Today we welcome Brittney to the blog! Let’s step into her season…
Describe the season you currently find yourself in.
“The only phrase that seems to suffice the past two years and where I currently am is “The Assurance of Christ within the Change”. Of course a season and attitude of change is a constant and very necessary thing, but what I didn’t expect was that it would be so painfully beautiful. I began full blown vocational ministry right out of college, and through many joys and trials I have seen God move in crazy ways in the lives of myself and my faith family. From grieving hurts that come along with the progress of immense change in a church body, to seeing God have to remove people from positions to deal with sins or simply because He has another plan for them, the Lord has shown me so much about finding my assurance in Him.”
What is God teaching you/revealing to you during this season?
“It has been a long process in seeing what God has been teaching me in this season. Mainly because of my stubbornness. I don’t know if others do this, but this past couple of years, it felt like I just needed to keep my head above water. “Don’t sink Brittney, you have to keep going even when the waters around you seem to be crashing everywhere.” This was the mindset for a while and it was exhausting. The sweetness of God and His consistent character is that He doesn’t stop pursuing us and He deals with us with so much patience. In the book, “A Dangerous Calling,” Paul David Tripp sums up exactly what God has been revealing and teaching me during this season. “Either you will be getting your identity vertically, from who you are in Christ, or you will be shopping for it horizontally in the situations, experiences, and relationships of your daily life.” and “If you are not requiring yourself to get your deepest sense of well-being vertically, you will shop for it horizontally, and you will always come up empty.” I quickly became weary due to this “horizontal search for identity” and I finally recognized because the idol I had made to replace the perfect Savior was hope in myself and hope in other people. I found assurance in people’s approval, assurance in my morality, and assurance in my abilities, when all the while Christ was patiently guiding me to assurance in Himself.”
How have you/are you changing during this season?
“God has been moving me from the fracturing assurance in self to abiding in the joy-filled assurance of Christ. Even though I knew Christ was who I needed to abide in, I definitely wasn’t living out or understanding John 15:5 – “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, it is he who will bear much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” God has shown me that the gospel frees me to obey and serve Him because He has first accepted me. My obedience and service is not a way to earn His acceptance. The way of working hard to keep my head above water, performing well, not screwing up, and gaining people’s approval is NOT the gospel. Honestly it’s pride. God has been breaking down that pride, making me dependent upon Him by allowing me to walk through a season of change filled with fear to make me realize that Christ is my only assurance. He is the only one who brings joy, peace, endurance and to the fact that I need Him in all I do. That seems like a “DUH” moment, but it’s huge. I am not sufficient! Brittney isn’t capable of holding her head above water. In the past two years I have felt like Peter in the passage in Matthew when he went to go meet Jesus by walking on water but was so quick to take his eyes off of Jesus, became afraid, and quickly began to sink. But in Christ’s sweet sweet grace He has reached out, caught me and spoke softly, “You of little faith” and then carried me in His security to show me truly who He is. That He is able and I am not. That He loves me enough to give me the strength and capability, things I sought in people who were incapable of supplying those things (myself included), to continue in what He has called me to do.”
What encouragement would you like to share with someone who is in a similar season?
“God cares about His people and He is a God of compassion. The idols we make out of people or our own abilities can never give you the assurance you desire or need. Only in Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit are we able to find assurance, strength, love, acceptance and joy within difficult situations. God is a good Father who never stops changing us into the image of His son. Let us all find sweet assurance in Him above all other tempting and sweetly-false things through every season of change.”
A Prayer for Brittney
Thank You for Brittney. Thank You that You are aware of her and with her in this season. Thank You that You use change to change us. Thank You for using change to change Brittney, to make her look more like Jesus. Thank You for revealing to her the idols of others and self. Thank You for being the One who never fails us, never gets fed up with us, never needs time away from us. May the same gospel that saved Brittney continue to sustain her. May she continue to walk in freedom and do things out of adoration instead of obligation. May she continue to crave Your sweetness and long for more of You. Continue to help her to utterly depend on You. Instead of just doggie paddling to try and stay above water, may she sink into Your grace, may she drown in Your love, may she lose control only to rest in You. Help her to continue to abide in You and as she does May You bless the works of her hands. May her ministry, her life be fruitful because she knows you as the Vine. May Brittney rest in Your blessed assurance.