S e a l e d

Dear Readers,

As my 19th birthday approaches, I’ve been thinking about life, go figure. That middle phase between childhood and adulthood is coming to a close. It’s my last year of being a “teenager.” You know how on your birthday everyone asks you: “How does it feel to be *insert new age here*?” I never knew how to answer that question. I always thought instead, why not ask what it felt like to be the age you were before? So I’ve been thinking about not only how it felt to be eighteen, but how it felt to be a teenager in general.

What have all these years of adolescence taught me?

Let me tell you, it’s been one heck of a bumpy ride, but I have learned so much! I struggled with a lot of things, most of which I have already written about. As a result, my faith has grown in truly amazing ways!

The other day I came across this scripture:

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as She’ol;
Its flames are flames of fire,
a flame of Yah!
Many waters are unable to extinguish love,
And floods do not wash it away.
If one would give all the wealth of his house for love,
It would be utterly scorned.
-Song of Songs 8:6-7

To be honest I have not read all of Song of Songs. Because let’s be real here, it’s probably the most awkward book of the bible. Wanna make a group of young teenagers feel uncomfortable? Get out the Bible and read a few verses of Song of Songs! With lines like: “Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead,” (#bestpickuplineever) and many others we don’t need to mention, haha. It’s poetry between two lovers from a very long time ago, so naturally, it doesn’t make much sense to us.

All jokes aside I want to explain the significance of this scripture.

On my thirteenth birthday, I was given a silk scarf by a friend. Not just any scarf, it was dyed by someone who makes prophetic art, silks, and flags. Everything they make is prayed over and has a spiritual definition. It’s really incredible! I have many silks now and each one of them has been profoundly meaningful. It’s so wonderful to have them as beautiful visual reminders of my walk with God. They are some of my greatest treasures.

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You can check out their amazing ministry here: http://dyed4you.com/blog/

This particular silk is called Sealed.

This silk represents the Secret Place –being in the shadow of the palm of His hand, a place of deep intimacy. It’s a place you recieve the “secret” things: mysteries and revelation. When something is sealed, it is marked with ownership — it belongs to Someone, it has been claimed. Just as our hearts have been claimed by the One who poured out His own blood as the seal upon our hearts.

-Excerpt from the scarf meaning

As a thirteen-year-old, I did not understand it. It didn’t resonate with me as I thought it should have. I was missing something.

I haven’t thought about the scarf or the meaning behind it in a really long time, to be honest. But these last few days thinking about those six years, and then seeing that scripture randomly, I finally understand. I’ve found that the gift represented a place that Yahweh would take me, not a place that I had already been.

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When I was a child I always believed in God. I went to Sunday school, listened to my parents read the Bible, accepted Jesus into my heart, all of those wonderful things.

However, not until I was a teenager did my relationship with God really start to deepen. In these years I have learned how to truly seek Him. Receiving that silk marked the beginning of my spiritual journey and discovering my true identity.

I didn’t understand it when people went on about their exciting relationship with God. I hadn’t felt all that fire and the passion in my own life. But if there’s anything I’ve learned about relationships it’s that you actually have to put something into it. You can’t just expect it to happen on its own. You have to be committed.

Yahweh wants all of my heart. Not just the bits and pieces I decide to give Him.

You won’t relent until you have it all
My heart is yours

I set you as a seal upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm
For there is love
That is as strong as death
Jealousy demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame upon my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until you and I are one

-You Won’t Relent, Misty Edwards

I feel as though a deeper relationship with God begins with an invitation: “Come be the fire inside of me.” We have to ask Him to take us deeper, we have to want it. He doesn’t force Himself on us, He gives us a choice. Once you make that choice to completely surrender your life to Him, He is relentless in pursuit of your heart, and he won’t stop until He has every part of it.

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How amazing is it that the Creator of the universe wants to have a personal relationship with each and every one of us? He knows our thoughts and the number of hairs on our heads. He has seen our bruises and scars, and all the ugly parts and still, He wants us.

I’ve come to know such an amazing love. A love as strong as death itself. A love that burns like wildfire, so deep that many waters cannot quench it. The love of Yahweh. He has held me in the palm of His hand, in this beautiful, secret place. He has taught me how to love Him, to love others, and to love myself. He has shown me that my identity is found in Him and nothing else. I belong to Him.

In these years I have made a commitment to give Yahweh all of me. Just as when two people get married they are signing a contract and promising to love, honor, and cherish each other for the rest of their lives.

Because of that commitment, every day I want to make the decision to serve Him with my whole heart. Not because the church told me to, not because my parents told me to, but because I have experienced His goodness, love, and mercy for myself.

There have been many seasons when I have felt passionately in love with God, and there have also been seasons when I felt distant from Him. But that’s life, and the good thing is I can keep running back to Him. In my brokenness, He is the only one who can put me back together and ignite that flame again.

