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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 »

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Tuesday 4th March 2014

Featured #TellHisStory Writer: Lucille Zimmerman (And a Book Giveaway!)

#TellHisStory Storytellers Series

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Story has the power to change the world, one paragraph at a time. I share this space, once a week, with some great storytellers I’ve met during my years of writing. This week’s featured storyteller is Lucille Zimmerman, author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World.

Be sure to come back Wednesday to link your own stories or photos with us in the #TellHisStory community.

A STORY FROM LUCILLE ZIMMERMAN

I felt giddy and excited as I heard the announcement at church that Sunday morning. Our congregation was organizing a trip to Israel and, although I had no idea how we could afford such a trip, I told my husband that I wanted to go.

We were a single-income family with two young children and bills to pay. I felt boxed in. Even if a “miracle check” arrived in our mailbox, the money would surely be spent on more appropriate things. Yet I continued to pray.

A few weeks later, while doing my Bible study, I came across Ezekiel 36:37, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Once again I will yield to the plea of the house of Israel and do this for them.” I immediately sensed that this was a personal word for me. I continued reading and felt God telling me that my prayers would be answered and I would be going to Israel – for his name’s sake. I penciled, “January 14, 1999” along with the word “Israel” next to the passage in my Bible.

Although most of my fellow church members were aware that I didn’t have the money to pay for the trip, whenever the subject came up, I couldn’t hide my excitement. When people asked if I was going, I responded, “I hope to.”

But as the weeks and months flew by, it did not look like I would be going to the Middle East. The itinerary was set and all those who would be traveling received their tickets. Sadly, my name was not on the roster. As ridiculous as it seemed, I couldn’t shake the sense that I was supposed to be on that plane.

Then it happened. Three days before the scheduled trip, I received a call from my pastor. He said, “Lucille, someone paid for your trip. You are going to Israel!” Even he was incredulous. He said that someone bought my ticket and he was not allowed to reveal the donor’s identity. I hung up the phone and sobbed. To this day I don’t know who paid for that ticket.

Three days into our stay, we awoke early in the morning and made our way to the Mount of Beatitudes that overlooks the Sea of Galilee. The air was foggy, dew dripped on the flowers and trees, and the shrill chirp of birds danced through the air. I could picture Jesus walking and talking to his followers as we sat down in a huddle on the steps of the old church that had been built in that location.

Our Israeli guide began reading from Ezekiel 36. He began talking about thefact that God answers our prayers for ”the sake of my holy name” (Ezek. 36:22), not for ours. My mouth dropped open and my eyes pooled with tears as God once again confirmed the words I’d read months earlier. I was sitting on the steps of that church so that others would know who God is. God had answered my plea and provided the trip.

Rarely do life events happen so powerfully or mystically. But they do happen. I am convinced that most people have at least one event that caused them to ponder spiritual events.

“The spiritual life is a life in which you gradually learn to listen to a voice that says, ‘You are the beloved and on you my favor rests.’ It is not a very loud voice because it is an intimate voice.”
-Henri Nouwen

lucille zimmerman

Lucille Zimmerman is a counselor and an affiliate faculty member at Colorado Christian University. She has a passion for helping hurting people. Her book Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World helps women understand the need to put themselves on “the list.” Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions —and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves. Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice.” On a typical day you may find her walking her son’s dog Chipotle, reading, writing, grading, and seeing clients. She loves good coffee, fly-fishing, Honey Nut Cheerios, and belly laughter. She invites you to connect with her on Twitter and Facebook

BOOK GIVEAWAY

We are giving away a copy of Lucille’s book Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed WorldTo enter, simply tell us you’d like the book! It’s that easy. (Feel free to also tell us a story about a time when you knew that God was speaking directly to you. We’d love to hear your stories!) We’ll contact the winner by late Friday.

  • Bruce Barone

    yes.

  • Bruce Barone

    P.S. This is a great story and I love this: I am convinced that most people have at least one event that caused them to ponder spiritual events.

    • Thanks Bruce, I think if we are looking around and paying attention we will see God at work. Serendipity, awe, reverence, coincidence, God!

  • Becky B

    Love this story of how God’s always at work behind the scenes in our lives. I’d love to read this book!

  • Beth W

    I would love this book. As a stay at home mom, I can relate to the money struggles and wanting to do things out of my reach.

  • Anna

    Would love this book. Thank you.

