my response to “We All Have Sexual Baggage”

Yesterday, Relevant Magazine contributor Natalie Floyd shared an article called “We All Have Sexual Baggage.” The article addresses an idea that many young Christians have grown up being taught: that having pre-marital sex leaves you as a permanently damaged commodity less worthy and capable of a happy marriage. Although I do agree that pre-marital sex is detrimental to our relationship with Christ and our livelihood, I don’t believe that that abstaining or engaging will either leave us as either perfectly pure and whole OR destroyed and desolate. Sex is bad for us if done at the wrong time, but so are so many other things. Many sins that we commit are as simple as doing the right thing at the wrong time.

In the article, Floyd said many great things, but one in particular that I believe is so important. She states, “The truth is, we’ve all got something in our hearts that probably needs to be addressed. We all have an issue, a hang up or an expectation that could stifle our personal growth or prevent us from entering into a relationship like marriage as a healthy and whole person.” I love this quote because she is correct. She goes on to share that there are many physical virgins who haven’t had intercourse but who have other sexual issues that can be real problems in marriage. Some people may not have as many sexual issues but possess many other issues that can prevent us from enjoying and growing in marriage the way that God desires. I believe that there must be more attention on these issues so that future heartache is avoided. After all, I’m sure that Christian marriages fall apart over more than sexual baggage. There are personality conflicts, money issues, a lack of respect or love shown, infidelity and so many more issues that should be addressed on the heart level. 

More than anything, I am thankful that Floyd’s article shared the fact that there is grace for times when we fall. There are so many people who live in the prison of their own guilt. They hold on to their sins, refusing to hand them over to a sovereign who paid the price for them over 2000 years ago. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  The world and long-time Christians alike need to understand that there is love, grace, forgiveness and hope for those who feel burdened down by their own life’s baggage. Jesus is the one who lightens our load, removes our burdens and sets us on the path to “go and sin no more.” So if you find yourself in that place, please remember that you are never too broken or too damaged simply because God restores. He is well qualified in redemption, restoration and doing a new thing. 🙂 

If you get a moment, please check out Floyd’s article and share your thoughts on it in the Comments section below.

life after God takes away

I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. – Isaiah 41:18 KJV

Two years and one week ago, I wrote a blog post called, “When God Takes Away.” When I wrote this, I was coming out of a dark season in my life following a difficult breakup. When referring to the breakup in previous blog posts, I shared that I was deeply hurt, but I never conveyed how hurt. Continue reading “life after God takes away”

A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
– Langston Hughes

Hello friends,

I hope that you are well. As you can see, it has been ages since I last wrote a blog post or even updated things on here. Much of what God has shown me in the lately wasn’t meant for me to share with the others, but some recent events have given me the desire to come back to the blog and share what God has done.

In the past few months, most of my conversations with God have centered on the question that the legendary poet Langston Hughes asks in the above piece: what happens to a dream deferred? I’ve asked God, “what am I supposed to do with my dreams while they are on hold?” Many people may wonder why I would be so bold as to ask that, but my dreams intersect with the passion and gifts that He gave to me. Dreams that include inspiring children through teaching, showing kindness through my daily interaction with them and building them up to know that they are important and valuable. With so many children born into complicated situations, nothing brings me more joy than letting a child know that they are special, helping them to steer away from bad choices and seeing their self-confidence and thus, their life improve as a result. This is the work that doesn’t really feel like work because it brings me joy.

 For months, I’ve been frustrated with my lack of influence at my last job. It’s not that it was a terrible place to work, but I am called to create change and in the position that I was in, that wasn’t an easy task. After many prayers, conversations with my sisters in Christ and close friends, I decided to truly focus on being thankful for where I was instead of focusing on where I was not. I realized that in due time, God would make my dreams come true. He would place me where I could really impact things.

To make an incredibly long story short, God used a family member of a family friend to link me to a school here in Philadelphia. A few weeks after giving the school my information, they asked me to come in to do a demonstration teaching lesson for them and the rest is history. On Monday, I started a long-term substitute job that looks very promising for school next year. The staff is incredible, the school is beautiful, it is in the inner-city and it outperforms most schools in the area and the students are very bright. Also, I’m able to teach many of my own core values because they are already built into the curriculum. I can discuss the importance of qualities like integrity, virtue, respectfulness and perseverance right alongside reading, math, and all the other subjects. My first week was extremely challenging, but also very fulfilling. I’m teaching an all-boys class of 3rd graders who have already gotten used to how their old teacher expected them to act, so it is without a doubt the most difficult task I have ever had. This week, I laughed and I cried (not in front of them) but I know that as time progresses, there will be more laughter than tears. I already love my students deeply, and I can’t believe that I only get to spend two months with them before summer.

If you are reading this, I want you to know that with God, nothing is impossible. He has not only made my dream come true but He prepared me before making it happen. I wanted to move away from Georgia and when I tried to do it on my own terms, it failed. So, I prayed and when God opened a door for me to move to Pennsylvania although the circumstances were very odd, I prayed and moved. I worked at a job that I didn’t love for months because I knew that in the right time, God would open the right door. I made so many friends and good relationships at the job, and left on good terms with well-wishes because I consistently worked with excellence. And when God was ready, He opened the next door and I immediately knew it was Him. Know that He has not forgotten you. He is a promise keeper.

So you may ask, what happens to a dream deferred? With God, a dream deferred doesn’t die, it doesn’t explode, it doesn’t hang, it doesn’t dry out or sag. Instead, it is protected and cultivated until the proper time for it to be fulfilled comes.

Some of my thoughts on dreams a few weeks before being asked to come interview for my current job.

Keep dreaming, keep trusting and keep believing God. Be blessed, have a wonderful day and please keep me in your prayers.

Sincerely,

Brittany

God Moves In A Mysterious Way

In my current phase of life, certain hymns have become a mainstay in my music library. This hymn, God Moves In A Mysterious Way, has helped me to be able to accept the things that God is doing and allowing even when they made absolutely no sense to me. When speaking to my wonderful adopted big sis Dee earlier this week, we talked about much higher God’s ways and thoughts are than ours. His thinking is on a level that we can’t even imagine. This song is a beautiful reminder to me that what I see right now isn’t the end and that God truly moves in a mysterious way. The hymn was written by William Cowper in 1774. Here is a short passage about his life from CyberHymnal.org.

Cow­per oft­en strug­gled with de­press­ion and doubt. One night he de­cid­ed to com­mit su­i­cide by drown­ing him­self. He called a cab and told the driv­er to take him to the Thames Riv­er. How­ev­er, thick fog came down and pre­vent­ed them from find­ing the riv­er (ano­ther ver­sion of the story has the driv­er get­ting lost de­liber­ate­ly). After driv­ing around lost for a while, the cab­by fin­al­ly stopped and let Cow­per out. To Cowper’s sur­prise, he found him­self on his own door­step: God had sent the fog to keep him from kill­ing him­self. Even in our black­est mo­ments, God watch­es over us.

And the song he so beautifully penned…

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” – John 13:7 ESV