. We were able to leave the hotel. Praise God!
No one but God could have made that happen. No One. God deserves ALL the Glory here.
And I bet that some of you, faithful readers, are some of those women who sent me a card, letter, or note, to bring me though the darkest time in my life. Now, because you left no forwarding addresses, is my chance to say “thank you” from the bottom of my heart, thank you, and God bless.
Let’s talk about what got me back here writing again; it’s been a while.
It’s about yesterday. I could start this post off like Charles Dickens’ book A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Only yesterday was different because it was the best of days and the worst of days, but because of God in my life, there were two possible outcomes.
Yesterday started off like any normal day, waking at 5:45, on the road to work by 6:15. The joy of my two hour commute is seeing the sunrise, different every day, and presented to me by God. I take lots of pictures. It reminds me of when I was little, and my daddy used to stop the car so we could watch the sunrise. It never mattered if we were on the way to school, or he needed to get to work. He would pull over so we could watch the sunrise, even if just for a few minutes. We’d take in the beauty, the colors, and the majesty of it all. We knew we were loved by our daddy. Even if we were just happy about not getting to school so early – and you gotta give me a break here – my sister and I were young, that’s what kids get excited about, you know?
I bet at the time, 30-something years ago, my daddy had no idea how much this would mean to me as I grew up. Even now, as I write this, I’m teary eyed because, daddy, every time I see a beautiful sunrise, sunset, or sky full of stars, I wish I were watching it with you. Because I know that no one would enjoy doing that with me as much as you would.
I send pictures to my dad, but pictures don’t do a sunrise justice. Just like anything created by God, you can’t capture it. My camera can’t capture the beauty of a sunrise, and there’s no way to hold onto it like a balloon on a string, keeping it with you all day long. You have to experience it for yourself. See the glow of the rising sun, smell the fragrance of a beautiful flower, feel the breeze on your face during a hot day. God gifts these things to us because he loves us; because we are His children. Just like daddy gifted my sister and me a chance to stop and watch the sunrises. You have to experience God for yourself, no one can gift that to you, and even if they did, it wouldn’t be nearly as awesome.
On the way to work yesterday I ran into terrible traffic for miles. Literally 3 lanes crawling down the interstate; there was an accident right in the middle of downtown. Busiest section of the road. Waiting until the last possible moment, hoping not to have to, I finally sent my boss a text message that I was going to be late and why. He wasn’t happy. He’s an amazing lawyer and a businessman. He’s actually one of the best lawyers I’ve ever worked for. However, he hired me to do a job, which requires that I’m at work by 8:30. He doesn’t care how far away I live or if an accident is holding up traffic. He needs me at work by 8:30 to open the firm, among other things. Though I’m rarely late, when I am, the entire firm is affected. I get it. I understand. Someone has to answer the phones and do all the things I should be doing. Meanwhile, that someone is missing out on time to complete their own work. I know his reaction to me was not personal.
When my boss arrived to work, I asked him if I could talk to him (before he had a chance to call me into his office). No one wants to be called into the principal’s office, right? I wanted the upper hand, or to at least feel like I had it. I prayed before going into his office. We spoke. I left, and prayed some more. I told God that this was difficult, I was scared for my job, and upset because everyone was mad at me. I asked God to help me find a silver lining to this situation. I told God I did not want to stay angry, upset, fearful, sad, or worried. In fact, I made a decision right then to not be any of those negative things. To do that, I needed to focus on something positive. So God and I “collaborated” in prayer and came up with an awesome idea; or, rather, He came up with an awesome idea.
My “conversation” with God:
God: You know all that time you’ve been complaining about, Bree? Unable to write, unable to blog, or to even participate in the IF:Equip Bible Study you love so much, because you’re commuting for work so many hours per day, and don’t have internet at home? How about you leave home extra early, and when you inevitably arrive to work early, you can use that time to blog, or study the Bible, or read. You’ll be on time for work, and get your blogging done.
Bree: Yes! That’s a great idea, God! Instead of staying late after work to blog, I will do it in the mornings before work. Great solution! (God and I make a good team.) 🙂
Let me tell you that for the rest of the day I felt amazing! I felt like the favor of God was with me all day. It was as if I had a basket of blessings, one after another, that kept popping up. By the time I left work, I was in a great mood. I was so excited about starting to blog again.
I’d always wanted this blog to be my confession, and my testimony to the Glory of God and how Jesus has changed my life. I’d been feeling guilty for not writing, especially after getting all these followers and people who liked my writing and truly wanted to hear my story. I felt guilty about not continuing to tell my story of how Jesus was changing my life. God gifted me with the ability to write well, and I wanted to use it, I needed to. I want everyone to know the God I know. And I want to know Him even better, growing in my faith.
This lesson I learned – go to Godfirst with my problems, and wait, with expectancy, for the right answer. What you learn will be with you for seasons to come. Certainly, I will need to do this again. Answers don’t always come right away, but they will come. His will will be done, and His will is always good for you. I felt so safe and warm. Surrounded by God’s army of love. It felt like the unconditional, unstoppable, unchangeable love that my daddy has for me.
How lucky am I?I have a Father in heaven making beautiful skies for me to see daily, and I have a daddy on earth who taught me to stop and enjoy the beauty God creates for us. Even though it wasn’t explained to me like that as a child because I wasn’t raised in Church, it’s completely relevant to my life now. I am so blessed. I am so loved. I am so lucky.
