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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Hammar

How His Words Untangle a Funk

By Brianna Barrett



Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Brianna’s Story


The quiet that morning felt lonely. I slowly got out of bed, my body screaming from pain. I grabbed my Bible, my journal, and a cup of coffee. In recent weeks, my body had been in a flare from my autoimmune diseases. I was “off” mentally and emotionally, trying to find my footing in my professional life and dealing with some hard relational issues in my personal life. 


I was in a funk. 


I began my time in prayer by going over the lists of prayer requests. By the time I got to my own prayer requests I skipped over several, thinking God was probably tired of me talking. Instead, I started looking at the margins of my Bible, reading the highlights and thinking about all the dates, notes, and highlights penned along the edges. The stories my Bible could tell, with its creased, tear-stained pages and shaky handwritten thoughts. As I ran my hand over the dates, I remembered the story for each one. We’ve been through much, God and me.


Then, as I sat in the middle of my pain and hurting, I started reading that day’s scripture selection. My heart quickened. God was with me in that lonely quiet. He had hand-picked this specific passage for me to read this morning. He knew exactly what I needed, even when I didn’t know. 


The passage that day focused on not giving up (2 Corinthians 4:1). In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes to the church in Corinth to encourage them. But today, Paul was also encouraging me: When things get hard or when things take us out of our comfort zone, it’s easy to want to give up. But God loves us so much and He wants more for us. With God, there is no fake it till we make it (2 Corinthians 4:2). We have to be who we genuinely are, with our messy past and present included. He already knows our innermost thoughts and the motives of our heart (1 Chronicles 28:9). 


And then I read these words:


“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair,” (2 Corinthians 4:7-8, NLT).


As I studied the passage, I was reminded that He puts the light in our hearts to shine the love of Jesus to others. The pain I experienced in my body – this fragile clay jar – reminds me that I can’t do life through my own strength. I need God’s strength. But with His strength, I can do everything (Philippians 4:13). As I’m pressed, God uses my pain, my diseases, and my limitations to help others. I am not crushed, and these things aren’t wasted, because God has special plans for each one. My job isn’t to build myself a platform, but to build God’s Kingdom, to spread the good news (2 Corinthians 4:5-7). It’s time to be content with my small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10) and keep showing up to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.


As I concluded the passage, the last three verses almost felt like they were highlighted in neon lights flashing, and shouting at me, “Hey, Brianna! This is for YOU!”


“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we can’t see will last forever,” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NLT).


I realized my funk kept me from being renewed in my mind, body, and spirit. I cried out to God about all the things that were on my mind and my heart. I’d been carrying so much on my shoulders, like an oversized duffle bag. I stopped looking at the pain and dysfunction and started focusing on God, on His will and His way. 


That, my friend, was a game-changer. In just a little while, the pain had subsided. The dysfunctional relationships were still there, but now I could see that I needed to love them where they were, like Jesus does. In my work, I needed to give God control. I don’t want to focus on this world’s troubles, but on building His Kingdom. His story is the one that I want to share.


Photo credit: Wix Media.


 

The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest essay series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.


Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive each new essay in your inbox, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a FREE download of a Prayer Planning Worksheet, a resource to help you prepare your heart to listen for His voice in prayer.


New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!


Interested in contributing to the Hear Him Louder Essay Series? The call for submissions opens twice a year. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.


 

About Brianna


Brianna is a Carolina girl who loves Jesus and her family. She enjoys watching the sunrise, photography, reading, writing, and paddleboarding. According to her teenage son, she’s a master chef in the kitchen, making gluten-free cuisine from around the world.


Her writing and photography have appeared in numerous publications including Faith On Every Corner, The Christian Journal, Creation Illustrated, and Our Story Magazine. She is a contributor to The Grit and Grace Project and Broken But Priceless Magazine where she writes the column, “From A Homemaker’s Heart.”


You can find Brianna at her website or on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

2 Comments


mnreid30
Jan 05

"As I’m pressed, God uses my pain, my diseases, and my limitations to help others. I am not crushed, and these things aren’t wasted, because God has special plans for each one." This part, wow yes! I can relate to this so much, thank you for sharing this! I have a chronic illness that definitely limits what I'm able to do on the daily but what a good reminder that it's God working through me and my limitations and I'm not alone in it. - Marissa

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Brianna Barrett
Brianna Barrett
Jan 05
Replying to

Marissa we are definitely not alone, I’m thankful for that! ❤️

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