Brianne completely lost grip of her identity. After spending years finding her identity in “how many drugs I could supply,” life looked dreary and completely void of any remnant of hope.
“I was going to give up my children and jump off a freeway,” Brianne told the crowd at Shepherd’s Door. “God moved mountains into my path, and brought me here through a long, difficult set of trials. I praise God for that.”
Holding back tears while trying to convey what seemed like an impossible journey, Brianne couldn’t help but try and somehow sum up what seemed like a lifetime of bad choices in three words, “God is good.” After that, she was finally able to gather herself enough to elaborate.
“He literally brought me out of a shallow grave that I didn’t think I was ever going to come out of alive. He rescued me from my own demise,” Brianne explained. “Over the years of my addiction, I made choices that were so brutally cruel to my family, and yet, somehow God has restored our family.
“I know I have a lot of trust to build up, but through Christ, I can do anything. … I don’t know where I’m going, but I know He does. I know where I’ve been, and I’m not going back.”
Before coming to Shepherd’s Door, Brianne had no interest in ever living in Portland, Oregon. But coupled with an opportunity for a new start, she’s never been happier.
“To be able to come here where I can have a fresh start, and be in a place where nobody knows me as anything but a child of God has been so good for my identity.”
It’s also helped her start in forming a vision for a future filled with ministry and/or other opportunities. Brianne’s future plans could contain everything from possibly pursuing a degree in biblical studies at somewhere like Multnomah University, to helping out a ministry called Rescue Israel (based in Tel Aviv), and so much more.
“The only thing I can say for sure is that my will is no longer mine,” Brianne emphasized. “In the last year, I’ve realized that my identity isn’t in who I am or what I do. My identity is in the fact that Jesus loves me and He died for me, and there’s no greater love than that …
“Jesus is my one true addiction.”
BRENDA JACOBSEN ON BRIANNE’S RECOVERY STORY OVER THE LAST YEAR:
Brianne, you are an overcomer and you’ve survived abuse, trauma, pain and begin seeking the only one that could help you in Jesus. During this process of developing a relationship with the Lord, you exhibited vulnerability in your struggle, and it was refreshing because of your honesty about things like, “I don’t know God,” “I don’t feel God,” “I don’t know how to get to God,” “How do I trust God and surrender?” You persevered through all of it, and worked hard, by giving up your old ways and developing new ones. As you did, He begin taking you down a path of surrendering control of your life to him. Testing came when seemingly unfair situations arose and you wanted to leave Shepherd’s Door. And then one day, your backup plan fell through, and yet, even then, God was at work in those times, whispering “Brianne, I have a plan for you. Trust me, not yourself, or another human. When others fail, I’ll always be there for you.” Your willingness to resist self-pity, and follow the Lord even when things don’t seem fair, will allow the Lord to continue to form you into the beautiful woman He created you to be.
FAVORITE SCRIPTURES OVER THE LAST YEAR:
Philippians 4:13 (NLT) – “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) – “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”