RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: April 2014

“With the gravity that pulls you to your knees, There has to be a final reckoning, gravity you know you won’t escape by grace or grave you’ll feel the gravity…”

I got married at the ripe old age of nineteen. I couldn’t drink or rent a car. I could barely vote. I went from living at home to living in a dorm to living with a boy. I had never had a full-time job. I didn’t even have a checking account.

I don’t know what kind of crack our parents were smoking when they said we could get married, but it must have been the good stuff.

There ARE advantages to getting married at a young age but there are also disadvantages-  immaturity, arguments over whether or not a certain person will hang a certain Steven Curtis Chapman poster in a certain living room (hypothetically, of course), and loss of life experiences.

Like flying on a plane alone.

I’ve flown many times with family and with friends but I have never needed to take a trip alone. This fact hit me as I was packing for the Storyline Conference this past February, and I realized that I was like a little baby deer, wobbling and stumbling to get my little flying legs. I will go ahead and admit that as I was going to the airport, I was nervous, not about leaving my babies for a few days or missing my love, but about getting on the wrong plane and ending up in Yemen. No offense to Yemen.

Wes was reassuring, he told me multiple times to just walk to the counter and tell them that I need to check luggage. Let me reiterate that Wes said to walk to the counter and tell them I need to check luggage. That is what Wes, the man I trust and have pledged my life to, said. So I got out of the car and baby deer walked into the airport, right up the counter, smiled brightly and said “I just need to check my luggage!” just like a grown up.

“Uh…we just sell pretzels here, ma’am”

Right. Well, carry on good sir! I slunk back to the actual line of people, where I surreptitiously checked luggage tags for any mention of Yemen, and finally got my luggage checked. I made it onto the plane and to my destination. Check “fly alone with no international mishaps” off the list.

But there was more to come. There was the flight home.

Now, it helps if you know a few things about me- I have some *slightly* irrational fears. I am afraid of heights. I am afraid of drowning. I am afraid of sharks. And I now know that I am terrified of turbulence.

On the flight home, I sat in the window seat, next to a young guy who looked like he was on some sort of a business trip. I pulled out my copy of Bob Goff’s book, “Love Does” that I had gotten at the conference, and began to read. About halfway into the flight, the flight attendant came on the speaker and spoke Yemish…or something. In hind site, I think she was saying we were about to hit some turbulence, but since airlines are not really known for their superior technology, it was difficult to understand. A few seconds later, the plane began to rumba in mid-air. I did that anxious I’m trusting Jesus but seriously this needs to stop smile at my seat mate, who must have been used to this, because he barely glanced up and continued to read his super important graphs and charts. Then it got worse- the plane dipped down sharply and this is where I might have crossed a tiny flying etiquette line…

I grabbed his hand.

I mean, it was just sitting there, doing nothing, acting all casual like oh whatever, I am not scared to plummet to my death, I am a super important hand attached to this businessy guy and we’re just flying coach to be ironic or whatever.  Business Man looks at me, looks down at our intertwined hands, looks back at me and says “Uh…you a little scared?”

NO CAPTAIN OBVIOUS, I’M NOT SCARED AT ALL, I JUST HAVE FOUND YOU AMAZINGLY ATTRACTIVE THIS ENTIRE FLIGHT AND NOW I MUST HAVE YOU. I LIKED IT AND NOW I WILL PUT A RING ON IT.

You are a big fat liar if you tell me that you’ve never imagined what you might say or do if your plane was crashing. In that moment, I had a few thoughts…this is it…I knew I should have bought that Cinnabon at the airport…now my last meal is gonna be these stupid peanuts…what if we crash in the ocean…surely a plane crash would scare off any sharks…why did I watch that documentary on man-eating squid…great, the headline will read mother of three is eaten by the Kracken…I’m not going down without a fight, I swear I will punch that Kracken right in it’s big stupid face…wait, we are flying over Texas, not the ocean…but what if it’s a lake…I mean, I KNOW there’s no sharks in lakes…but maybe there are fresh water Krackens…oh my word Brandy FOCUS…Abba, please don’t let this plane crash…I mean, I love you and I want to see you but also there’s a lot I still want to do…I haven’t even been to the Harry Potter park yet…and I am not ever flying again…unless it’s to GO to the Harry Potter park…

At this point, I decide that if I am to die in a fiery Kracken/shark death, I want to be distracted, so I (with one hand, because the other is still death gripping Business Man’s hand, who at this point is probably really regretting not shelling out the dough for first class) open up my copy of Love Does and continue to read.

