Faith Archives - JennieGScott.com
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15.07.2019

My faith looks like a drama in three parts. Act 1: Questions. Does God see me? Can he hear me? How could he possibly love me? Am I really going to heaven? Is the rapture going to happen tonight? I think I sinned again -- am I going to hell now? What happens to people in countries who don't know about Jesus? Can I listen to music that isn't Christian? Does God want me to be a teacher? Does God love women as much as men? Does God tune me out when I repeat my prayers? Do I have to understand everything in the Bible? Am I a bad person if I don't read my Bible every day? Act 2: Certainty. (A short-lived phase.) God sees me. He knows me. He loves me. Yes, I'm going to heaven. No, we don't know when the rapture is happening. No, I'm not going to hell because I sinned again. Yes, I can listen to music that isn't Christian. God wants me to love him more than he wants me to focus on one singular career path. Yes, God loves women as much as men. No, he doesn't tune me out when I repeat prayers. No, I...

12.07.2019

"All I wanted was for people to just be there for me. I didn't want to hear all of their stories. I didn't need to know all the verses they thought applied to me. I just wanted their presence." She explained what it was like going through her darkest times, how the people who loved her sometimes helped greatly and, sometimes, unintentionally pushed her farther away. Her words struck a chord, because I've been the person offering the stories. I've been the one supplying the verses. And, if her words were any indication, all the things I thought were helping weren't. They might have even been hurting. Realizing your pure motives aren't always enough for people is a humbling experience. What we think will help doesn't always, and instead of offering what we think people need, we have to train ourselves to ask what will actually help. Here's the difficulty for me as a Christian: I want others to know what I know, to experience what I've experienced with Jesus, to feel the healing I've felt, and to know God's goodness even in crappy situations. But what I forget is that no other person experiences God exactly as I do, and trying to...

03.12.2018

  The low-grade stress has slowly been clawing its way out of my body lately. Stress does that, you know. It makes itself known to you privately first, masquerading as a private issue you think you can hide. As it festers and grows, which it most often does, it always exits your personal, private world and makes its presence known in the public spaces you share. It may manifest itself in the short answers you give co-workers or the tongue-lashing you unleash on your spouse. It may show up in the headaches that keep you withdrawn or the paranoia that causes you to question people you love. Stress, though? It always shows up, and it always comes out. For me, lately, the stress hasn't been debilitating. It's been present, for sure, but as I've walked with God and learned to invite Him into it, it's been more manageable. But manageable, low-grade stress can quickly compound and grow into something more sinister. It's been trying to do that in me. And as I've tried to understand why I'm facing constant, low-grade stress, it's become remarkably clear that it's because I've been subjecting myself to constant, low-grade pressure. I've been exposing myself daily to expectations I can never meet. In...

03.12.2018

  I know the exact moment my heart broke. It was a cold Friday night in February, and my children were sleeping upstairs. Cozy in their footed pajamas, they had no idea their lives were changing forever below them. Their father — my husband — was leaving. I could not have understood before that night how everything can change in one moment — that a stable and content life can be ripped from you, leaving indescribable destruction and heartache behind. But one moment can change everything. It did for me. That moment changed my physical realities — I needed a new place to live and a new job that would provide financially, and I had to learn how to parent my children as a single mother. The new physical realities were nothing compared to the new emotional realities, though. In the moment my husband said he was leaving, something shifted in my beliefs about myself and my God, and I fell into a darkness that consumed me for years. Satan began whispering to me in that moment of vulnerability that I was profoundly unlovable. He told me I was so deeply flawed I was destined to be alone, so unworthy of acceptance I would always be rejected,...

23.10.2018

  The droplet of sap on my van's windshield is smaller than a dime. It's not huge, but it's on the driver's side, right in my line of vision. We just repainted our garage floor, and while it was drying, I had to park under the cedar trees at the end of the driveway. One of the days I parked there, a glob of sap dripped right onto the windshield. I noticed it immediately when I got behind the wheel, but I couldn't do anything right then to get rid of it. As usual, I was jumping in the car to run from one place to another, and I was in a hurry. Turning on the windshield wipers would only smear it, so I told myself I'd take care of it later. And you can guess how that went. That was weeks ago, and the glob is still there. Only now, it's crystallized and feels like a permanent fixture on my mom-van. The funny thing is that I've learned to look past the glob as I'm driving. It's in the exact same spot it has been, and it never disappears fully from my line of vision, but I have learned to ignore it. I've learned...

