Season (Brittany's Story)

“I wrote this after having spent a whole week learning about putting on Gods armor. Ephesians 6:11

I’m so awkward when it comes to talking about my faith in Jesus. Not because I’m embarrassed. Lord knows I talk to complete strangers whenever I can about how good He’s been. But sometimes, I feel a tad insecure that I might say something wrong in front of other believers. Like, calling a chapter in the Bible a verse, or not knowing every single story in the Bible to help relate something for someone in need, not always having the perfect words to pray with people right then, accidentally posting Ephesians 4 instead 6, even though 4 is just as applicable if not more so! I’m still a young Christian, seeking, but hungry for His truths like never before.

I have not trusted easily over time, I’ve been burned by past churches, by my family, by hypocritical pastors. I don’t like posting something that isn’t thoughtful and careful when it comes to scripture or how God is speaking to me or what he’s doing in my life. The possibility of being “wrong” in a public setting is absolutely paralyzing to me to the point I can play something out in my head and I usually just don’t post or say anything, even when I sometimes feel that I should. Working on that being vulnerable thing.

I don’t like to be put on the spot or on display to be praised, or made fun of for a mishap. I mean, who would??

I don’t have to be perfect, though, and will admit my mistakes freely and openly, as long as I get to do it before someone embarrasses me about it. I will ugly cry, people. Lol!

But, here’s the thing, even though my faith is young, it is real. It may seem simple or shallow to everyone around me, I may not have all the right words coming out of the gate, but my faith, it’s deep to me. It’s deepening. The Holy Spirit is moving in me. He’s moving in the Word I’ve been reading. He’s moving in my prayers. He’s making things happen. Because what’s changed in me, is Him. I have allowed God in to makes changes in me. I have allowed myself to be put aside to make a way for Him. My eyes are open. My heart is open.

When I became a believer back in 2013-2014, I bet I hadn’t said the word “season” except in relation to food or weather, and that’s “seasoning” or “seasons.” I had never even associated it with “an indefinite or unspecified amount of time,” a “season of life.”

In this season of life, God has asked me to be quiet. To be still. To watch. To listen. To “hear his voice” not mine. To “see with the eyes of my heart.” To strip down to the core of who I am, so He can rebuild me. It’s painful to let go of so much of what I have always thought made me, me. But, He is real. Despite the naysayers. If you don’t believe, you won’t hear. It only takes a tiny seed of faith.

I have just started my sewing business, working out, I have been a painter, I’ve been a devoted student, and time and time again, year after year, I have been told to stop, and to listen. God has been pursuing me, all this time. I just didn’t listen until now.

I’ve let shame, and comparison, and jealousy, and resentment, and anger into my heart over time. I could feel, and see, and hear those things seething out into my family. I could hear the sins of my past coming out of their mouths. As a spiritual leader in our home, I needed and wanted to change. But, how? Therapy and even self help books are great for leading us down paths, to ask ourselves the hard questions to start seeking answers. And, maybe that’s where it started for me a few months ago.

I was listening to Boundaries, and then Boundaries in Marriage, and Loving Our Kids On Purpose. I heard how other people have struggled in similar ways, worse ways even, and come out victorious on the other side. It all made me ask, “What am I missing, that they’re not?” Then one day, it was so blatantly obvious.

God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Intentionality… Love.

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14

That one hit me hard.

So, I started to pray more often. I started to be intentional about writing down my prayers. I started researching words from the Bible. Words we all “know” the meaning of, like, Truth, Grace, Mercy, Righteousness, Salvation, Redemption, Repentance. Turns out, these words are pretty deep. Hm, who knew?

These words (and so many more) give way to an immensely richer meaning of who the Holy Trinity is, what he wants for us, what he wants for the world, and it starts with each one of us. Just one at a time answering His call.

The relationship with Jesus is a personal one. It’s between you and Him, no one else. 

Sure, you have your relationship with him within your marriage, your family and your close friends, but before then, it has to start one on one with the Father. He comes first.

For me it started a small bit at a time, a conversation here, listening to a book or sermon there, showing up for huddle up before service on Sunday, a hunger for a little more, a want to be there, a want to know Him more, then putting aside all of me to give to Him first, putting aside all the extra to hear, to answer His call. As I began listening, I heard Him say, over and over, in between all my busyness, “Stop. Listen.” When it finally sank in what was happening, I just obeyed. Y’all, I know this is gonna sound nuts, but I was ready to up and sell all my sewing gear, my paints, everything! Every single thing associated with my own personal busyness to be all in for Jesus.

It starts in our own hearts. We have to let Him in first for breakthrough to happen. Things that happen in life just seem to fall into place once we’ve given Him the rightful place within us.

And I am ready. I am in this season for as long as I am called to be. Jesus is the ruler of my heart. I am the daughter of the almighty King Jesus. I pray that He always uses me for the furtherance of His Holy Kingdom. I have put on His armor. Here I am, send me!” - Brittany

Gunter Akridge