And then I get to chapter ten.  I won’t spoil the book for you, but just trust me on this- GO READ THIS BOOK. Seriously, go do it now, I’ll wait….

Chapter Ten brings a flood of tears, not the pretty girly cute baby in a commercial crying, but the ugly this dog will die today because I didn’t listen to Sarah McLachlan crying. So here I am, with one hand on my book and the other holding tightly to my reluctant seat mate, with tears streaming down my face and I AM JUST HAVING ALL THE FEELINGS.  Business Man looks alarmed and asks “Uh. Seriously. Are you ok?”

Me- (choking)-“Yes…I just…I mean…I can’t…and…”

Business Man- (looking around for the flight attendant or perhaps an air marshall)- “Listen, I think I have some Valium or something in my bag, if you can just let go-”

Me- “I don’t need medication!!”

Business Man (muttering)- “Yeah, I think you do”

The flight attendant finally notices that there is a slight problem and comes over to our seats. She tries to reassure me that we are in no danger and that this is just bad turbulence. I cannot explain through my tears that I am not crying out of fear, I am crying because this book is just so beautiful and yeah, maybe crying a little because of the Kracken. I bought two copies of the book, so I finally just handed her my other copy and told her to just read it.

We landed in San Antonio on our layover to Dallas. Business Man inexplicably changed seats. Rude.

I guess some people just don’t understand that Love Does.

A9H-k5ICQAA4yZC.jpg-large

 

Email me at brandy.followingbutterflies@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter @brandyb77

Advertisements

“I’m not talking about your pie in the sky that you good boys and girls get in the by and by, but rather the strength that we could find if you’ve got the guts to try, and this is why a man as holy as He had to die alone on Calvary, cause it was the only way we could ever see the heaven in His eyes…”

Throughout my life, I’ve faced “Friday” times. These are times when either my sin or just living in a sinful world causes me pain and grief, and it reminds me of this Friday. I think back to His friends and family watching Him be nailed to the cross, hearing Him speak words of love over those who hurt Him. I think about Mary, her mama heart about to beat out of her chest as she fought back her desire to hurt those who touched her son. And in my dark days, I think “this is happening because Friday…”

But Sunday happened.  And without Sunday, Friday is just darkness, injustice, malice and greed. Sunday redeems Friday with a mother’s gasp, running feet, and tender greetings. Sunday is when He did what He said He would, and where He made it right.

We live in Friday here but Sunday happened. This changes everything.

To the friend who will wander into church this week, hoping to find a friendly face, hoping that there is something more than just living hours and hours of Fridays….Sunday happened.

To the mom who cried this week because she felt like a failure…Sunday happened.

To the man who was just served divorce papers…Sunday happened.

To the child who thinks they are worth nothing, that no one could ever love or like them, who tries to please others just to get some acknowledgment…Sunday happened.

To the person who stole this week…Sunday happened.

To the woman who thought her child was just a group of cells, and decided that abortion was the answer…Sunday happened.

To the person who attended another wedding last weekend and cried out of loneliness…Sunday happened.

To the woman who avoids church this week because seeing children just reminds her of her infertility…Sunday happened.

To the pastor who has worked hard on his sermon this week, and spent the rest of the week looking at porn…Sunday happened.

To the man who was fired…Sunday happened.

To the man who was told he was no longer in a family because he is gay…Sunday happened.

To the couple who will smile this week and dress in their sunday best, but live lives of quiet desperation and emotional divorce…Sunday happened.

To the man getting high right now…Sunday happened.

To the child moving to a new foster home…Sunday happened.

To the woman lying in a hospital bed after disease has changed her normal…Sunday happened.

To the single mom wondering how she is going to pay those medical bills…Sunday happened.

