Why a blog from me, someone who has never been a writer, someone who has never been articulate or had a solid grasp of the grammar world. Because God told me to write. Several years ago a life storm invaded my family. God kept telling me to write it all down. I argued, but He would not let up. This went on every day for a couple of weeks until one day out of frustration, (I'd like to say it was out of obedience), I picked up a pen and paper and wrote for 7 hours straight! Do you think maybe I needed therapy and God knew it?

I've been writing ever since and have learned to love it! I started out sharing my stories with friends and family. I've now been published in a Nashville church paper, Our Daily Journey (a devotional site of RBC Ministries), PCCWeb Daily Devotional, Ruby for Women Ezine Magazine, and I am a contributor in the book Alabaster Jars, Life in Abundance Collection 2.

Why Ponderings? During this life storm, God led me to a pond in the woods behind my home. There He met me each time, teaching new lessons, reminding me of old ones, showing His presence and allowing me to feel His love through the surroundings of that pond. I found myself returning over and over to ponder, pray and praise. A healing of my heart took place and out of the experience came my first book, Ponderings From the Pond, then a second book, Ponderings From My Porch, and now a third book is in the works along with a memoir about my storm.

Why am I making myself so vulnerable? Because God has done so much that I cannot keep quiet. I have to share. Jesus's last words to his desciples were, "Go,tell." We are his disciples too and this is just one of my ways of telling.

I'm no scholar but I have heard God's voice in my spirit, experience His love daily, and have a desire for others to experience this also. I would love to share with all who visit and I would love to hear from you. If my sharing gets just one to ponder, to be quiet with the Father, to see and hear from Him or to be reminded of something from Him, then this is worth my vulnerability.

As you visit me, sometimes we will be at the pond, sometimes we will move to the front porch, and sometimes we will just be here, there, and yonder. Thank you for coming and please feel free to come back anytime, you are always welcome here.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14


My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.



Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chains of a Different Kind

(To those of you who are following my story with Greg, my former homeless friend, I feel the need to share the rest of the story and asking you to please keep praying for Greg with me. He is a struggling Christian. You have to remember, that he has lived a completely different life from most of us for the last 46 years, a life of drugs, alcohol and prison time. He is now a christian but this is a completely new and different way of living. He wants this new life, but is struggling. He is still somewhat in chains. I love Greg and he is my brother in Christ. This is the post I wrote 6 months ago but never posted. Now I do. . .)

September 24, 2011, twelve weeks after I met Greg, 5 1/2 weeks after being saved, Greg was arrested for public intoxication. Four days later, I sat on the park bench again with Greg. He told me the day before that there had been an argument between him and the Subway worker across the street. They had been letting him come in every now and then to get a free drink and occasionally a free sandwich.

Greg became bored this Saturday night and had started drinking in the shed he was sleeping in. He then wanted to get out and be downtown on the square to breathe fresh air, so walked there. He thought the girl working in the Subway was telling rumors on him and he went to ask her about this. Confrontation is probably a better word here. She told me one story and Greg told me another. He admitted that he had been drinking and probably said some things he shouldn't. The manager made him leave and banned him from their property for the next two years. Greg went back to the park. The police were called and they came down to talk with Greg. They saw he was drunk, and arrested him. He sat in jail for 5 hours and has had a $200 fine to pay. 

While he and I were on the park bench after this incident, we had a long talk.

I knew he was a drinker, I knew all about his past. But this day was the first time he said has was an alcoholic. I suspected, but heard it out loud from him for the first time this day.

I know Greg is not a saint, I know he has had 46 years of living in a different world than mine. I know he wasn't just going to leap over into mine all at once. It is huge that he and I are even friends with such drastic worlds between us. I still believe God brought us together. I believe that Greg is saved. I also believe that he has a lot of baggage from the other world as well as bad habits and it is going to take time and grace and power of God to help Greg let go of the alcohol and all that brings with it. I believe he needs me to still be there as a friend who will not judge him, and yet hold him accountable and steer his thinking towards the Christian world he stepped into on the day of August 23, 2011. My husband is right there also as a friend to Greg and helping to hold him accountable.

I am sure when we believers stepped into that new world we were not perfect and messed up. We still do.  We need grace and so does he. We might not have gotten arrested, but is it any different in God's eyes? If we want to look at how big his mistakes are, we also need to recognize how big it was of Greg to take that step into the believer's world from his, an ex-con, one who spent much time in prison, who spent his days with hardened people. It was huge for Greg to step over. It was huge for Greg to come to my large church and be baptized in front of all those people, knowing they knew who he was and was homeless. It is huge that he and I can sit next to each other, forming a friendship like we have. All this only from God. That's why I know there is hope for Greg. God is in this picture. I told Greg we just need to keep praying, calling out to God for help and strength, but he also had to step out and do his part too. This is where he struggles but knows that it is right.

Greg was going to two different churches on Wednesday mornings for bible study. He was going to church on Sunday mornings. He was volunteering twice a week at the Hope House. But for now, he has stopped. What he needs is to be discipled by strong Christian men. He needs to be kept busier. But he has to want to do this on his own.

I am not an alcoholic so I cannot understand the hold it has on one. I know that it is hard. But I know that my God can break it. Greg has to want it bad enough. He may have to feel really bad before it gets better. Greg told me yesterday (May 30, 2012), that He loves God with all his heart, that these chains don't change that fact.  "I've just got to take it one day at a time.  I'm tryin', I'm really tryin, don't give up on me", he said.  I'll never give up on him.  This is where Greg needs prayer.  Prayer that God will break the chains of addiction and for Greg to be set free. With God, anything is possible! Do you believe this? If you do, I am asking you to commit Greg to prayer for this very thing. The chains holding him to Hell are gone. But the chains of alcoholism still has a hold. Undending love, amazing grace. . .this is what Greg needs now. I can't wait for the day I can write you all and tell you that Greg speaks these words with confidence. . .
"My chains are gone, I've been set free"

can you just imagine the testimony?!

 I have seen Greg try so hard. I have seen Greg make wonderful changes and grow. I have seen conviction and repentance. Greg is still my friend and I still love him and always will. Pray he reaches out for the help he needs and for the chains to be completely broken. Pray for him to be set completely free.
Thank you!


Brandee Shafer said...

Dear Heavenly Father: Thank You for Kristin. Thank You for making and growing her into exactly the person she is today, Lord. Thank You for her example in living out the calling You've placed on her life. I ask You to keep her heart soft and her will strong. I thank You, too, Father, for Greg. Thank You for the decision he made to follow You. I pray that Greg will respond in obedience to the Holy Spirit living in his heart: that Greg will be teachable, that Greg will tap into Your power to leave behind his alcoholism and any other negative carry-overs from His past. I pray that Greg will walk in relationship with You, Lord. Please continue to send helpers to guide Him. Thank You for loving us so very much that You sent Your son to die. Thank You for growing us slowly and bit by bit so our heads don't pop off. Thank You for never hiding from us when we seek You. Thank You for never leaving or forsaking us after we've asked You into our hearts. In Your name I pray, Amen.

Kristin Bridgman said...

Bless your heart Brandee! Thank you so much!

Cora from Hidden Riches said...

And I say AMEN to Brandee's prayer and am so in agreement with her and with you, Kristin. I couldn't help but think of all the baggage I brought with me when I met the Lord ---- and probably even packed more and more baggage even after that. As I walk along side of two dear ones who struggle with this, they remind me time and again that growth is "little by little." And so it is with me, too. And so it will be with Greg. How wonderful that you are there for him. I know there are so many times I've fallen flat on my face -- sometimes a gracious friend picked me up, other times, I sure could have used one. I will be praying constantly for Greg and for you, Kristin! Thank you for this today.

Kristin Bridgman said...

I can always count on you my dear, sweet friend. We need our brothers and sisters around us, all of us do! Thank you for standing with me.

marlece said...

Aren't we glad that the Lord sees our heart? I love that you see his heart too. The Lord sent you to be a messenger, one that just shows in action that he is loved unconditionally. Addiction, it makes me so mad, I battle it with a loved one on my end and it just makes me FURIOUS that Satan can get ahold of someone. But we serve a bigger God than Satan and He can break these chains.

Thank you Jesus for your heart, your calling, your love towards Greg. That's all the Lord asks of us to LOVE and you do this well.

Jennie Morgan said...

I was just praying for Greg this morning and was going to email and ask about him but had to leave the house before doing so. Perfect timing in catching me up to date with him. I continue to pray for this precious man.

Kristin Bridgman said...

Thank you Marlece! We will pray for the chains to break for all our loved ones, together. Our God is greater and bigger than any addiction. With HIM, all things are possible!

Kristin Bridgman said...

Thank you Jennie! You are precious! ;)

ells said...

Kristin...I know how this breaks your heart for him...I don’t know if you read beth moore’s blog...her sister has been an alcholic most of her life...she came clean over 3 years ago. Gay(sister) wrote some of her story on the blog...God was doing amazing things with her and her story...than a while later...beth blogged asking for prayers...those chains...the pull is so strong.
Kristin...I know he feels God’s love through you...he has probably never had anyone stand with him no matter what. This reminds me somewhat of a child...they push...push as to test our love...Is He testing God’s love for him? and you will be Jesus with skin to show him what God’s unconditional looks like.
Praying for Greg...praying for you~

Kristin Bridgman said...

Ro~I had no idea about Beth's sister. Alcohol has no boundaries! Thank you for your sweet words. Greg has never had anyone stand by him. I pray that he feels Christ's love by my husband and I both standing by him no matter what and he will draw strength from that. Prayer and unconditonal love are powerful. Thank you for sharing yours with us through those same things :)

Julie Garmon said...

Sooo moved by your post about Greg, Kristin!!

And I'm so glad you started writing~it's quite a journey, isn't it.


Reformed rebel said...

Hi Kristin ~ I am praying for Greg and you.


Kristin Bridgman said...

Hey Julie,
So glad you came by! And yes, writing is certainly a journey and one I'm so glad I started!

Hey Chelle, I'm so thankful for a faithful prayer partner like you, THANK YOU! :)

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