Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Broken Family

Last night I was at a girls night with the CCH girls. While we were playing one of the games, my phone rang. I looked at my phone and it was my mom! I was soo excited because I have not talked to her since my birthday on October 10th. You see, every time my mom calls me it is a very special moment because it happens rarely. It doesn't happen rarely because she doesn't want to call me, it happens rarely because she can't call me.

Let me explain. A couple minutes into our conversation last night she was talking to someone in the background. They were asking who she was talking to and she said "I'm talking to Brandi, my daughter." Seconds later, she hung up the phone. Instantly I started balling my eyes out. What just happened? Why did my mom hang up on me? Then, my mom called me back and I asked "Who was that?" She said "It was your father. Now he's probably going to be mad at me and not talk to me for a while. I don't care you are my daughter and I am going to talk to you." Great, now that my mom called me her and my dad will be fighting about this. Why does my dad have to be so bitter? Why can he not just forgive me for what has happened? My mom can not have a relationship with me without getting into a fight with my father about it. I want to be able to pick up the phone and call my mom. I want everything in the world to be able to go to a house during breaks where my mom and family are there with open arms waiting for me to come home.  I want everything for my family to be put back together. I want my family to forgive me like I have forgiven them. I want them to realize that God forgives us for all we have done wrong. I want the pieces to be put back together.

All I'm saying is what I want. I should be saying, what does God want for me? I should be asking God what I can learn out of this. I should be praying for my family. I should be thankful that I have a family, even if they don't support me. I should be thankful that they did support me for 18 years of my life.

I am so thankful I reconnected with my mom over a year ago. I am so thankful God has placed her back in my life. I am so thankful for the 20 minute conversations I have with her once every 3-4 months. I am so thankful that she has forgiven me. I am so thankful that my mom is alive. I am so thankful that I have my aunts and cousins that have forgiven me. I am so thankful that my grandparents have never stopped loving me. I am thankful that God has blessed me with a family that loves me through the distance and time.

My prayer is that those of you reading this would not take for granted the relationships you have with family members. I pray that you would find joy whenever your parents or family members call. I pray that you would see the blessing that your family has been to you. Be thankful that you have a place to call home during breaks from school. Be thankful that your family supports you. Be thankful that your father loves you. 

Now, the last part, "Be thankful that your father loves you," that hits home in another part of my broken family. I have never heard my earthly father say the words "I love you." Not once can I recall a moment in my life where my dad said "I love you." If your dad says he loves you, REJOICE! Although I have never heard those three simple words from my dad I know that my Heavenly Father says them to me everyday. I know that God loves me more than my dad ever has or ever could love me. Gods love is greater than any love from anyone. I rejoice in the fact that God loves me so much. I rejoice in the fact that I can call God my Daddy. I rejoice in the fact that no matter what I do, my Daddy loves me. I rejoice in the fact that my Daddy forgives me. I rejoice in the fact that my Daddy will always be there for me and that He will never forsake me.

God has taught me so much through my broken family. God has blessed me in ways I don't even recognize yet. God has given me so many opportunities to grow and become independent through this brokenness. God has made me appreciate His love for me through all of my trials. God has allowed me to realize I am in His hands. God has given me trust in Him that He will provide for me wherever I go. God is so good to me. God is my Daddy. God cares for me. God loves me with an undying love.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

~Journal entry from 11/8/10~

Jesus, You are worthy!

I feel like tonight I have had a revelation. That tonight, I've realized my heart was NOT all Yours. My heart has been so caught up in a relationship that will probably never happen. Tonight You have laid three verses on my heart, some of which have been on my heart for a while.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11a

This verse has been on my heart since this summer. There's just something about realizing that God has made EVERYTHING beautiful (even me!) and that it is all made in God's perfect timing. It's like this verse has been on my heart for this long, but tonight I truly got it. God wants my heart to be all His.

Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. Psalm 45:11

Enthralled---to captivate. The GOD of this universe is captivated by MY beauty. Who in the world could say they are legitimately CAPTIVATED by someones beauty? Nobody but God could ever do that. Honor Him. I must honor Jesus. I need to honor Jesus for He loves me. I need to surrender all aspects of my life to Jesus.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Brandi, that doesn't mean you seek Jesus on one side and pursue someone who doesn't give you the light of day on the other side. All of your heart, that means every little tiny cell must be all His. Nothing left to sacrifice. When my heart is in the right place, God will provide me with who He has planned in His perfect timing. God doesn't want me to be so wrapped up in facebook chatting with someone that I forget who He is in the process. God wants me for Him, no one else but ALL His. I believe that God has called me to be ALL His right now. No distractions, no road blocks, but every part of my being to be surrendered completely to Him.

Jesus, You think I am beautiful, You love me unconditionally, and You are jealous for me. Why has it taken me so long to figure this out? I'm not sure, but I'm so thankful that I have figured it out now. How blessed I am to be able to call you my Savior! Jesus, I'm so thankful for this revelation tonight.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You Are More

God has laid the song "You Are More" by Tenth Avenue North on my heart this week. The song has come up on my iPod at least 3 times a day. If you have not heard the song, then go to this link and watch it on YouTube. Honestly, you have to watch the music video, don't just look up the lyrics or listen to the song because the music video just makes the song 100 times better. 

The chorus of the song is---
You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade. 
Wow! WE ARE MORE! God made us NEW when we accepted Jesus into our hearts! All of those things that are in the back of your head, all of those mistakes you made, the times you let your sinful nature take over your actions, NONE of those matter. We have been REMADE! Hallelujah! I have been brought to tears several times while listening to this song. God is reassuring me that everything in my past does not matter. Jesus died on that cross for me. He died so that I could be made new. He died for me. He died for you. No matter how far away from God you are, He is one step away. My prayer is that everyone who reads this blog would realize that everything in their past does not matter because God has made us new. 

I know that God has a plan in my brokenness for this song. I hope I can really truly believe that the price has been paid for the things that I have done. Sometimes I get so caught up on what could have been or what should have been, but I can't do anything about it. I must move forward and know that God has forgiven me. I don't deserve any of this forgiveness. None whatsoever. BUT God keeps giving it to me every day. Why does He treat each of us so good? I can't get over how awesome our God is. The fact that God forgives us sinners that do things that don't honor Him every single day, but He's always there telling us to follow Him and He will provide a way. 

God's plan is perfect. Jesus is perfect. We are NOT perfect. We need Jesus. We need Jesus every day. We need to pursue a deeper relationship with Jesus so that we can get to know Him more. We need to truly believe in our hearts that God is our healer and our protector. We need to be reassured that we are remade in the image of Christ.

Remember, the God of this universe loves you SO much!

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's holding you back?

God has gifted every single one of us with a spiritual gift. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes that everyone is gifted with something from God, whether it is wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues (verses 8-10). In Ephesians 4:11-13 Paul wrote, "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Jesus Christ calls people to serve, He calls people to share the Gospel. We all have at least one of these gifts, whether we have realized that gift yet or not. Not only do we have these gifts, but we are also suppose to proclaim the Gospel to others. The Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-19 states that we should go and make disciples of the nations, proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. God didn't just call the evangelists to share the good news. God is calling every single one of us to share what He has done and what He can do. 

Why are we holding back? Last night I was at Taco Bell with 5 other people eating an awesome fourth meal. Taco Bell was packed with high schoolers that had just spent the night at there semi-formal dance. My heart broke for these girls. Every single one of them was wearing an extremely short dress, all seeking the attention from a male. There was a couple at the table next to us and every time a male left taco bell they were like "Yeah, Ryan have a GOOD night!" One of the girls friends even asked her if she was "ready for tonight." All of these people were coming together and peer pressuring this couple into something. What did I or the people I came with do about this? NOTHING. One of the guys I was with was thinking about what to say, but he didn't know what to say or how to say it. God is calling us to tell others about him. Others that are just like these high schoolers that are so lost in this earthly world. 

