Jay Austin Brandenburg-Nau
Jay Brandenburg-Nau - Strange Emotions

Strange Emotions with Jay Brandenburg-Nau

Freedom Is Such a Strange Emotion.

Jay Brandenburg-Nau 22
Jay Brandenburg-Nau 22

Such a strange feeling. Freedom. The freedom to choose. The ability to enjoy life. The option. Options have always felt like a game of Russian roulette. A choice that could prove fatal. The choices I made always felt like they came with a great price. I spent the weekend on the river.

Such a healing place. A beautiful experience with good friends. Guiding a raft through the many twists and turns the water offers. Quiet still moments of majestic beauty, with moments of adrenaline pumping and exhilarating rapids.
The feeling that I actually have what it takes to get down the miles of unknown water. The idea that three other men trust my strength and beauty. The times when I have to surrender to the river’s power and flow. Along for the ride.  Such is life. A river of power, beauty, and treachery.
Trust your gut, follow your heart. God gave us such good hearts. Pure and true hearts that have been riddled with wounds, lies, and pain. It’s so easy to play it safe. So easy to get comfortable, small and apathetic.  The river teaches me that there truly is where a way to live. A wild and beautiful adventure.
A life worth living.  Things happen quickly on the river. So many things to navigate, but surrendering to the rivers wild and untamed flow is such an exercise in faith hope and love.  The very thing Jesus invites us into.
Faith, the ability to trust, trust that God truly is good. That God actually cares about the little things, the details and has our best in mind.  Hope, the ability to dream and imagine. Love, the ability to give and receive.  These are the ingredients needed to truly engage the river. They are necessary for navigating a wild and untamed life.
The river has taught me so much. Mostly to trust, to linger, to stay present. As we floated by blue Herron, I was struck by its beauty. The power in its wings… it was a gift from God. A quiet reminder that God is with us. God is wild and untamed.  That God actually cares.
Freedom, true freedom is found in surrender. Surrendering to a greater story. Letting go of control and embracing ones current reality.

Anxiety Is Such a Strange Emotion.

It’s like a churning swirling storm that threatens brutality and compels the soul to run, always run duck and cover.  It comes without warning and steals the grace offered for the day.  You can be in a moment with friends, or waiting for an email… When the heart can’t run it produces an explosion of fear fury and irrational behaviors.
It steals joy, the moment, the real and replaces it with an alternate reality. A world that says, you are one fuck up away from being alone, exposed, revealed. This reality has existed from the beginning. They were naked so they hid. They covered up, allowed fear to create a reality that didn’t exist. A  reality that cost everything to maintain.
Gods gentle voice asking a very interesting question “Who told you-you were naked?” As if to say, those aren’t my words, not my feelings…. the pain in that comment… the longing of a father to make it all better, to enter the mess, to stand firm and solid with a gentle reminder that He sees what’s true.
He sees beyond the mess and the crazy world that has so captivated us.  He beckons us to be still, to quiet our hearts and minds… to merely ponder the idea that we are so loved, so fought for, so worth his presence.
We have bought the lie that all this goodness is only available if we earn it, prove and succeed.  Somehow we have made ourselves part of this extraordinary equation. For many, we have failed so many times that our hearts have become numb, cut off and resigned to an existence void of love.
We exchange love for a substance, a new relationship, a better car… we live lulled to sleep by counterfeit Gods that promise more than they deliver and cost us more than we have to spend.
Who told you-you were naked? Was it a hurtful word on a playground? Was it an absent father mired in his own pain? Was it a failed career or marriage?  What would it be like to listen to the voice of love?
This God that covers nakedness and heals wounds!  He is whispering “Be still and know!”

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