Embrace Your Place

To be honest, God has been pressing my heart to write about this for awhile, but I pressed back for fear that I wasn’t ready to write about something I was still struggling with. Still, I am struggling, but onward I write because as much as I need this, you do too. Thank you for being so faithful with tuning into my journey- let’s press forward:

This month is my 8th month since God has revealed to me that I struggle with acceptance in my life, and it has been one of the hardest journey’s I’ve ever been taken on. There has been so many tears, screams, questions, frustrations, and convictions. The Lord has brought me to my knees again and again and continues to push this area over and over with full intention of bringing to completion what he has started in my heart- thank you Lord! A couple months, though, I realized that I had become discontent in several different areas of my life, and it began to breed a root of bitterness against God. Why am I still HERE and not THERE? Why THIS and not THAT? I inquired of God. I was so worried about being in another position or season, that I had lost the luster of the season that I was in. I became frustrated, aggravated, disappointed, and angry to the point where my heart began to harden. At this point, God simply couldn’t use me- I wasn’t allowing him to. I was mad because I wasn’t hearing from him, but I wasn’t actually paying attention either. I was too busy screaming at God about how to do his job that I couldn’t hear his reassuring whisper. God had me right where he wanted me all along, and he had knitted together every area of my life so intricately. As he is doing this for me, he’s doing this for you too. Planning every season, strengthening you, testing you, giving you opportunities to EMBRACE the PLACES he has put you to see his glory in full effect. It’s the process that makes us more like Him and shows the world more of Him.

So let’s look into three areas of life that I struggled with embracing my place in. I’m praying that through these words you would hear God’s reassuring whisper to you. That you would feel empowered and encouraged knowing that He is who he says he is, and He does what he says he will do!


My heart burned with anger as I sat on the bus on the way to the local church we were volunteering at for a mission trip. We were getting ready to do our huge youth night, and they were recruiting for certain aspects. I really wanted to be in a skit, but I wanted a good part. You know- the one that people get the spotlight for and everyone applauds them for after. The one that knocks people out of their seat and sends them falling towards the altar for salvation after how great you just performed. That’s the part I wanted, and that’s absolutely not the part I got. I got the backup part. The one that they didn’t have the original person for, so they stuck me in with hopes that I’d do it just as great as the prior. I’m pretty sure you could imagine how discouraged I was. Looking around I started to compare my parts to others, and even the amount of time I had on stage compared to everyone else’s. I felt so insignificant and so stupid until I turned my back around preparing for the first attempt at the whole skit, and God so vividly spoke the words over me, “embrace your place”. It was one of those whispers that knocks the senses back into your prideful and oh-so-emotional little heart. I took a deep breath and told myself, “you are going to be the best actress at this part that anyone has ever seen in their life, you got that Brooke?” And with that I stirred up all the energy I had left in my body and rocked that small, backup part that I got thrown into last minute. I did it with all my heart and strength, and at the end I didn’t really care who was proud of me- I knew that Jesus was.

Much like I did in this skit, I know that so many of us do this in our ministry. We begin to look at others who are in the spotlight, who have jobs on staff, who plan and organize, who speak and preach, and we think, “Man, God, why am I not right there? Why am I still HERE?” And your here can be anywhere. Your “here” may be being the one picking up the trash every service, printing up the order of services or announcements, doing lights, giving the band water, or leading a small group- the list is endless. The point is that you think you’re job is insignificant compared to the others. Or maybe you don’t think that. Maybe you know that you still play a big role, but you just don’t believe that doing your job every service is BIG ENOUGH, and you’re just wishing that God would place you somewhere bigger.

I bet King David felt the same way. In 1 Samuel 16-17, David is anointed as King and then given the opportunity to kill a giant called Goliath. Now, David wasn’t in any high position when he was anointed as king. For one, he was the youngest of his brothers, and usually the youngest was not anointed as the next king unless the other brothers physically couldn’t. Second, he was a shepherd of the sheep that his father owned, which was not the most glamorous job to have considering you walked in the heat all day with stinky sheep. What’s amazing, though, is that after he is anointed, he goes out to battle to talk to his brothers and a huge giant named Goliath comes up. No one has the courage to go against him, so David speaks up to fight. Everyone gets angry and discourages David because he is so young, but in verses 34-36 he says, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears and this uncircumcised Philistine shall belike one of them…” (ESV). To wrap up the story, David ends up killing Goliath with one stone, and everyone ends up going crazy.