02.10.2018

  I'm starting a podcast, and to say I'm excited would be a stupidly ridiculous understatement. The title of my show is "In This Skin," and the premise is this: there are far too many of us who are living timidly and in denial of who we really are and how we were really made. We are self-conscious, wishing we could change and become the idealized versions of ourselves we imagine but never publicize. We aren't comfortable in our own skins. We aren't comfortable, so we try like snakes to shed our skins and emerge in something new. We compare ourselves to those we see and admire, and we become like David trying to wear Saul's armor. We behave like chameleons, changing our colors according to our surroundings. It's maddening, it's frustrating, and for the most part, it's something we never even admit is happening. Here's what I know. I am nearly 40 years old, and for the vast majority of my years, I wanted to be someone other than myself. I wanted other people's talents, their lifestyles, their personalities, and their bodies. I measured myself against the images they projected, and I always found myself lacking. No matter how hard I worked, no matter what other...

31.08.2018

  Her soft voice came through the speaker on my phone, telling the podcast interviewer about the hardest years of her life. This woman has moved overseas, adopted orphaned children, begun a non-profit ministry, and written bestselling books about faith. If anyone shouldn't admit having certain questions about her faith and her God, it seemed she shouldn't. But she did. "Is a God who allows these things really good? Where is God when the worst things happen? Can I really trust Him when I don't understand?" I knew just what she meant. Our hard questions don't mean we don't believe, but they always reveal the depth of our faith. And, I've learned, they can deepen our faith if we have the courage to voice them. Suppressing them leads to a shallowness in what we believe. The questions we're afraid to voice hide our fears of what might be. Question: "Where are you, God?" Fear: He has left. Question: "Why did you choose not to answer my prayer?" Fear: He doesn't love me enough to answer. Question: "Why are you allowing this tragedy into my life?" Fear: He doesn't care that it hurts me.   This woman wrestled with God and came out changed. Stronger. More confident in her...

11.06.2018

  Each morning, the screens in my life shout and show turmoil. World leaders making threats and calling each other names. Fires ravaging apartment buildings, forcing a mother to trust that a stranger's arms will catch her infant. Rich fashion designers taking their own lives when an invisible pain becomes too much to carry. Turmoil is both the soundtrack and the screenplay of our humanity. It is in our local communities, in our nations, and in ourselves. Trouble all around, and trouble all within. Inescapable and undeniable. We are broken. Why, then, if our brokenness is universal, do we dress it up with photos carefully posed? Why, then, if it's all around, do we hesitate to bring it to the light? Why, then, if it's within us all, do we change the subject and pretend it's all fine? Our brokenness is our bond, and our bonds bring about beauty. The mother who birthed a broken child, one whose body will never function as it should, said these words to my ears today -- the unexpected will come to your life, and it will change you. Her child's broken body changed her untested faith to one that is certain, and his brokenness introduced her to others whose brokenness changed them, too. The unexpected...

04.06.2018

  Throughout Scripture, the number seven is the number of perfection. Completion. Purification. After six days of creating, God rested on the seventh. Seven weeks after Passover began, Pentecost. And every fiftieth year, after seven times seven, it was the year of Jubilee. A year of celebration and release. Captives were set free and debts were forgiven. It was a year of rest. ******* This year is the seventh since my divorce. And God told me it is my year of Jubilee. ******* In the first moments after learning my marriage would end, I fell into a gulf of despair I have no words to describe. I was held captive by lies and condemning self-talk, a prisoner of my sadness and shattered dreams. I woke each morning to go through the steps of being alive, but I was not. I was sleep-walking through my days, oblivious to the world around me and consumed with the shame of who I now was. It has taken me years to admit the truth of what those years were like for me, but now that I am safely on the other side, I feel an obligation to share my truth and invite you to examine yours. I lived a prisoner of shame. Wounded and broken were...

29.03.2018

  The words that stopped me cold weren't shouted or even spoken angrily. They were gentle, coming through the speakers of my laptop. One sentence, spoken sweetly, as part of a longer podcast episode. One sentence that gave me chills: "Never believe anything bad about God." Emily P. Freeman spoke these words in her episode "Remember the Real Art," and my heart stopped for a split second. "Never believe anything bad about God." I was pierced to my core because I have done just what she said not to do. I've believed bad things about my good God. I've believed He was indifferent to my broken heart, seeing my tears as evidence of my weakness and hearing my questions as proof of my unworthiness. I've believed He favors other people over me, giving them opportunities and advantages He doesn't think I deserve. I've believed He regrets the way He made me, looking at me and thinking, "What a disaster." I've believed He has ignored my cries for help. I've believed He loves His other children more than me. I've believed He couldn't love someone like me. I've believed the worst in my mind. But I've confessed His goodness with my mouth. My private thoughts and public confessions have disagreed. And while I may feel...