Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Taking the Steps...

I don't suppose I'm unlike other girls out there... grappling with things life has dealt me, wrestling with pain people (mostly men) have introduced, struggling with questions that don't have answers. I have days when I look in the mirror and am struck by my nobody-ness, days when I feel the weight of rejection and failure in my bones. Then I have days when I look in the mirror and am struck by the realization that I was specially created in God's very image, days when I feel the wholeness of Jesus' love and acceptance cover me like skin.

Sunday night I got an email from my friend Scott who was, in his words, "deeply disturbed" by the Painting post. Do you not realize the price that was paid for you? he wrote. I do. He knows I do. And as a Christian with an audience, myself and others feel it's my duty to ensure my writing reflects that. Only some days I'm discouraged. Hurt. Angry. Careless. If, like Scott, you were horrified or disappointed by that, my apologies. This is a messy, thrilling life you're following.

So we take the steps slowly as we endeavor to get to a higher place. Some days we fly up the steps two-at-a-time. Some days we sit down on the steps and take a rest. Other days the climb seems too much... too steep... and we stumble down a few stairs before remembering where we're headed, then we put one foot in front of the other and start climbing again....

At least I do. At least that's how I'm taking the steps.

50 comments:

Patricia said...

Knowing God hasn't abandoned us is one thing.

Feeling like God has abandoned us is another.

Our head and heart knowledge sometimes isn't enough to get us through the tough times when we're knee deep in pain and feeling as though we're lost or have been abandoned. Feelings can sometimes overwhelm us.

Sometimes there will be desert days in our lives.
And sometimes there will be desert years in our lives. And it's OK to be sad. And hurt. And angry. But there is always hope. And for that I am so very grateful!

Guess I'm just tryin' to say I'm OK with your Painting post. That's real life. And sometimes, my friend, life is very, very messy.

Love your writing. Keeping you in my prayers!

Debbie said...

It's okay to be honest. Sorrow,yet not without hope. That's a big part of the Christian life. Hope today gives you glimpses of joy and blessing.

redeemed diva said...

I didn't see that post as a bad thing. It was honest and I've followed your blog long enough to know that you were just writing. It seems that you write to know yourself and understand yourself better.I like that you share a messy, thrilling life. I think that any Christian culture that cultivates an idea that you can't share your struggles is a culture that enables sin to remain a secret and makes people feel like you can't honestly share your pain. I like that you share your struggles and I like that you always come back to your roots in Christ and declare His glory in your life. I think it's easy to hide from people about our struggles and I'm grateful that you don't. The post inspired me to pray for you to encounter His love in a greater measure in 2010. I am believing you will.

judy in ky said...

I am sure He understands.

Elenka said...

well said......Often times we feel how we feel....in our hearts....no matter what our brain tells us we should feel. And that's OK.

Tara said...

Hey Brin,
I agree. Some days are better than others, and some are just down right yucky! Have had a few of those myself lately. Thanks for sharing your heart and helping us all to realize that Christian or not, we are all human and have human emotions. We just need each other to lean on and help us deal with them in a good way. Life is hard...friends are much needed. Thanks for your post. I can relate.

Kristine said...

All I can say is...you're human...and though I lurk almost daily here and rarely comment, you amaze me with your faith. I have no doubt God has great things in store for you! Take Care...

Faith said...

Your post brings to mind the following lyrics:
And if a man has got to listen to the voices of the mob
Who are reeling in the throes of all the happiness they've got
When they tell you all their troubles have been nailed up to that cross
Then what about the times when even followers get lost?
'Cause we all get lost sometimes...

I was oddly encouraged by your painting post.... knowing there is another out there who struggles too brought a feeling kinship. Thank you for not being afraid to share honestly the messiness of your life…

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I've found there really must be seasons of stomping our feet and pouting before God.

He understands and He can take it.

Then when we are all calm again, we hear His Voice and all is better even when it is not all well.

Lots of people have come to care for you. :)

Donna said...

