typewriter4

Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

Don't Miss a Post!

Subscribe to Blog Posts

 

free updates sent directly to your inbox.

8

Thursday 17th November 2016

3 truths to help you finish strong this week

1.
You Are Strong

Is this week just a little too much for you?

Maybe, right now, you’re sitting on the other side of a really awful medical diagnosis. Or you’re struggling with chronic pain, a layoff, a bad breakup, or a terrible misunderstanding with someone you love. Or this: Family’s arguing politics, and this rancorous election cycle tore a hole in your heart.

There you are — in the middle of a long week, in the middle of a long year. Maybe you’re somewhere at the end of a life. And it hurts.

When you’re in the middle of it, it can be hard to see the good in any of it.

If you’re like me, you may have grown up in a time when you were told to have a stiff upper lip, to hide your pain so no one sees how bad it hurts. You might try a common technique called “Just Move On.” Maybe you were told to “Just Be Strong.” That sort of stoicism may work for a time, but what if we thought about our strength differently?

What if we stopped trying to wear false armor, and simply found a safe place to let yourself fall apart. That’s truly the strongest, bravest choice, because it compels us to reveal our woundedness in really vulnerable ways. It’s not easy, but it’s the only way to truly “move on.”

Before the week is over, reach out to let someone you trust and let them know you are hurting. Don’t equate your inner strength with that tired mantra of “just move on.” Invite a trusted mentor or loved one into your brokenness. Let them help you pick up the broken pieces, and lift them to Jesus.

True strength is letting yourself fall apart instead of holding it all together.

 

2.
You are Worth It

You are not your ambition.
You are not your hustle.
You are not your dress size or a FitBit number.
You are not your calories.
You are not an A+ or a D-.
You are worth it.

You are not a burden.
You are not a waste.
You are not a mistake or a miscalculation.
You are not your success.
You are not the square footage of your house.
You are worth it.

You are not a label.
You are not a reputation.
You are not a promotion or a layoff notice.
You are not a mess.
You are NOT EVEN YOUR OWN.
You are divinely created, uniquely gifted, beautifully purposed, and wildly loved.

You, dear soul, are worth it.

worth-it

3.
You are Rescued

Once upon a time, Jesus wrecked my life, so He could put it back together the way He intended.

That’s what I remembered the other day when a pastor asked us to write down a short synopsis of our testimony. On one side of the cardboard, we were supposed to write words to describe our past selves. On the other side, we wrote our new identities.

I sat there with a marker for a long while. Which mess would I pick? The pits from which I have been rescued are plentiful — and I’ve fallen back into them from time to time.

Perfectionism.
The need for your approval.
Work-aholism.
Striving to be “enough.”
Pride.
Selfishness.
Shallow living.
Control freakish-ness.

But I went back to where it all started for me, the mess underneath every other mess I’ve made for myself: My unbelief.

My hands shook when I wrote the words, “Frustrated Agnostic.”

I flipped over the cardboard and wrote the new me: “Sold-Out Believer!”

And then it came time to share our testimonies with others.

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I stood up, remembering how Jesus rescued me from the great misery of my unbelief.

It absolutely slays me — and I’m getting a little weepy thinking about it again — how God can make a miracle out of a busted-up, frustrated doubter.

Here’s how crazy it is: I have a writing and speaking ministry completely devoted to a story that I used to think was a farce.

But the part that really got me with those cardboard testimonies? It was when one person after another … after another … after another … stood up to share what THEY had been rescued from.

You name it; they struggled with it. There were 100 different pits — and all of us found the same way out.

That Way? Is Jesus.

What’s your story? What has God rescued you from? Maybe you need to remember how far God has taken you.

Or maybe today is the day that you need to know — for the first time in your life — that there is NOTHING beyond the reach of His redemption. Jesus is the way out of every addiction, every doubt, every obsession, every sin, every lie, every label, everyTHING.

There are a million different ways to fall.
And one glorious Way to rise again.

cardboardtestimonies

 

YOUR TURN: Which of the 3 truths did you need to hear most?  

  • Favorite = Rescued!
    Sometimes I forget just how much I need Jesus. I imagine that I could just coast along on my own — until I hit a bump, and then I remember . . .
    “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.”

    • Remembering what I’ve been rescued from in the past, helps me to know that He can handle whatever present trial I am facing.

  • Umm…all three?! Is that allowed? I was rescued from a painful past, am still working on recognising and fully accepting I am “worth it”, and needing to draw my strength from God each day. Thank you for these wonderful life affirming words that speak God’s wholeness into a woman’s weary and wary heart. Bless you, Jennifer! xo

    • Yep! Definitely allowed. I know that I definitely needed to remember all three this week. Have a great weekend, Joy. Love you.

  • I, too, needed to hear all three of these, Jennifer. Tears pool in my eyes as I reread this more carefully. I love that you understand being strong is not holding it all together, but it’s allowing ourselves to fall apart. Being worth it is something I need to constantly remind myself of. It’s hard to let this truth really sink into my heart so that I’ll remember it daily – “You are divinely created, uniquely gifted, beautifully purposed, and wildly loved.” And then there is the rescue. It causes me to ponder how many times God has rescued me from depression and how He is layer by layer healing me from past abuse. I think on one side of the card, I would write Victim, and the other side Victory Dancer. I don’t often feel like that yet, but there are times. I want to not merely survive. I want to thrive and fly in Jesus. Thank you for all your encouragement not only today but every post. I don’t always comment, but I want you to know I am thankful for you and your hope-filled messages. Have a blessed weekend and Thanksgiving! Hugs!

  • LisaBeth Fithian

    I needed to hear that I am worth it…

  • Nancy Ruegg

    I, too, have been rescued (and continue to be rescued) from the same pits you named, Jennifer. Praise God he has helped me to recognize the pits for what they are, and shown me ways to avoid them. Sometimes however, I fall back into those pits again. But God doesn’t give up on me, knowing what I’m made of and remembering I am dust (Psalm 103:14). What a gracious Father he is!

  • I needed to hear you are strong. Yes, sharing with others how we are feeling is always so helpful. I also needed the reminder of the other two. Love your flower quotes. They look like old fashioned wall paper

@suzanneeller It's a short flight south! The guac awaits. ❤️🇲🇽🍹🌴🌊