Since my last post, God has revealed Himself in such amazing ways! I pray that as You read how He has been moving and working in mine and Jake’s life, you not think of it like I am in any way deserving of it. He has Blessed us because of the grace He extends to those who choose to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who paid the price for us by dying on the cross at Calvary and raising on the third day to prove that there is none like Him.
As most of you know, I was working for an amazing elderly couple who embraced Jake and I, not as their employees, but as family. They poured into both of our lives so much more than many healthy, able people have done. Their love for each other and, ultimately, the Lord and serving Him has truly transformed so many people including both me and Jake.
I said I was working for them because on January 13, Mr. John J. Jackson took his last breath and only 2 weeks later on January 26, Mrs. Elsie Merle Jackson took her last breath. It is a sad reality for us, but we all will at one point or another will have to experience death. This was Jake’s first encounter with it and I honestly, praise God it was theirs because their lives (as so detailed at their funeral) was not perfect, but an example of how we all should be remembered; Mr. John was compared to Barnabas, the encourager, and Mrs. Elsie Merle to the Proverbs 31 woman. Could those be told of us?
The passing of the Jacksons was extremely difficult for Jake and me. I believe we have not yet healed from the loss, but in addition to dealing with that loss, I am now unemployed…again. This has been a reoccurring theme for me the past couple of years and I am beginning to see why. I tend to be a bit hard-headed and refuse to surrender it all to Him; which can be summed up in one word, pride!
The next few weeks that followed can only be described as a Father caring for His prideful child by humbling her with His complete and utter love and provision.
With my last paycheck which included a little surprise, I was able to pay for my bills for the month of February. That surprise was only the beginning. A week later, my friend, Judy, and I hosted 9 8th grade girls in my home for a youth event our church had. (Don’t worry! Jake was at another house with the 8th grade boys.) Having the girls for that weekend was so refreshing to me. That Sunday, someone gave me a gift card to help cover any expenses I had incurred over the weekend. About a week after that, I received an anonymous gift in the mail. The following week, someone in my Bible Study snuck me some money. Last week, we received another gift to help us towards our bills. All these gifts were definitely humbling and we were beyond appreciative of them, but all of them were not enough for us to pay our bills for March. So, I continued to pray. That’s one thing I’ve learned and heard over and over again from books and sermons I’ve been reading and hearing, is if I have not heard an answer, keep asking, seeking and knocking until I do.
This past Sunday after our Sunday night service, a dear friend came to me and said she had felt like something particular was burdening me and how could she specifically pray for me. Please note that the BEST thing you can do for someone is pray for them. You may think tangible gifts are, but that I beg to differ. A few minutes after I had mentioned to her that I had some of my rent money, but not all, another sweet lady came up to me and asked how we were doing. I mentioned to her that I was still unemployed and was really praying for a job. At that very moment, I felt the Lord ask me “what else do you need?”
Now, let me take a moment to say that I wasn’t sharing with everyone that I didn’t have money to pay our rent for March, so I wasn’t planning on mentioning it in this conversation either. But God was telling me otherwise…so through my tears, I confessed that I had half of the money for rent, but wasn’t sure where the other half would come from. She asked how much my rent was and said “consider it paid”. I was in complete shock. That very night her and her husband came to our home and gave us a check for the exact amount of our rent.
What I left out was that late last year, I was hoping to go on a medical mission trip to Guatemala, but with all that had been going on, it did not look like it was going to happen. I told Ms. Laurelle, one of the leaders on a Wednesday. The very next morning, she called and said that someone had offered to sponsor my trip if I was willing to go…let me think about that…ummm, YES!!!!
So, here I am in Guatemala and I am beyond excited at what the Lord has in store, not only the 2 weeks we will be here, but when we return. And even though, I was a Doubting Jen at times, He has provided above and beyond! Needless to say, with my Savior it is always an adventure and I am ready and willing to follow wherever He will lead!