Brin, we are Christians. And sometimes, despite our Christianity we have times of sadness. Sadness for what we thought our lives would bring and what we think we have lost. God loves us, sad and all. And yes, sometimes the steps bring us closer to God and sometimes a little farther away. But we are just a breath away from His love!

Randi said...

I always appreciate your honesty and candidness and feel like you reflect a true spiritual walk ... you share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

~ Sara ~ said...

At least your honest. I personally feel the same way... We all have our days, moments, and all that jazz.

I could relate to your Painting post, too a degree. I just wanted to say yes that's me... good days, bad days, and those days when have a good cry before getting up and going on.

Sara...

Debe said...

One foot at a time is all you can do. Please just hold on to all that you know is precious about you and keep going. God has a plan and as I tell my single 30 daughter, we just have to live long enough to find out what it is. I feel it will be special for you and for her. As a mom, my heart hurts for you both. Just take deep breaths and carry on, please!

Fearless Nester said...

It's your journey, your blog and you express it beautifully and honestly. There is always a reason unknown to ponder, and you are able to take us right to the heart of it. Blessings to you Brin.

Christy said...

Very well put. Thankfully Jesus is with us every step of the way. Even when we tumble down a few. :)

Dawn said...

Well, I think it's just fine to feel what you feel and put it in writing, and then maybe let it start to go. We can't help who we love, even if they don't love us back or love us the way we hoped they would.
Bless you.

patientmom said...

I like that....the picture of the steps, the words of your blog, the transparency of your heart....Thank you for being real :)

Antonella said...

We're all humans, stumbling and grieving losses (of people and pets we loved, shattered hopes and wishes..)
we all love you Brin, messy and thrilling at the same time
it's life, don't be ashamed of your sorrow, be kind with yourself, this is what Jesus ultimately was: Extreme Love and Compassion
and remember this quote by Mother Teresa:
"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."

Sue said...

Although we have never met, I have followed your blog long enough to feel as if I do know you. You have been in my prayers. I read that post knowing we all have down days-the human experience. I also read that post knowing Who holds you and loves you. I am confident that He remains with us wherever we may go or however we may feel, even when we are having those down days. I appreciate your honesty and continue to pray that God will guide your path.

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Baby steps, baby steps.....

Meredith said...

We are human. My dreams were my dreams. My life has turned out differently. I am grateful but I do cry over no children, I somedays ask why? Not everyday, sometimes not for long. Married for 13 years and no kids. All I ever wanted to be was a mom. Having faith does not mean I do not have feelings. I just had this conversation with a male friend myself.

Jackie said...

I was okay with your painting post and I knew you were having a hard time that day. That's real life! We all have human emotions even though we know in our heads that God is watching over us and has a plan for us. I love that you're real here and it's why I continue to read everything you post.

Thanks!

Girly Muse said...

I love to hear the real stuff. The more honest, the better. Thanks for sharing all of it with us.

Shelley in SC said...

I thought your post "The Painting" was very painful and poignant. It expressed feelings that most people would identify with. It's what makes your blog so readable. You can put into words what many feel. Yes, we're all taking one step at a time . . . falling . . . getting up . . . but never giving up on seeking Him.

Linda Z said...

Some days are like painting days... King David had many of them. But I think you have a deep knowledge of how much God loves you and what He has done for you. Keep pressing in to Jesus.

I can't wait to hear of the days when He redeems all that you have lost. He has a big plan, for His glory to shine through your life. It already does, as you keep pursuing Him... even in the hard times.

I pray that in the meantime, He will help you through the desert times and lift your face to look in His compassionate and loving eyes every day.

Michelle said...

Hi Brin,

I haven't been by to visit very often because I feel like I'm in the same place as you. I'm so drained and exhausted of taking baby steps until something comes along that makes me fall. *sigh* I am right there with ya but us women (women even in general) are so strong and we can tread this water until our ship comes in.

I'll hang in there if you will. :)

Lots of love and hugs..

Michelle

tara said...

