About Me

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I'm a Texan, born and raised. I love my God and my family (friends included as family!) My first novel was realeased December 23, 2014 and I've since finished writing my second manuscript and have begun my third. Being a successful writer has been a dream of mine for years, since I was little. I can't wait to see where God takes my first book and my future ones. I pray that it touches many hearts. For those of you who love suspense novels, good vs. evil, you may be interested!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cry Out To Jesus!

Hello my friends! I'm writing today to encourage you through the storms of life. Everyone at some point or other has been through the metaphorical storm, where life seems to literally turn upside down, leaving you hopeless, alone, afraid, angry, whatever it may be. 

I was just down that road, "just" as in two weeks ago until God finally got a hold of me and caught my attention. Backing up in time, I dated one of the most wonderful, Godly, on fire, Christian young men in December of 2012. This relationship lasted for a year and two months. We'd even had promise rings for each other but my fears and insecurities prevented me from letting my guard completely down. I would get so angry at myself for being afraid to relax in the relationship that I would take it out on him when it wasn't even his fault. Frustrated, I asked if we could talk and we ended up mutually breaking off the relationship. 

I hated myself for what it had come to, how I'd let fear win, but fear was so prevalent in my life that it ate me alive and I wasn't happy at all. I didn't feel it was fair for him to be with someone who couldn't give all their heart to him so I let him go, hoping that perhaps someday God would work it out to a happier and more stable relationship in the future if He willed. Or that if the two of us weren't meant to be together in the future, that God would send the right mates to both of us in His perfect timing.  

During the time of the break up, my plan was to get stronger in The Lord and get the fear defeated. But satan knew how to mess with my emotions, wreaking havoc on me mentally. And this is what Ephesians 6:10-20 speaks of--spiritual warfare, the unseen, what we should we warring against instead of humans. 

God has known that since I was a tiny child I've wanted to have a family of my own. I played "house" all the time during free-time in elementary school and at recess, and at home in my room. I treasured all my collections of dolls and had a name for every one of them. That instinct to be a wife and a mother was born in me and has been one of my biggest and deepest desires. 

However, instead of getting closer to God as I'd planned, satan jumped at the opportunity to take advantage of my mental & emotional vulnerability. Sadly to say, he won for nearly an entire year. Even when I'd met and dated this wonderful guy, I wasn't as close to God as I used to be and had actually begun to embrace alcohol as a means to cope with different stresses and anxieties I went through. That was how satan first got his foot in the door--alcohol once I'd turned 21. 

Throughout my years on earth, I've had many people I thought I could trust and that I loved really hurt me--bad. I thought they'd loved me, too, but when they did what they did, I knew it wasn't true. (And if it ever was true, they had a funny way of showing it.) Satan used this, while my sights were on alcohol, as a means to nurture my bitterness and anger toward all these people. Looking back on it now, I'm shocked that I could have held so much rage at so many people. I'd begun to link everyone together as the same. One example-- At the time I was at my lowest, (during the period I was with the married man, confused and conflicted) I reached out to two of my elementary teachers I'd remained in contact with and often talked to over the years. One said they'd talk to the other and would let me know when we could talk soon. Five days pass as I'm still miserable and I've not heard a thing from either of them. Irritated, I texted the one I'd originally talked to and told her I was glad I wasn't suicidal when I contacted her but I'd already made my decision to keep doing what I was doing. (In my mind, I thought, if God can't even provide someone on earth to talk to, He must not care. Therefore, I don't.) The lady called me soon after I sent the text, explaining that she'd hurt her back and hadn't been at school due to it. Of course, I was understanding. She said, "I wouldn't just forget about you." Well, she did, and the other teacher never ONCE texted to ask how I was even doing! And these people are supposed to be Christians! They claim to be, anyway. I never heard back from her again after she said she wouldn't just forget about me. (And this happened two months ago!) I was fuming. I just couldn't believe that someone could be so selfish as not to give someone who they supposedly "cared for and loved" thirty minutes or so of their time when they were in deep despair. I thought, I guess their time was too precious to waste on me.  

