with a story filled heart and not enough right or holy words to do this justice.
I feel vulnerable.
It's going to sound dramatic, but for as long as I can remember I have struggled with feeling
like a burden. A demon must have whispered deeply into my ear because I somehow drank it all in;
that devil's milk. I've spent most of my life trying to be better, the best - holding my own -
please don't even notice I am here.
Don't be a burden.
I was twenty-five years old. We had gone to my grandparent's house for a weekend stay, and the
entire time I was scheming up ways to make our presence barely noticeable. I'll never forget.
We were standing in her dining room when my grandma grabbed my shoulders and
looked deep, soul healing level, into my eyes,
"You are not a burden. I want to take care of you."
Words are powerful.
Chains fell that day.
Like most people, I'd say my life is pretty evenly full of all the good things and all the
disappointments. I was and am loved deeply by family. I've celebrated and traveled. Accomplished
dreams. Done hard things. I've felt the blows and seen the damage as loved ones battle sickness,
addiction, betrayal. I've had my heart broken. I've lost friends. I've had my childhood home and
life slip between my fingers. All out of my control. All ultimately in HIS.
I thought I was fine, just fine, going through all the motions of college, ministry, marriage -
even a couple babies - before I began collapsing, shutting down -- diagnosed autoimmune --
flesh attacking flesh. Almost as if I wanted it to happen? To feel something, to control something,
to make myself the victim so that no one, nothing could hurt me again.
That's hard to admit. It's hard to say that I withheld forgiveness and mercy.
That I decided to "be my own god" and run from true healing.
Like a child holding tightly to a skinned knee, I refused the Band-Aid.
And all along God was patiently waiting for me, writing a story of redemption for me.
I couldn't see the significance of each encounter at the time. But He was placing people in my path --
a patient husband, Franciscan sister, a healer, a counselor, new friends, a chiropractor, doctors....
But I clung to the bitterness.
Withholding grace somehow made me feel powerful.
When in reality, it was literally weakening my very flesh.
One night on Twitter, I saw a comment from another blogger and recognized that she was living in
the EXACT SAME TOWN that my parents had recently moved to when everything fell apart.
The town I just didn't ever want to visit or pardon.
But the next time I went to Iowa, I decided to meet up with this girl and make a new friend
in spite of circumstances. (thankfully she really was a friendly Twitter girl! ha!)
I left that afternoon in the park with Nicole Neesby having NO IDEA
that such CHANGE was going to come into my life through that town I hated,
through the chance meeting of a girl I saw on social media.
We were both pregnant with our babies at the time, but the birth of mine would leave me in the darkest
place I've ever been in my entire life. Postpartum depression is real.
This girl reached out and asked me if I would try essential oils...
And I told her "NO!" And "NO!" again... "I can't. I have so many allergies and
sensitivities! I don't need one more thing!"
She sent me an article on allergies, autoimmune disorders, cell damage --- and the need to
repair our bodies from emotional trauma at the leukocyte level. I cried all over that email.
THIS IS MY STORY.
I took that article to my counselor and told him, "I am cutting myself.
I am slashing at my heart, my mind, body -- every day -- because I refuse to let it all go."
I'll never forget the look on his face. He smiled and nodded, "This is big."
I was being ushered into a place I never thought I would find again.
Suddenly all the people, all the moments and conversations were colliding -- everything rising,
everything converging, and I'm just in tears, "Why does God love me so much?"
I wept. I prayed. I chose forgiveness and GRACE.
Nicole then mailed me a roller bottle of JOY essential oil with a note to use over my heart,
and EndoFlex to support my hormonal system as it readjusted in this new chapter of my life!!!
It changed me.
My dear immune specialist sat me down one afternoon and told me,
"Brittany! You've received SO MUCH GOOD!
You must find a way to give back."
I say it often, but I don't think people really understand how sincerely I believe God was and is
fiercely coming after me, after you. And how He uses so many people and avenues, even a Twitter girl
and a company called Young Living to wreck my life in order to make it new again.
"You are NOT a burden. I WANT to take care of you."
Over and over again. The message has always been clear. He thought of me in His creation and knew the
people I would meet and the work of His fields I would one day be gifted. He gave me the doctors and the
therapist and the friends and blogging community...
And so I GIVE BACK through Young Living; in the gift of supporting, leading and cheering on
a community of people, families -- who want to experience radical, awesome change on all the levels!!!
I can't even begin to tell you about the deep gladness it brings to my heart.
He is in the details. He is in the disappointments and tragedies, the sickness and broken heart.
He is in the change - the JOY - the celebrations. Heck, He is even in Twitter!
And it's all just some big excuse to prepare my heart for the day I meet Him face to face --
to put me through that refiner's fire as He begs me to hand Him those vices I cling to, to let Him
have that skinned knee
so that He can save me...
so that He can save you...
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I'll be there to meet you!!! XO.