God's in A good Mood about me
Yes, okay. Hi, I’m Bri.
My name is gonna change in like, nine days, I think. So, whatever, however many days next Saturday is, I’m getting married next Saturday.
So I grew up. Yeah, let me say that, sorry. So I grew up in a megachurch in Houston, accepted Jesus when I was 10 years old and knew at 10 that I wanted to be a youth pastor. I knew I wanted to be in ministry, and really grew up with that always in my mind. There were times from all, all in different stages of my life, where I had fallen into deep sin and–into deep sin patterns and habitual sin. However, in my heart and in my spirit, I always knew, like, but I’m going to do this, I’m going to serve the Lord. I was sinning because of a lack of identity and because of undealt with trauma, and so it was out of– I was sinning out of fear.
Around 17 years old, I get to Dallas, I’m going to school and at the school I was going to a Christian university, I was in a class where we were learning about having a Christian worldview. I remember being so convicted about what we were talking about, because I knew that I didn’t agree on a, on a foundational level. I asked my teacher and I said, “You know what, I think we should talk about having a Kingdom worldview instead of a Christian one, because I think the term ‘Christian,’ in this sense is specific to Western culture.” And my professor did not like that and really just shut me down. And in that moment, I remember having this like crippling anxiety just come over me. This thing that just really silenced my voice. And for the next like, year and a half, I really struggled with intense panic attacks. It was really bad social anxiety, which before that, I enjoyed being around people. I loved just getting to talk and meet new people and meet strangers. I would see what the Lord was doing. I would hear the Lord for others, but that, confidence, that joy in the confidence of knowing that I heard the Lord was taken, was stolen from me.
So I would go somewhere and I would be having this like spiritual, almost this like spiritual overload, feeling the Lord’s heart for people and then questioning, maybe I have it wrong. And so when I was 19, I was at a camp that I go to every summer. It’s where I accepted Jesus, and someone there who’d known me since I was 10 years old recognized that I was not myself. She asked me, you know, “What’s going on?” And I couldn’t really tell her and all I could tell her was, “I don’t want to be like this. I–this is hard.” And she said, “Well, I’m gonna pray for you.” And so we prayed and that day the Lord delivered me completely from anxiety from depression and from fear, just from fear of man.
I remember that same day, my dad was driving me to another camp that I was working at. We stopped at a gas station and I walked into this gas station. And I remember I looked at someone who was just standing next to me and I said, I just said, “Hi, what’s your name?” And he told me his name. And I was like, “You’re awesome.” And this guy was, he is getting, three things of like alcohol. And I was like, “That’s awesome. Are you having a party?” And he made a comment about drinking himself to sleep. And I was like, in that moment, “Can I pray for you? Because I think the Lord wants to give you rest without alcohol.” And he was like, “Sure. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to work at this point. ” I prayed for, I prayed for him. His name was Larry. I said, “Lord, I don’t know what to say or what to do. But I know that Psalms says that You encounter us in the night, and that You protect our rest. And so I pray that over Mr. Larry.” I just remember, something broke in that moment over him and over me. And he didn’t, he walked away getting water like he ended up putting all of his drinks back, because he had just encountered the Lord.
I went back to this camp that I was working at, and I was like a whole, I was like a new person. Because that moment propelled me into “Lord, tell me, just tell me who I am. Tell me who I am. And tell me how You feel about me.” Because up until that point, I had worked for right living. Before then, I was so sarcastic and rude and not kind with my words. And I knew I can’t do this on my own because the Lord had just set me free from this like, Okay, I’m going to really fix my mind. I’m like, not doing this anymore. Which, would just get me doing it more. And I remember going to the Lord and saying, “Lord, I don’t know how to fix this. I don’t know how to do this right, specifically talking to people and not being sarcastic.” That was just kind of a culture that I was familiar with. And I remember the Lord so tenderly, just saying, like,”Bri, I don’t want you to speak unless it’s true, or unless it’s uplifting.” He said, “If other than those two things, don’t worry about saying anything.”
