Hi. I'm Brittany.

I'm a brand designer & a writer saved by grace, sharing joy in the simplest ways.

From Victim to Victor

From Victim to Victor

Half of me expects that I should be done writing about this by now.

The other half of me knows I likely will never stop. When you go through a life-changing season, it shapes you, forever leaving it's mark on the person you will become. For me, this life-changing season were Chris and I's clerkship years. 

It shouldn't have been hard. We knew what we were getting into – moving away from Dallas to spend a year in Austin and a year in Mississippi. Great opportunities for Chris. Online seminary for me. Then plans to move "home" to Fort Worth, where Chris would begin working at a law firm and we'd raise a family. Almost none of this happened. I say it with a smile now... I know God looked at our "plans" and laughed. We were certain He wrote these plans for us. And He did. But the end result was much different than expected. I quit seminary after one year. Chris didn't take the job in Fort Worth and instead we went back to Dallas. With a baby. 

I look back through my old blog posts and that girl was so sure of herself. So confident in who she believed God to be. She wasn't wrong. But she was a little narrow-minded when it came to how God would provide her joy and strength through any trials that may come her way. 

She had faced severe depression and suicidal tendencies before. The error was thinking that she would never face them again... not now that she was so close with Jesus. She naively assumed that for following God wherever He lead, He would give her joy and protection from depression in return. 

It is true that He could. But it is also true that she would grow weary and stumble, that the Satan would tempt her... much like the Israelites, who had literally stepped into a miracle through the parted sea and came out grumbling on the other side about the desert and the menu choices. 

This is the reality we should expect when we follow Jesus. I thought I was prepared to do battle with Satan. But instead of expecting a fist fight, I should've expected Satan's specialty moves... sweet whispers in my ear, coaxing me to slow down, offering me water and bread and rest. He did it to Jesus. He'll do it to you. 

It was one year ago that I faced suicide. I'm not entirely sure how Jesus rescued me that day. But I do know that left to my own, I would have gone through with it. 

I laid on our bedroom floor, pretending to nap while Chris did his best to console a crying three-month-old Grace, making plans to simply "take too many" pills. I was numb, and yet entirely in pain. I couldn't imagine living the rest of my life as broken as it was. As I glared into the gaping hole of death, Jesus stepped in and said, "I have already stood here in Brittany's place. Death has no victory over her. She is mine." 

Like He had countless times before, Jesus took my hand and told me to get up and walk. I didn't entirely trust Him. In fact, I was livid with Him... He authored my circumstances. He knew where this would take me. But on that day a year ago, he began the long walk through the fire with me, reminding me that what was on the other side was a refined life, more precious than gold. 

As I mentioned previously, my struggle with depression and suicide is not new. I laugh. My "struggle." How common that word has become today; so common, that it's comfortable. #Struggle. It's true that I will struggle with severe depression and suicidal tendencies my entire life, but it is also true that Jesus will have enduring victory. Instead of patting my struggle on the head, making excuses for it, and dragging it on a leash behind me (somewhat lovingly, really) as my pet, the reality is that God commands us to call in the big guns and prayerfully ask for God to kill it. It is not there for me to find an identity in, but is instead a niche category of sin in this world that God is reminding me, time and time again, that He, and only He, has the power to kill. 

To summarize, let me point you to some wise words...

O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Turn you eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

True. But maybe you're also like me and you need a practical format for "turning your eyes upon Jesus." Here it is: gratitude.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18). And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17). Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2). How many times does the Psalmist cry out to God to rescue, and also begin and/or end their prayer with thanksgiving? Many, many, many times. 

It is true that on the road of following Christ, you will see the most beauty and also endure the most pain. It will not be comfortable. There are turns in the road, some staggeringly sharp, that point you in an entirely different direction than expected. Sometimes, once the trees finally part and the view finally opens up in front of you, you realize that all that time in the woods took you somewhere you'd never expected to be. And yet, the Christian life is one that is rooted in knowing that the path is victoriously God-breathed. He has laid out the road before us, and even with it's surprises, it's peaks and it's great valleys, He is over it all and He has won. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good." 

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are
And turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

*Header image by Cristina Colli via Designlovefest

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