Devotions

Author Archives: Brianna Grunwald

Reset • Devotion #6: Rehab

For the past three months, I have been dealing with some intense shoulder pain. I have always disliked going to the doctor’s office because I felt like every time I would go there was nothing ever wrong with me. After weeks of sharp and deep pain within my shoulder, I decided it was wise to go see a doctor. After clear x-rays, my doctor diagnosed me with MDI (multidirectional instability). He then decided to send me to physical therapy to see if that would strengthen my taffy-like tendons and control the pain. Something in me was hurt and injured. Because of that hurt, I did not function the same. My arms could no longer be raised above my head and my shoulder could no longer bear the pain of lifting weight. The first step after recognizing that there is an injury is to work it out. I went to physical therapy for weeks; each time doing different exercises to help strengthen my shoulder muscles. I will not lie to you, physical therapy was painful. Week after week I would struggle my way through the exercises and be in more pain when I left than when I arrived.  However, I knew that towards the end of this journey, I would begin to feel less and less pain. It would be freeing to finally control the pain and begin healing! After months of frustrating and discouraging doctor’s visits, I began to get stronger.

Church, we are broken. Once we realize that we are all broken sinners, we can begin the healing process. There are so many things in our lives that break us; divorce, abuse, toxic relationships, lust, pride, I mean, must I go on? This then causes us to not function the same as we did before the hurt. We begin to distance ourselves from those we love, by lying, cheating, being angry, or you fill in the blank. Yet, we must identify the problem and seek the solution. 

God wants us to bring our hurts, brokenness, and pain to Him. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” We are called to find accountability in fellow believers and seek the counsel of those wiser than ourselves. Galatians 6:2 adds, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Now church, this is a painful process. We have to examine ourselves, really dig down deep, and work out the root of the problem. I often think we as Christians try to hide our brokenness or injury and ignore it. When we do that, we only make the injury worse. However, if we persevere and take our sorrows to the cross, we begin to feel comfort (James 1:12; Romans 5:3-5; 1 Chronicles 16:11). We feel healing. We feel freedom. We feel strength. Scratch that, we do not feel these things. We “are” those things – Healed. Free. Strong.

Reach • Testimony #3: Brianna Grunwald

My testimony, how can I type that in 350-500 words? Let me try and sum it up in three: He found me.

Growing up, we went to church every Sunday. It was not anything more, and not anything less. Right after I turned seven years old, my parents got a divorce, and our regular church-going family halted to a stop. As I hit 5th grade, I began to ease my way back into the church with my friends. The church was fun for me. Yet, it was not anything more, not anything less. I bounced around tons of different churches until I found The River Church in small-town Holly, Michigan. It was a church where I could sneak into a 6th – 12th grade event when I was only in 5th grade. I loved being sneaky! 

I was a force to be reckoned with in fifth grade. All throughout elementary school, I got in loads of trouble because I hung around the wrong crowd. I was an outreach kid, a van kid, and a trouble maker. However, many showed me the love, grace, and mercy that Jesus showed them. People began to pour into me and fight for me every Wednesday night at this outreach event. The church kept reaching for me so that Jesus could find me. After a consistent year of going to Fusion every single week, I was finally old enough to go to camp. It sounded fun, so I gathered some friends, packed way too many bags, and endured the two-hour bus ride to camp. 

Day one, two, and three of camp, my heart remained hard. I did not focus on the hour-long chapels, the worship music, or the conviction that I felt in my heart. I focused on my friends, the gross games, and the chaos that I could create later that night for my cabin leaders. By day four, though, I walked out of the chapel feeling conviction in my heart and knowing that I was lost in my soul. Do you remember the last night of chapel at camp when the pastor is digging so deep into your heart, and everyone is crying in a corner? It was that night. I began walking back to my cabin, stopped, and turned back around to find myself back inside the chapel and sitting down with the student pastor to confess my sins. Now, at that age, I did not realize I was confessing, but rather spitting out choppy, sob-filled sentences about my mess of a life. I know you know exactly what I am talking about. Please do not pretend you have never been there! Yet, I remember him explaining salvation to me and feeling the weight of a thousand tons being lifted off my shoulders when I confessed with my mouth and believed in my heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

I remember hearing the Gospel and reciting the “salvation prayer” hundreds of times as a kid. This time, though, I felt the love of the Lord overflow in my heart. Remember when I told you that I was a nuisance from birth to middle school? I never got in trouble since middle school. Even though I was not completely devoted and committed to serving the Lord until about 8th grade, He changed my heart and my soul that night in the corner of the chapel. He took a mess, a broken child, an outreach kid, a stubborn girl, and He changed her heart. I cannot imagine where my life would be without the God who sought me out and found my soul. He found me, and He will find you, too. You just have to let Him. 



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