Faith Archives - Page 2 of 4 - JennieGScott.com
25
archive,paged,category,category-faith,category-25,paged-2,category-paged-2,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-9.5,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.1,vc_responsive
12.02.2018

  I need to share this message with you without being critical, accusatory, or dismissive. I've wrestled with it myself for some time now, and I pray it's marinated enough in my soul to move into yours with grace. We -- the ones who follow Jesus and declare to the world we are His children -- we must stop saying "God is good" only when good happens in our lives. When we declare His goodness and proclaim it only in times of personal blessing, we give the world half the story, and we build them up to believe a lie that could ultimately bring them devastation. You see, they are asking, "Is God good?", and they are silently wondering, "Could He be good to me?" Our own responses impact their understanding. God is always good, not only when we see it. God is always good, not only when we feel it. God is always good, not only when we are blessed. Jesus Himself declared, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). An undeniable part of following Christ is being troubled in this life. We will be - are guaranteed to be - misunderstood, rejected, abused, and outcast....

24.01.2018

  This summer, I will celebrate my fifth wedding anniversary. Five years with a man I never thought I'd find; five years of love I never believed I'd experience. You see, this marriage isn't my first. And neither is a fifth wedding anniversary. I was married before, for ten years. But that marriage ended badly, and we divorced. As I was thinking about all of this recently, it occurred to me that I should be afraid of this marriage. I should be afraid of what will happen; afraid of more unexpected hurt; afraid of it ending badly. I should be afraid now and should have been afraid five years ago. But I'm not, and I wasn't. And that's only because of grace. This is what grace does: it supernaturally erases what should be and replaces it with what cannot naturally happen. What should exist in my life and marriage? Distrust. Anxiety. Paranoia. Assumptions. But what do I have? Peace. Confidence. Trust. None of this is because of anything I've done, apart from following Jesus. I have not had to learn to trust my husband or to practice confidence in our marriage. No - I've been gifted with these things. I have received them just as surely as I...

23.10.2017

  Humans are, by nature, goal-oriented. We are a people who plan for the future and work in the present for that unseen yet approaching reality. This is, perhaps, why we love our weekends so much. In our relationships, we know what we want and what we want to improve. I want to communicate my emotions better, and I want my marriage to be a model for my children. In our work, we set goals to motivate us when the day-to-day gets hard. I want to make more sales this quarter than last. In fitness, in faith, in housekeeping and health, we decide what's next and what we want to achieve. We're goal-setters. That's who we are. What do we do, then, when we meet a goal and are unsure of what's next? This is where I am. This is the space I'm living in right now. A place of uncertainty. In the last few weeks, I met every major goal I had planned. I released a book. I ran a marathon. I spoke at women's events. All of the things I had been planning for, thinking about, training for, and preparing for are over. They are done. The goals were set and achieved, and there's nothing huge on the horizon. Everyone keeps asking...

02.10.2017

  In South Carolina, you're never really sure when the hot weather is gone. A couple of weeks ago, we had a few glorious days when a cold front moved through, and I got so excited at the thought of crisp mornings and fall days. I envisioned sweater weather and boots, scarves and cozy sweatpants. But then the hot weather came back. With a vengeance. Ninety degree days at the end of September are torture. At that point you're just OVER it. Over the sweating, over the summer clothes that you've worn until you're tired of seeing them, and over sliding around on sweat-covered car seats. So when the air conditioning in your house begins making weird sounds three days before October begins, you know you have a problem. You can't count on cool days to keep the house pleasant, because October can feel like August. You have no choice. You have to call the air guy. Which we did. He left my house just a few minutes ago, and I can't stop thinking about the problem he said we have. The unit isn't broken, and it can still work. But there's a slow leak in the evaporator coil, which apparently is pretty important. He added some...

20.09.2017

  Only hours before, I lay immobile on the operating table. Numb from the chest down, I could only watch as nurses draped the sterile field of my abdomen with blue cloth. They counted gauze strips and scalpels, forceps and scissors. They prepared my body for the birth of my child, a birth in which I would be a passive observer. Things were not going as I planned. Thankfully, I couldn't feel the incision dissecting my abdomen, the scalpel cutting through muscle to reach to my baby. Major surgery was done on the body I couldn't feel, bringing a healthy, crying boy into a world he didn't know. Now, they were asking me to stand and to walk. I had just been sliced open and sewn back up, and the medical team thought it best that I move. I couldn't stand up straight for fear of ripping the incision back open, and the epidural had barely worn off to give me feeling in my legs. But they were asking me to move. Medically, I knew their request was right. Moving after surgery prevents blood clots and pneumonia. Medically, it makes sense. But personally? I wanted to throttle someone. I wanted to stay in my bed and...

