Jenny Brien - "Everything you put your hand to will prosper"
"Everything you put your hand to will prosper." I always looked forward to her saying it. Until I got older. She would yell it out the window as she dropped me off. I would roll my eyes and pretend I didn't hear her. There are many things she would speak over me. Her words still echo in my mind even now at 33. At times I can't remember how her voice sounded but I can remember the words she would say.
Let me tell a little back story. Halfway through my junior year of high school I found myself with a complete plan for my life. I knew the college I wanted to attend, what I wanted to do, I had the independence of driving, friends and a great GPA. I had it all planned out. My mom and dad were senior pastors of The Rock Church. They had been gone for 15 days on a mission trip in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where my mom was building showers in garbage dumps with the hopes of building a school. Expected to return home that day I rushed to clean the house and get ready for my friend to pick me up so we could go to the airport and get them. Until it all changed. On January 31st @ 4:28 in the afternoon I got a call from a women in Texas. Her quaint voice trembled as she said these word that forever changed my life. "I don't want to alarm you but a plane has crashed off the coast of California while returning home from Puerto Vallarta." I quickly responded with "this is a terrible joke" and hung the phone up. But something inside of me knew she was telling me the truth. I grabbed the phone and dialed my brother. He answered, "Hi Jen," something in his voice told me the question I was about to ask I didn't want to know the answer to. "Jeff, is it true?" He paused. I could tell he didn't want to answer me. He, as much as I, didn't want it to be true. "Well, Jen, I don't know. Yes, it's their flight, but I don't know if they were on it. We are on our way to you." I can't remember what was said after that. It’s like in the movies where time slows. After I hung up the phone I began to run to the tv room. The house was dark, cold and quiet. I wanted to see the news report for myself. I mean, If anyone could survive a crash surely it'd be my parents. Halfway to the tv room I collapsed on the floor. Tears pouring down my face. Laying there on the cold floor. I cried out in desperation "Jesus, if this is really real…..I need you." I have a hard time expressing into words the peace that engulfed this 16 year old girl. But something in me knew I was gonna be ok. Everyday became a new struggle. First it was simply trying to get sleep. Then trying to get back to school. Life was interrupted. My plan no longer mattered. People would try to console me by telling me how amazing heaven must be. But all I could think about was how hard life was.
I felt like an orphan.
Here I'm suppose to stand in front of my parents church smile and act like everything would be ok. But deep inside I was crying out. I missed the two most important people in my life. I missed the security of unconditional love. I missed the warmth of my mom and the stability of my dad. One night as I laid in my quiet room, I realized something that changed my life forever. No longer was I able to depend on my relationship with my parents to grow deeper with God. Instead, I would need to grow in intimacy with Him all on my own. I began to simply talk to him at night while I laid in bed. He's a big God and loves me enough to hear my pain, my frustrations and my questions. Those moments made my love for Him more deeper.
"One night, as I laid in my quiet room, I realized something that changed my life forever. No longer was I able to depend on my relationship with my parents to grow deeper with God. Instead, I would need to grow in intimacy with Him all on my own."
Have you heard the saying "If He brings you to it, He'll bring you through it”? That was me. I thought then and still today, "Why would you bring me to this, just to leave me?"
I look back on those years I got with my parents and see the wisdom my mom and dad instilled in me. What incredible faith it would require for me to walk out each day after their loss. My pastor said once "FAITH DOES NOT WAVER IN SEASONS." Man, there have been times all I had was faith.
Do I miss my parents. Well of course! But I am proud of the woman I have become because of my struggle. I learned that He cares deeply for us. He desires to see us overcome obstacles. To find great faith in us.
Now I am a wife, a mother to two boys and a business owner. I find when I come up against an obstacle I have a deep understanding that God will get me through anything. He saw me through my toughest season why would He not be present now.
I want people to know the love that God has for them. Matthew 6 talks about the birds of the air and how he cares for them. And the lilies of the field and how he cares for them. Then it says "aren't you more precious than these?" You are more precious.
Life happens. But Jesus wants you to know He cares and desires for you to know His great love."