I share that story in the Bible because you are David, the shepherd. Your are tending the sheep. Your work feels dirty, useless, and boring. It can be overwhelming and you can be overlooked more often than not. Your work in the field seems daunting and like you’ll literally be stuck there forever- but you won’t. Be encouraged that the place God has you in in ministry is preparing you for the next season he is taking you into. He is going to have you protecting sheep, killing lions, and running off bears in this season because he is preparing you to kill your Goliath. Embrace your place in ministry. If you are doing lights, be the best freaking lights person the world has ever seen. If you’re picking up trash, be the best and most diligent picker upper that the church has ever known. Do everything in excellence, even the little things, because then God can trust you with the bigger things that your heart desires. Know that your part of the body is just as important as the rest. The heart would have no job if it didn’t have a leg to send blood to, and the same in ministry. You matter, and your place matters. EMBRACE YOUR PLACE IN MINISTRY.


I was sitting at the desk at the hospital scrolling through my phone as I was volunteering. I volunteer to get some hours down on my resume for PA school in the future, but while I’m there I do a whole lot of nothing (usually just writing in paperwork when it comes). As I am scrolling, I come across a video of a girl. She looks about my age, has the same style, and she loves Jesus, the only thing difference is that she’s standing in front of a crowd of thousands preaching, and I am sitting in front of an old desk in a hospital watching her fulfill her dreams. Immediately, discouragement washed over me. For awhile I had been hearing from God about different visions he wanted to accomplish through me- a youth girls conference, a class to equip high school girls for success, a book one day to be written for youth girls- and here I am, scrolling through Instagram on my phone, feeling like I’m doing a whole lot of nothing while this girl is doing a whole lot of something. I texted my mentor immediately and described how discouraged I felt because I didn’t feel any closer to fulfilling this purpose I knew God had set out for me, and she responded with, “It’s good to remind yourself that dreams take time and even when you feel like all your doing is ‘not doing your dream’ you are actually putting in the time and consistency needed to make those dreams happen. To make opportunities for the dreams to happen. A big part of dreams is patience. So as long as you’re literally not being a couch potato, then you probably are right where you’re supposed to be. Waiting and doing the lowly work is just not as glamorous.”

So many of us have dreams and visions of things that God wants to do in and through us, but it seems so far away. You see all these other pastors and young leaders doing the dream you feel like God has called you to do and you feel like you’ve missed the mark. You’re still living with your parents, still going to school, just sitting in front of a desk like I was and you feel so powerless because you aren’t in the exact position that you feel like God is calling you into. Be patient. Where you are is going to benefit your dream more than you realize. It’s going to open up doors for your dream or give you skills for your dream that are a necessity. God is building you up to be the person he has called you to be for the vision he has placed on your heart. Jesus didn’t start his ministry until he was 30 years old, and he only did his ministry for 3 years. YES! God’s son had to have 30 years of training and learning before he was ready for the 3 years of intense discipleship and ministry ahead. In the same way, God is preparing you. It’s much like a cake that’s being prepared for baking. There are so many ingredients that are put into the mix, and if one is missing or one step is not done right, yourncake will be disgusting once it has been baked. Likewise, if you are given the opportunity to advance your dream, or vision, before your fully prepped and ready, then the outcome will be a failure. God loves you way too much to see that happen, so he is prepping you and preparing your perfectly for that moment. He’s in the waiting. He’s in the preparing. He’s in the process.

On the other hand, you may not even know what your future looks like. When I was in high school, I had the dreams of going to a private college on a full ride for nursing school, and did not end up getting the scholarship. I remember the fear that washed over me the moment I got that call from my mom. The fear of the unknown, the fear of what was to come, where I would be, and what my purpose was. I couldn’t see what was next or where God was taking me, but in order to get through I had to embrace the place God had me- the ministry he called me to, the girls he had me leading, the community I was in at the time- taking it day-by-day and walking in obedience to God’s word. If this is where you are, it’s okay to not know the will of God for your life. It’s okay to not know his plans. I don’t actually believe we’re supposed to know, because if we did we wouldn’t need to have faith and trust. He hems you in behind and before. He knows where you will go and what you will do, and the outcome will never be against you. I mean c’mon, we serve THE God who created the universe. His plans for us have got to be out of this world. EMBRACE YOUR PLACE IN YOUR PURPOSE.