Thank you, daddy for teaching me how meaningful it is to stop and watch the sunrise.
This week on IF:Equip (www.ifgathering.com), we talked about the part of the Niceen Creed refering to scriptures. Scriptures are the fountain of my faith, and the foundation of the spiritual house around me. My spiritual home will have scriptures as the foundation, destiny doors that only God can open, walls of faith in action, and a roof built by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with others.
Until I started participating in the IF:Equip Bible study about 3 years ago, I’d never read a word in the Bible. When I started reading the scriptures with that online community of women, I was scared I’d be shunned or at least ignored. But I wasn’t. I was loved and encouraged, and I made more virtual friends than I can keep up with. I’ve even met some of them in real life! Reading everyone’s thoughts and interpretations in the comments taught me so much.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:6
Leaning not on my own understanding, but praying for wisdom and understanding, I open my heart and let the scriptures come alive to me. And while the Word never changes, His words are charged with energy. That charge changes who I am and how I think. What other book does that?
I always pray for the Holy Spirit to help me understand what I’m reading and how to make it applicable to my life.
Sometimes I set out to read the Bible for a while, and after just a few sentences, I’m awe struck at what I’ve read, and read it over and over, having had some new revelation. Some days I just meditate on a line or two, or just one parable.
Today, when reading the lesson on IF:Equip I stopped at the words “God has written a book“. Wow, how exciting! If I’d read Jennie Allen had written a book, I’d be on Amazon placing my order right now. I would, I have. I have shelves full of books written by numerous Christian authors that I’ve never read. And you know why? Because I needed to read the Bible first. Yes, I really want to read all these books I have. I want to read what Jennie A., Amena B., Lisa T., Ann V, and so many others have to say. But what I needed to read first was the Bible, specifically because I was so new, and 36 years old, and needed to build the foundation of my faith that’s found in the scriptures.
And so they sit, unread, all those books. I’m going to get to them one day soon. It was my very wise friend, Sarah, that explained to me that I needed to build my foundation first. Those books are wonderful, but they are in addition to, not instead of, the Bible. And until I’m regularly reading my Bible, daily, and reading it over and over again, I don’t want to read the other books yet. Actually, what I mean is, yes, I want to read them, but it’ll be so much better to read those books with a good foundation in the most important book of all. The one God wrote.
I almost started Jennie Allen’s book “Anything”, and the study that goes with it, a while ago. I got the book. I signed up for all the emails and everything. Then I decided to wait. I needed to wait because my foundation was not yet solid. And I imagine Jennie’s book will be, for me and my spiritual house, a wall builder, or maybe a door frame from which I’ll hang my destiny doors.
Do you know how exciting it is to have a revelation while reading a scriptures you’ve read several times before? It’s awesome! The Bible, The word, is alive! It grows with me, revealing it’s meaning as I grow in my faith, and it keeps on giving and revealing new truths to me in different stages of my life. What other book does that?
The Bible, to me, is not just a book, but The Word of God printed so I can carry it with me and keep it close for reference and comfort. IT knows me because HE knows me. He reveals life truths to me through His Words. And though they do not change on paper, they change in my mind and heart each time I read them and discover something new. Can I call it simply a book? No. It’s His Words, truths I want ingrained in my heart and mind forever and ever. I feel that needs an “Amen!”
Lord, help me to build the foundation of my spiritual home by reading and understanding the scriptures. Holy Spirit, read with me and guide my mind to learn new things from scriptures I’ve read a dozen times before. My Bible is my foundation, and within the scriptures I find instructions on how to build my spiritual house, which, when storms come, will protect and shelter me. The scriptures lead me to action, faith in action, that frames the walls and lays the roof. And though I’ll never be done building my spiritual house, it’s a place I can go that’s filled with all I’ve learned. I can bring others there and share with them the good news and we can discuss the Word together and build new rooms. As I keep reading the scriptures, I can plant new seeds in my spiritual garden and watch them grow. I can share this harvest with others.
Would you like a flower from my spiritual garden? Guess what I learned today?
Lord, let my spiritual house shelter me in the storms. Let the storms water the seeds in my spiritual garden, to grow a great harvest of knowledge of the Word, Your Words, that I can share with others. Lord, let my spiritual house have destiny doors that lead me on my way to Your will. Doors that move. Sometimes they fling open with a gust of Your Breath and invite me to “go, Bree, this way, toward your calling“. But Lord, let Your Will always be done, and slam those doors shut in my face if they don’t lead me towards Your perfect Will for my life.
I trust You. My Lord, my Creator, my Heavenly Father, my Teacher, the architect of my life.
The first part is scary, filled with debilitating fear caused by poor choices that lead to a life of addiction, depression, loneliness, homelessness, and despair. I was just trying to stay alive, but I was doing it wrong. I was making all the decisions, all the rules, and thought I was in control. So despite a great childhood and amazing parents, I ended up wrecking my life.
The second part of my story started in 2013, at age 36. That’s when God completely turned my life upside down (because apparently I didn’t realize the wreck that I was already) and I realized that I was not in control and I needed help. I wasn’t raised in church and didn’t know anything about God. But in that moment, when my life was wrecked, I knew I needed him.
So how does an atheist find out about God?
That’s what this story will be about. It’s too long of a story to tell just one blog post. So I’ll try to break it up, and on some days I’ll just write about my daily life and how God helps me to get through tough times and celebrates with me the in good times.