How the HECK did I get here? Growing up in a very small rural town where everyone knows everyone’s “people”, gets married early, has children, and never moves away, you couldn’t have paid me enough money to predict my current life. Instead of hanging on to familiarity, I am now living in Charlotte, NC. There are millions of faces that I do not know and don’t know who their “people” are. I am 25 years old and single. My roommates and I don’t even have time for a dog (even though there have been many occasions where we have had to stop ourselves from going to the animal shelter just to “look”…yeah right). Again, how the HECK did I get here?
Since graduating college in 2009 from UNC-Chapel Hill (GO HEELS!), I have been on a serious mission to find my identity. Over my 25 years, I have placed it in various things such as academic success, musical talent, being a girlfriend, being thin enough, being an excellent teacher. I was convinced these things would bring me the life I wanted and thought I deserved. I would find happiness in a life that other people continued to search for. And then I would play it off to others like it was something that just fell into my hands. In reality, there was an incredible dark side to my efforts. I was selfish in my desires and wanted people to look at me a certain way. I sought to control every situation I was in, believing that I had the better way and knew what was best for myself. It was Brooke’s world and everyone else was just living in it. As you may have already guessed, it eventually blew up in my face.
Over the last 2 ½ years, the Lord has aggressively convicted my heart and forced me to tear down my protective walls that I built with my own two hands. I was stripped of the things that I thought defined me, which meant a wild goose chase began. Who am I? How do people view me? What is my passion in life? Where do I look for my sustenance? The experience has been extremely humbling, to say the least. However, in this waiting period, I have found life. True life. A life that brings me pure joy, even when I am hurting. A life that is centered around Christ and His desire to love and protect His children. In your mid-20’s, it is obnoxiously easy to go with the flow and feel like you don’t have an impact or influence on your environment around you. What real change can you make? Can’t I just wait until my 30’s? That is when everyone gets their life together and starts settling down, right? This way of living no longer suited me and caused restlessness in my soul. I know that the Lord has given me the desire and gift of nurturing little ones and being that representation of His love and compassion. I want His children to feel that unconditional love from adults and have a safe place to run to. Isn’t that what we desire and find in Christ? I do and have!
In John 10:1-5, we see a portrayal of Jesus as the Shepherd who provides guidance and direction for the lost. He steps up to lead those who are seeking. I now ask myself, “Am I going to step up and make the first move, just like Christ did? Am I going to place my identity in Him and Him alone, allowing him to merely work through me?” Understanding that this life and this trip is not about myself and my capabilities takes so much pressure off. All I have to do is be willing to relinquish control of all I thought was best and be His vessel. I cannot WAIT to see what He has planned for this trip and for His children in Burundi!
So again, how the heck did I get here? Christ. And I am so joyful I am here.