I would be in conversations and I would start to talk and this deep conviction in fear of the Lord would come over me. Because I was like, that’s not, that’s not really uplifting. Or that’s not like, that’s not really true. My words were forming into these words that were kind and that were uplifting and that were true. After about two months, the Lord was like, “Now I’m going to give you compassion. I’m gonna give you compassion for people and it’s going to provoke you to want to share and to want to share from this place out of compassion for others.” Because before it was, ‘I want to show you what I know. I want to, I want to, I want to flex on you.’ And I remember the Lord just completely changing my language. And then I went somewhere where I was familiar with people, and they were familiar with me being sarcastic. And we were having a conversation and they were sarcastic to me, towards me and I started crying. And someone was like, “Bri, like, it’s not that big of a deal.” And I was like, “It’s just not kind.” And they were like, “What’s wrong with you?” And I was like, “Nothing. It ‘s just, it’s just not nice.” Like, I just kept saying that and it was the first time that I realized that I had this very visual, like representation of the Lord’s just changed me.
The Lord changed me. He changed how I’m speaking and I, and I’m not going back. And I could not, I couldn’t make sense of it and the people who knew me a certain way couldn’t make sense of it. Because I was just like, “Lord, why did He do this? Why did You do this for me? How did You do this?” I was, I had so many questions. He just said, “It’s because I love you.” And I, that shook me. In an instant, this idea of, ‘it’s because I want you to be like this, or it’s because this is what I have for you. Or it’s because this is what I’ve called you to.’ Gone. It’s just, it’s because I love you. And I really started to come into this reality of, daughterhood, of what it meant to be a daughter or what it means to be a son, and this, this revelation would come in like waves. And I want to be so clear, it would come in waves of the true process of sanctification.
I work with kids and so I, when I’m teaching kids about sanctification, I normally say it like this. “When a caterpillar is a caterpillar, it’s also a butterfly. But it has to become a butterfly. It goes in its cocoon and there is nothing that a caterpillar is going to do in its cocoon that’s going to make it not be a butterfly, right? Like we can all agree on that.” I am the righteousness of God in Christ. I’m in a cocoon on this earth and there is nothing that I can do or think or say, that’s going to make me not be the righteousness of God in Christ. Period. So that, that process of sanctification for me is becoming who I was always created to be, and who I was always created to be, is like Jesus. And so I am birthed out of the revelation of the second Adam, not the first one. And the entire existence of my being, is solely on gaining back what the first Adam lost in the revelation of the second one, and it’s so freeing in that moment. And so I wanted to say that because this process of becoming, of becoming aware of who I was, was the Lord delivering me of my old self. It didn’t come through like one single teaching, or one single book. It came in its natural process of me just becoming who I was already made to be. I wasn’t made, you weren’t made, to like fixate on fixing you.
Something I say often is, I’m not pastoring my old man, I’m discipling my new one. My old man does not need to, like be pastored or like comforted or let me tell you the right way. Like it–that’s dead. My new man is being discipled in relationship with healthy community and the Spirit of the Living God. Every day, I’m in discipleship with the Lord, because that’s family and that that’s my starting place. God is proud of me and He is in a good mood about me. His mercies are new for me and He is thrilled to pour out His goodness and His kindness. If my starting place is there, and then all I long for is to please the Lord, that’s my soul’s desire, then my spirit is confident to know all I can do is please the Lord. Then the fruit of that reality is righteous living. It’s holy living, it’s purified living. Only Jesus can do that.
It blesses the Lord when, as sons and daughters, we sit in our place, we sit in our heavenly place, and we encounter and engage the earth through that lens. Because He is so happy to partner with us and to, and to do what only God can do. And it takes the pressure off of us to try to craft the perfect anything because it’s, it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist on this side. When there is a resolve of: these things about my Father are not changing. They’re not changing His goodness, not changing His Word, not changing His presence being with me, not changing Him being closer than the air that I breathe, not changing He’s in a good mood about me. He desires to share with me where I’m at just as much as I do him. And it brings freedom. It brings life and it brings the fruit of the Spirit.