Soap box moment: this battle with acceptance has ripped me to shreds. I have watched my friends win victory over many things around me. I have watched them fight battles, win them, and move on while I was the girl who was STILL battling with the same thing. I have probably cried to every friend asking them why I am STILL in this place, STILL battling this fight, STILL not where everyone else is when it comes to victory. A few nights ago, I was crying out to God about the same matter. I’m trying so hard Lord, why do I still feel like I’m treading the same battlegrounds of blood, sweat, and tears? In that moment, I felt such a huge peace over me- sometimes they are battles, and sometimes they are wars. Man. Sometimes what you’re struggling with is not just a battle, but a war. And as seen in history, wars usually have far greater gain than battles do. We learn about the wars of the world and are told to memorize them, because they have made the greatest impact on America and from the wars we’ve won, they give the greatest reward as well. Your war that you are fighting will reap reward that will change this world.

Now Like me, you may want the over-the-counter quick fix, or the over-the-night-wake-up-and-I’m-delivered victory, but there’s no character building or becoming like Jesus in that way. Much like when you’re trying to gain muscles, there is no pill you can take to make them grow or inflate. Muscles are formed when old tissue is torn apart, leaving room for new muscle cells to build on top. This means that you have to be dedicated and persistent to working out in order to see results, and it also means that you have to be pushed past your limit to grow. You can’t quit after a couple days, though. Six packs aren’t gained in a week (trust me on this one, I’ve tried and failed). You have to keep going and keep pushing, and always remember that the place you feel MOST stuck is the place where God wants to set you free from MOST.

If you don’t get told this enough: YOU ARE AWESOME! What you’re going through is normal. There are so many people around you who are probably going through the same thing. We have a God that sympathizes with what we go through and how we hurt (Hebrews 4:15). Your war is not stupid. You are not defeated, you are a fighter and you are a warrior. With Jesus, you HAVE overcome this fight. You are so dearly loved and you are so dearly cherished. You WILL get through this. You are MORE than a conqueror. That means you won’t just WIN the fight, but you will BENEFIT from the victory. Hold on to your hope. Take courage. If no one believes in you, I do and God does. EMBRACE YOUR PLACE IN YOUR BATTLES.

Practically, I’ve learned that the devil fights most in the mind. He schemes and he plans for just the right moment to attack your thoughts and bombard you with jealousy, bitterness, and rage. Put on your helmet of salvation, and make “small deaths” to your flesh daily. We may want to dwell in these thoughts because they seem fair and they seem like right to feel that way. Die to yourself. We may want to stay in our pity party because it seems comforting and we’ll get the most attention from people that way. Die to yourself. We may want to jump to a different season that God is NOT calling us to yet. Die to yourself. Die to yourself over and over and over again, remember God’s promises written in his word, and speak them over your life out loud for the devil to hear. Where you are is where God wants you to be. EMBRACE YOUR PLACE.

“You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand later.” John 13:7


Clock Out

I remember what it felt like the first time I forgot to clock out for work. I woke up the next morning with a notification on my phone reading: “Alert: you have not clocked out for your shift”. I traced back every step I took on the way out of work the prior evening in a matter of seconds, retracing and retracing. I could’ve swore I clocked out last night, did it not go through? I thought to myself. Guilt and shame washed over me endlessly as I laid in bed staring at my ceiling. My gut feeling was that I had tried, but it hadn’t gone through, so I texted my boss and made amends in my heart vowing to NEVER miss my time to clock out ever again.

Many of us make the mistake of not clocking out at work many times in our lives, but my fear is that, likewise,  many of us forget to clock out of working when it comes to the Lord. I’m coming from a place of STILL struggling with this, but God is so kind and generous to make it known to me so that I could share it with you guys as well.

