Insecurity doesn’t HAVE to result in desperation.
Instantly I had a choice to make. Would I let my insecurity cause desperation when I got the call? “Your brother has been attacked and beaten up. He is in the hospital.”
This is how Jennifer tells the story.
I remember when we got to chapter 6 of Desperate Dependency, where we were talking about the 3 pillars of Christianity: God is real, God is love, and God is sovereign… It’s how we view these truths about God that affects how we live…
During the particular section of “God is sovereign; therefore, He is trustworthy,” a phone call from my mom woke me up in the middle of the night saying that my brother was in the hospital. He was helping a friend move and was in the wrong part of town at the wrong time. A group of guys attacked him, and he had been beaten up.
I lay awake that night trying to pray and understand this. In fear and frustration, I asked God,
“If You are sovereign if You are trustworthy, why didn’t You protect my brother from this? You could have stopped this from happening, yet You didn’t. Are You really sovereign? Can I really trust You with my life or even with my kids’ lives?”
My mind knew this truth about God, but my heart didn’t believe it.
Bad things happen all the time to people, and I felt tremendous fear knowing that it could certainly happen to me if this happened to him. After all, I’m single, and I really need someone I can trust to protect me.
I really struggled with believing this truth about God. But just because I didn’t believe Him to be trustworthy didn’t make it any less true.
Then my house was broken into.
Not many months later, while I was at work, my house was broken into.
Being a single mom of two kids and living alone, this was terrifying for me. A stranger had invaded my safe place, and suddenly it didn’t feel safe anymore.
In the past, my first thought would have been, “See, God, this proves it. You may be sovereign, but You certainly can’t be trusted.”
God CAN be trusted!
But thanks to my amazing God and His work in my life through the process of Desperate Dependency, I was able to trust in His sovereignty and His plan that night. My entire way of thinking about God and who He is has been changed through all this.
All those distorted views I had about God are being replaced by the truth of who He really is. God’s will for our lives, what He wants most for us, is to be more like Him, and He loves us enough to accomplish this, even if it is through tragedy.
God can take the bad things and turn them for good.
God will take the bad things in our life, turn them for good, and in the process, draw us closer to Him.
Although I didn’t sleep much those first few nights after my house was broken into, I was peaceful. I was able to rest in the peace of knowing that even if it’s bad, nothing will ever touch my life that doesn’t filter through God first because I am His child.
Every day He is taking the bad and using it to shape me a little more into His image. The fear and confusion I felt all those months ago when my brother was attacked was replaced with peace and assurance that God IS sovereign, and because of that, He CAN be trusted.
Can you pray, “I will hope in You”?
God, even if You kill me, I will hope in You. I have no other hope. I want to argue my case with You. But this is what will save me—I am not godless. If I were, I could not stand before You. Please, listen closely to what I am about to say. Hear me out. O God, grant me these two things, and then I will be able to face You. Remove Your heavy hand from me, and don’t terrify me with Your awesome presence. Now summon me, and I will answer! Or let me speak to You, and You reply. . . .Job 13:15–22
Jennifer shared more of her backstory when she joined Desperately Dependent Community leadership years later.
Christian leadership has been a part of my life since I was a child. My parents were both very involved in Christian leadership when I was a kid, working as youth directors in our church and Christian school teachers. I grew up in Christian schools and watched my parents have a spiritual influence on the lives of so many. As an adult, I worked in a Christian school daycare and later as a teacher’s aide. I also taught at that same school for one year. During this time, I shared with children how God had worked in my life and the difference He made.
From 1995 to 2004, I spent time as a youth pastor’s wife. And while I was in a position of Christian leadership, looking back, I know I wasn’t finding my security in Christ, and I certainly wasn’t aware of my identity in Him. But even in this, God allowed me to influence quite a few teenage girls and point them to Him. I still have a relationship with some of these girls today.
My marriage fell apart
After this time, my marriage fell apart due to my ex-husband’s unfaithfulness to the marriage covenant and his commitment to God’s calling on his life. I found myself divorced and lacking in any spiritual depth. But God, in His faithfulness, pursued me. It was during this time of pain and heartache that God so completely changed me. I found my security and my worth, and my identity in Him. Now, I can share this testimony of God’s faithfulness with others in my circle of influence. God placed me in a position at a church where I can minister to those I come in contact with. He’s given me the ability to truly understand where people are and the courage to point them to Christ.
Christ makes a difference in marriage
I am remarried now, and my husband and I lead couples in Marriages that Minister, sharing with them how Christ makes the difference in our marriage. We also have been given influence in people’s lives at DDCommunity Church, pointing others to the One who has made such a difference in our lives.
God’s calling of Christian leadership on my life has been evident since I was a child. From the ministry of my parents to my guiding and leading my children to know Christ more intimately to now serving alongside my husband in ministering to others through Bible study and DDCommunity Church, God’s calling on my life has been obvious. Even when I have strayed from His path, He has been faithfully pulling me back to Him and what He’s called me to do.
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