Hi my name is Brooke and I am currently working as a Primary School Teachers Aide in NNSW. I like puns and hanging with my clan camping, boating, biking (more so the motor kind), and horse riding. I love all things outdoorsy/adventury and have been diagnosed (by dad) as having a bad case of FOMO. I don’t like being left behind or missing out on anything.
I’m going to be really honest with you guys. I don’t feel like I’m in a place to share my story as I don’t always feel like I’m close to Jesus and love Him like I should. I feel like I should have everything sorted before I share anything. But I thank those that have shared before me, showing me that it’s okay not to have it all figured out and that it is okay to be ‘in between’ with Jesus. God is working in our lives whether we feel He is near or not; whether we feel like we are ‘winning’ or not.
There was no big conversion experience for me, but a gradual growing since as far back as I can remember. I grew up Sevvy, went to an SDA church, SDA school and have always been encouraged in my walk with Jesus. I did Bible studies with a group of girls in both primary and high school, and got baptised when I was 14. But my motivation was heaven, not Jesus. I’ve been learning since then that heaven is only heaven because Jesus is there. Heaven starts here. It starts with our relationship with Him now.
I used to have a good group of Christian friends when I was younger, but somehow as I got into high school most of them either moved away, got into relationships, or stopped coming to church altogether. That left me feeling kind of abandoned and lonely. I was the only one my age at church for a long time and had to learn to get out of my comfort zone and talk to new people, ultimately relying on God for companionship. I had friends at school, but no one I felt I could get close to or rely on. I just went from group to group, being friendly but not feeling like I belonged anywhere. During this time I learnt how to be my own person and how to be happy with my own company. I learnt to rely on God more. I also learnt that friends aren’t always going to be there, but God is. He is our friend.
I’ve also been able to see this in relationships. Though I’ve never been in one, I’ve been through the stage where you get to know someone. Each time I was hurt, but each time I have learned something new. I know that God has a lot to teach me about what love is and how to love and let people love me. People come and go in your life, but God is always there and will never leave you.
When I got baptised there were no warm fuzzies, no different feelings. In fact, I forgot to take a breath just before I went under the water and came up gasping for air! I kinda felt out of it on the day because I didn’t feel like I was surrendering everything to God, had everything figured out, or had the right motivation to get baptised. Thinking now, if I waited till I ‘felt’ like I was ready, I probably would never have made that decision. I still struggle to surrender to God to this day – this is my biggest challenge. It’s natural for me to want to be independent and try to control what goes on in my life. I have to ask God daily to help me be willing to go where He leads. I need Him to give me a heart like His to love Him and others.
I’d say my ‘in between’ addiction at the moment is probably entertainment – social media, movies, music and books (when I get a chance to read, that is). I’m asking God to help me overcome these as they take me out of reality, affect my wellbeing, and take my focus off Jesus. These things may not be bad, as there are lots of Christian alternatives, but if not controlled, they will control you. An addiction is an addiction no matter how ‘big’ or ‘small’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’. And sin is still sin no matter the ‘size’, right?
I resonate with Matt Parra, a passionate evangelist, who preaches about how much we suck as humans and how God still loves, wants and uses us – and it’s true! I often think about how much I suck and stuff up, but God still wants, loves and uses me for His glory!
There have been times where I have just wanted to give up on God, and I have for a short time. Occasionally I have been just wandering or acting a little rebellious for a while, doing things my way with Jesus at arms length. I know He is real, but I get sick and tired of trying. I can never meet the expectations of others, myself and certainly not God. For the short times that I have given up, I have realised that life is so meaningless without Jesus. So empty. So purposeless. No hope for the future. When I tried running away from God I asked myself “What now? Where do I go from here? To who? Do I just go my own selfish way?” I knew that wouldn’t satisfy me for long. I realised that there is no hope in anything else. Everything in this world can be taken from us: people, things, our pride and abilities. There is nothing for certain. Only Jesus is our certainty.
I’m still not ‘fixed’, but I am daily choosing to choose God and am counting on some verses that my sister-in-law reminded me of the other night in Ezekiel 36:25-27, which encouraged me – and I hope they encourage you too!
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
Who is making these promises? Who says “I WILL”? Jesus is the One who promises to help us and change us. Praise the Lord for HIS faithfulness!!
Don’t give up! He is near to all those who call on Him!! – Psalms 145:18
I’m no one special, but I’m special to Him! And so are you! 🙂