  • JViola79

    Would love to read this book. Thank you!

  • Angela Townsend

    I would truly love to read this book. Thank you for the chance, and for your powerful ministry. <3 XO

  • Karen

    I need to learn how to put myself on “the list.” This is a book I would love to read. Thx for the opportunity to receive a copy. Blessings…

  • Jessica Cruz

    I know that God was speaking directly to me as I suffered through postpartum depression, it was clear as day and for that i am truly grateful. Thank you for the opportunity to receive this book.

    • Jessica,

      I pray those dark days have passed….

      • Jessica Cruz

        They have! Thank you so much:)

  • mark

    I’d actually like the book so I could give it to my wife as a gift. The load she carries for our family is amazing. The fact that she does it so graciously and without thinking of herself makes it even more remarkable! I don’t know if she feels overwhelmed, but she deserves to be renewed!

    • Mark, your wife is blessed. She has a husband who sees what she does.

  • Laura Risser Moss

    What a beautiful, affirming post.
    I have heard God’s voice a handful of times in my life, but none was so precious to me as when He whispered to me in the changing room just before a routine mammogram over three years ago. It was the mammogram that detected very aggressive breast cancer. His words? ‘They’re going to find something, but you are going to be okay.’
    Blessed assurance.
    Also, I LOVE the Henri Nouwen quote!

  • Pam Cason

    This post is a wonderful reminder that I serve a God of impossibilities and loves to show HIS glory in all things. I’d love to read Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World.

  • Nikki Lever

    I would LOVE to win a copy of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World!

  • Suzanne

    I would love to receive this book! I felt goosebumps when the author learned three days before the trip that she was going! God is so amazing!! One time many many years ago I was facing back surgery at the young age of 25. I remember crying out to God a very simple request, I cried out in fear, “God help me!” Seconds later The Lord called me by name and he said, “Suzanne, trust me.” Three weeks later my back surgeon said to me, “I have no explanation as to why you are better, but I’m certainly not going to cut into you.” I smiled and said, “I know why. Jesus healed me!” The doctor did not quite know what to say but I did not care. I left my car in the parking lot after my doctor’s appointment and I jogged and skipped all the way home praising God!

  • Carla Pullum

    I would like to read the book! God was speaking directly to me during my blood transfusion. God felt so close to me and showed me things that really mattered in my life.

    • It seems God feels closest during the most difficult times of our lives.

  • Richele Rutledge

    I’d love to have the book.

  • HisFireFly

    I’d love to read Lucille’s book 🙂

  • Janet

    I would love to receive this book! Thank you and God’s blessings on your work.

  • Oh, this story took my breath away. I so want to visit the Holy Land. I just know I’d be so overwhelmed, I’d have to crawl everywhere. And that speaking to me thing? That happened when we got the call about our son. The story’s too long. May I just link it here?

    http://sandraheskaking.com/2012/03/they-call-him/

    • Sandra, I hope you get to go someday. It’s a vacation, as well as a spiritual and historical experience. Nothing has ever topped that trip.

      I’ll go read your link…

  • Renewed~isn’t that what we all long for? And isn’t that the journey we are on this Lent? I would love a copy of the book. Hearing stories where God has answered our prayers intimately fills me to overflowing. I noticed that Sandra mentioned her story about a call regarding their son. It jogged my memory to one of the times when we were hoping to adopt. God had told me not to say another word to my husband about adoption. I said to the Lord, “But you don’t know my husband (yeah, right). He is an engineer and he will never remember if I don’t’ say something.” But I knew I had heard the Lord’s stirring. I kept quiet for months. We passed billboards advertising adoption–when did you ever see those–and I wanted to burst forth with a, “Look there.” But I couldn’t. One night while we were on vacation, my husband cuddled next to me and said, “Guess what the Lord told me tonight?” I had no clue. Hubby continued, “The Lord said that when we get home, we are to apply for adoption.” I shrieked and never shut up again. One year and nine months later we cradled our baby son, hearts exploding with joy.

  • Beth

    I would love a copy of this book – and I don’t know if it is one time, but over the past several months, I know that God is working on me and it’s resulting in gradual changes – trying to read the Word more, listening to Christian music instead of mainstream stuff, etc. I have a LONG way to go (patience, calmness, and much more!) but I know he’s speaking to me.

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Sometimes you have to say “no” to the good, in order to save room for the great.