I like this post ... and the one before it. I feel alone today and needed to know that there are other 'followers' that go through days of feeling hurt, angry, like a nobody sometimes. I get tired of the uphill battle sometimes, too. You always bring it back to home (God)...but we are made in His image - and if we feel these emotions, surely, he did too. hugs.
T

kathryn said...

If we are less than honest, if we do not tell the truth about our pain, our sorrows, our truths, we cannot ever be true to God's call in our lives nor can we show others God's goodness if we are only willing to share the 'good' parts.
Everyone's lives have heartache, failure, and sadness. Knowing it and sharing it makes you more real to everyone you know.
I was a youth minister. My kids were never allowed to put me on some 'I'm a Christian, God blesses me every second with everything that has ever happened to me, I'll share Him with you and you'll be perfect too' pedestal. Because, excuse the language, it's a bunch of crap. No one is perfect. No one should be seen as such. Acting like all is well ALL the time is an act. It is fake. And it doesn't allow God to show you or anyone else anything.
I was moved. And I ached for you. I don't know what happened, it doesn't matter. What matters is you are working your way through life. And you have perfect strangers wanting peace and joy for you.
Love through His love,
Kate

jill said...

Grief is treacherous...you're going along fine, turn a corner and wham! it smacks into you out of the blue. Your painting post was totally appropriate, normal, and nothing to apologize for. The pangs of loss and what could have been resurrect from time to time throughout the process of grieving and letting go. It doesn't mean you're slipping back, not moving forward, or lacking in faith. It means you're normal. This is how we are. This is how we heal - one day at a time.

Rosetta said...

We all have those days, Brin. Don't feel bad for expressing your feelings. That is the way to healing, with God's help.

wanderingbtrfly said...

Your posts are so honest, Brin, and that's one reason you bring peace to so many. This post and your painting post are both so beautifully honest and I think most of us can relate to the raw emotions you've expressed. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing so much. You are like a warm, wonderful friend I've never met.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Your honesty is very refreshing to me. Living in this world with lots of folks playing head games I love to read how you feel with true emotions. Questioning is not a bad thing. Even our Lord questioned his plight while hanging on the cross. He knows we are human and need to depend on Him. It's just hard living in this world, but know that lots of us are out here praying for you.

Kathleen Grace said...

Brin, you are going through a very rough patch right now. We all have them. I have had many trials that seemed insurmountable at the time I went through them, but they shaped me and made me stronger, and I like my stenghth. I see strength in you too, even though you sometimes may feel the weight of bad times. I guess I'm just saying that everything we go through has value if we let it. There is always something to learn from our problems and pain and that learning and growing and getting stronger turns the pain into triumph. Praying for you.

Kathy

A Small, Full Life said...

I think your friend Scott needs to read the words of King David in Psalms and realize the ups and downs of this life. If David, "a man after God's own heart" could be so transparent in his pain and joy, I believe we can too. David is a wonderful example and inspiration of how we can hold nothing back from God, He wants it all. Our pain, confusion, joy, happiness. It seems your blog is about your personal walk through this life. If you just show the happiness and good times, it wouldn't be a true picture of you.

Alina said...

Hi, this is my first visit to your lovely place. Steps...yes, we are all taking them together one way or another. I must say, I found your post titled "The Painting" absolutely beautiful and most moving!

RoseMary said...

Very powerful, B.
It speaks of your heart.
I remember days gone by of hurt, pain, angry, hate.
But I also remember reading somewhere, That we are not to trust our feelings when it comes to these feelings. We should trust the feelings of Love, Joy, Faith,and look for them in small quiet places.
Even when we think God is gone, that is when he is closer.

Susan said...

I think it's time some of us sat down and opened the book of Job. That's what God wants. Honor and praise BECAUSE of hardship.

This life is not meant to be "nice" and I don't think that our emotional and always changing "feelings" matter much to Him. But our actions do.

Ask yourself (as I do every morning) what are my actions showing to others? Am I putting on the armour of God and marching out that door to show the world the wonder and love of my Savoir?


We live in the most blessed and powerful country on this earth. And then He gave us His son...do any of us have the right to ask for more?

