Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Streams In The Desert- A Guest Post with Abby Breuklander

Today I have the lovely privilege here on the blog to introduce you to an amazing lady, and such a sweet encourager and friend.

Abby Breuklander is this beautiful soul with the heart of a warrior, so apparent the first time we connected online, and I knew she needed to share her story. To encourage anyone who is having to endure past what they think they can, and to cling to God without hesitation.

Need to be inspired? Not sure you can be brave anymore? Here are Abby’s thoughts on what happens when the unexpected takes over, and you let God take control…


Me: Abby, I’m excited to have you here on the blog. God kind of brought us together online a few months ago now, and it wasn’t long before I knew you had a testimony that would inspire!

*Abby: To be completely honest, when I felt “Heavenly promptings” to share my story, I was absolutely terrified. I’ve always hated being the center of attention, no matter what the situation. I’m perfectly happy to just stay behind the scenes, as far away from the spotlight as possible. It’s so scary putting yourself out there, opening up and becoming vulnerable enough to let others see the real you. I couldn’t really believe that anyone would really care about what I’ve been through or what I might have to say. I’m just a plain-Jane, simple, easy to please girl-next-door.

But He’s been showing me that my story is not my own, it’s His too.
And possibly someone else’s that I don’t even know about yet. The Lord could be using this to give someone the help and hope that they’re looking for, or to draw someone to Himself.

How humbling is that? To know that someone else’s life could be changed for the better, whether physically or spiritually, puts everything into a different perspective!!  It’s never just been about me. The pain, tears, utter brokenness, hope, healing, restoration and faith are being used for something so much bigger than myself. So after an experience that can only be described as a “Heavenly kick in the rear,” I said yes to sharing my story. The good, the bad, and the down-right ugly. But He can take all of this and turn it into something that only He can!

Streams In The Desert: A Guest Post

Me: Your journey has been one of complicated health issues and surgery. Without going into personal detail, share what the biggest challenges have been for someone who had to face on-going medical obstacles and what you discovered about your faith.

*Abby: June 21, 2004 was the day that began the downward spiral of all my health issues and the longest 11 years of my life. There have been many times this journey has been an absolute nightmare of one problem after another. One situation is resolved and then here comes a new one to deal with, each worse than the one before.  This current health issue has been going on for 3 years now. You never dream that what is supposed to be a simple surgery would turn into something so awful, that what doesn’t both other people at all, nearly kills you. You never imagine that the problem would be 2 little metal clamps left inside you from surgery that are actually making you sick because you’re so allergic to them. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why no one in the medical field would believe my suspicions for why I was so ill afterwards, why there wasn’t an emergency surgery to remove them.

The days, weeks, and months that followed trying any and every solution, just for some relief from the symptoms this brought on, only to end up at another dead-end is something no one should ever have to go through.

The day I heard the words, “There’s nothing else I can do. I think you just need to go home and learn to live with this”, felt like a death sentence. What then-26 year old wants to hear that? Every awful appointment after that day only made it more of a reality. Was I actually supposed to just give up? I knew there had to be more to my life than all this right?

Thankfully I was able to find a specialist who has believed in me and a treatment therapy that has helped so much!!  Now I’m no longer facing a surgery to remove the clamps since my system has accepted them!  A miracle! Things are turning around for the better. I still have both good and bad days, but the good days far outnumber the bad ones!

To be completely honest I wasn’t sure I was ever going to make it this far, but the last few months have been amazing!!  I actually felt like someone who is 27 instead of 100! It’s very plain to see that He’s been carrying me the last 11 years because I don’t know how else I’ve gotten here otherwise. It seems like every time things were starting to go well the rug would be yanked out from under me. Sometimes I debated about just staying on the floor, save myself a fall. But I realized that I wasn’t meant to live life on the floor. Jesus came to give abundant life, not a “hug the rug with everything in you” life.

Sure there were days I wanted to throw in the towel and just give up. Watching my life, hopes and dreams slip right through my fingers was so hard. I was so mad at Him for allowing all of this to happen, not seeing that maybe this actually was for the best after all.

Me: So how does someone process this type of continuous trial? What are the things you’re learning about yourself, and God?

*Abby: I thought I was a pretty patient person…..but apparently not. And that’s okay, because it’s a never-ending learning process. That takes so much pressure away, knowing that I don’t have to be perfect and have it all together all the time. Does that mean I don’t have to try any more? Absolutely not!  It just means that I don’t need to be so hard on myself when I lose my patience since I still am human after all. That’s never going to change this side of Heaven.

Being out in the deserts of life can also be a very good thing. I’ve had dreams that have died and been replaced by ones that are so much bigger and better than anything I could ever possibly imagine. Other dreams have survived and are still very much alive. But the ones that He no longer wanted me to pursue were sent into the desert to die, so to speak.

And you know what?  I have peace about walking away from those dreams. Was it easy to let them go? Not at first, but when the drive and desire for those things aren’t there anymore, then it’s time to move on.

The Father tells us to be still in Psalm 46:10, but He knew I wasn’t about to do that on my own. I don’t think I even knew the meaning of ‘be still’. There were times I was 3 weeks ahead of myself. Since I wasn’t going to slow down on my own, He slowed me down Himself. Looking back now I shouldn’t look at it as Him taking things away, He just wanted me all to Himself for a while before I was ready to move into what I’m supposed to do in life. Which I’m honestly still trying to figure out….But I’m sure that whatever He has in mind it’s going to be an adventure!

Me: What would you like us to take away from your testimony then, something we can take with us into our own situations?