With even that single crappy circumstance, satan whispered, you're worth no one's time. You're so messed up no one can help. Brooke, no one cares about you. Haven't I proven that many times before? Shouldn't this confirm it, finally? You're alone. 

They were not audible voices but they came as thoughts to my mind. I've had so many negative thoughts about myself and fears about what others truly thought about me that I've actually grabbed my head and screamed, "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!"

So over a span of years, the anger has built and built. This wasn't something that up and happened over a year's time, although the hurts of others got worse during the years 2012-2015.  

My boyfriend and I broke up February 14, 2014 (sad, I know), and my plan to cling to God spiraled in the complete opposite direction. I began to drink more and, deep down, I knew it wasn't right but the more I did it, the less I felt the prompting to stop. But I could still see the road I was headed down and I still had enough God-given strength to say, "God, I don't want to go down this road. I don't want to ruin my life. I do not want to become an alcoholic. Please, will You provide a way out for me?" Finally, one day in June of 2014, God answered my plea for help after I drank too much and woke with the worst hangover in my entire life. I had an excruciating migraine, I couldn't walk, talk, hear noises, be touched, or even move without heaving. I threw up so much that I'd begun throwing up globs and globs of bile. God even allowed my Grandma and Grandpa not to leave town as early as they normally do so that my grandmother could come take care of me! I couldn't quit vomiting and heaving so I had to hold in a suppository. (Pretty fun while trying not to puke or move). I stayed sick, my head pounding from roughly 9 am until 5 pm, but not being able to eat until 8 pm. I'd lost three pounds in that one day from throwing up. That was one of the most horrific and miserable times of my life and I promised God I would never do that again. And I haven't. I'm scared of alcohol now. 

Well, wouldn't you know that where I got freed from one thing, satan caught my attention with another? It wasn't but maybe a couple weeks later that I was introduced to marijuana. The first time I tried it, paranoia ate me alive. I thought I was going to die from tachycardia and it felt like people knew what I was doing. I felt like I was trapped in a box, and couldn't tell what was left and right. I hated it and was near hysterical but once I was finally able to calm down, I enjoyed the high. So I did it again and the more I did it, the more I fell in love with it. It took all my pain and troubles away...temporarily. It felt so wonderful to sit there and just not care about problems I had to deal with. Instead, I would laugh as I watched comedies and it was like a release. But the release never lasted and the more I smoked the unhappier I became within. The stronger my anger and resentment grew.

There came a point in October when I knew I needed to stop and get myself back on the right track. Most of me wanted to continue smoking. 

I couldn't go to my family because they didn't know about it and I didn't want them to know about it for certain reasons. So I reached out to my great aunt for prayer. I knew that she'd understand, and I was right. Today, she's just as my great grandmother was, a prayer warrior and so in love with God. The day before I was to go to a Halloween party, I awoke around 4 to 5 am with the strongest, most pronounced feeling to stop smoking. That feeling was so strong that I knew I was being told, "You need to stop with the marijuana." 

I told God that I would after I went to the Halloween party. (Helpful tip: Don't ever give God a stipulation or try and bargain with Him. It won't end well because He's a gentleman and will let us make our own choices.) I texted my great aunt and told her of how I felt and she immediately responded back saying she wasn't surprised I'd texted because she'd been up all night praying for me, that she didn't stop until she felt peace about the situation. The woman wasn't even tired! That's God, folks! 