Since I was born, every relationship I’ve ever known was conditional. If I made good grades, I was loved more out of excitement or gratitude. If I made bad decisions with guys, I was loved less out of disappointment or anger. The list goes on- from friends, to mentors, to family, to church people. There has been and there always will be this expectation for every person written on their heart: “If you do this for me and act this way THEN I will like/love you”. Because of this, as you have seen in past posts, I struggled and worked hard to be accepted by everyone. I searched their hearts, found out their secret code of expectation, and catered to it. When I got saved, it was as if that burden trickled into my relationship with God

Working for my salvation

One of the ways that burden followed me was through “working for my salvation”. I knew that I wasn’t good enough, and so I tried to be good enough for God in every way I could (I mean, I did it for the rest of the people in my life, wouldn’t it work for him too?). It was an endless race, much like a dog running in circles trying to catch his tail knowing he will never actually get it, but still I tried. This, my friends, is what I will label as religion. The rules, the standards, the fingers in the face, and the condemnation. I stretched myself as thin as I could, tirelessly volunteering, reading, serving- thinking the more good deeds that I did would get me in better standing with Jesus. In actuality guys, this just gets you burnt out and bitter. For me, it caused me to go into depression. I would spend weeks feeling like I didn’t matter to God because I wasn’t creating decor for my youth ministry or I wasn’t leading a small group. I was pinning my tasks over God’s promises.

In the book “Swipe Right” Levi Lusko put it this way, “We mistakenly think that getting into heaven is based on doing something, but it’s based on believing something- God’s promises.” Salvation is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), so that means that by God’s grace you are saved, through your TRUST in Jesus. Notice I didn’t say through your VOLUNTEERING for Jesus, through your READING for Jesus, through your HAVING SMALL GROUPS for Jesus, through your SPEAKING for Jesus- just your trust and surrender.

Now this is NOT a stand for complacency or a rebellion against serving. DO NOT BE LAZY. If God is calling you to have a small group, do it with all diligence and excellence. If God is calling you to do lights for services, do it with all diligence and excellence. If God is calling you to share a word with a friend or to your congregation, do it with all diligence and excellence. But do not let the devil let you believe that because you do those things, you have a one-way trip to heaven. In Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus says “Many will say to me on that day [the day of judgement], ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you…”

You are not saved by your good deeds, NOR are you unsaved by your bad deeds. “Salvation is a gift; you can’t lose through bad behavior, what you didn’t deserve in the first place” (Levi Lusko). If you slip, stop questioning your salvation. Get back up and begin again. Now if you’re slipping in the same area habitually with no regard to our Lord Jesus Christ who died for your hurts, habits, and hang ups… Then do a heart check- it could be that you were never saved in the first place. Accepting Jesus into your life is accepting change and hustling for progress.

When you said yes to Jesus, he said yes to you. There’s no if, ands, or buts. It was finished when God hung his son on the cross for you, and he’s already been resurrected so there’s no digging you have to do. Lay down your shovel, embrace God’s grace, and remember that your identity is NOT based on what you DO, but what God has DONE. It is finished.

Working for God’s love

Let me finish before I even begin- God loved you before you were even thought about by your parents, so you don’t have to DO anything in return for his love. His love is not a thermometer that reciprocates a reaction from an action. When your on fire for him, his love doesn’t shoot up, and when you aren’t feeling it anymore, his love doesn’t slowly fall.    Did you read today? his love didn’t go up. Watched porn again? his love did not go down.

Romans 5:18 “but God showed his loved for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Okay… Let’s look at this verse. He showed his love for us, that while WE WERE STILL SINNERS. STILL. SINNERS. Still broken, still crazy, still messed up, still disappointing others… He died for us. God never said “Hear yee, hear yee: all who are jacked up, get perfect so that I may THEN love you and die for you.” HE LOVES YOU RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE. When I realized that God’s love for me was the same before my mess up, during my mess up, and after my mess up, it radically changed my life. When you live in this truth, you don’t have to spend your life working to make up to God for the mistakes you’ve made- you can just move forward.

Many of us, though, will never see God’s love for what it really is. The moment we mess up we start decorating. We buy chips and dip, send out invitations, and hang up signs reading, “Welcome to my pity party”. Trust me, I get it. I’ve probably had many more than you. We isolate ourselves, condemn ourselves, and guilt trip ourselves for “losing” God’s love, but it’s not like you deserved it in the first place! Then that’s when the devil comes in… quiet and sneaky. Levi Lusko (yes, his quote again- “Swipe Right” is amazing) says, “He knows that if you are a believer, he can’t take you to hell; but if you let him, he WILL keep you from living for heaven.” You do not LOSE your salvation, and you do not LOSE God’s love.

