Archives for haleybrimmer

Have Mercy on Me

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” (Matthew 26:15)

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for popularity and acceptance, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for comfort and ease, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for my own desires over yours, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for time to idly waste, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for not rocking the boat and looking the other way when wrong was done, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for saying what I thought even when my words cut other’s hearts, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for a hard heart when I refused to forgive, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for doing nothing in times when love was demanded, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for the convenience of using people, have mercy on me.

For the times I handed You over, Lord, for so much less than thirty pieces of silver, have mercy on me.

-Christy Isinger, Blessed Is She devotional

When this devotional came through to my email yesterday morning, I sat there for a little bit just rereading all of these statements. At first, I didn’t want to admit I could think of a scenario in which each of these played out in my own life, some of them even being recent circumstances. It was almost painful to think of the ways in which I so willingly put my own selfish desires or wants above Christ. Despite it being challenging to reflect on all of this, it was convicting.

We are all sinners, and these statements above reflect just that. The world tells us, in more ways than one, we should put ourselves first, and our own interests should be top priority above all else. This was depicted in the scripture above where Judas, Jesus’ betrayer, was talking with the chief priests before he handed Jesus over. Judas wanted to know what good could come out of this opportunity for himself, without even considering the magnitude of his decision.

How often do we find ourselves putting our own desires, wants, interests above all else? What do we do about it when we find ourselves in this situation? Are we allowing God to enter into these moments to help guide us back to Him?

I’m not going to lie. This wasn’t easy to talk about or reflect on because I consider myself more of an optimist. With the joy of Easter coming this weekend, I wanted to focus on something that felt a little more uplifting. And then I saw this reminder from Christy Isinger, who wrote the devotional above:

“As we journey through this most Holy Week of the year, let’s do the difficult work of looking at ourselves and what our sin contributes to Christ’s suffering. We are part of the story, we are part of His pain just as we are part of His Resurrection.”

Heavenly Father, thank you that we are a part of the story. We admire you for showing us the truth that we are a part of His pain, but we are also a part of His Resurrection. We await in great and joyful anticipation for Easter Sunday, and we praise You for the hope You have given to us by sending us Your Son, and raising Him up to new life. In your name, we pray.

Haley Brimmer, Director of Client Advocacy

Haley Brimmer

Director of Client Advocacy

Learning To Be Vulnerable

“Every time we are introduced to someone new, try to be creative or start a difficult conversation, we take a risk. We feel uncertain and exposed. We feel vulnerable. Most of us try to fight those feelings – we strive to appear perfect…when we shut ourselves off from revealing our true selves we grow distanced from the things that bring purpose and meaning to our lives”. –Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead, Brene Brown

I don’t know about you, but I’m a HUGE chicken when it comes to taking risks. I’m that person who would rather cheer on my friends from the ground as they ride rollercoasters. Or the person who would rather be in the passenger’s seat rather than in the driver’s seat on a road trip to Chicago. Or even the person who would rather sit back and wait for that cute boy to approach me for conversation rather than be bold enough to go up to him and start talking (or even just email first). Risk-taking isn’t really in my vocabulary all that often – or hardly at all.

Some loved ones in my life have challenged me recently to take more risks. I can’t say it feels all that comfortable to consider, but it sure has had me thinking! What is it that makes me feel so uncomfortable about risk-taking? What are those things holding me back from taking a risk? What do I need to work on in my own heart and mind to overcome the fear in taking even the slightest risk? Well, in the simplest terms, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be more vulnerable.

Brene Brown was so on point in that quote I shared about how we fight those feelings that come with vulnerability and strive to appear perfect. I felt convicted as I read that we grow distant from the things that bring purpose and meaning to our lives when we shut ourselves off from revealing our true selves. I’m not sure what that looks like or means to you, but I know when I fail to be vulnerable, I am going against who God has created me to be and the roles He has planned for my life.

Sometimes I just want to be the person who just gets to sit back and take it all in without having to take the slightest risk. But God has much bigger plans for you and for me, and they require allowing ourselves to be seen and heard. Ultimately we need to be vulnerable because He has created us with a purpose and for a purpose. He has created us in His image, and therefore He is the One who is working through us to be seen and heard. With that in mind, how could I not want to be more vulnerable so that others might know Him more?

