Welcome 2015…Bring on the New!


Welcome 2015...Bring on the New

Welcome 2015!!

This year is going to be great, I can already tell. I love the changes a new year brings and the ability to start fresh. As I have said before, I am a planner at heart.  I love a blank clean piece of paper and a colorful pen. I love to sit down and write out all of my to do’s or my blessings or my goals.
A lot of planning has been going on around here including some plans for this blog.
The first and probably most exciting is a new blogging friend who will be joining me!  Holly with The Brown Tribe will be sharing her heart with us once a month starting January 21st. On the third Wednesday of every month you can find encouragement and inspiration and for sure some wisdom from Holly.
I want you to get to know her along with me. I am still finding out new information about her and her darling family. To start, I thought it may be important to know how Holly’s life started out and how she came to a relationship with Christ. Life didn’t come easy for her but as you will see, she looks to a relationship with her Father to fill her heart with the peace and comfort He promises.
You’re going to love Holly. Make sure and give her a big welcome and look each third Wednesday for more from her!

Holly’s Testimony

I grew up in a broken, non-Christian home with my twin sister. My birth parents divorced when I was around 3, we lived with my mom. Each got married a second time when I was 5. Memories of my childhood are few are far between and seem to reveal nothing of significance. I do know that my biological dad later became a Christian and we were able to visit them every summer. 
Being passed back and forth between families was hard, as divorce is always hard on kids, but I appreciated it because we were exposed to a lifestyle that we didn’t experience the other 90% of the time, we went to church several times a week while we visited them. It was at one of these visits that I first inquired about God. The conversation that ensued about grace from my biological dad is what lead me to accept Jesus as my Lord & Savior that day.
However, shortly after that visit, there was a report that our biological dad was molesting us during our visits. I don’t know where it came from and I honestly was just a confused kid who didn’t know why there was such a long court battle. No one won the case, it got dismissed or something, but after that we couldn’t really see his family anymore. My stepdad adopted us and we went on with just my twin sister, my parents & myself.
My preteen-graduation years resulted in abhorring my home life. My dad was a coal miner & was rarely home. My mom had severe mood swings; she went from being someone who was caring & go-with-the-flow to someone who was angry & lashed out. I have vivid memories of being hit and/or strangled by her for no reason, my twin did not get the same treatment most of the time. Nearly all of my memories feature these types of things.
My twin became very outgoing and social, while I became depressed and sullen. I poured myself into school work (and even did all of my twin’s work for her) while she took me to parties. She was the center of attention at these parties, while I was the wallflower who protected her. I even became a cutter and had thoughts of suicide but the only thought I had when I contemplated it was that if I died, my sister would take my place with my mom’s outbursts.
In all this turmoil, I knew that things were not right. I knew that this was not what was intended for life and I kept thinking back to that day I accepted Jesus at my biological father’s house so many years before. I just knew Jesus was real and God was with me, even in my depressive state.
After graduating high school, my twin decided to move to CA to get married & I had an identity crises. The only person who ever really saw me smile, hear me laugh and knew all my secrets was leaving me. I didn’t know what to do and then God spoke to me. I didn’t hear anything audible from Him but this question came into my mind that was so soothing, I knew it wasn’t my own thought and have no other way to explain it. He said, “Do you really want to live this way?” (As a cutter, depressed, suicidal, drinking person). I actually answered the question out loud with a, “NO!” which startled my coworker who had never heard me talk before.
I vowed to go to college and my primary focus was to learn more about God and be discipled. I found Campus Ventures  an evangelical Christian campus ministry, and was discipled, served with, then trained in leadership, and went on my first mission trip to Bosnia. In one year my life did a complete 180° and I never would’ve guessed I’d be so happy, have so many friends, and actually be loving & pursuing Christ like I was.
During that time, my mom also called my sister & I and confessed that she had lied about the molestation charges and that we were deprived of a relationship we shouldn’t have been because of her lie. It’s devastating to suffer such betrayal but since that night we have been rekindling a relationship with our biological dad and his side of our family. They are wonderful Christians and quickly became spiritual mentors of mine.
Since then I have grown exponentially in my faith and walk with Christ, served God in missions and the church, and continued to struggle with how to honor & worship God through loving my mom.
There’s so much more to the story, more detail of brokenness and grace, but only so much space here to articulate the major turns. I’m a very open so if you have questions or want to know more, please don’t hesitate to ask me!
Grace Abounds,
holly brown-the brown tribe
Holly currently lives in Nebraska with her amazing & godly husband, sweet & smart 4-year old daughter & joyful 2 year old son. She is a stay-at-home mom who serves with her local MOPS group, and on her church’s Mission Leadership Team for missionary support. She writes at The Brown Tribe for the purpose of discipling and encouraging women and mothers. She is also a contributor for Missional Call. In her spare time she enjoys coffee, photography, exploring the culinary craft, helping combat human trafficking through awareness and is currently writing her first book. You can follow along with Holly on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, google +,  and Instagram.

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