My name is Britani and Jesus redeemed my life! I grew up in North Carolina in a healthy, loving, and nurturing home with my mom, dad, brother, and maternal grandmother very present in my life. I had a good childhood with struggles related to my weight, acne, and wanting a boyfriend (still praying for that one!). I was a very active and a fairly social and confident child. I danced (ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, hip hop, lyrical) for 12 years (ages 3-15), played soccer for 7, was in the marching band on the color guard from 9th-10th grade, and the dance team from 11-12th grade. I also played the piano for 7 years, the clarinet for 3, and the violin for 4. School wise, I was an A/B student.
As far as God goes, I was baptized as an infant and grew up in the Presbyterian Church. (PCUSA). I was the good girl who wanted to please others and do what was right so I wouldn’t get in trouble, not because I wanted to honor God. I always knew that there was a God because of creation (hello Romans 1!), but I didn't like the idea of Jesus because He said He was the only way to heaven. Since I had family members who weren’t believers, this always bothered me. When I was 16 (Junior in high school), one of my classmates, Adrian Parente, wrote me a gospel letter because of a conversation we had with some other classmates in chemistry about Lent. He told me that Jesus is the only way to heaven, the way to be saved from hell, and that he was telling me this because he loved me and cared for my soul. I didn't like that because I believed in an “all-loving” universal God. I should have thrown that letter away in anger, but 16 years later I still have it!
Around this same time, I got really interested in politics; specifically advocating for sexual health, education, and women’s “rights” aka pro-abortion rights. I wanted to go to college to become an OBGYN and also help prevent teen pregnancy, but I always knew that I would never want to perform abortions. (Interesting, right?) When I was a freshman, I actually met a Christian sister named Mirjam Gerber who was an exchanged student from Switzerland whose mother had been conceived in rape. She said if her grandmother had aborted her mom, she would not be there. It stayed with me for years.
I had some hiccups with admission to Georgia State University, but I eventually got accepted in Fall 2006. While I was at GSU, I changed my major three times: biology to journalism to sociology and finally graduated with a Bachelor's (B.A.) degree in Sociology May 2012.
During my second year at GSU in 2007, I got involved with an organization on campus called The Department of Student Health Promotion. The office basically promoted and educated students on various health issues: nutrition, health and safety, self-exams, and of course the big ticket item: SEX. Students referred to us as “the condom office” because we gave out 3 free condoms along with personal lubricants (per student, per day) If we didn’t have something they were looking for or needing, we referred them to the Planned Parenthood that was 6 floors above us. This was also the same PP that I volunteered with to do campaign calling during elections and also promotion and “education” at community health fairs. With me being very pro sex-education and wanting to pursue that as a career path, the office was right up my alley.
That same year in August, I also got involved with a campus ministry called Chi Alpha and was involved with them for two years before I even got saved in December 2009. Before I was even a believer, I was being discipled by believers, - my campus pastor, his wife, and 3 other sisters - who made such a huge impact on my walk with Christ. I was involved with them for 5 of the 6 years I attended GSU. Even though I was extremely liberal and anti-Christ, God clearly used my time with the ministry to bring me to Himself by His irresistible grace.
On August 17, 2009, I actually got kicked out of GSU because I neglected my schoolwork and thus declining grades followed each semester. It was very embarrassing and I thought I was going to have to come back home to attend community college. It wasn't easy for me, but God used it to draw me to Himself. I submitted an appeal letter shortly after that and had to wait until the end of the semester (December) to find out if I got back in. I told God that if he got me back in, I would serve him with everything I had. Then I thought about the idea of reneging on God, surrendered, and told Him that I would serve Him even if he didn’t get me back in.
My testimony is not without a history of sexual sin either. In 2008, I met another young woman who made me question my sexuality and then I started dating a woman who was 5 years older than me. It lasted for 2 months and I eventually broke it off because I knew that I was not a lesbian. Then in 2009, God delivered me from a life-long porn addiction. In May of 2010, I ended up having sex for the first time with a guy a few days after meeting him. I was extremely angry at myself and sad that I had sinned against God. About a week later, I repented for that, cut him off, and vowed to remain abstinent until marriage. Though masturbation is still a battle for me, I have been abstinent for almost 11 years! All glory to God!
After submitting the appeal letter and waiting 4 months, I went to the Registrar’s Office and found out that I was readmitted on December 17 of 2009. I was so grateful! I ran outside and said, "Thank you Jesus! I believe you're God! You're real, you're real!" Then I paused because I knew what it meant to profess that Jesus was God and follow Him because of my time with Chi Alpha. I knew my life was going to radically change and that God was going to have to change me because I was still living like a heathen. 2010 was a doozy because he changed my heart on abortion, homosexuality, sexual immorality, and the Scriptures; basically everything! I stopped cursing like a sailor, engaging in vulgar conversations, giving out condoms and lubricants, doing the sex programs that different organizations and classes requested from us, etc. Then in December of 2010, my boss gave me the option to be fired or resign because he could tell I wasn’t happy there and my co-workers were also gossiping about me. I gratefully resigned and MLK Day of 2011 was my last day in that office. As I left for the last time, I walked out saying “Free at last, Free at last, thank God almighty I’m free at last!”
My kingdom mission is to preach the gospel, make disciples, and be the hands and feet of Christ in any way I can. I am now a loud advocate for freedom in Christ, justice for the preborn and the oppressed, as well as healthy and Biblical views of sex, sexuality, and women’s issues. I have many other pursuits and write passionately at haveaseat.blog where I seek to encourage and equip women to holistically thrive in Christ, in life, and fearlessly engage the Church and the world.