This trip to Taco Bell definitely opened my eyes up to what was going on around me. I learned that I shouldn't just look at them and judge them for the way they are dressed or the way they act. I have to love them. I have to love them for God loves them. God loves every single one of them, even the couple that was giving into peer pressure. I pray that they would hear about God's love for them someday. 

At brunch this morning I was standing in line for an omelot. There were two guys in line with me. Guy #1 said to guy #2, "Did you get drunk last night?" Guy #2 responded with " No, I only had like 5 beers." Guy #1 proceeded to say, "What a waste!" Guy #2 just walked away. Another guy came to the line and told Guy #1 that he was an alcoholic. Guy #1 said it's not alcoholism while he's in college, but it will be if he continues it outside of college, because college is all about drinking. 

My heart breaks for Trine University. My heart breaks for the fact that people on this campus, and others as well, think that life is all about drinking, having sex, and doing drugs. Why didn't I speak up while this was occurring right in front of my face? I wanted to be like "A waste? You think that just because someone didn't get drunk last night, that their night was a waste?" I didn't speak up to say that. I should have. I know that I am bold, but obviously I am not bold enough. God I pray you would give me the boldness I need to speak up in every situation You place me in. 

Now, what can I do to recognize these things in my life? What can I do to share this with others (other than blogging about it)? I don't know these answers, but I will be praying about them to see where God leads me. I will be meeting with Travis, my campus minister, to share what I have realized. I know that God is calling me to share this so that others can see ways to share the Gospel in their own lives. 

Pray that you would share the Gospel to others. Not just in the situations like I have encountered, but with that person that you eat lunch with everyday that has never heard the Gospel, or the person you sit next to in class. Let's build relationships with others in hopes of telling them about how Jesus has impacted our lives. God has a plan for all of His work. Let's go proclaim His Name to the lost. 

In Christ,

Brandi :) 

Friday, November 12, 2010

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth! :)

God is good!
What would we do if He never created the earth? Ha, we probably wouldn't know because we wouldn't be here. God's creation is beautiful. We are not worthy of what He has given us, yet He gives it to us freely. 
He Loves YOU! 
God loves you-in case nobody has told you that today, well He loves you. Not just you, but every single little tiny thing about you! He loves you more than anyone on this earth ever could love you! Think about how much your parents love you, now multiply that by a million to the square root of a million---that's how much God loves you!

Tell others about Him!
God calls us to tell others about Him. In Matthew 9:35-38 Jesus said "Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'" Jesus calls us to tell others about Him. There are so many lost people in the world. Lost people that sit right next to us in class. Lost people that are in our families that we can't even muster up the courage to bring Jesus up. God wants people to know about Him. Most people are reluctant to going to church because they will be judged by the members of the church. What can we do about this? Reach out to people! Go where those who don't know Christ are. Be brave and go in the power or Christ. 

God's calling for me...
I know what God has called me to do. It is so evident in every part of my life. God has called me to be an evangelist. God has called me to preach the Good News of Jesus wherever I go. I am not in college to learn about accounting; I am in college to tell others about what God has done in my life and how He has impacted me. I have been a missionary the past two summers. I have already applied to be a missionary for next summer. I applied to go to Kenya or Indonesia with CMFI's Internship program called REACH. Please pray for me in this decision. I am waiting to hear back about whether I have been accepted to the program. If I get accepted, I will need to raise a lot of support to go international and I know that God will provide. He always provides for me. God is somehow just that good. There's no doubt in my mind that God is calling me to go international next summer and I can't wait to see where He leads me. 

Prayer Requests 
Pray for the people I have been reaching out to on campus.
Pray for my future missions opportunities.
Pray for patience as I await to hear back from REACH.
Pray that I would spend time studying and focusing on school.
Pray that Jesus would be known on Trine's campus.
Pray that God's Will would be done in my life.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

ps. I'm new to this whole blogging thing, but I am excited about starting this new thing. I think God can use this in big ways. :)