walkinglifewithchrist

this world is not our home..

out of my control.. June 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenn @ 5:35 pm

Ever feel like things are completely out of your control and you are completely helpless? Yes, our lives are out of our control, which leads to a strong dependence on Christ.  But, when the control that we think we have is completely stripped from us, it stirs emotionally.  Christ is teaching me a lot about this greater dependency and its hard. I have been gone from this blog for a long time, with no good excuse, other than its the bottom of my priority list. I am in a place where I need to blog. These last seven months have been so hard, and I am not even in the situations that these precious children are in.  Little girls are being sexually molested by who they thought was their “father”, children are pulled from physical violence in the home only to be abused in foster homes, children are being moved from their familiar “temporary family” with no understanding behind it, babies are being exposed to drugs in the belly of their mother….it never ends….and its all out of my “control”. I want to “control” things to ensure these innocent children are protected and safe. While its a good thing to want to protect these children, I am not surrendering them to the One who is in control of all things.

In this last month, I have really been challenged. Significantly challenged. Prayer. Yes, I pray for direction in my job and I pray for these precious kiddos. But I mean, really pray. Pray for these kids by name each time I am with them. Each of them has such specific needs and each of them needs the Body to pray on their behalf. It kills me that I can’t protect them more from the trenches they are in, but I have been reminded a lot recently that while I can’t “control” the situations they are in, I can intercede for them through prayer. I sometimes question or doubt the power of prayer, but thankfully, I have been brought back to Truth. There is power in prayer and prayer can bring about so much freedom.

 

{Little D} October 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenn @ 5:12 pm

This weekend is full of celebrating “Little D.” Celebrating 15 years of life. Celebrating what God has done in and through his life.  Celebrating the tremendous blessing that he is in my {our} life. I wanted to write a letter to Little D as I reflect on this special weekend for him. 

Little D, 

I so clearly remember the first day I met you almost three years ago.  It wasn’t under the greatest of circumstances, but you had a special place in my heart from the moment I met you. Right after I met you,  I watched you go through some heartbreaking moments in your life and I just wanted to take the hurt and pain away, but I couldn’t.  I knew that all I could do was pray for you, and trust that Jesus was protecting you and always by your side.  About two years ago, you gave your life to Jesus and were baptized.  The tears streamed so heavily down my face as I saw you commit your life to Jesus. It was such a beautiful moment and one of my most special memories with you.   After your baptism, you went through some hard circumstances, but you were so strong bud.  When you were going through those hard circumstances, God was working in me and my family, to the point where we wanted to start the process to begin fostering you.  You began to spend more and more time with me and my family, and I am sure you were beginning to wonder what was going on.  At one point, you asked if “caseworkers families can foster kids”.  With a big smile on my face, I wanted to tell you so badly that it was in the works but I couldn’t yet.  I remember when we finally could tell you that you were going to join our family, and you wondered why we all had tears in our eyes, because you were so happy!  You have been living with us for almost 18 months and it feels like you have been part of our family forever.  D, its been absolutely amazing to see you grow and become a man of God.  God is doing big things in and through your life, and its so incredible to watch.  I love that I come in the house and you come running to give me a hug and kiss if I am lucky:)  D, you are so incredibly strong.  There have been some hard moments that you have faced in your life, but you continue to have such a positive outlook on life and I know God is shaping and molding you to do big things for Him.  My prayer over your life is that you will continue to live for Jesus and follow the path that God has laid before you.  You are such a joy D and I can’t imagine my life without you.  Keeping living for Jesus. I love you.

Your sis, Jenna

 

 

 

Under attack August 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenn @ 4:10 pm

I have been stewing over this post for quite some time.  This entry might be depressing, but its the hard core truth.  Foster care agencies are under attack.  The past two years, I have been really encouraged by the amount of Christian families stepping up to care for orphans .  It has also been amazing to witness the Christian community making a difference in the foster care system.  God IS doing big things in the foster care system, but we are so under attack right now it makes me sick to my stomach. Right now, I feel like satan is winning, but deep down I know he isn’t.

