I love my brother. A royal dork and an incredible man of God. If you have a sensitive stomach, you may not want to read too far into this blog… just a forewarning.

He said something to me on Friday that has resonated with me each day since he said it. So the Lord is using it and going deeper…

I was upset as I was talking with him on the phone and was spatting out what seemed to be random frustrations… yet, there are never just random frustrations that bubble up – but typically if I bring something up multiple times, it bothers me pretty deep. I was telling him about something that seemed so miniscule but has been bothering me for quite a while.

“People here keep telling me I’m old! And that’s how I’m introduced to new people… they’re like, ‘this is Brittney, yeah, she’s old’. It’s stupid but it REALLY bothers me!!!”

I felt so over-sensitive and I knew it was something so dumb and small to be upset over, but it just built up because it continually kept happening. I had tried to combat it and tell myself I wasn’t old (BECAUSE I’M NOT!)… but eventually I just conceded and started to jump the gun before anyone else had the opportunity and when these people introduced me again, I’d say it so they wouldn’t… ‘hi, I’m Brittney – yeah, I’m an older student’…

My brother’s response to my frustration was simple… ‘well, don’t eat it‘.

I didn’t listen at the time, but the Lord tucked that statement away in the crevices of my heart to bring up again later…

I went for a run with the Lord for the first time in many weeks yesterday, I actually wanted to – rather than forcing myself. Along this run, it hit me how much I had listened to other people’s statements and had been letting them define who I am. If God would have been audible on this run, He might have said something like “Hard headed child, who and what really defines you? Do you? Do your own achievements, your school, your friends, your fears, the world, the things said to you by others? Or do I define you since I created you and sent my Son to redeem you? Remember where you belong… with Me.”

I began to notice after my Saturday nastiness and along that run, that a lot of it was due to things I had been consuming/eating. I had been eating things that were not good for me for the past 3 months – the influences, the worldly secular doctrine, the justified Christianized excuses, the patronization, the lies glossed over as if they are “truth”, etc. etc. – it had been bombarding me non-stop and I had done nothing to prevent it. Not that what was going into my body was what was what was making me “unclean” (Read Matthew 15:1-20) But I had been attempting to “nourish” myself with nothing, horrible food… excuse my graphic analogy, but essentially I was consuming feces and vomit… rather than being nourished by TRUTH, Jesus, and God’s word – soaking and marinating in Him. I’d stopped eating of His body, His image, His truth, and everything that He is.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”  – Matthew 26:26

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:3-8

I had to post Proverbs 3:3-8 in context because it was just too good not to… intense.

There are some things that I’m now more aware of… essentially what I’m putting into my body/spirit DOES matter and does influence me. I had gone from a steady diet of Jesus, being surrounded by people who desired and wanted to love the Lord with their lives… to a steady diet of empty calories, false doctrine, pride, sin/pleasure indulgence swept under the rug and excused away with grace taken for granted and stamps of ‘God forgives’.

I’m finally recognizing that I need to be careful and make sure I’m listening to His voice to nourish my soul, and not the loudness of everything else going on around me. Like I said before it isn’t the stuff going in that is making me “unclean” and nasty necessarily. I can’t just cut it out and think that I’ll be fine – that’s just more fake cover up. Putting myself in a bubble doesn’t fix anything… only avoiding outside influences doesn’t resolve a thing either because it’s all still right there inside me. What I was feeding on still came from what I desired to eat. The root of the issue is my heart, and that I’m nourishing those dark nasty areas rather than being nourished by Jesus, and letting Him cut out those tangled roots in my very being and nature through His blood and redemption.

Someone said a statement to me today, and because I was finally paying attention to what I should or should not consume – I recognized the statement as it was, it bothered me, so I remembered truth from when I actually had been reading the bible, and promptly tossed the statement out because I wanted to choose the Lord’s way instead…

This may sound overly opinionated, but at this point I don’t care and want to stop compromising in my relationship with the Lord. It doesn’t mean you have to share in this opinion, or that you’re wrong for believing it – this is just something I felt. The simple statement was… “you live and you learn”. While accurate and we do make mistakes that we do live in and then learn from, I still spit out the phrase because I didn’t want it… I flipped it around in my heart instead.

I don’t want to live and learn, I want to learn to live… learn to live from the Man who lived fully to serve and love and died for me. I want HIM to teach me, not just my mistakes… even if He uses my mistakes to help me learn, I still ultimately want to learn to live through His life – not my own.

“You are what you eat”, haha, another random phrase… but in actuality, biologically the body does alter based upon what you consume or gets soaked into it… interesting how God made us that way, hmm?

So, are you eating feces and vomit (like I have been)? Or are you eating His body, His truth, His word? Maybe the question is – what do you really want to consume? Remember, that what you eat ultimately will influence you…

My brother and I were joking about the above analogy today, because we’re just dorks like that and enjoy some good uncomfortable laughter and we’re still big kids at heart… but he made a statement while we were laughing (and gagging upon occasion) that ‘the joy of the world is like a dry heave‘. It’s painful and ultimately empty…

Though that may be an odd way for others to look at it, it couldn’t be more true from what I’ve experienced lately and I will definitely remember it like that.