This is My Story // Bree Blum

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When I went to church camp many moons ago, I always dreaded those awkward get-to-know-you ice breaker games where you had to share things about yourself with the rest of the group.

I could tell you all kinds of things about my friends who had joined me for the week or even half of the other campers, because we typically saw each other year after year, but for some reason I always struggled to come up with something to say about myself.

So hi, I’m Bree and things haven’t changed much from those days at camp, at least when it comes to face-to-face interactions.  It’s pretty safe to say that I’m your average thirty-something introvert, who works hard to convince you otherwise.  I’m a recovering perfectionist and my weakness is anything pumpkin flavored.  I have loved Jesus for as long as I can remember, but it was only within the last few years that I really started pursuing a more in-depth relationship with Him.

This is My Story - Bree Blum // The Intentional Filling Community Connection Week - www.imperfectvessel.com

I’m a daddy’s girl when it comes to my earthly father and my Heavenly one.  I spent most of my childhood trying to please both; bending over backwards to make them happy.  It wasn’t something that I was told that I needed to do, but something that deep down I felt was my responsibility.  The desires may have developed without my full acknowledgment.  It may have started when I first ventured out of my home life and into school, and I realized that my family situation was very different from those around me.

My big sister has Cerebral Palsy and is fully dependent on my family to take care of her basic needs, as she is wheelchair bound. Though to me, my sister is just as bright and as humor-filled as the rest of my family, she is different in the eyes of society, and being different opens doors to a world of hurt when ignorance breeds gossip and teasing.

So instead of proudly sharing about my amazing sister, who has an uncanny knack of making everyone smile, I hid her existence and a part of my own.  I shared only surface details of my family life with my classmates and I worked really hard to make them like me, just in case they learned the truth, they wouldn’t harp on me as much.

This same behavior continued in my faith as well.  I worked really hard to remain in the good graces of God because I thought that was how it worked.  Sure I knew that He had sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to us to teach us to love one another and that He died on the cross to forgive me for my sins, but I thought there was something that I had to do to make up for His sacrifice.

You know, like when someone goes out of their way to help you move to a new house, there is an obligation to repay them for their time and sacrifice, usually with a tray of brownies.  Jesus’ death was a bit more sacrificial, and brownies don’t quite cut it for the Lord and Savior of your life.  Instead I poured my life into youth group and Sunday School and church committees, plays and singing in the choir.  All of these acts would surely help to repay the favor, right?

This is My Story - Bree Blum // The Intentional Filling Community Connection Week - www.imperfectvessel.com

The hard work of making people like me spilled over into my relationship with men…or should I say, boys.  I bent over backwards to make relationships work.  I sacrificed my own morals and gave away too much of myself.  I fell hard for each relationship, thinking that this one would be, the one.  I was the master of concocting excuses that would explain away their distant, cold or uncommitted behaviors, certain that if I tried harder, they’d love me more.

And it failed every time.

Spring Heights Staff
Spring Heights (church camp) staff – 2007

The anxiety began.  And it overwhelmed to the point that I stopped going to church.  Stopped spending time with friends and I retreated into my shell, where I was beaten up over and over by words of defeat.  I was miserable and though I always worked so hard to put up a front, trying to be perfect, trying not to show the mess that I was on the inside, cracks in the facade allowed others to take notice.  And my mom suggested therapy.

I was furious at her suggestion.  Was there really something wrong with me?  And if so, did I really want to tell a stranger all about the chaos that runs inside my veins?

But I went and the first session I went through half a box of tissues.  The words just flowed, as freely as the tears and with it, out poured the lies of defeat.  The therapist spoke truth into my heart that night by sharing a list of scriptures that share of my identity in Christ (a great printable of some of these verses are available in the corresponding study journal – available here).

This church outing (Winter Jam 2013) provided a whole lot of healing that I didn’t know I needed.


After a few weeks of therapy, a creating blog to journal some of my thoughts (where the Imperfect Vessel all started) I ventured back to the place that I knew I’d always belong – church.  I was invited to join the church’s group of twenty-somethings in attending Winter Jam.  It was a concert of some of my favorite Christian artists and it was a place that provided healing, a chance at forgiveness (to myself and so many others) and a whole new start with a fresh outlook on my faith.

And that’s all that was needed to grow who I was in Christ, a new beginning.  I did not need to give so much of myself, to the point of exhaustion, I did not need to strive for the acceptance of others, I did not need to keep up the facade of perfection, I just needed to bask in the grace and mercy of Christ.

This is My Story - Bree Blum // The Intentional Filling Community Connection Week - www.imperfectvessel.com

Through my church’s amazing year long series on, The One Story (starting 2/2/2014), I learned the true meaning of the gospel; something that I never considered in the thirty plus years I had been living out my faith.

Jesus + Nothing = Everything!  It’s all about Him, and not about what I do, but rather about what HE has accomplished in His sacrificial death, becoming my substitute and allowing me to walk free in the glory of His name!

I have been so blessed by Christian community throughout my life, through my church, attending church camp, working for that same camp years later, being involved in a small group and extending that group with some of the ladies, some of the most beautiful souls the Lord has placed in my life, by starting our own series of Saturday night gatherings.

When I began writing my blog, I didn’t know how God would use it for His purposes.  I didn’t realize just what a blessing it would be to others and how it has shaped my own life.  Starting the Imperfect Vessel and developing my own community, the Intentional Filling, focusing on inspirational book studies, was never something that I set out to do.  It’s been God, working in and through me.  And I am so excited to see how He continues to work in making things happen in each of our stories!

[divider type=”dashed” color=”grey”] [row-start] [three-fourths]Bree Blum is a 32 year old cardigan-wearing blogger who loves Jesus.  She lives in Wheeling, WV where she serves in her church as a sign language interpreter and works full time as an Administrative Assistant for a technology firm.  She has a passion for women’s ministry and speaking life into others despite her own introverted tendencies.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.[/three-fourths] [one-fourth][/one-fourth] [row-end]

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  1. You are a daddy’s girl both to your natural and spiritual father! Know that you are loved, wanted, and accepted. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to get to know you.

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