I have had many people call me recently, just confused.  “Jenna, I kept hearing that there was such a need for foster parents.  We have been licensed for __ months/years, and we haven’t had a call for a placement.”  I want to be encouraging and portray the absolute necessity to keep waiting for the sake of the kids, but there is also the cold reality that agencies are under attack.  Satan sure well knows that Christian families are stepping up, and he absolutely DOES NOT want to see kids placed in those homes.  Beyond that, I see satan feeding these families pure lies.  Lies that there really is no need to be foster parents, lies that there are enough other families out there to care for the orphans, lies that being a foster parent is too hard, etc, etc.   Satan is deceitful, but God is bigger.  I believe it.

I get so angry at satan, but I should know that when God’s people move, satan knows.  Satan tries to stop what God has going on, but he can’t.  It takes the Body of Christ to persevere through.  It takes encouraging one another, praying with one another and supporting one another.  I encourage each of you, no matter what your role is in the foster care community, to be on your knees praying for these agencies.  We need it. Most importantly, these precious kids need it.

 

Perseverance May 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenn @ 8:35 am

I feel like I can finally sit down again and write in this blog. School wrapped up for the semester this last week, with the past two weeks being pretty rough! The semester definately was not as hard as I was anticipating, but is very time consuming! I am so grateful for a month of time off and am anxious to get back to this space to write.

As mentioned in my last post, I attended the Justice Conference in February of this year. The conference pretty much rocked my world. At that time in my life, I needed to be surrounded by people who were fighting for justice, because sometimes it does feel like you are fighting alone. I am realizing more and more that it is exactly where Satan wants you and Jesus doesn’t want you.   One of the keynote speakers was Gary Haugen, who is president and CEO of International Justice Mission.  As I was looking through the list of speakers before the conference started, I marked a * by his name because I didn’t want to miss him.  In the last 3 years, my heart has grown substantially for those in slavery and sex trafficking, to the point where I was tossing around the idea of relocating to work with this population. God closed doors though, but my heart is still growing for the victims affected by this extreme form of injustice.

27,000,000 people today are affected by slavery/sex trafficking today.  27,000,000 people are trapped and voiceless.  When we look at God’s core character, justice is definately an aspect.  What does that look like with slavery/sex trafficking? Perseverance.  Gary went on to say that the average amount of time it takes a group to free one person from the sex slave trade is 6-7 years. Talk about running a marathon!  Having just run a half marathon last weekend, I am quickly reminded that it takes a lot of endurance to finish.  Fighting to free one person from the sex slave trade takes a whole LOT of endurance, that can only be accomplished through God’s strength and prayer!  Victims affected by this horrific injustice or any form of injustice deserve that we fight for them! They deserve to be rescued and be brought the hope of Christ into their life.  We need to be willing to persevere with a love that is willing to overcome fear.

Gary brought it back at the end, stating that fighting for any sort of justice takes perseverance that cannot prevail without constantly going before the Throne and covering it in prayer. Amen?

 

Fatherless February 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenn @ 10:09 pm

I guess to preface this post, I need to mention that I spent last weekend at the Justice Conference in Philedelphia. I decided within the last month that I was going to attend with a friend, as there were no conflicts in work or with my school schedule. I knew God wanted me there, and with events at work leading up to this conference, I needed to be in the presence of community that is fighting for justice.

 I would have to define last weekend as an “Ebenezer” moment in my life. It opened my eyes to forms of injustice that I more or less wasn’t as familiar with, explored theology with God’s heart for justice, and reconfirmed where God has me. As I mentioned earlier, the week prior to this conference had me really questioning this job. Not that I wanted to give up, but it gets challenging seeing broken homes, broken families and broken children every day. I had one girl ask me recently with the most stoned look on her face if I thought she was a mistake. This is how she has felt her entire life. She is so broken and scarred with hurts that she won’t let another family love her anymore. Devestating? Yes. Reality? Absolutely.

