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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 9th January 2018

Whatever You’re Facing Now, Give it 24 Hours First

What we all need is this: to take a little time. But what we do instead is this: spend that time fearing what’s next.

“What a difference a day makes.” That’s what I’ve learned in the last two and a half weeks since we first took Mom to the emergency room.

Let me confess something to you: During these hard and painful weeks, we’ve invested countless, unnecessary hours on worrying, on what-ifs and on worst-case scenarios.

What if this raging infection spreads farther?

What if Mom’s kidneys fail?

What if the surgeon missed something?

What if I’m not being a good enough Mom and wife, while I’m at the hospital being a daughter?

What if I’m not being a good enough daughter, while I’m at home being a Mom and wife?

What if Mom won’t walk again? 

But what I am learning is this: one day can make all the difference.

For Mom, the breakthroughs almost always happen quietly, overnight, slowly — one IV bag at a time, one blood test at a time, one literal step at a time. They happen like this: Last week, Mom took twelve steps. Yesterday, at the rehab hospital, she took 120.

Maybe that’s why I keep clinging to these verses from Psalm 30:5. “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

In the last few days, I have felt God rummaging around in my heart, revealing something about myself: I’ve been a woman who has always been in a hurry. I want what I want, when I want it. And if results don’t come, I fear the worst.

“Give it just a little more time,” God seems to be saying to me as I pace hospital corridors. “Give it a day, before you decide. Give it a few hours, before you assume the worst.”

Where do these words find you today? What worries you? Perhaps my words feel hollow because of the enormity of whatever you’re facing. Believe me, I know. Sometimes, after a 24-hour wait, the news we received was even worse than we imagined.

But may I gently invite you to learn from my mistakes. Before you assume the worst, wait. Give it at least 24 hours before you decide.

I don’t want to suggest that everything will always turn out the way we want it to. But I do want to suggest that we humans tend to invest hours worrying, hours we can’t get back, hours that bring us nowhere but to a place of unnecessary anguish.

What a difference a day makes.

What relationship looks broken for you today? Give it a day.

What person do you want to give a piece of your mind? Pray first, and then give it 24 hours before you speak.

What opportunity now seems all but lost? Check back tomorrow.

What hurdle stands before you? In time, friend. You can do this.

What door was slammed shut on you as you stood in the hallway? Return to the same spot tomorrow, and find that another door has opened.

Anything can happen in just one day. If you don’t believe me, spend a few moments in Mark 16:1-8. Here’s a snippet: “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.”

Keep your eyes open. For when you think you’re headed to the site of a grave, you might be one day away from a miracle.

May joy rise up, dear heart, and may it greet you in the morning.

Love, Jennifer

A FREE FIVE-DAY CHALLENGE FOR YOU

Do you need a little encouragement as you wait for “joy in the morning?” I’ve got something special for you. If you haven’t signed up yet for my FREE five-day challenge to start 2018 off right, there’s still time. (I thought I was writing this challenge for you, but it turns out, I was also writing it for me! It’s just what I needed.)

More than 1,500 people are already taking the challenge, and I’ve heard great things about how it’s helping people find happiness as the new year begins.

You’ll get: five free devotionals, Bible study worksheets, beautiful printables for your home + more. All for free. Find it all by signing up right here.

If you’re already in the challenge and are enjoying it, share it with a friend or two by sharing this blog post. The challenge closes January 21.

 

#TellHisStory

Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there!

Our featured writer this week is Rachel Lee. As we begin a new year, I was encouraged by the truth she shared about how God makes all things new. (And her story makes me think of old furniture in a new way!) Find Rachel here.

To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer

 

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  • There’s such wisdom here, Jennifer, for avoiding a snap judgment — and a snapped shut heart that forgets to trust for a better future. Thanks to you from this always-in-a-hurry soul.

    • I’m a chronic hurrier. I am learning and re-learning this lesson!

  • SO glad to hear about your mom’s progress, Jennifer! And such good wisdom here. My dad always says, “When in conflict, do nothing.” Which kinda drives me crazy, but I know he’s right. 🙂 xoxo

    • Michelle! So glad to see you here. We have wise Dads. Love that advice.

  • waiting is almost always better. need to remember this – and I think God makes me wait sometimes just to teach me trust, patience, self-control, joy – and just what are my idols, anyway. All good. Blessings on your waiting and wondering. I loved that line in that Tom Hanks movie: He asked the prisoner: “Aren’t you worried?” He replied (every time): “Would it help?” No. Okay, then.

