Five Questions: Bryanna

Welcome to MyOrthodoxFamily.com! Tell us who you are.

Hi! I like to describe myself as an extrovert, strong-willed, adventurous, goal-oriented woman… 3.5 years ago I married a man who would challenge and grow me in all the ways that I described myself… then 2.5 years ago I became a mother which grew me again… and then 6 months ago I became Orthodox which I came to realize will ultimately grow me the most! So for now… I am someone trying to become less of who I want to be – while drinking coffee and wanting to travel the world – and becoming more of who Christ through His Church is making me into.

What do you most enjoy sharing? What do you feel most called to share? 

As a recent convert on a journey to Orthodoxy which started five years ago… I first was very nervous to share on social media about the Orthodox Church. First, because I didn’t know a whole lot about it and Second, because all of my community was Protestant. Recently I have realized that my journey and my story of what I’m learning, experiencing, and growing in deserves to be shared because Orthodoxy is such a beautiful faith fulfilling the saying: “And this did the grace of God grow and spread more in those desolate and trackless places than in cities of many people, wherein iniquity and strife abound.”

The world of social media is complex. What do you see as difficult and as redemptive about sharing your journey in this way? 

Social media makes me want to portray and eventually become a granola mother while sneaking my kid a Twinkie! 

🤪

This meaning I hope not to only post things while be a whole different person behind the scene, because we all want beautiful photos/quotes, yet we all struggle. and sometimes I can feel alone in that. Whenever someone tells me social media is all bad, I challenge that because I have seen amazing things come from social media. and I believe it does have the power to be influential and effective! Though I know it has and can bring harm to so many…. but if we could be humble, genuine, and portray real lives, I believe the potential power of what social media is can set us all free from what it has become! #thereallivesoforthodoxy 

😉

What is your earliest, distinctly Orthodox memory? 

It was Thanksgiving of 2015, it was the first time I went home to meet my boyfriend’s (now husband’s) parents. We went to a service in a small wooden church. I sat in the back wearing a dress that was above my knees as I saw women covered in head scarves and long dresses, feeling so out of place. I sat there not knowing what Orthodoxy was… I didn’t know a lot about Catholic, but I was assuming it was close to this, and if it was, then I knew from what I heard I didn’t want any part of it. I could feel the reverence of God in the church, I saw art of Bible characters (icons), and when the Priest gave his short sermon (homily), I could feel the depth in it. I was left with thoughts of, “If I married this guy I’m dating and we have kids, how would I ever explain this church to my kids (since it was way different then the charismatic, non-denominational Church I was use to)? Would I even let my kids come here?”
This first encounter with Orthodoxy left me questioning everything about it… sitting in that small church, I didn’t think then that I would ever grow to desire and long for the Liturgy like I do now…

What do you hope will be the mark you leave on the world as you pass through it? 

Love. I pray that one day they remember me for my love – the love I had for God and the love I had for my neighbor, my children, my family, my Church, my community. and most importantly my enemies.

@dutchess_bryanna

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