18.09.2017

  I've been praying a specific prayer for several years now. Years. But the answer still remains "no" -- or at least, "not yet." What do you do when you're confident the Holy Spirit has confirmed something in your life, but the time has not yet come? What do you do when you know what God has told you, but His timing is different than yours? And, even more, what do you do when you see someone else receiving the answer to the very prayer you've been praying? Can I be honest? Sometimes you cry and pitch a holy hissy fit. Sometimes you question God and beg to know what He's thinking. Sometimes you remind Him of what He said to you in the past, and sometimes you feel completely lost. I'm finding that trusting God is the hardest part of my faith journey. I believe in God -- I do. I believe He is good, I believe He hears me, and I believe He has a plan. But trust? I think trust is hard. Here's why: I can believe He is good, but I can struggle to trust He's being good to me in what He allows, answers, or denies. I can believe He hears me, but I can struggle to...

10.09.2017

  We can always find a reason to feel badly about ourselves, can't we? No matter what we do, we can convince ourselves it should have been better, and no matter how well the day begins, we can always see a failure or a flaw in what has happened. I find myself falling into this trap so easily, the trap of believing I need to despise something about myself or my life. The trap of believing I am only and always falling short. The trap of discontentment. In just the past week, these are reasons I've been tempted to despise something about myself: Another mother's first day of school picture captured her beautiful flowers in the background, and my own flowers are all dead. I felt like I should hate myself because I don't have a green thumb. I looked down during my 19-mile run and noticed the cellulite on my upper thighs. Even though my legs can run 19 miles, I felt like I should hate them because they have cellulite. I couldn't tame the frizz in my hair Sunday morning before church and I felt like the insecure 12-year-old I used to be. I felt like I should hate myself because of...

22.08.2017

  Her beautiful face smiled at me through the computer screen, the perfectly-lit picture just underneath the words describing her success. From my couch in my den, her life seemed perfect. Clear skin, white teeth, and a business making her family extra cash. I was still in my pajamas, looking at the mountain of unfolded laundry spilling out of the clothes basket. I was trying to muster the energy to begin my day's work, trying to convince myself that what I was doing even mattered at all. And before my morning coffee was even cool enough to drink, I branded myself a failure. I didn't know her, and I certainly didn't understand the details of her life, but through a post shared by a mutual friend, I saw a piece of her world. And the piece looked amazing. In that moment, I let myself believe that she and her perfect-looking life were my competition. That other woman? She felt like my enemy. ***** I walked down the aisles of the grocery store, hurriedly throwing items into the shopping cart, desperate to get home and cook dinner as quickly as possible. I had failed to plan ahead yet again, so rather than dinner waiting on my family, my family...

16.05.2017

  Do you live with the mindset of abundance or deprivation? Do you rest in the fact that you have all you need, or do you wonder if there's something more that should be coming your way? These are questions I've been pondering a lot lately, and I've learned there are no simple answers. My conscious mind knows that every need I have is met, and I'm striving to be like Paul, who "learned the secret of being content in any and every situation" (4:12). But the truth is that I find myself drifting into discontentment when I live without intention. The truth is that I often overlook my met needs while desiring to have others' abundance. The truth is that my mindset is often one of deprivation. And it's not necessarily about stuff - it's about relationships, opportunities, and even God's love. Here's the tension: I am not deprived. But I let Satan tell me that I am. I do not go without. But I focus on what others seem to have. God has richly blessed me. But I still believe He's closed his hand. This is the way of the earth-bound believer, is it not? From the first people created came the question of what God...

27.02.2017

  The song lyrics rang through my earbuds as I ran, repeating the Scriptures that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. I nearly threw the earbuds across the sidewalk. I felt anything but wonderfully made. I felt like a mess, and I felt like crying. That morning as I dressed for my run, I saw stretch marks across my hips. Wrinkles around my eyes. Gray hair littering the brown. The mirror showed me the reality of my body, and the reality was hard to take. I saw a mother past her physical prime, one who keeps drifting steadily away from what the world says is beautiful. As the song played in my ears, I felt the elastic of my shorts cutting into my thickened waist, and I felt my body protesting the workout I was determined to master. The words I heard didn't match the emotions I felt, and I scoffed at what the Scriptures said was true. Nothing about me was wonderful, and everything about me was fading. I huffed around the track, trying to improve the physical me, and I struggled greatly to believe that even as I am, I am loved. The Creator of all I see formed me in the womb. He saw me in the hidden place. My...