This is the most meaningful thing I have learned in all my teenage years. I’m excited to see what else He has in store for my life as I continue on into adulthood. This is not the end of my spiritual journey, my friends, it is just the beginning! I hope something I’ve said today is meaningful to someone out there.

Sincerely, Bri

Broken Prayers

“Brianna, would you lead us in prayer?”

“Of course,” I answer, as my heart rate goes up and my hands start to get sweaty. My brain scrambles to come up with something to say. I begin to speak. My voice shakes as I utter a few words that I think best fit the situation. I sigh with relief after I finally get it over with and say “Amen.”

My Dear Readers,

Prayer is something I have always struggled with. It’s hard to admit, but it’s true. I have trouble communicating in general.

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Today is Beautiful

Dear Readers,

I haven’t really written much for my blog in a while. I’ve been “busy” and somewhat distracted by other things… Which is what I want to write about today.

Life is crazy. We all have goals we want to reach, big dreams, little dreams, whatever it may be. But sometimes those things can be a distraction, even just our daily goals.

I often find myself so focused on the things that need to be done that I don’t make time for anything else. After all, that gigantic pile of laundry and all my homework won’t do themselves. I don’t make enough time for other things that don’t seem quite as important at the moment, like reading my Bible, journaling, praying, and writing for my blog. Or any other hobby that I enjoy doing.

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Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

When I was little I was often asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had many aspirations, a teacher, a doctor, a ballerina, a musician perhaps, but what I wanted more than anything, was to be you. I still do.

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Reckless LOVE

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away

There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up

Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down

Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

-Reckless Love, Cory Asbury

Dear Readers,

Let me just start by saying I love this song. From the first time I heard it, it impacted me in such a powerful way. Perhaps it doesn’t make sense to some. Why would we describe God’s love as reckless? Isn’t that a bad thing?

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The Importance of Being Genuine

“Authenticity is not something we have or don’t have. It’s a practice — a concious choice of how we want to live. Authenitcity is a collection of choices we have to make everyday. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” –Brene Brown

Dear Readers,

Today I want to explain why I think being genuine is so important.

Sometimes when you’re going about life you just feel like a failure. You begin to think that everyone else has it all together, but they don’t. If you say that everything is perfect and you have your life completely figured out and there’s never any complications, well, you’re lying. The truth is, none of us really know what the heck we’re doing.

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I’ve Been Worried All My Life

I’m pinned under the weight
Of what I believed would keep me safe.
So show me where my armor ends,
Show me where my skin begins.
Like a final puzzle piece
It all makes perfect sense to me…
The heaviness that I hold in my heart belongs to gravity.
The heaviness that I hold in my heart’s been crushing me.

I’ve been worried all my life,
A nervous wreck most of the time.
I’ve always been afraid of heights,
Of falling backwards, falling backwards.
I’ve been worried all my life…

-Pluto, Sleeping at Last

Dear Readers,

I’ve written a little bit about this and probably mentioned it in a few of my other posts. First of all, I would like to say that this post is not attention seeking. It is simply another struggle of mine. Not everyone wants to talk about these kinds of things, especially online, where most of what we see is everyone’s highlight reel. But, that’s not what I’m about, this is raw honesty. I’m not looking for pity, my goal is to just be real because that’s what this blog is all about.

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Home Is Where My Heart Is

Dear Readers,

There’s the story I have heard quite a bit from the majority of people I know. It goes something like this: “I was born in this state, in this town, and I grew up in the house. I took my first steps in this house, and on the wall, there are markings of my height that kept track of how I grew throughout the years. I celebrated all of my birthdays here. My best friend lives down the street and we’ve known each other since we were three years old. This is my home, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

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L O V E L Y

“The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.” -Maya Angelou

Dear Readers,

Today’s post is about positive body image and self-love. I know it’s talked about a lot, sometimes over-talked about, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Some people make fun of it, but that’s because they don’t understand it. Things like eating disorders are a legitimate problem, and should never be taken lightly. All the talk about “loving yourself” might sound kinda silly, and it can get to a point where it’s just self-absorption. But, coming from someone who has struggled with self-hate, this is my take on it.

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Adventures in Road-Tripping

|| “The mountains are calling, and I must go.” -John Muir ||

Dear Readers,

Oh hey, it’s February! I know I haven’t been posting much, and I promise there’s a good reason for it. I’ve been…. busy… Oh, ya know just, moving halfway across the country with my family. I wish I could blame all my lack of writing on that, but I admit, part of it is just procrastination, (too many episodes of Psych tbh) It’s not because I don’t enjoy writing this blog, I really do! But sometimes I even procrastinate things I love doing.  I haven’t even written in any of my journals in several weeks… *gasp*

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