Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A New Chapter...

Hey Everyone!

(If you are just logging onto my blog and you have not previously read the two posts below, I would recommend reading them first so you'll be up to speed on this update)...

I just have to say thank you all so very much for all of your prayers and the sweet messages of encouragement that many of you have sent me. I have saved every one of them in a special folder that I can go back and look at over and over again whenever I am having a rough day. They are precious reminders of how much my Heavenly Daddy loves me. I love how He loves on us through others!

Most of you will know that I have been looking for a job/income for quite some time now. For months, I have had many doors abruptly shut that just didn't make sense. I was left so confused and had moments where I questioned God's will for my life. I was trusting Him the best I could, but there was still some doubt looming in the back of my mind.

However, God was doing something very special within me while I was waiting. He was answering other desperate prayers that I had cried out to Him flat on my face more times than I can recount. What God wanted to do in my life needed a lot of concentrated time with Him as He poured out His love and His Word into my heart. He brought me to the point that I realized He was more than enough. It took Him allowing almost everything I had any security in to be stripped away, but what He gave me in exchange was worth so much more. He gave me the gift of Himself. This I have come to realize is the ultimate, most loving thing God could ever do for me.

Within a week after I finally just threw up my hands knowing that there was nothing more I could do, I received an unexpected message from a guy who used to play in a worship band with me, but who I had not seen in months. He asked what I was doing for work these days because he just so happened to possibly have a position opening up with his software hosting company.

I scheduled an interview with him and was offered the position of Executive Assistant on the spot! The company is Christian-owned and works with many missions organizations and churches. The guys I work with are all Christians and it was so refreshing to go into work on my first day and sit down with them to pray before we started our staff meeting. What is huge about this job is that I have been given the flexiblity to be able to leave when I am involved in other ministry commitments, which means I can continue to walk through the doors that God is opening for me to serve in ministry.

And if all that is not enough - our office is right by the water, so I can sit outside by the bay and gaze at God's beauty while eating my lunch everyday! Does God SO know me, or what?! I already have picked out my favorite shade tree to sit under where God and I are going to be having some special times together!

God kept His Word in promising to provide! Tears well up in my eyes as I type this because God proved Himself faithful and trustworthy yet again, even though I doubted Him so many times. He didn't do this for me because I had an extroardinary amount of faith. He did it simply out of His unfailing and perfect love for this flawed and imperfect girl. I can look back now and see how He has been working and realize He has been loving on me all along, even when I didn't recognize it.

I believe there is someone out there who needs to hear this story. I literally searched for jobs for months with no responses. I finally had to just give up, knowing that even if the worst thing happened that my Jesus would be right by my side through it all. Maybe you've been there. Maybe you're there right now. Maybe you've reached a dead end and don't know what to do. God sometimes allows us to get to that point so that we realize that He really is enough.

We can't always understand why God doesn't respond the way we want Him to sometimes. However, we can trust that He knows exactly what He is doing. In this very moment, He IS working everything out for your good. In time you will be able to look back and see how He was working behind the scenes the whole time. Don't give up, brothers and sisters - keep trusting Him - and He WILL reveal Himself to you!

"I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."

Psalm 40:1-3



Friday, March 04, 2011

What I Desire Most

Hey sweet friends!

I hope you all are enjoying this day that the Lord has made!

So...here's an update...I had a two-day interview this week for an Administrative Assistant position. The owner of the company told me he would not hire me for that particular job because I was over qualified. However, he offered me another position with the company that would have made me a VERY wealthy woman and would have given me all kinds of success and notoriety by the world's standards. How could I resist such an offer? To say that money has been tight would be the biggest understatement of my year. This would give me long-term financial stability in a very financially unstable world. I was blown away at first, thinking that maybe this was an answer to prayer. The thought of not having to worry about money anymore was most definitely appealing! I asked him to give me a little more time to pray about it before accepting the offer.

Those two days I was in complete turmoil. I did not want to turn down the opportunity if this truly was God's will for me, but I surely did not want it if it wasn't His will. I tossed and turned all night begging God to give me an answer. There was a part of me that felt like I needed to take the job simply because it was the financially "responsible" thing to do. However, I began realizing all of the things that I was going to have to give up in order to do this job. Every single area of my life would have become consumed by the responsibilities required. I would no longer be able to make any ministry and singing commitments, I would never see my friends and family, and more than anything I know my relationship with the Lord would have suffered. This company would have completely owned every part of my life.

I asked God to show me what to do, and He did. I knew that there might be people who would think I was crazy and irresponsible for not accepting the offer, but I knew that God did not want me to take that job. He gave me such a peace I can't explain, and I knew that I just needed to trust Him to lead me and provide for me.

After making my decision yesterday afternoon, I woke up this morning wondering what in the world I was to do now? I went out to one of my favorite "Jesus & Jen" spots at Vinoy Park and sat on the seawall with my legs dangling over the water. I remembered all of the special times I had with the Lord there over the years and all the salty tears I had cried out to Him that had landed in that salty water of the bay. God reminded me of how He has always been faithful and has heard every one of my cries. There I was again, pouring my heart out to Him asking Him for help. I just needed that reassurance that He was there, and that He did have something very special planned for my life.

The wind was blowing rather strong and causing big waves to crash against the seawall spraying me with water, but I didn't care. I was there to meet with my Heavenly Daddy and I wasn't leaving until He reassured me of His presence. Suddenly, a pelican flew within feet of me with his wings spread out allowing the wind to just carry him there stationary for a long time. It was so cool that I clasped my hands together and squealed telling God how awesome His creation was.

Then, just as the pelican flew away, my eye caught something come up out of the water at a distance. I soon realized that it was a dolphin, and then quickly saw that there was a whole group of dolphins and they were making a beeline directly towards where I was sitting. It was like God said, "You think the pelican is cool, baby girl? Just watch this!" The dolphins started jumping and playing in the water right close to where I was sitting. They could have made their way to any part of that long seawall, but they came right to me!

God just continues to blow me away with His love! I don't understand everything He is doing, but I do know that He is right here with me and He's not letting go. I may have many dreams and desires, but I have come to realize that more than anything I want JESUS! He is my dream! He is my desire!!!

I want to leave you all with a quote from "Shattered Dreams" by Larry Crabb...

"What He [God] is doing while we suffer is leading us into the depths of our being, into the center of our soul where we feel our strongest passions. It's there that we discover our desire for God. We begin to feel a desire to know Him that not only survives all our pain, but actually thrives in it until that desire becomes more intense than our desire for all the good things we still want. Through the pain of shattered lower dreams, we wake up to the realization that we want an encounter with God more than we want the blessings of life. And that begins a revolution in our lives."

Seek God first my friends, for He is the very One that your heart longs for even if you don't realize it. That's the way God made us. He is the only One who can fill you. Only He can give you love that completely satisfies. Anything else we follow after to quench our unsatiable thirst will eventually leave us dried up. Allow Jesus Christ to pour His living water into your heart and experience true satisfaction and wholeness in Him!

Love you my brothers and sisters!