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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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23

Friday 22nd March 2013

For Anyone Who Ever Felt Unqualified

I was not qualified, that’s for sure, at least not by academic degree or teaching experience. (I had given a presentation in a third-grade classroom once, but I’m sure that didn’t count for much.)

“So.” — one of my college students asked me as we drove back from a field trip yesterday — “How in the world did you end up as a journalism professor? How is that even possible?”

She knew my credentials.

I threw back my head with laughter at her question.

“Only God; only God,” I said, shaking my head over the absurdity of the story.

I told her that I’d never even gone looking for the job, that’s for sure. I hadn’t applied for it. I didn’t have a PhD, only a Bachelor’s. And I wasn’t Christian Reformed;  I was Lutheran.

But in 2008, my telephone rang, and the College Dean of Somethin’-Somethin’ was on the other end, asking if I — a has-been news reporter now living on a farm in Iowa — might be interested in teaching journalism at Dordt College, which is associated with the Christian Reformed Church. Two days later, I was in the college president’s office. The next day I signed a contract.

I didn’t go looking; I was fetched.
I wasn’t “qualified” by academic degree; but I was hired.

And I get a little choked up now, writing those words, because this is our life with Christ:

We’ve been fetched. We’ve been invited to go where we are not qualified to go, and we’ve gone inside on credentials that aren’t even our own.  So, this is grace.

Some folks say they “found God.” For me, it was the other way around. It felt that God came looking for me. I was the one who was lost, and He fetched me for sure.

I am a modern-day Mephibosheth. Remember him?

Mephibosheth was that man, lame in both of his feet, the last one in the house of Saul. King David asked his servant to fetch him.

Then, the king said to Mephibosheth: “Don’t be afraid. For I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father. … And you will always eat at my table.”

Now, fetched sinner that I am, — lame in my own spiritual feet, and fully unqualified — I have this invitation to sit at the table, the King’s table. And I will always eat at that table. And I lay my forehead down at that table, tears once again streaming down my cheeks and utterly amazed that I get to sit there.

(And I seriously can’t get over the grace of it all. All. His grace still amazes me.)

grace, communion cup

 

Messianic Passover Seder for Families

We’ll be sitting around this table next Thursday night.

Each year, we host a Seder Meal, either in our home, or at our country church. Families: Click here for a script for a “Messianic Passover Seder for Families with Young Children.” I wrote this several years ago, and it works easily in a home setting. Feel free to cut and paste, and to make adjustments as needed.

  • What a lovely truth! And really, doesn’t He fetch all of us? “Come to me, all who labor…”

    • There are some mornings when I wake up overwhelmed by the unexpected invitation. This would be one of those mornings. Truly, I ought to wake up every morning like that, but I confess: I don’t always.

  • Gee whiz, Jennifer. You sure know how to use words to make a fella’s eyes all wet in the middle of the day.

    A blessed Easter to you, daughter of the King.

    • I’ve been pretty weepy myself. It just sort of hit me out of left field, first with the student’s question yesterday on the way home from KELOLAND-TV, and then again this morning when I was re-reading the story about Mephibosheth. Thanks, Dave, for stopping by to comment. You encourage me so.

  • I have been SO fetched. {and you know this was the exact perfect thing I needed to read today, right?}

    • Hey Michelle …. You’re one fetch-able lady. 🙂 … Praying for you as you share God’s grace with others this weekend.

  • Wow, Jennifer… just in the basic story you are telling, this gives me hope as I’m looking for a job after having been at one place for most of my working life. That God can and does do this… fetch us.

    And then of course the way you have tied this all to the most beautiful “fetching” of all… inspiring. And so perfect for this season… Beautiful blessing today.

    • Lynn Morrissey

      Oh sweet Pam, hang in there! God, our Divine Networker, knows your address! He’s come and gotten unqualified me before, too. He WILL fetch you, and right now you’re being stretched…..but this trial will stretch your heart all the more to hold more of Him! I am praying.
      Lynni

    • Oh wow, Pam. I’m so glad you mentioned this. I’ll be praying about that, OK? Love you.

  • Lynn Morrissey

    Oh Jennifer, so wisely, so gratefully said. Your theology is spot on ala Rom. 3:11 (and other verses). There is no one who seeks God. Not one. Unless He draws, we simply will not seek. We’re spiritually dead until He quickens us. It’s ALL of Him, and it’s ALL grace. And grace places us at His table (I’m writing a journaling class on that right now, so this post is most serendipitous for me, personally). I don’t think we can even wrap our minds around what it means to be invited to sit at the King’s Table. Apparently, you couldn’t, because you laid down your head and wept. My tears intertwine with yours. Thank you for this beautiful, grace-filled, wonderstruck post!
    God bless you!
    Lynn

    • I love sitting by you at the table, Lynn. Feel me squeeze your hand. xo

  • Floyd

    Good reminder and great story. Good for you. I too have been fetched… I think I was already off the cliff, half way down when He fetched me into His arms… Saved and changed forever…

    • Always love having a fellow “fetch-ee” here in the comment box. Grateful for your words here, and your words at your blog.

  • So beautifully stated…yes, THIS is grace. To be sought after, found, and fetched by a living, personal, yet holy God who loves us beyond what we can actually imagine. Thank you for your words and for stringing them together with such profound meaning and beauty. (Recently found you through my in-real-life friend Denise Hughes, and so delighted I did!) Blessings to you!

  • Yep, I was fetched too! And forever grateful…..and still awestruck!

  • wow, I sort of love this… who couldn’t those of us in the fetched ranks.

  • Oh, Jennifer, I LOVE how He fetches us and pushes us right into those places He knows will show off His grace and glory. My niece attended Dordt for a few years and mentioned you. Small world. Those students are lucky to be siting in your classroom!

  • Like the lost sheep who the shepherd went after and fetched – – that is me and each and every one of us. Beautiful story of God opening doors when you didn’t even see the door!!

  • So glad you’ve been fetched! I feel that way about becoming an editor. It was a battlefield promotion, and I’ve had to learn everything on the job. I continue to learn from my writers every month. Now, if only I could offer them some consistency!

  • God does such amazing things when we don’t try to push our own plan as if it was His. I love your story. Only God gets the glory!

  • He chose you because he’s madly in love with you Jennifer. Because he knows your heart. Because he knows you are willing. And whom he calls, he also equips. His ways are so unlike the world’s. If we are called by him, that’s enough. We don’t need to be credentialed by the world.

  • Thank you, Jennifer, for your mind-stretching, heart-touching posts. That word “fetch” makes me think of auctions, where they’ll say a certain item “fetched” a great price. We were certainly fetched at a great price–the pain and suffering of our perfect Savior. Oh, Lord, keep me mindful of my desire to live a life worthy of that fetching.

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