  • “Bridge of Spies” was the flick.

  • Cassie Lokker

    Thank you so much for this post! It rings true for me. On September 27th, I underwent surgery to reattach my retina. It was a risky surgery because I only have vision in one eye and without the surgery, there was a chance I would lose my sight. My recovery process was slow and didn’t move at the pace that I would have liked. I wanted my vision to improve immediately, but I had to realize that a surgery of that magnitude for me with my rare condition would not manifest in results very quickly. I began to develop a day-to-day measurement of my progress. I gave myself permission to be okay with my healing and trust God with the timing. Today, my vision is still not as strong as it used to be, but I can see and I am grateful for that. I am excited to move forward in 2018 because I will be recording an album based on the idea of Hope coming in the morning. I find it extremely fitting that you referenced the resurrection in your post, because for the disciples and those who followed Jesus, all hope was seemingly lost at the crucifixion, but everything changed that Sunday morning! A day truly can change everything!

    https://cassiecontemplates.wordpress.com/2017/12/05/a-flicker-of-hope/

    • This is so inspiring, Cassie. Holding on to your words of wisdom here. You are living this out in beautiful ways.

  • Sarah Geringer

    Jennifer, I appreciate all the details you are sharing so honestly and vulnerably about your parents’ health this winter. You are in my prayers, and I’m glad to see some slow progress this week. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Thank you for receiving my words so graciously.

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Ohmygoodness. I feel like you were listening in on a conversation I just had with a friend. I’m struggling with something that feels like . . . too much. And, your opening words, about spending time fearing what’s next. Yeah, that’s been me today. I so needed your reminder to wait a day. To pray. My One Word for the year is hope. And God has been teaching me that worry and hope cannot co-exist. I would add that fear that produces worry cannot coexist with hope. Thank you for the reminders to keep my eyes on Jesus. I loved your closing lines:

    “Keep your eyes open. For when you think you’re headed to the site of a grave, you might be one day away from a miracle.

    May joy rise up, dear heart, and may it greet you in the morning.”

    Thank you.

    • So glad these words made their way to you, just when you needed them most. Always a joy to have you in this space, Jeanne.

  • Mary

    Such beautiful encouragement, The what ifs can slay you if you are not careful. Waiting 24 hours before declaring impending doom is such good advice. I am thrilled to hear of the progress your mom is making. I am continuing to pray.

    • So proud of my mom! Thanks for your continued prayers. They are sustaining us.

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  • Sherry Thecharmofhome

    Great advice! Thanks for hosting!

    • My pleasure. Thanks for being here Sherry.

  • Much needed advice. So happy for you that your mama has made a turn for the better. Those are tough hours with blank spaces to fill with worries spent next to a hospital bed.

    • Thank you, Lisanne. I appreciate you so much.

  • Well, this absolutely resonates with me. When there is an issue or problem, I want to do whatever it takes to fix it NOW. Thank you for the reminder that God’s timing just might not be the same as mine. His timing is always best. May God continue to minister healing to your Mama.

    • I’m a total fixer. Unfortunately, my fixin’ can get me in a bad fix! 🙂

  • Tammy

    Hi Jennifer. Your story is so authentic and relatable. I’m glad to know your mother is regaining strength and pray she will only continue to improve. Blessings, Tammy

  • Liz

    So sorry to hear about your mom’s trouble but glad you’re finding encouragment in her improvement. I will pray for her and for you. It’s always good advice to wait before acting, but like you say, the trouble is what we do during the waiting… worry or seek God’s peace. I pray I can do more of the latter this year! Blessings!

    • She’s doing so much better, and we know that God is so near to us. Grateful for you being here.

      • Joanne Peterson

        Thank you for the update, I’ve been thinking and wondering how your mom and you are doing in all of this. I’ll keep praying. God is always in it for the long haul and the long vision. Blessings, Joanne

  • Lynn Morrissey

    I literally read this w/ tears, dearest Jennifer, as our precious mothers have taken a parallel two-and-a-half-week-since-Christmas journey. Do you know what I thought you were going to say? What a difference a day can make, as in . . . you sit down to Christmas dinner just fine, thank you, and you land in the ER fighting for your life by nightfall! But your message is filled with Good News and the God who specializes in miracles. And He even did those in less than a day–in the twinkling of blinking eyes of wonder! I rejoice in these improvements your mama and mine are making. They feel incremental, and yet, we think back to Christmas and where they were. He is with them, helping them each and every day on this road to healing. The Lord led me to this passage the very next day after Mother was admitted to the hospital, as I asked Him for comfort from His Word: “At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them (Luke 4:40).” Jesus was so compassionate, and may He show this same compassion to Caryl and Fern, day by day by day, and bring them home to us. Sending so much love and continued prayers for our whole family for your mother’s complete healing and wellbeing.
    Love
    Lynn

  • Tara L Ulrich

    Psalm 30:5 is one of my favorites. That verse holds so much wisdom!