 The first session I attended on Friday was entitled Restoring Eden. Since the Fall in Genesis, the Bible is full of examples of broken generations and relationships (Cain killing Abel, King David, etc). The fatherless stems from broken relationships. The lack of a father can sometimes lead to destruction: gang involvement, drop outs, teen pregnancies, etc. and the statistics would probably blow you away. Is this even an option? Serving the fatherless is not a booth in a fair, where you can pick and choose. It is NOT an option. Why? Because God speaks of it numerous times throughout scripture: Psalm 68:5, Psalm 82:3, Psalm 10:18,  and James 1:27 are just a few. His heart is clearly to defend the orphans and fatherless.

 God gives us encouragement in his Word that He is with us wherever we go. (Matthew 28:20) Comforting to us, right? We need to echo that promise, God’s promise, into the life of these children because most of these kids do not see it.  We need to show up in these kids’ lives.  This could look like 100 different ways.  Ask God where He wants you to step in and show love to a child.  I can guarantee if you pray that, He will answer.  But I encourage you to pray that with an open mind of what God has in store for you. These children need the Body of Christ.  The girl who asked if she was a mistake needs the Body of Christ to speak love and truth into her life. If we don’t, no one will.

 

You will be missed! December 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenn @ 3:31 pm

We met at Berean Bookstore about 7 years ago.  Her love for Jesus was evident and contagious.  You know the people who you come into contact with and immediately think “I need to get to know him/her”? Yep, that was Willette. I had just given my life to the Lord around the time that we met, and I am convinced God had a purpose in our paths crossing.  She challenged me, helped me grow in my walk with Christ, and showed by example what it meant to serve others. Jesus took her home on Wednesday.  I praise God that she is no longer suffering from cancer, but she will be incredibly missed.

One of my greatest memories with Willette is being a part of her wedding day. I felt honored that she asked me to stand beside her. Willette and Cyrus’ wedding day honored God, and was a day full of memories.

Willette, thank you for your Godly example.  God blessed me incredibly with your friendship.  He used you in magnificent ways on earth and I can’t wait for the day when we  can praise the Lord together in Heaven! Until then, have fun praisin’ Him:)

 

The Beauty of Adoption November 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenn @ 11:28 pm

Last Friday was a gift. As I was driving into work, I felt like a little girl anticipating Christmas morning, giddy and full of happiness.  I walked into the Courthouse and two precious little girls, attired in matching dresses, greeted me with hugs and laughter.  It was a good day: adoption day! Something these two girls {and two boys} had been looking forward to for so long! I worked with these four precious kiddos for over a year, and during that year, saw such streams of emotions stem from them.  It was during that year, that their parents lost rights. It was during that year that three of these kids dealt with feelings of losing their mother in a death that no child should ever have to witness.  But it was also during that year, that I saw these kids feel part of “new families”. I saw these kids slowly heal from the hurt in their life and bubble with beautiful personalities.   It made my heart so happy to see them so full of joy on adoption day! With the joy I felt on this day, I can’t even put into words how they must have felt.  All four of these children are placed in homes {forever families} that love them and care for them as if they were their own.  Millions of pictures, smiles and hugs was the scene {beautiful scene} after the Judge made it “final”. Words cannot even describe the moment.

Yesterday was Orphan Sunday, and I can’t help but think of the precious children who don’t have a forever family…

-Millions of children worldwide are considered “orphans”.

-Roughly 500,000 children in the United States are in foster care, with many being “waiting children”, ready to be adopted.

None {not one} of these children deserve to be in this situation. Yet, speaking from the foster care side, these children blame themselves for being in the system. Maybe if they would have covered up the bruise on their arm, their mom/dad wouldn’t have got caught, maybe if they would have just stepped up to take care of their younger sibling, they wouldn’t be in this predicament.

Jesus Christ set the example of adoption.  I don’t deserve the gift of salvation, but Christ made a way through the Cross, that I can be {adopted} into His family.  I don’t deserve this gift, but He freely gives it to all who accept the gift.  There are millions of orphans who don’t deserve to be fatherless, but its God’s heart to care for them. Christ set the greatest example of adoption…am I willing to follow it? Are you?

 

 
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