I ended up going to a party hosted by a psycho who freaked out because no one helped me when I threw up. Even after people apologized to him, he kept on yelling and cussing and wouldn't let it go. I was shaking, I was so scared. I was terrified, thinking he was going to pull a gun at any moment. My experience at that party was hell on earth. Prior throwing up, I had to be dragged to the couch because I couldn't walk due to being so high and it felt like I was coming in and out of anesthesia. Voices seemed distant one second and close the next. I couldn't open my eyes. I prayed and begged God not to let me die, that I'd never do this again. That's about when I threw up everything I had in my stomach and came to full consciousness. Once the host went berserk, the party came to a screeching halt, and people dispersed. I drove myself home still highly intoxicated. I never went to another party again.

I stopped smoking for about three months until I decided to go back to it, vowing never to go to another party. During the period I went without smoking, I picked up a Christian book to read but I did not wholeheartedly seek after God because my heart was not ready to quit with the way I was living, giving it up for good. I knew that if I told God I was ready to stop, I'd have to literally cease doing it period. I felt that if I decided to take the leap of Faith that God would would be my ultimate Comforter, I was taking a big risk. So many people had failed me in my life and made me feel so worthless that I put Him on the back burner, allowing marijuana, my role in pornography, and profanity to take the wheel. The ways of God and what He calls we as Christians to do did not appeal to me at this stage and I'd forgotten Who God really was because the negatives, the evil, and the calming effects marijuana had on me was so great.  

 I went out of town early February 2015 and, when I got back, I stayed high until about two and half weeks ago. The longer I continued to get high, the more distant I felt from God. Not only that, but my anxiety, loneliness, anger and bitterness shot to the brink. I'd spend my sober moments complaining about this and that, secretly hating those who've majorly hurt me and/or made empty promises. I began getting headaches often, sometimes one a day, sometimes one throughout the whole day, Tylenol and Aleve not even touching it. I gained weight, too, over what my highest pound ever was. I stressed more, hated myself and couldn't understand what I'd done to so many people for them to do what they'd done to me.

From mid February to mid March is when I got involved with a man still in the proceedings of a divorce. You can read all about it on my post, There's Always Hope.  

Around early March I decided I wanted to plan a trip to visit family. At first I'd hoped for April but ended up pushing it May 20th-27th. From January to early April-ish I'd had so many things I had to shell out money for and it really began taking a toll on my nerves. I fretted over the loss of money, wondering how on earth I was going to have enough to travel. So in early April I started participating in something that I knew was wrong via internet to make a few extra bucks to sock away for the trip coming up. I could feel this wasn't right but I pushed that feeling away, believing it would be worth it once it came time for the trip. The more my mind became focused on making more money the unhappier and angrier I became when it wasn't adding up as fast as I thought it would. I felt stuck in so many ways. 

On Monday, April 20, 2015, I finally reached my breaking point that drew me to my knees in more than one sense. I couldn't take anymore of the anger, the hatred, and bitterness that had grown so strong that I felt I no longer had control. I made a list of all the things that I felt kept me in this state of anger, unhappiness, and hurt. Reviewing that list made the anger burn even hotter and, that day, any little thing was setting me off. My sister and I ended up getting into a massive fight. And, at this point, I no longer wanted to live. I never knew that so much negative could happen in the span of, not even a year! I felt like if I died no one would even care. I knew that if I no longer existed, the world would continue on anyway. I got in my car and, in a fury, I screamed at God. I said I hated God and asked what kind of a God would send His One and Only Son to be beaten and tortured to carry our sins if He couldn't even answer my pleas over a span of 20 plus years to take my pain and hurt and anger away. I'd been to the altar countless times, longing for these things to be taken. 

(But here's the thing I didn't realize...God doesn't take anything from you that you hold tight to. If you want to keep it, He's not going to rip it out of your hands. I didn't fully realize that I had to give it to Him and not take it back!) 

I cursed at God and I cried and cried until I sat numb, literally not thinking of one single thing. Once I calmed down, I knew that what I'd done was so wrong. I didn't truly hate God but I was so angry that I said I did. I wanted Him to speak to me in some way, shape or form. I didn't care how--writing on a wall, audible, within my heart, someone coming up and speaking a specific message to me, anything. I just wanted to know God still loved me and cared about me when I felt no one else did. I wanted a response. And praise GOD He didn't respond with a lightening bolt! 