Heavenly Father, I pray for all of us taking in this message right now. I pray we learn how to fully trust in You when it comes to being vulnerable. I ask that You give us courage in those moments when fear or anxiety take over our minds or hearts, and that You remind us of the abundant blessings which come from being more vulnerable. Help us to take even the smallest step towards being more vulnerable so You are able to shine even more visibly and even brighter than ever before. In your name we pray. Amen.

Haley Brimmer, Director of Client Advocacy

Haley Brimmer

Director of Client Advocacy

Who do you trust?

Think of someone in your life who you trust…like, really trust. Is there someone who makes you feel completely safe and secure? Could you call them in the middle of the night and they would be right there to listen? I imagine this someone is approachable, warm and sincere. Are they a person who keeps promises and never falters? This is how Christ desires us to view our relationship with Him, as well.

He wants us to know without a shadow of doubt He is someone we can trust fully, with our whole hearts, minds, and souls, even when it may be hard, it might hurt, or we feel uncertain. In fact, those same moments are when He can reveal Himself even more fully to us than He ever has before, if we are willing to allow Him in. He is able to do far more than we can ever imagine for ourselves, but we have to be willing to trust Him and to believe He is who He says He is. We must enter into a reciprocal relationship with Him. Even if you feel you aren’t quite there yet, feel like you are too far gone, or maybe you are so close to allowing Him in, this Advent season may be a great time to reflect and consider the wondrous possibilities of trusting Him. Trusting Him in the very same ways you trust “your person.”

I want to share with you all something called Litany of Trust. I pray it speaks to each of you in very profound ways, no matter where you are on your journey. I pray some of these lines may be ones that spark your desire to fully trust what Christ has in store for you. I pray you soak in all that these words have to offer in our requests to Him. Trust and time go hand in hand, so allow God to meet you exactly where you are today.

Litany of Trust
-written by Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, Sister of Life

From the belief that
I have to earn Your love

Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear that I am unlovable
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the false security
that I have what it takes

Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear that trusting You
will leave me more destitute

Deliver me, Jesus.
From all suspicion of
Your words and promises

Deliver me, Jesus.
From the rebellion against
childlike dependency on You

Deliver me, Jesus.
From refusals and reluctances
in accepting Your will

Deliver me, Jesus.
From anxiety about the future
Deliver me, Jesus.
From resentment or excessive
preoccupation with the past

Deliver me, Jesus.
From restless self-seeking
in the present moment

Deliver me, Jesus.
From disbelief in Your love
and presence

Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being asked
to give more than I have

Deliver me, Jesus.
From the belief that my life
has no meaning or worth

Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of what love demands
Deliver me, Jesus.
From discouragement
Deliver me, Jesus.
That You are continually holding me
sustaining me, loving me

Jesus, I trust in you.
That Your love goes deeper than my
sins and failings, and transforms me

Jesus, I trust in you.
That not knowing what tomorrow
brings is an invitation to lean on You

Jesus, I trust in you.
That you are with me in my suffering
Jesus, I trust in you.
That my suffering, united to Your own,
will bear fruit in this life and the next

Jesus, I trust in you.
That You will not leave me orphan,
that You are present in Your Church

Jesus, I trust in you.
That Your plan is better
than anything else

Jesus, I trust in you.
That You always hear me and in
Your goodness always respond to me

Jesus, I trust in you.
That You give me the grace to accept
forgiveness and to forgive others

Jesus, I trust in you.
That You give me all the strength
I need for what is asked

Jesus, I trust in you.
That my life is a gift
Jesus, I trust in you.
That You will teach me to trust You
Jesus, I trust in you.
That You are my Lord and my God
Jesus, I trust in you.
That I am Your beloved one
Jesus, I trust in you.

In Her Shoes

As we are rapidly approaching Bridgehaven’s In Her Shoes 5k Run/Walk, on Saturday, September 30th, I am reflecting on the whole idea behind the title of this walk. Our clients’ faces, stories, and circumstances come to my mind, and I am incredibly humbled by what it means to really walk in her shoes.

