Yellow is my favorite color. Golden hues radiate joy and unashamedly point back to the warmth of the sun, even on the darkest of days. When I was younger, I would reply that I didn’t have a favorite color due to liking them all, or I’d give the compulsory answer of hot pink on behalf of 6-year-old Barbie owners everywhere.
During Sunday worship gatherings, you’ll see me with a yellow notebook—not too big, easy to spot if it happens to slide between seats, and perfectly sunny to coordinate with my two-toned, blue bible that my father gave me when I started college at UAB.
Endearing to me is not the bounded pages’ outer covering, but the inner ink. It is the story of my time as a member of our Brook Hills Faith Family. My notes mark my commitment to learning God’s Word, training in ways to share the gospel, joining a small group in faithfulness to accountability and going together in the Word, revelations of new discovery in passages read, joys of the Lord being my strength, happiness of using bestowed skills in ministries on campus, and chronicled journeys in short term mission.
My writing began on January 26, 2017. What was before that? Nothing.
Blank pages filled this yellow book. A gift given to me years before, the paper was aching to be employed for its designed purpose, the spine stiff from inactivity. I imagine the maker of this beautiful vessel would have nudged it to me in hopes of sparking an interested glance, if they only knew how cold it was sitting in my room.
To the world, my pages were getting full fast. Binders inches thick hold accomplishments from high school and college, newspaper articles document years of philanthropy work, video reels replay my skills of a beginning news reporter, all while a website was forming for a business I decided to launch.
So, what happened 25 months ago? The Holy Spirit decided that was the day to nudge me out of my cold room and spark an interested glance at the Maker who knew this beautiful vessel, made in His image, was stiff from inactivity. The accolades that filled those binders added not one jot to the Book of Life. Salvation, the gift given to me years before, was shown to be lacking sanctifying fruit—aching to be employed for its designed purpose.
Conviction from the Lord, for me, was like knowing thunder is near by seeing lightning flash. The boom of God’s voice didn’t write personal tablets of instruction, but the light from the Holy Spirit illuminated the inner halls of my heart. The pillars I set up as what a young American Christian woman should have as markers of faith were finally clear as a ladder to my own achievement—not Jesus’ call to forsake the world’s praise for the sake of calling the world to the Father.
While sitting in my Brook Hills seat, getting ready to hear Pastor Matt speak from God’s Word, God decided it was time I hear not with my ears alone but also with my soul.
The morning’s message back in newly-christened 2017 was titled “We Engage Locally.” A call to stay; a call to family stability; a call to pray and work toward renewal.
These points hit me hard. As the daughter of a Christian family, I had never seen the need to take ownership of my fruit’s harvest because of my dependance on the family’s overall tree. However, a family’s tree is only as strong as the stability of each of the branches, of the deepness of the roots.
The call to stay is perfectly embodied with a quote by Jill Briscoe that Pastor Matt chose to accompany the Scriptures: “You go where you’re sent, stay where you’re put, and give what you’ve got.” Have I asked God where to send me? Am I content with where I’m put? Do I give what I’ve got with those around me? No.
After a lifetime of attending church, I finally joined the church.
While, yes, attending a gospel-centered church is of great importance, attendance does not equal membership. My first Brook Hills contact began in 2007, with regular attendance in 2010. I heard and agreed with gospel-based teaching for years, but this is not what we are called to do.
Being obedient in the faith is banding together as the body of Christ in this broken world. As Jesus began His ministry, He quickly gathered others to disciple and called them to share the journey and to take the message to the nations. Inaction is not the mainstay of the body of Christ.
Contently soaking up the Word without obediently giving forward to others is a perfectly crafted strategy for American spiritual warfare. Simply ask God “What would you have me do?” and put your God-given faith to action by connecting meaningfully through worship, nurture, and mission.
The past 25 months in my yellow notebook now reflect that the joy of the Lord is my golden hue—pointing back to the warmth of the Son.
Elisabeth Chramer is a 28-year-old native of Trussville, AL and is passionate about the Birmingham community. Up for saying hello? Just look for the yellow notebook or visit the video team or choir gatherings.