Cathy said...

Brin,

Wanted to be sure to wish you a Merry Christmas. We are leaving for Atlanta to visit family on the 22nd and I know there will be a whirlwind before I go. I hope your new job is going well. I have found in my nearly 50 years that even though I cannot see the "miracle and grace" at work at the "moment' God has taken such good care of me. In retrospect all has happened for His reason and for my Good! I look back in amazement at his love and plan for me......such a pitiful speciman, making huge willful mistakes and all the while He was moving me towards the destination He had planned. It is evident as I look back that God truly loves me. He loves you too. And as I do, you will look back with complete understanding and say Ahhh, thank you God. I could not see what you saw. Love you Brin and So enjoy peeking in at your life. Your an inspiration to many of us. Thank you. Cathy in Florida

Lily said...

Oh Brin, Your friend is mistaken. What the Lord wants more than anything is to restore His relationship with us. Part of that journey is to be healed and the Holy Spirit is the best counsellor. I believe you were led to that painting- the Lord knows your deepest wounds- let the tears come Brin, let the anger come-it is part of the healing process-just read the psalms! When Christians pretend that they have no wounds or that all is 'happy clappy' they do such a disservice to the Lord. Be real Brin- I find your blog inspirational and encouraging BECAUSE you are open and honest. Your realtionship with Him shines through your painful and your joyful moments!

ambivalence said...

I think the commenter "Susan" could stand to read up on a few bible verses of her own. I seem to recall reading something along the lines of "judge not, lest ye be judged" -- ring a bell there, Susan?

There is nothing in the world so offputting as a holier-than-thou Christian. Get over yourself.

Kimberly said...

Your raw honesty is what keeps me coming back to this blog over and over. Thank you for keeping it messy AND thrilling! xo from your birthday sister

geramyum said...

I follow your post because I resonate with your pain and you word it beautifully.Sometimes I cry when I read your posts because I know that disappointment. But somehow there is hope and beauty sprinkled throughout. I'm glad you're real and thanks for writing about it. (And reading the comments on your posts are awesome too)

Karen Deborah said...

Holidays tend to bring out grief in people. As a Christian it is a gift to share the "real" walk of faith. Letting people know that we do not live so much by a code of conduct-as by a real relationship with the Living God.

It's ok to cut yourself some slack Brin, it's been a very hard year for you. Jesus understands that.

carla said...

Are you okay? Hoping you're just busy ...

Shannon said...

Our Lord and Savior stopped and wept at the road before Him. He was full of grief and sorrow at what could have been. He knows your heart. And loves it just as it is. Thankfully -- He will not leave you there. He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it!

Pom Pom said...

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I see who Jesus sees - someone so nice, so full of love, so unique, so needy - in a good way.

Jess said...

i was told about your blog last week by a friend and have since read back further and further into your archives until today, i reached the end (or the beginning)...you have a beautiful way with words and a beautiful spirit...i look forward to reading about the next, even more thrilling chapter in your life!

Sangu said...

hi

first time on ur blog. must say that i can definitely relate to how u feel. there are days, and then there are days......

i am a hindu, but there is only one god, and the paths which lead to him are varied.

there are days when i feel so much pain and frustation, and feel god has been biased, though i know he is there and blesses me every minute and takes care of every small thing for me.

the painting post made me cry. cry and move on. thats what life is about.

i am not very good with words, so i am happy i found ur blog, u put it across so well, its like reading my thoughts.

thank you and god bless

sangeetha

Deb said...

Brin,
You have no need to apologize for the Painting post! It is the real, honest you, and that's why I love reading your blog.

I, too, have a broken heart and have found the past month to be extremely difficult for me. Reading your post actually helped remind me that others are walking along this path with me. Even though I know that God is always with me, it's still a hard path to traverse.

I am thinking of you and praying for you.

MommaMindy said...

Just popped over from A Cottage Family...I love your honesty, your transparency, your painting and your sweater garland. You have a way of capturing your heart with your words and your hands. I am thankful to have found your blog!