My name is Andrea Teresa Brown. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, registered nurse, aspiring writer, and most importantly, a child of God. I accepted Jesus Christ at age 10. I was excited to become a Christian, but as time went on, my experiences with Christianity left me a bit confused. I heard the Good News, Jesus had taken my sin, paid my penalty, and given me eternal life, which is exciting!
The problem came weeks, even years after being saved. I was being taught, that I had to maintain my standing with God. God's presence, love, and blessings became based on my merit and behavior. This placed me on shaky ground. I might be okay on Sunday, just depending, but surely before I left the parking lot I would say or do something that caused me to fall from God's grace and become condemned. I became disappointed in myself, angry with God, utterly confused and off course.
I was under a ministry that mixed the Law of God with the Grace of God, with an emphasis on the Law. The premise was Jesus did everything for my Salvation, but the process of sanctification was on me. This is a huge problem. My belief system was further distorted by teachings, that one could lose their salvation. If you can imagine, how scary this felt; the Gospel message had been twisted from the finished work of Jesus Christ, to a tightrope between heaven and hell based on my behavior.
This rocked me to the core. I would see people who knew Jesus and had such confidence in Him and then there was me. Instead of the relationship being built on Who Jesus Is and what He had done; it had become very introspective and focused solely on me. It was the darkest time of my life. I simply was not able to do the right things, at the right time, all the time. Let's face it, I'm not perfect, no one is, except God. I was so dejected, and distraught.
My life literally became Romans 7 in living color. I became reckless, going from believing I was saved one minute, to thinking I was on the highway to hades the next. My life spiraled out of control and it led to several years of binging and purging, with a diagnosis of anorexia, bulimia, and severe clinical depression. I was on numerous medications, in therapy, yet remained intermittently suicidal. There came a point where I had convinced myself I had committed the unpardonable sin and at that point, I considered electroshock therapy, in an attempt to stop the chaos in my head.
The Shift | The Gospel
One day I cried out to the LORD and simply said, Jesus, help me. I could not stop myself from self-harm, and I wasn't sure I wanted too. It was about the same time, my husband was going through a medical trauma and my father had given him a book to read, Destined To Reign, by Pastor Joseph Prince. This is when things began to shift. The true Gospel had come to us. Just as the apostle Paul had preached Christ and Him crucified, this book was all about Jesus and what he had done for us. God has never been lost. He has been relentlessly in pursuit of my heart. He desires for me to know Him. God is good and He loves me. Since then, I continue to have a hunger for Jesus and a passion for sharing the truth.The truth, Jesus finished the work. Our response is to place our faith in His faithfulness, resting in the finished work of Christ on the cross. We can not add, nor take anything from it: it is a perfect work! The apostle Paul mentions that if anyone preaches another Gospel let him be anathema. There are people who preach another Gospel, one based on human effort, filled with laws, and religiousness; that is not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not cheap, it cost God His Son, but it is simple, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3v16. The apostle Paul penned these words, "But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10v8-9.
This is the Gospel, the Good News that radically transforms our lives. It is not based on what we do, but solely on the finished work of Christ on the cross! Right standing before a holy God is a gift. A marvelous gift of grace, received by faith. The cross did an end to sin and death but it also became our starting point. The focus is not on our doing but what Jesus had done. This truth liberates us to experience rest and a deeper rest as we walk with Jesus. The Gospel gives us bold confidence in Him to walk out our calling. My hope is to share my journey and encourage you.
My prayer is you will encounter and experience the heart of Jesus here. I am new to writing, so this journey is one we will be taking together. I hope my experiences will resonate with you, bringing the light of Christ into your every day.
Why The One Thing 1
TheOneThing1 is derived from a passage in the Gospel of Luke (10v38-42). Jesus stopped by the house of Mary and Martha. When Jesus entered Mary sat down at his feet and listened to Him, while Martha was busy with much serving. Martha wasn't doing the wrong thing, but Mary was doing the one thing. Mary saw through Jesus' humanity, seeing Him as God, which He is. She saw His fullness and received of his grace. She heard His word, which prepared her to do the right thing, at the right time (John 11v2, 12v3-8). I believe spending time with Jesus and beholding his beauty transforms us into his likeness. A revelation of the person of Christ brings light and life in our lives.
My mission is to encourage the saints | My motivation is to make Jesus known | My method is writing my personal journey.
Thank you in advance for walking with me, reading, and commenting. I pray you will be encouraged and experience deeper rest in Christ Jesus.