He spoke in Love that very night to me. I ate dinner with my parents and they gave me encouragement even though they couldn't understand what I was going through. I texted my pastor, reaching out for help. I met with he and his wife and they spoke God's Truth into me, not only giving me the feel-good-stuff, but the step-on-the-toes-stuff as well. We talked for a good couple hours or so and they prayed for me. I left that house feeling on cloud 9 and I couldn't even explain why but I knew it was God. I called back a friend who'd tried calling when I couldn't answer and they asked if I wanted to come smoke. For the first time in so long, I felt The Holy Spirit. I felt Him prompting me not to and I didn't even have much of a desire to smoke, either. I turned it down and I didn't smoke, and haven't since the 19th of April. I clung to this long, forgotten feeling of God being near. I prayed for God to help me stay strong and that He would give me the strength to turn down further temptations. And He has! 

That night after speaking with the Pastor and his wife, I went to my grandmother's house and visited with her, poured over old family albums to reminisce on good times. I left feeling happy, still! When I got home, I picked up a book by Autumn Miles called Appointed. It was the book I'd started reading during that three month period of no smoking then put the book down once I started back with marijuana, until that very night. The WHOLE rest of the book was so specific to what I'd been struggling with that it left me speechless. My name might as well have been put before each chapter. Throughout those chapters, God assured me that He loved me and would never leave me or forsake me. He let me know He knows how it feels to be rejected and hated. He knows how it feels to be hurt by close friends/family. (Remember Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and he was one of the 12!) Jesus knows how it feels to be hurt but that we must forgive. He let me know that He wants me to trust His plan and that if I seek Him, He will give me the desires of my heart even if things don't occur on my timeline. He hooked me and reeled me in, and I came to Him, a blubbering mess. I waved my white flag, unable to fight it anymore, and I raised my arms to my heavenly Daddy for the first time in a LONNNNNG time. 

For two and a half days I felt God near to me and I felt so good. My loneliness subsided, my anger cooled, and my longing to do what I'd been doing vanished! Thursday, my sister and I ended up getting into another fight, both of us saying things we regretted and it hurt me so bad. I felt that same distraught feeling I did before I talked to the pastor and his wife. Knowing I couldn't turn back to what I'd been doing, I pleaded for God to help me. And He did. I prayed that He would soften my heart to forgive easier. He answered my prayer. I apologized to my sister and everything went back to being good between us. During that week I purposely turned my mind from the negatives and thought of the positives, meditating on Jesus. My attitude felt so much lighter along with my heart. I began to pray more. Friday morning was when I apologized to my sister and we reconciled. 

However, just a couple hours later, I got verbally attacked by a co-worker after I walked in on him/her speaking about me to the boss in a negative light, insinuating I was stupid. I was shocked. I took up for myself and, in doing so, I was criticized, saying I wasn't being respectful. That threatened to ruin my day and for a couple or so hours it did. I felt the anger soar through the roof at this person, appalled they thought they were in the right. After another confronting with another boss on the matter, I was attacked again by the same person, this time by flat out lies, so, in order to compensate I shot back truths that this person, I guess, thought no one else knew about. They ended up storming out of the room and that was the end of that. I was fuming. But I still prayed that God would give me back the peace I'd had for the past two plus days.

I called my mom not too long after the blow up had happened. And as I was talking, my cell phone began vibrating with an incoming call. I didn't recognize the number but I decided to answer it because it showed it was a number from the same city I live in. When I answered, they asked to speak to Brooke and I told them they were speaking with her. Their reply: "Hi, Brooke. This is (Name) with Cafe Marizon. We're reviewing your application that you filled out a year ago and was wondering if you'd be interested in coming to talk with us about a position that's opened up?" 