On top of this, you are NOT branded by your failure or your pain. Your mess ups to not define you. Though others may shame you, God renames you! And it’s not a nickname (as my pastor once said).. It’s a NEW NAME. And the new name is CHILD OF GOD- powerful, redeemed, set free, restored, healed, lovely, wanted, cared for, chosen, forgiven, and LOVED.

Retracing back to the first paragraph, God’s presence and his love his not defined or reciprocated by your performance. He is NOT only with you on your good days, or MORE with you on your good days. He’s not somehow suddenly distant on your bad days, and just not there when you haven’t read a scripture for the day. And that is not because of anything YOU have done, it’s just because of who HE is. Imagine a stranger coming up to you and handing you a $100 bill (praise God!). They don’t know you, but their nature is just giving. You didn’t have to do anything for that, and you never will have to- they just wanted to give. God KNOWS everything about you and STILL he loves. It’s the nature of his being. Lisa TerKeurst, at a recent women’s conference said, “God’s love is not based on us, but PLACED on us.” So live loved.

It’s as if you God has bought you a car, paid in FULL, and there’s nothing you need to do. You are still trying to go out and work for it, though, and while working, you’re missing out on the experience of freely driving a car with no debt. SO DRIVE YOUR CAR. You are debt free. God has paid your ticket, your price, your debt, whatever you owed. He loves you so much. Stand up strong, look past your mistakes. They do not own you, they do not define you. CLOCK OUT, go home, and let God love you.


How beautiful art thou

In my last post, I shared about how us Christians should be more aware of how we treat the earth because of the God who created it, but today I wanted to share a new perspective when it comes to the earth and us humans:

I went on to a hiking trail to admire the beautiful things God has created apart from the vast amounts of cement and brick that surround me daily. What I saw was awe-inspiring. I took so many pictures and spent much of my time breathing in the air and touching every.little.thing.I.possibly.could. But God reminded me of one simple fact… He only spoke these things into existence.

So many times we look around us and fall in love with simple waterfalls or night stars and the beauty becomes overwhelming… These moments that we connect with nature can be life-changing and mind-boggling, but if God can speak these beautiful things into existence.. How much more intricate and beautiful are the things he used his hands to create?

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13‬ 

Humanity has become normalized, the way people look and act has become predictable, and standards have accustomed us to believe that our natural best still isn’t good enough.  Because of this we can live our whole lives defeated and confused because we feel as if our purpose and existence is void on earth…. but God shakes his head in disapproval of this way of thinking.

“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.”      ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:7‬ 

Can you imagine? God spoke our earth into motion for 6 days, rested for a day, and then took a step off of his thrown to bend down and dig his hands in the most defiled part of the world-dirt- in order to create us. Let me repeat it again just incase you missed it: God, as holy and clean as he is, 

  1. Had to rest before he made us (meaning he totally wanted to put his best breath into mankind that he possibly could)
  2. Hopped off of his thrown (THIS LET ALONE IS BEAUTIFUL, and isn’t the only time he takes a break from his thrown for us, just saying)
  3. Dug his clean and perfect hands into dirt (this should be an oxymoron)
  4. Took his own breath to make us come alive in his likeness..

I mean… Wow. Reading this makes me think of Psalms 8:3-6, “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority—”

God is crying out to you! “You do have purpose, you do have beauty, you do have authority… The way you see my creation is the WAY I SEE YOU!”

So dear friends, you can walk a little bit taller, run a little bit faster, and smile a little bigger today knowing that YOU are the most beautiful and intricate masterpiece known to this world. In all of your faults, in all of your weakness, in all of your flaws.. YOU were placed a little lower than God himself and have been crowned with glory and honor.

But if you still can’t grasp the idea behind your beauty.. The prophet of Isaiah has a couple words or two..

What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’ How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father, ‘Why was I born?’ or if it said to its mother, ‘Why did you make me this way?’”                                      ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭45:9-10‬ 

God.has.you.here.for.a.reason. And his promises are never in vain. Especially his promise that “his plans for you are good and prosperous” (Jeremiah 29:11) or his promise that you were “fearfully and wonderfully made”(Psalm 139:14).

How beautiful art thou….