*Abby: Well, I’m finally at the point where I can truly say that this hasn’t just been the worst time in my life, it’s also been the best. I’ve learned so much about God and myself that I never dreamed possible. I’ve met so many incredible people who’ve chosen to walk this road with me, many have become very dear friends.

These are blessings that I probably wouldn’t have in my life if things hadn’t happened the way they did, which I wouldn’t trade for anything! I don’t know how all the pieces fit together just yet, but maybe that’s the point….I’m not supposed to know.

All I can do is trust that since He’s already ahead, behind and right next to me, that whatever happens next, we’ll get through it together!


Friends- I hope and pray that Abby’s words find a place inside your circumstances today, and settle in there as the sign to carry on! To never give up. He has good things to infuse each leg of the journey with and will find a way to use to His glory! Never doubt that.

Ever.

And to my sister-warrior, Abby- your light has been this brilliant shining brave thing that anyone who knows you knows comes from God, a diamond-faith rising up out of the dust! Thank you for being such an inspiration to myself, and others.

Proof that with God, all things are possible.

Streams in the Desert
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Sharing today with other lovely bloggers with hearts for Him at Jennifer Dukes Lee’s linkup #TellHisStory!!! Will you join us? Click on the hashtag above!

28 Comments

  1. Abby Breuklander

    July 13, 2015 at 9:32 AM

    Thank you for being such an awesome friend and cheerleader!! 🙂

    • Christine Duncan

      July 13, 2015 at 10:32 AM

      Thank YOU for your awesome words of hope shared, Abby! Who knows what this first step out into new territory will do. God will lead you all the way 🙂

  2. Abby, you are such a light and an inspiration. I am so glad to see you here at Christine’s place sharing your story. You are going to give hope to others who were in a desperate situation and who may not think they have any reason left to fight. Thank you for being here today, friend! Keep sharing your story. You are a gift. <3

  3. Thanks for sharing Abby! We’ve recently connected on Facebook, but I don’t know you well. I’d see your posts asking for prayer. I’d pray, but not sure what the story was behind it all. And I agree with Christine Duncan, “a diamond-faith” and encouragement to many.

    • Abby Breuklander

      July 13, 2015 at 11:52 AM

      Hi Jennette!! Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers!! It means a lot to me!! I’m so glad we’ve connected on Facebook!! 🙂

  4. Thank you Abby for sharing your story! I will be praying for your continued recovery. As a fibromyalgia and hypermobility sufferer, I know what you mean by “good days” and “bad days.” I have found overwhelming peace in knowing that no matter how I am feeling, God is always good and always working on my behalf.

    • Abby Breuklander

      July 13, 2015 at 12:01 PM

      Hi Lauren!! Thank you so much for the prayers, I’ll be praying for you as well!! I know exactly what you mean about His peace and knowing that even though the pain can hurt so bad, I’m right where He wants me! He sees and He knows!!

  5. Thanks for sharing your story Abby! You are such an encouragement and I’m *so* happy we “met” online!!! Love friendships that start like that 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing your story, Abby. I kow you a little better now 🙂 You have a powerful testimony and can now share the many treasures of darkness God has shown you. Yes, His plan for you is so much bigger and greater than we can imagine! Persevere, dear sister!!

  7. Well done, Warrior Princess! You’re a blessing.

  8. Sweet Abby, I’m so very proud of you for having the courage to share your story! You are so right, God is definitely going to use your testimony to encourage someone else who has or is walking a similar path. The hard part of our journey often BECOME our testimony. I can’t wait to watch how God continues to use you and pray your health will continue to improve. In His time, His will and in His strength. Love you, friend! xo

    • Abby Breuklander

      July 14, 2015 at 12:02 AM

      Aww, thank you so much!! Thank you for being an amazing friend and cheerleader as well!! Love you too!!

  9. Such a beautiful testimony and so much we can learn from Abby! Abby has a spark about her that you notice from the very beginning! No doubt the love of Chrsit shine through her for those around to be drawn toward! Thank you Abby for openning up and sharing so that others can have hope.

  10. So good to see you hear Abby- thank you for sharing your story, proud of you!

  11. Abby,
    What an amazing and inspiring testimony. What grace and joy is overflowing in your words. Such a testimony. Praying God’s blessing and hand on you always. You are truly a shining light for Him. Thanks so much for sharing your heart and struggles and love for God.
    In Christ,
    Dani

  12. You are a light indeed, Abby. You’re story is so powerful and the fact that you hold fast to faith and freely give of your gift of encouragement, despite your long journey is such a powerful testament to His Spirit at work in you. Praying for you sweet friend and that each day brings your closer to healing and restoration. There is no doubt that you have been transformed in the process – the fact that you’ve allowed Him the freedom to work in your life is simply courageous. xoxo

  13. beautiful and powerful testimony, Abby!

  14. Abby, I absolutely loved reading and learning more of your story. The line about your story being God’s story really struck a chord. And I loved this part, “It seems like every time things were starting to go well the rug would be yanked out from under me. Sometimes I debated about just staying on the floor, save myself a fall. But I realized that I wasn’t meant to live life on the floor. Jesus came to give abundant life, not a “hug the rug with everything in you” life.”

    So good friend. I just love you. <3

    • Abby Breuklander

      July 29, 2015 at 9:31 AM

      Aww, thanks! I love you too!! That line was one that really hit home for me too, that He wouldn’t want me to just stay on the floor staring at the ceiling. He’s gotten me this far, so He’s got something up His sleeve!!

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