I sat there for a second in a state of shock as I immediately recognized my need for extra cash was being met. The whole week I'd been researching different ways to make money that I knew wouldn't be displeasing to The Lord and I'd come up with sweet nothing. Finally, I'd given up and decided that I'd leave it in God's Hands. On Wednesday, Cafe Marizon came into my mind and I didn't know why because it was random. I didn't really think too much about it. Then two days later, they called asking if I was interested in a part time job! 

That is the awesomeness of God Almighty!

I don't believe for one second that this was a coincidence, that they, out of all the times within the span of a year, chose now to consider my application and call me! And right after I'd chosen to give Jesus all of me, forsaking the things the world offered me for the past year or so.

This past week I got highly involved with church, going to a women's event on Tuesday evening, helping with nursery Wednesday evening, and Saturday going to a church event where we ate hamburgers and played games, then going to church Sunday morning and evening. For the first time in years, I felt ecstatic about going to church! I went to Mardel and bought a Bible, The Message version (written in easy to understand lingo). I also joined the Sunday school class, where the Pastor is teaching on Prophecy (things that have come true already and things that will come true in the future that's written in The Bible). I've thoroughly enjoyed getting myself caught up with the weeks I'd missed in the study book. 

Last night I went to bed around 11:30 and woke about 2 1/2 hours later and could not, for the life of me, fall back asleep. I think I laid there for about two hours tossing and turning, trying to find the right position to fall back asleep but I never found it until, I thought maybe there was a reason I was supposed to be awake. So I got up, turned the lamp on and opened my Bible, leafing through some pages until I stopped on verses that dealt with the same things--loving your enemies and forgiving those who hurt you. I read Matthew 5:38-48.

Yup, this was why I was still awake. I felt God wanting me to apologize to the co-worker whom I'd had the blow out with on Friday. I thought, "God?You want me to apologize for something I didn't even cause? Did you expect me to stand there and take it without saying anything?" I must have read 43-48 first because I remember my heart skipping a beat when I finally saw verses 38-42, 

" Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously."

I had to stop whining after that. It's still hard for me to accept maltreatment from anyone. Although I told myself if Jesus could forgive those who beat Him beyond recognition, tortured Him, spat on Him and mocked Him, and hung Him on a cross, then I can forgive anyone and everyone who offends me. So I prayed God would soften my heart to forgive and apologize. 

I did what I was asked to do and I know I don't need an apology back or the person's forgiveness because I know all that matters is that I obeyed God. 

God has been opening up doors for me and has drawn near to me ever since I've cried out to Him. He'll do the same for you, whether you're a believer, backslider, or non-believer. If you ask Him to speak to you and you really mean it, He will answer. 

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares The Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.'" 

God cannot lie, sweet friend. It's not possible for Him and it's not in His nature. If He answered me after I'd purposely held my arms out in resistance for so long, He'll answer you. Just talk to Him like you would a friend who's sitting right next to you. You'll never regret it. 

The time is now to come to Him. Don't put it off any longer. He wants you just as you are, broken and a mess. He will clean you up and will set you back on the right track if you just take that one step of faith and say, "Yes, God. Please help me." 

If you are an unbeliever and you want to know Jesus personally, may I encourage you to pray this prayer? "Dear Lord Jesus, I'm so sorry for all the times I've failed you. I'm a sinner and I need You to wash away my sins. Will you please come into my heart and save me? I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose again three days later. I choose to put You as Lord and Savior of my life. I love You. Thank you for saving me. Amen." 

I want to encourage you guys to go see/rent the movie, Do You Believe? I reviewed God's Not Dead last year and Do You Believe nearly trumps God's Not Dead, in my opinion. 

Also, listen to these two songs about God's unconditional love and forgiveness for you!: 



Bottom line: God can pull you through your circumstance IF you reach to Him. He won't make you, but you must be willing. He's there, He's always there.