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The Illuminated Life: Two Kinds of Bright

May 28, 2014

You know those people who come into your life unexpectedly and just change everything? Patty B. snuggled up to me when I was a raw, aching, motherless first-time mom. I didn’t know just how much pain I was in until Patty began to help me heal, smoothing my rough edges and loving me through some of the darkest days of my marriage, life and motherhood. She continues to shine on in the lives of others, here, there and around the world.

The Illuminated Life Series

Two Kinds of Bright

by Pat Brockman

I believe that the One who said “Let light come from darkness” was as intent on creating light in me as He was in His universe.

He could have done it with just a command, “Let there be light in Pat!” and it would have been so!   Light in me, derived from heaven, could shine!  Likewise, He could have performed a powerful deed and with Light in me done  moved on to other things . Instead He chose to bring me light from Heaven through precious people that He carefully selected and placed along the way.  Then the Creator of the universe, my Heavenly Father, stuck around to lovingly and purposefully direct my path so I would encounter them.

Scripture tells us it is not in a man’s way to direct His steps. I never could have laid out the path my life has taken or imagined the stops along the way. I know “relocation” is a noun, but it is the word that best describes  my childhood and married life. My dad was in the Navy and there were at least nine or ten moves  along the coast or from coast to coast during my school years. Forty-one years of married life has seen us in ten different cities in four different states and two different countries. It never occurred to me to not make friends in the places we lived because of the sadness of one day having to say good-by.  I was like a salmon swimming upstream to connect and belong because I was lonely and needed community. God, rich in mercy, went ahead to provide. From the day I was born, there were gracious, amazing Christian people who I loved, and who loved on me and my family. Any brightness I have comes from the illumination of being lit by them.


I have spent an inordinate amount of energy and emotion starting over in each place we have lived. The will to do so has been a gift of the Spirit.

…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.

Philippians 2:13 NIV

The reward has been blessing upon blessing of people who are priceless treasures in my life. I thank God for each of them and as I do, I beg for forgiveness and grace in my shortcomings to maintain contact and express  my love and appreciation in ways they might need when I have moved on. I know when it comes to friendship it is harder to be left behind than to leave. I miss my friends in other places and I know they miss me. My intentions and desire to pour in and still be a part of their life is strong. As they say, the spirit is willing but flesh is weak. In each new place there is work to do, labor prompted by love as Paul describes in Thessalonians.

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.

1 Thessalonians 1:2 NIV

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NIV

In thinking about the illuminated life and God’s admonition to“Shine!”, I want my old friends to know that through them, I was lit, and I have taken the glow from having been so to try and bring brightness wherever I go.

My prayer is that the glow is strong enough through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, to brighten their lives still, as they brightened mine.

To Him be the glory!


my_picturePat runs with perseverance the race set out before her both literally and figuratively. She and Bo, her husband of 41 years, encourage others through their leadership roles at Oakhills Church Westside Fellowship, and Downtown Run Group in San Antonio, TX. After raising three sons she delights in being in touch with her inner girly girl through two daughters-in-law and two granddaughters. The fun of being a Boymom continues since she also has two little grandsons to remind her of those days.

You can put on your running shoes and catch her on the Riverwalk training for her next half marathon orjust go to where she is training herself to sit down long enough to write!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2014 5:42 pm

    I love the hot air balloon analogy of being lit by friendships and glowing because of them. A great post! Thanks!

  2. June 5, 2014 4:37 pm

    I struggle with not keeping up with friends that had such great influence in my life, too, Pat. I do believe God puts people in our life for seasons sometimes and it’s sad when those seasons end, but so beautiful to be able to look back and see how they shaped and molded us and how He used them to do just that. Lovely words here! Blessings, Meredith

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