When I think about the start of the route we will be traveling on, I can see in my mind on our clients who so bravely walk through our doors every day to start the beginning of their journey. Sometimes, this looks and seems paralyzing. There is no way to even think about taking another step because of the deep-seated fear and anxiety that pulses through someone’s body with even the thought of a potential pregnancy. Sometimes, it feels exciting and joyful to walk through those doors to hear the news of a long-awaited dream and desire that has been placed on their hearts coming true. Sometimes, it feels like this was the farthest thing from their mind, but here they are, at this place, at the start of their journey, and they are seeking someone to come alongside them to help empower and give them hope.
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When I Stopped Trying To

Over the past month, I have had about five different people, in varying conversations and circumstances, share with me very similar messages. These messages all started out and sounded a little bit like this, “When I stopped trying to…”

When the first person shared this message, I was drawn even deeper into the conversation because this concept was very interesting to me. When the second and third person started to share this same message with me, I was like, “Okay, maybe I should start listening even more intently and become aware of the ways in which I need to work on this more in my life.” But then when the fourth and fifth people had spoken about this same concept, I was like, “Alright, God. Show and guide me to those deep places in my heart and soul. I need to work on these things even when it might be really tough and yucky to examine under a microscope.”
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About a week ago, I was in line for a coffee at the grocery store. After I ordered and was getting ready to pay for my drink, there was a woman who had just ordered her drink before me and was still standing in line. She had some extra change in her hand from buying her own coffee, and then she looked at me and said to the barista, “Here, put this change towards her drink”. That started the beginning of my permanent smile for a good half hour afterwards. I thanked her so much for her incredible generosity. As we stood there talking for a few more minutes waiting for our drinks, she shared with me the reason she loves being able to do that for people. When she and her family were going through a significant loss in her family and it was the day of the funeral, there was someone who paid for all of her family’s coffee drinks when she was waiting in line. She was so moved by that experience, she now pays for others drinks when she is able, in honor of that person, and the family member she lost.

After we departed, I just kept thanking and praising God for the way He connects people, the generous spirit He has filled inside of that woman, and how He allowed both of us to be able to share in one another’s stories. I also thanked Him for the way He always provides, even in ways we least expect it sometimes.
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Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. –James 1: 2-4

Have you, or someone you love, been experiencing sadness, disappointment, anger, frustration, fear, loss, or heartache, recently? For me, I can clearly point out to you the areas of my life that these have been evident for me lately, and unfortunately, some of those I love, have been going through every single one of these trials listed, as well. Broken relationships, loss of a loved one, fear of what steps to take next, or the heartbreaking news that just feels too much to bear. These are real trials. They come with real emotion. And they require real effort to keep inching forward.
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Suffering into Hope

A little over a month ago, I was one of the five facilitation team members on our Rachel’s Vineyard retreat who was blessed to be able to witness how God can transform our deep suffering and pain into hope. Throughout three short days, we had four men and women who entered into the retreat opportunity full of heartache, shame, pain, and suffering they had been carrying around for many years from their past abortion experiences. During the weekend, they invested themselves fully in relying on Christ to guide them through each step of the intentional and purposeful healing process based on scripture. God has promised, “I will never leave you or forsake you…” (Heb. 3:15) — He will never allow us to go through our pain alone.

On the third day of the retreat, there is a very special time and moment that happens for the retreat participants through the honoring of the children they lost through abortion. It is a time and space in which the light comes back into their lives, the darkness is banished away, and the hope they never thought possible to get back, is instilled into their hearts again.
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Let the Healing Begin

“The environment was completely free of condemnation and judgment…I have never felt such acceptance, understanding and grace. It was incredibly powerful to just be accepted and, for once, be unashamed of who I am.”

“I was nervous and thought of many excuses not to face my fear. I followed God’s prompting to be open to this experience and he showed me unmeasurable faith and love.”

There is so much happening in the world around us right now. There are a lot of opinions, perspectives, and actions being taken. Regardless of what thoughts and opinions you have, I think we can all agree no one should have to suffer, or feel alone on their various healing journeys. However, there are still many, many, many people who do feel this way, especially when there are numerous triggers around them. They may not know what to think or feel, and may even become re-traumatized by hurtful things they see or hear. Both of the quotes you read above are from some very brave and courageous previous Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat participants. They both decided it was time for them to not suffer alone any longer and wanted to be in a space that allowed them to heal from their past abortion experiences.
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blog-picWait: A Journey to Discovering the Heart of God

“Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate…
and the Master so gently said, ‘Wait’.

‘Wait? You say wait?’ my indignant reply.
‘Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!’
‘Is Your hand shortened? Or have You not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming Your Word.
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