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HerStory: Kelsey Brownsberger

Do you ever wrestle with thoughts that you have to have it all together to be completely accepted and loved by God, and to serve Him? Kelsey Brownsberger–Head Director for Wonderfully Made at Westmont College in Santa Barbara–shares her story of coming to truly believe the truth about God’s love for her and view of her after years of knowing Him.

The Faith of A Child: Believing God

I spent this summer living in Annapolis, Maryland to be near my fiance who goes to the Naval Academy. While I moved there to finally spend longer than 3 weeks at a time with him, God had even greater plans for me. Through an amazing Christ centered community that I got connected with, and even through time with my fiance, God sealed a lot of work He had been doing in my life since I was 15.

I grew up in a Christian home and so I’ve known in my mind that God loves me. Even from a young age, I was taught in Sunday School “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” (I’m sure you all know the song). But it wasn’t until this past summer that a REALLY got it. I mean REALLY REALLY began to understand the immensity of how much truth that song holds.

I have spent a lot of my time mentoring women who are struggling with body image problems as well as many other issues we women face day to day, but I’ve had a hard time receiving for myself the words of encouragement I would give to others. I always felt a lot of pressure to have it all together because in my mind I thought “Who would want to take advice or be counseled by someone who wasn’t all together?” Though I had many friends, I wouldn’t often ask for help from them for fear of being a burden or an annoyance. Living in this way made for a very stressful and somewhat lonely life.

Part way through my sophomore year of college, I had so much built up inside that I ended up with moderate depression. That was a wake up call for me, and a very dear friend and mentor in my life challenged me to open up to those I was close to and ask for prayer for healing from my depression. As I did, I became healthier and realized how many people in my life didn’t expect me to be perfect at all. However, I still didn’t know how to receive the words of truth about how God saw me. In my ministry I felt as though I was always running on empty because I was always giving love out of my own strength rather than God’s. Until this summer…

For the first time, I was in a community of people that wanted to pour into me and didn’t expect me to give anything in return. It was the biggest blessing of this summer. Here I was moving to a new place, on the other side of the country where I knew very few people and within the first week I had people from the church my fiance and I were involved in wanting to get together to get coffee and hear about what God was doing in my life. Slowly through my quiet time and at church I realized that part of why God had me out in Annapolis was to really teach me who I am in Him and just how much He loves me. At the end of the summer I was already feeling so refreshed from the love He was pouring out on me through this community, but I still couldn’t quite wrap my heart around the fact that God’s love for me could be that simple…And then I went to a women’s conference called Beautiful One…

Beautiful One was a four day conference that was based on reading Song of Solomon as a description of how Christ loves us as individuales just as He love the Church, how He calls each one of us His “Beloved”. At first I was having a hard time understanding why God had me go to this conference and then about half way through it finally clicked in my brain, my heart, and my spirit, that He loves me and that’s all that matters. He calls me His beloved and His bride. It really is that simple.

I don’t know how else to explain it, but in the words of the children’s song “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.” That’s it. We so often try to complicate it, but really the way we learn it as children is the best way. I guess that’s what Jesus meant when He said we should have faith like a child, because in that we are free to just live in His amazing love and have our identity be defined as His beloved!

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