To the person who is so angry at God right now, who wants to scream at Him…Sunday happened.

To the person who thought about suicide tonight…Sunday happened.

 

We live in Friday…but Sunday happened. And unbelievably, that day isn’t the end of the story. Because of Sunday, we are invited to live in a relationship with Jesus. Not a religion, not a ritual, not a rulebook. An intimate relationship with Him. We are invited to follow Him, walk with Him, and He promises to change us. Why do I believe in Sunday when I live in Friday? Because He’s changed ME.

And so I live in Friday, and I remember that Sunday happened…and there is coming another day, a day when faith is made sight and I will see His face. All will be made right, and there will be no Friday.

How can I pray for you in your own Friday?

tomb3

 

Email me at brandy.followingbutterflies@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter @brandyb77

And everything in time and under heaven finally falls asleep, wrapped in blankets white all creation shivers underneath, and still I notice you when branches crack and in my breath on frosted glass, even now in death, You open doors for life to enter, You are winter…

A little over a month ago, I attended the Storyline conference in San Diego. After I returned, I was invited for coffee with my sweet friend, Kay Wyma. She and another friend and I spend some time discussing the conference and what my impression of it had been. Kay was so encouraging to me in talking about writing, and I left feeling encouraged, loved, spurred on, determined, and ready for whatever road the Lord has for me. I was excited about writing- and I’ll be honest, it’s been a little while since I have felt passionate about writing. She wrote me the kindest email after our coffee, with encouragement and offers of help. That was about five weeks ago.

Five weeks ago, I developed a kidney stone that took about two weeks to fully resolve.

Three weeks ago, I got food poisoning and spent the night and most of the next day throwing up.

Two weeks ago, I got strep throat and the flu.

One week ago, I was diagnosed with pneumonia.

 

Right after I came back from San Diego, I sat in my friend’s kitchen with my four closest girlfriends and tears came as I described to them how I had been feeling. I confessed to them that I was experiencing some level of “depression.” I put depression in quotes because I have experienced clinical depression before, and that is not what I was feeling- this was more of a low-level melancholy. (I specify this because I want to be sensitive to my friends who are experiencing true clinical depression- that is not something you can always pull yourself out of) I know myself and my tendency to be melancholy enough to know the small things to do to feel better- don’t isolate, make sure I am reading His word, get outside, exercise, make sure I am eating, get enough sleep, find a creative outlet, choose to be thankful. But I told them that part of my struggle was admitting that I AM feeling down, and not just pretending that I am okay. I wasn’t doing those little things because I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was feeling down. I’ve got a bit of Scarlett O’Hara in me that likes to say “I’ll think about that tomorrow”, and my inner Scarlett has been trying to push through.

But you can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge.

So here I am, telling you that I am struggling. I feel like I returned from this conference and was ready to fly, and then got systemically knocked down by germ laced arrows. With every fever and cough, I felt myself lose a little bit of hope too. Hope that I would ever feel better, hope that I would get back on track, hope that I wouldn’t wake up and feel sad. If you’ve ever experienced anything like depression, you know that one of the worst parts is how it lies to you, and can convince you that nothing will ever change.

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning”- Psalm 30:5

I know “this too shall pass.” I know joy will come. The problem has been that I am ignoring that there is weeping.

Would you pray for me?

Pray for this pneumonia to heal quickly and for energy and health to return.

Pray that I will rely on Him in the difficult and easy times.

Pray for my family as they too battle not feeling 100% and deal with mommy being in bed.

Pray that I will remember that He has something to teach me in the sadness, and that I won’t try to rush past it to avoid feeling bad.

Now for some positive and exciting news…I am praying about writing a book. I have been praying about it for a while, but the Storyline conference and my conversation with Kay helped propel me more in that direction. I have a few ideas, but would love to hear from you- if I wrote a book, what would YOU want to read about?

This is me NOT googling Peruvian brain rickets. Because that's not a thing. I checked.

This is me NOT googling Peruvian brain rickets. Because that’s not a thing. I checked.

Email me at brandy.followingbutterflies@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter @brandyb77

Let’s be Facebook friends!

I pin stuff.

%d bloggers like this: