what i wish i’d been told during a breakup

According to Miriam Webster Dictionary, breakup (noun) means, among many other definitions, to end.
I, however, find this terribly un-fitting, terribly ironic and too…short, to have anything to do with the breakups of which I am acquainted.
break·up /brākˌəp/ (n) (The Brittany / Long-Winded Definition)

Days once filled are now empty. Nights that were once saturated with words of love and future and now, are now filled with dead air, silence, and a dark that is far more than a physical state. The person who was your closest companion for a long time now cannot be spoken to*.

During these times, we lean on others to bring us through. And it is hugely helpful. Until it’s not.


When I went through my first break-up as a pre-teen, the pain was new, fresh, and difficult to comprehend, let alone walk through. Leaving a season of blatant disregard (what many call “teenage rebellion”) was synonymous with a relationship ending. When it ended, I swore everyone wanted to say “I told you so” (they didn’t. blind pride and cynicism coming through!) Regardless – that was a heavy heavy weight to carry: that my pain was hardly justifiable. In this loneliness and lack, my Jesus came a-callin, strengthening my weak arms by showing me that his were the only ones that mattered. Another story for another time, though. I want to talk about the aftermath of the proceeding year’s relationships.

Needless to say, breakups didn’t get easier after that first one. In fact, with each “goodbye” heavier doubts and weightier feelings caused deep sorrows to well up in my soul. I leaned in to each friend and companion I had in those seasons (and this one I am in right now), stretching out newly empty hands to be filled with catch-phrases and words to get me through. With their help, a lot of devotions/crying time, and a bunch of hugs, I learned and grew and healed. But, when my most recent relationship ended, I was again at a cross-roads.

We lean into our friendships during these times and are often met with this simple phrase.

“They** aren’t worth it.”

The time, energy, and emotion you are funneling into their presence (lack thereof) is absolutely ill-founded in the long-run. And eventually you will be able to go weeks without feeling any sort of pain or emptiness in regards to them. However, as I was yankin up my bootstraps and trying to deal with the ache of another broken relationship, I wish I had been told this:

It is okay to feel the way you do. It is warranted. Well-founded. Feel it. Absorb the pain. Let your body understand the ache of empty, the heaviness of broken.*** Don’t try to talk yourself out of the sorrow: allow the wave to build. And then crash. And then dissipate. 

I spent so many days asking myself why I felt the way I did, telling myself it wasn’t right, he just wasn’t worth it. The energy, emotion, attention, etc.

I felt awful.

Healing didn’t come.

Each day was an uphill climb, a series of catch phrases in regards to strengthening myself, reminding me of what I was capable of, deserving of, etc. etc. I fed my soul meals that never satisfied. (“You are worth more than this…” often followed by “He isn’t worth it.” “He’s not thinking about you, don’t think about him.” “Someday down the road a better guy will come.”)

And while, again, many of these phrases ring true, while they offer some sort of antidote to the present in regards to the future, they do not allow the time, space or feeling needed to heal.

When a person is cut away from your life, you will feel their absence, whether you want to or not, whether you (or others) feel it is merited or not. Setting out on a road that you thought would be walked with a specific person by yourself is kind of a huge, heavy, deal. It isn’t something to talk yourself out of.

Reader, if you are going through a similar season, I want to encourage you to allow yourself to feel. Healing requires feeling and experiencing the heaviness, sorrow, and darkness.

So this is your friendly, neighborhood reminder:

Your feelings are valid.

They are well-founded. You are not an idiot for feeling the way you do. You are human. This season is softening you for something around the bend. Allow yourself to understand that though they are temporary, though they will pass, it is okay to feel the way you do, right now.

The Lord is with us in our fear and trembling and does not ask us to do anything but cast the heaviness, the sorrow, the cares on him. He will do the rest. You need not rely on your own strength in this season. The same way we press into friends when the going gets rough, press into him, reader. His arms are more than capable of holding you in your weakness. He sees beauty in your right now, broken and bruised or healed and free. He can be glorified in and through both.

So. Tonight.

In the weakness? In the heavy?

Feel.

And then lift your hands to the heavens, saying:

All glory and honour and praise. To Him. To Him who is able to do FAR more abundantly than we could ever ask, with that which deeply wounds us.

I pray your Monday is restful and that you feel his presence this week in whatever season your in.

He is ever so near to the brokenhearted.

XX-

Brittanycharis

Some Balms (Melody-style)

one | two | three

 

*From personal experience, my breakups were never amicable and I am not saying they’re all like this. But for me, these were the feelings I had and the predicaments I was in.

**That Significant Other You’re Thinking About

***I am not saying to let these feelings command you. They are not in control of you. You don’t bow your knee to the way you feel. Feelings are transient. I am simply reminding you that in order to heal one must feel it and then move on. Moving on doesn’t happen without the in-between step.

my nonexistent christmas cheer

I found it really hard to shop for christmas presents this year and equally as hard to compile a christmas list. 

I kept scouring sites and browsing through well-loved stores whilst trying to remember what items i’ve wanted but have been too broke to actually purchase. and i couldn’t come up with anything. and it was frustrating. it was even hard to get into that festive spirit – around me malls were donning christmas lights and stores were blasting well-loved carols & radio hits, people were wishing me happy holidays and i was doing the same. but i didn’t feel that cheer. that festive brightness. and it felt off. discombobulated. i felt like one of those toys that you get that needs assembling. when you follow the directions to a tee and the darn thing still doesn’t work, you realize that you got a broken toy. 

it’s been a really hard semester for me. A lot of ups and downs. a lot of tears, a lot of depression-like symptoms, a lot of confusion and anxiety. every bad thing i’ve ever had to experience seemed to all bubble up to the surface this semester and it has been h a r d. to let you on how bad it’s been, i’ll give you an example. on the day after thanksgiving, my family was setting up the tree, and i just wanted to sleep, drown out the christmas carols with my drake and a$ap rocky, fetty wap (and some one direction here and there). it didn’t feel right. it didn’t seem right. it wasn’t right. but i couldn’t really do anything about it. in new york city, as i looked at the rockefeller tree and the in-love couples skating away on the ice below…as i listened to the cheer-filled people remarking on the beauty of swarovski star and the starry tree, i felt distant. disjointed from the culture. disjointed from the world. disjointed from joy. cast off from cheer. i felt so not me. 

i was not me. 

here i am: a girl with seemingly everything. 

blonde hair, a pretty okay bod, boys i care for who had come a-calling, a steady job with steady hours and pretty good pay, friends who love me, people who look up to me, parents who watch out for me and want what’s best. all the things surrounding my life were, well, beautiful. 

but they felt ugly to me, empty.

I couldn’t find jesus in any of it. 

Where was He when I was singing those songs? Where was He when the tree lit up? where was He when I was compiling my christmas list, staring at the rockefeller tree, driving to and from christmas activities? Where was He when I looked into the wrinkled faces of those darling folks in the nursing home? Where was the joy of Jesus?

And why? Why was I the only one that wasn’t feeling it?

Calling it a battle would be putting it lightly. My prayers felt empty. My tears felt like they were being cried in vain. 

No one could see. It felt like Jesus wasn’t there. I felt alone. 

And it was brutal. More than brutal, it was hopeless. 

When we joined hands the night of performance, something happened. It was not a “fall to your knees” moment, or a “tears rolling down your face moment” but it was prophetic, and just what i needed. words just kept coming to my mind, words that i was praying for me and also for those around me. captivity. bondage. circling round and round in my wearied mind, weighing on my already heavy heart. 

While these words kept going round and round, this is the picture that i had. 

Captivity: a slave. bound. bound to darkness, bound to sin, bound to doubt, bound to life on earth. feet tied down, the savior was leagues away, and there was no escaping the trial, the valley, the cave of this…thing. wearied, he collapsed. suffering, he fell down. exhausted, he stared blankly at the ceiling. he could not get away and he could not escape and there was no freedom. there was no light. there was no jesus. hopeless. (as I look back on this picture, I realize I was describing myself in this season that I had/have been in…talk about a God thing.)

and yet, Bondage: an anchor, being dropped into the sea. the same concept of being attached to something only this time, it was Jesus’ love. this time it was the ocean of his mercy, the sea of his grace. this time, it was hopeful. this same man was all of a sudden freed because of the captivity. no longer was this a chain attaching him to the bad, the fall, the sin. this was an anchor, attaching him to the only hopeful thing of this world. 

I share this with you to encourage those of you who are having trouble having that Christmas cheer. Because we have bowed our knees to our creator, we no longer have to feel the captivity of this world. We can rest in the bondage of our Saviors love. 

The great I Am came as a babe. A helpless, weak baby. With small features and delicate fingers, a fragile being, dependent on Mary’s care. The one from whom all strength emanates from had to depend on human care. The King of Kings, the Artist, the Star Placer, lay in an animal’s feeding trough.

He grew up like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. he had no form or majesty that we should look at him and no beauty that we should desire him. he was despised and rejected by men. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53)

BUT

Christ Jesus who though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, EMPTIED himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Being found in this weak form, he humbled himself. 

The great I Am, humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

His last breath, saturated with the weight of a million sins, broke the chain of captivity. 

In its stead, this captivity was replaced with the bondage to his love. 

And now we are slaves of righteousness.

Holiday cups, Perry Como christmas albums, peppermint mochas, mistletoe kisses, performances, loved ones coming home from college, gifts bought and received, even laughter, cannot give us that kind of joy: the joy of KNOWING Jesus, and being BOUND to his freeing love. 

Be of good cheer today, friends. 

Christ Jesus is Lord.

And on your shoulders has been placed the full weight of his never-ending, ocean-overflowing, perfect, wholly good love.IMG_1600

a very merry day

merry christmas, my dears!

I cannot believe the 25th of December is already here [ and has basically already gone! ] It has been such an amazing year. And though it was filled with sorrow and tears, laughter and smiles were in equal abundance. I think it’s very easy to get caught up in the wonder of the physical season of Christmas – the lights, the tree, the love, and the gifts. It’s easy to focus so intently on sales and stores, on gift-wrapping and budgets that the actual focus of the season isn’t clear. This season, I had one thought that coursed through my mind from December 1st to now.

Jesus was born in a stable, because in Bethlehem, on the night that contractions ripped through Mary’s stomach, there was no room for him in the inn. Despite the fact that he was the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, the creator of the beginning and the end, He was forced to be born in a cattle stall. He took is first breaths in a musky, dirty, barn, surrounded by livestock. So, going into this season I wanted to make sure that I prepared him room in the inn of my heart. He shouldn’t be forced into my barn – he should be in the inn.

Today, despite the abundance of beautifully wrapped gifts, yummy, steaming food, and worldy pleasures…I hope and pray you experience the joy and the peace found when you prepare Jesus room.

You are some of my favoritest humans, and I surely hope and pray that this Christmas is a wonderful one. And I pray that this year is more filled with the love of the Savior than ever before.

You are beautiful. [ yes, you! ]

xoxo,

brittanycharis

@britt_e: “9:33am | Christmas Day | Silence + Serenity”

fullness of grace + the promise in my heart

I’m not sure whether it’s the fact that it’s Christmas, or just that #shereadstruth has been hitting my heart right where it’s needed. Jesus is so good.

Following a prompt from the Ruth plan I just finished, I wrote this. My heart was filled with a lot of angst, regret, discouragement, and pain when I wrote these words…As I tapped my circumstances into my keyboard, I could feel the Lord lifting the burden off of my shoulders and equipping me with newfound strength which, in turn, effected what was being strung together on the screen. I didn’t know if I should share this with you, because it’s hard for me to admit my own failures. But this was a God moment. A reawakening of my slumbering soul, and I wanted to share with you what He said to me.

Written a week ago.

Every musing begins with a question.

And today’s is a prompt from #shereadstruth.

 

How am I viewing myself based on my circumstances?

I’m here to share with you, that I don’t feel beautiful, loved, or redeemed.

The names in my head are ugly: sinner, liar, cheat, player, shallow, with a facade, a disgrace.

They’re ugly, and tattooed onto the deepest parts of my being.

I am looking in the mirror at the choices being reflected in my heart and displayed on my countenance. Ugly gashes and marks, scars and burns from the searing of sin and the blows of my own words. It’s oh so painful to look at the picture of last year, and see a countenance glowing and radiating the word and love of God standing next to the mirror of this year with the brutality of sin displayed across every ounce of my being. Words are inked across my face, lust is drawn across my heart, names are tattooed on my hands and they run up and down my arms.

It’s ugly.

They’re ugly.

I hate those words.

I hate them.

I hate that I’ve become the person I despised last year.

I hate that I can’t look in the mirror and see Jesus’ daughter, but rather a child fallen away from her father.

Who am I this year?

Different. very different.

But all this is fading away, quietly, quickly, and surely.

Slowly, the sun is creeping into my veins and slowly hope is melting away the fear and doubt and disgrace I feel.

 

I am not my circumstances or my choices, my actions, or my words.

Slowly but surely, bitter is no longer my name. Slowly but surely, gashes and scars and burns from sin are not what makes my days. I’ve cried out over and over for the name of Jesus to be power to me once more. And once more, I’m realizing he’s been whispering his name to me this whole time.

No longer are the bandaids falling off and having to be replaced every day – soiled from the days wounds.

No longer is my heart going to ache under the sting of Satan’s lies. No longer are my arms tattooed with those names. No more are the burns ugly. No more are the scars reminders of my failure.

Oh, no. Jesus, my Jesus. Calls me, calls them…beautiful.

I fall at his feet, quivering and wretched. He draws my hand near to him, placing my weakness down, drawing my heart once more to his.

The sun is rising slowly but surely. I am waiting. And I am regaining strength – just as he’s promised.

  

When it’s dark and it’s cold and I can’t feel my soul

You are so good

When the world is gone gray and the rain is here to stay

You are still good

 So with every breath I take in

I’ll tell You I am grateful again

And the storm may swell even then

It is well and You are good

 

So how can I thank You, what can I bring?

What can these poor hands lay at the feet of the King?

I’ll sing You this love song, it’s all that I have

To tell You I’m grateful for holding my life in Your hands

[ You are Good – Point of Grace ]

  I carry your name for all of my days as my own because you’ve taken me by the hand and dealt beautifully with me.

Jesus. My Jesus.

That is all I need.

His promises are always true, his grace never ending, and his love deeper than we can fathom.

So, in whatever circumstance you find yourself in, I encourage you to breathe deep in the pages that detail His love for you.

be still

12:40pm. Cup of coffee in hand, and a lot of things on my mind.

Today is going to be a bit of a different post…No outfits, no lipstick recommendations, no october favorites. Just thoughts.

I was up last night writing a letter to a dear friend of mine, and I realized just how beautiful vulnerability is. It’s so easy for me to sit behind this computer, to stand behind my instagram posts as if everything is going perfectly right. I’m here to tell you that my life isn’t put together all the time. It’s been a nutsy week…I’ve felt the pull of a job, school, and life like I have never before. Night after night it seems like, I’m using up more emotional stamina than naught. Day after day, the task of crawling out of bed is proving to be hard because my energy just isn’t being replenished.

I’m not sick and I’m not depressed…I’m just absolutely exhausted.

21 hours of work, around 72 hours of homework, 2 hours for tv, 61 hours of sleep.

The to do list never ends, the homework is never actually done, and when it is, I’m piling in the car for another shift.

This is my crazy [emphasis on this word], beautiful life.

It’s been nutsy, nonstop, and absolutely grueling for the last few weeks.

if you were to look in my head right now you’d see a lot of things. You’d see a lot of “I wish’s” a lot of, “why’s”, a lot of “give me strength, Lord’s” a lot of “I am so weary’s”. These phrases seem to be playing themselves over and over in my head all ending in the phrase – I just, I just need a break.

There have been small, 10 minute periods, in which there has been room in my schedule to just sit on my moms bed and listen to her voice praying over me. There is room for crying and tears and prayers, but that’s where it seems to end.

I was sitting on my bed today [the whole, legs in the indian style, sweats on, nails chipped, pencil in hand routine] doing [surprise surprise] homework. I put my book down just for a minute so I could text my best friend, asking her to pray for me. The overwhelming feeling, which has become so normal to me as of recent, began to creep on to me. Up my throat, ascending up my arms, up my face, into my thoughts. Slowly but surely that need for freedom began to overtake. Yells of “why?” and “I just need a break!” and “where’d the beauty go?” bounced off the walls of my head. I ached to be free, to just be able to take a walk without having to glance at the clock.

And then all of a sudden He spoke. Jesus spoke in words as clear and as wonderful as they could possibly be.  “This, your right now, is your perfect place for October 31, 2014 at 11:00am.”

They flowed out of my heart, took over my vains, and planted themselves right where those screams were. They numbed that overwhelmed feeling, and caused that “I need to get out” to disappear.

Yes, my soul seemed to sigh.

Tired and exhausted and frail as I am, I am placed in the perfect place for the right now. I need not fear or grow weary. He is good.

I have always been a lover of the season of crunchy leaves. On Wednesday, I had that overwhelming “why” feeling again so I quick grabbed the camera, took off my shoes and ran. Stopping only to take pictures of the scenery that caught my eye [and to examine a scratched toe from the pokey sticks]. Oh it was a beautiful thing. Cheeks flushed, eyes sparkling, heart soaring, hands numbed. Circumstances hadn’t changed, and yet something else did.

All of a sudden, my soul was still and my heart quivered naught under the strain of the day.

I stayed out there for a half an hour [at least!] and came back inside with fresh zest for the stack of homework that sat upon my desk.

Word to the wise: Sometimes a break is much needed. Take your shoes off, go feel the texture of the crunchy leaves on the lightly-tanned toes, breath deep the smell of the season, feel the pleasure of the Lord, and just be.

My Lord has been showing himself to me in simple ways. He’s shown himself to me through the hug of teacher, through the exact answers to my simple prayers, through the crunchy leaves on the ground and the grass that had been cooled from the evening light, through the season that has been [sadness] rapidly leaving, and through the infallible sunset at the end of the day that had seemed to go from bad-worse.

Yes my Lord is good. And I will sing.

 

Still my soul be still

And do not fear

Though winds of change may rage tomorrow

God is at your side

No longer dread

The fires of unexpected sorrow  

 

God You are my God

And I will trust in You and not be shaken

Lord of peace renew

A steadfast spirit within me

To rest in You alone  

 

Still my soul be still

Do not be moved

By lesser lights and fleeting shadows

Hold onto His ways

With shield of faith

Against temptations flaming arrows  

 

Still my soul be still

Do not forsake

The Truth you learned in the beginning

Wait upon the Lord

And hope will rise As stars appear when day is dimming  


Still my Soul – Keith and Kristyn Getty

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taken with a macro lens