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  • Susan

    You know Jennifer, this ‘give it one day’ thing has become vitally important in my life – things, situations, issues, weather, relationships, and most of all how I react will almost always change within 24 hours. The times I act or speak “off the cuff”? I get myself into trouble. Proverbs 29.11 is one I like for MYSELF and my BIG MOUTH. As you know we all mess up now and then and what we want to do or say we don’t and what we don’t want to say or do, we do. O! Help us Lord. Hugs to Caryl and Phil. (Hope my cards have reached Mom.) xo

  • Worry comes all too naturally for me. The what-if’s swirl until they are a tornado sweeping me away. (I once read this is because I’m a creative, a writer, and it’s part of how my brain works to create. I half agree. Because the rest is just me needing to trust Jesus.)

    I love your encouragement today. It’s not about scolding us to stop worrying, but rather to take a breath. Inhale and exhale a day until we see more of what God has in store.

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  • Mel

    This was such a good read for me this morning…thank you, friend. I’m kinda waiting on a potential opportunity, and I am SO that girl who wants to run ahead of God and line everything up for herself. I don’t wait well, I worry that I’m missing out…I need to remember to breathe deep, pray, and wait. I’m promising myself that I will wait today and just trust. I keep praying for your mom and for your family…hugs.

  • And hope. Wait with hope.

  • Amy Jung

    Such a wonderful reminder! I am hopeful for us all as we “wait it out” — whatever we encounter today!

  • Joanne Peterson

    Jennifer, I know this lesson, but I keep having to re-learn it all over again in different circumstances….I learned it with relationships that were broken. I’m re-learning this with our sons who are almost 7 and 8. This is such good wisdom, and perfect timing. And just the way this blog/devotion is worded, it speaks to my heart in the years long circumstances with our boys. Still wait and trust for 24 hours and watch what God is going to do before I react based on what I think I see. Thank you Jennifer for sharing your hard in a beautiful way. Blessings, Joanne

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  • Nancy Ruegg

    What a wise strategy: Postpone the worry at least a day and you probably won’t have to worry at all. Thank you, Jennifer. And praise God your mother is making good progress toward health!

  • She took 120 wow!!!!!!!!!!!! Will keep praying of course but praise God!

    Oh weeee. You got me, Lee! (Wanted to rhyme there haha!) Though I talk big about not hurrying (and living slow) I have a hard time doing it. So I get this. My husband has been on FMLA for a month and had a hospital stay, we have had hardly any income coming in — so I SO get this on a certain level.

    God keeps showing up in the hardest of times. He is speaking to me, what he has been saying to you too. When I saw your title I clapped, because we have seen super hard days where our flesh wants to freak, and then God saves us. It repeats sometimes and I have mercy on people who flip flop because of this. I am thankful God is patient when my flesh is weak. It is great to remember the times he saves, so when times of doubt arise we can think on them and meditate on his truth.

    Love you much, Jennifer. xoxo

  • Such wisdom here. Yes, I agree give it 24 hours. Another things we use is not making decisions after nine at night. Everything always looks different in the morning. HALT can be applied to If you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired it is not the best time to make a decision or have a difficult conversations.

  • Jennifer,
    Wow! ‘Give it twenty-four hours’ should be on a T-shirt! Or a bumper sticker or maybe it is on those things, but I need one of each!
    Great post and I am not surprised that He is teaching His girls to slow down so we can HEAR Him ‘rummage around in our hearts’, reminding us to wait, trust, believe and to never doubt his goodness or to be afraid! He’s such a good Daddy!
    I appreciate your honesty, hunger for him and your discipline to write, especially when it’s about the vulnerability of a tough situation like your mom.
    Have a great weekend and I’m hoping you’re going to see more of me. New season, new year, new direction.
    You’re awesome!

@jenfulwiler You model this well, Jennifer. Loving Jesus and serving him boldly with your gifts.