Isaiah 4110Before you read today’s post, I want you to know that though it is a story surrounding very specific circumstances pertaining to my life. It is meant to encourage you and make you aware that God hears us when we call. Our cries do not fall on deaf ears. He reminded me of His mercy last week when He answered a prayer. This post isn’t meant to give myself a pat on the back. That is the last thing I ever want to do. I only want to remind you of His faithfulness. He hears you friends, He hears you! (It’s also much longer than I usually write, but I NEED to share this with you- to give you hope.)


Saturday, Paul and I celebrated twenty-three years of marriage. A few months ago, we booked a cabin in the mountains and planned a weekend get-a-way with some of our closest friends. We all wanted a little time to do nothing but enjoy good company and rejuvenate from the hectic schedules of everyday life.

When we first made our plans for a weekend escape, my life was going along as planned. I was happy and content. But four weeks ago, everything turned upside down and when the long anticipated anniversary weekend finally arrived, the last thing I wanted to do was put on a fake smile and go on a mini vacation. I didn’t want to play games with friends and pretend that grief wasn’t choking the life out of me.

You see, I don’t like to cry in front of people. I don’t want anyone to see what is transforming inside this soul. Right or wrong, it’s just who I am. I put up walls. I minister where I’m called and rarely allow myself the opportunity to be ministered to. I know it sounds crazy, but it has always been my personality. However, anyone who knows me well can look inside my eyes and see that I’m different. This has changed me. It’s not only my heart that aches right now, my bones even ache with the feeling of emptiness from losing someone I love so much. Everything hurts. I know God is holding me up, but I’m fighting deep despair. Every day is a battle.

As the weekend trip approached, anxiety set in. I was worried. Even though my mother was urging me to go, I felt guilty leaving her all alone in the middle of her grief. And I especially didn’t want to leave the three children that drive me to keep going. But the weekend was long since booked and paid for. Not to mention other people were counting on us.

Last Tuesday night, while lying in bed, I felt the weight of the world resting on me. We were to leave on Thursday, and I did not want to go. I began crying out to God about everything in my life. I had been considering cancelling speaking engagements, and have even felt like pulling the plug on the blog. Who am I to encourage anyone right now when I feel swallowed up by grief? After all, I just released a book with the title, Nothing to Hold but Hope… It doesn’t seem right. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

So I prayed a very specific prayer that sounded something like this…

“Lord, I know I should just trust and not ask for some type of sign, but I need one. I need You to tell me I’m doing the right thing. I need You to show me I’m supposed to continue on in ministry. I even need You to release me to go away with my friends. I don’t want to pull people down inside the weight of my own grief. It’s too dark where I am. I’m desperate for You to show me.”

The next morning I woke up feeling despair, but I went on with my day as usual. Later in the afternoon I sat down at the computer to check my email. That’s when I saw it – an email from a blog subscriber- an answer to the prayer I cried out just the night before.

The Lord used her to answer a prayer regarding the direction of my ministry. He spoke to me through her words, and I would like to share a small portion of the email with you. I want you to read some of the lines that were direct answers to prayer. I’m so thankful that she took time to write to me all the way from a different country. But most of all, I’m thankful that she is obedient and willing to be used of God. The Lord even used her to help give me the strength to go away for the weekend.


“… I read your blog as often as I can and you minister to me every single time without fail. Honestly, I don’t know what my spiritual condition would have been like without you. Your words were like ‘the eye’ in the middle of the storm, like a light in the darkness that overwhelmed me…”

“…All this to say, Jennifer, you are chosen by God and worth so much more than you would ever know. Satan, is just that, a deceiver, a liar who tries unrelentingly to thwart the plans of God. Don’t give him a foothold, don’t yield to Him. Overcome evil with good, don’t let the enemy ruin your life. Turn to God for strength, trust him in the midst of pain and confusion, you will win the victory and overcome doubt- one of Satan’s greatest tactics. Don’t allow our adversary to silence you. We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony and your testimony of HOPE and STRENGTH has helped save my life. You would never quite understand the impact that your ministry is having. It’s stretching across the globe, all the way to me…”

“…God sees, He knows and He cares and He only desires to show His love and compassion to you. I know that your heart is heavy. But we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. God is bigger than all your suffering- trust in Him, in His faithfulness and His ability to workout in your life the purposes that WILL BE for your ultimate good…”

“…So, my dear sister, be encouraged. God needs you and so do I.”


When you doubt, and cry out to Him, He hears. He hears you in the big and small. He hears you in the loud and in the quiet. He hears you in the calm and in the fierce. He hears. He proved that to me, yet again, last week. And I know He will do the same for you.

Oh, and by the way, I did have a moment over the weekend when I couldn’t stop the tears. I survived, and my friends rallied around me. I don’t know why I try to hide so often. If you’re anything like me, let the walls come down. You will survive too. I promise…

Call on Him, friends.






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