Thursday, March 27, 2008

Brenham : Year One

Brenham. It's a quirky town, and I feel quirky living in it. For every day that I've lived in Brenham I've discovered a new, trivial reason why I am not suited for the country. But when I look back over this past year, through lenses filtered by the Gospel, I see that God is at work in me and around me, in my home and in my church, and as a result, Brenham is the recipient of my warmest affections.

There is a truth that is quite familiar to me in words, but in life it escapes my mind at every new juncture and I am forced to learn it again. It is this:

For they (our earthy fathers) disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, yet those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Hebrews 12:10-11

There have been some bumps in our road this year. It has been a year of hard talks, hard questions, and hard answers, of waiting and crying and hurting and doubting and stumbling. But in these things, God has been beckoning me to Himself, urging me to endure with gratitude and patience the painful and beautiful process of sanctification.

I do not mean to imply that our life here in Brenham has been all strife and struggle. It hasn't. I write with a smile that there have been joyous times indeed. I have enjoyed many peaceful days. I am surrounded by people I love and who love me, both near and far. I have laughed a lot. I have experienced new things. I have taken risks. But I am inclined to believe that God has used the harder blessings to awaken me to the easier ones.

I find that I am a different person than when I arrived here. The change may be small, but change it is and it increases my faith because I know I can change in no amount on my own. God is here! God is here! I grateful to be Brenham.


Brandi said...

sweet steph, i didn't realize this year had been so difficult for you. i'm sorry for not picking up on that. there has been a lot of change. i'll pray for you to have some rest. i'm glad for the blessings, even the ones involving discipline. thanks for sharing, my friend.

Steph said...

Hey Brandi, and others,
Perhaps I have done a poor job communicating. You have no reason to be sorry. The hard things I was referring to include our trouble getting pregnant, which you know of, of course, but the rest really just refers to the shock I experienced from moving from one place to another (the place is really irrelevant). It was an adjustment for me to move from a place where everything was so familiar and convenient, to somewhere that wasn't. Through the transition (especially in the very beginning) God just began to reveal sin, to convict me, to lead me into hard questions over what I believe and do I believe in a consequential way. It was a fabulous and necessary disturbance in my safe little life. It has been an important year for me and I am closer to the Lord because of it. Despite my struggles, I look upon the past year with great fondness and celebration. I wouldn't change a single thing!!! Well, except maybe my bad Brenham hair cut ;).
So Brandi, I in no way meant this to be a discouragement, I am so sorry! I was just trying to say that I have been GREATLY encouraged by moving here, and I hope that that is an encouragement to you. Love you.

carahinojosa said...

Beautiful, eloquent words, Steph.

annette said...

I pray the Lord continues to bless you in a mighty way dear Sister in Christ.

Mrs Annette

Erin said...

Happy Anniversary!
...and I love the picture of B with all her dolls! So cute!

Caryn said...

Amen Steph!

Your original post and the comment was so God-glorifying! When I read them I thought of James 1:2-4. God is definitely making you "perfect & complete". One thing I appreciate about your blog is your realness about suffering and God's hand in it all. May we all see Christ in our struggles and praise Him through the pain.