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4.15.2009

Let the Son Shine

God has a way of putting people in our lives exactly when we need them. Several months ago the Lord sent a wonderful, godly friend my way. Although we have yet to meet face-to-face, the bond we have is deep and strong, because it is built on our shared love for Jesus Christ. Victoria encourages me, challenges me, and inspires me.


Today I have asked her to share her story with us all. I pray that your heart will be blessed and you will be challenged to continue to let the Son shine through you. Please welcome my sweet friend Victoria Jenkins.


For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will
have compassion on you,
says the Lord, your Redeemer.
~Isaiah 54:7-8, NRSV


My entire world had come to a screeching halt. My marriage and my most intimate friendships as well as my sense of self-worth, lie shattered in more pieces than I care to admit. It wasn’t obedience that brought me to that point; my anger drove me to the Lord.

So, there I was with my Bible in my lap for the first time in years. I cried out, “Where were you, God?!” To my surprise, He spoke to me in the last way I had expected—through His Word. From there God picked up the wreckage of my life and made it His.

I desired to learn what the Lord wanted from me, but my laziness and my three kids kept me equipped with every excuse in the book to never open The Book. Having a passion for writing and a love for blogging, writing devotionals seemed like the perfect way to keep me accountable to staying in His Word. Often times we’ll excuse our way out of commitment to ourselves, but letting someone else down isn’t as easy on our conscience. I continue to share what I’m learning through writing devotionals, but God isn’t done growing this ministry just yet!

Having lost my closest friends to my husband’s sexual addiction, I struggled to form new connections. Each new friendship fizzled out and I began to fall into a self-loathing lifestyle that consisted of pajamas, soap operas, reclusion, and the occasional crying jag. After the last lingering remnant of friendship finally went caput, God dropped inspiration on me like nothing I’ve known.

He whispered to me the fact that, in order to have strong friendships, I was going to have to base them in Him. In a whirlwind of prayer, Scripture, snippets, notes, and illegible handwriting, the call to write a book on Biblical friendship became clear.

The call was clear, but my ever-human mind kept me wondering if the idea truly came from God, or merely from my own desperation. I enlisted the prayer of a sister in Christ and soon God began to drop Living Bread crumbs all over my life. As I followed the trail, His voice became clearer.

A mere student of His Word, I doubted my ability to write from it. So, God set a class on Bible Interpretation in my path.

Immediately after finishing the first chapter I hit a major writer’s block. Even my emails seemed to be from a semi-illiterate primate—no offense to any gorillas in the audience. Eventually devotional writing came back, but the book was a no go.

During my time away from writing, my sister sent me a copy of Beth Moore’s study on Esther and so I’m in the midst of ancient Persia now. Not long after starting the study, God revealed to me that I would need to study the book of Daniel before writing the chapter I had in the works. I decided to breathe easy and focus on my time in Susa. Just this week a lesson on friendship came out of the royal woodwork and I’m writing again. God is so faithful to provide!

God has taught me many things over these three years, and brought me through more than I ever thought I could endure. The greatest gift has been learning firsthand that our Sovereign Lord is our Faithful Father and Closest Confidant. When we follow where He leads, He will lead us Home.

Are you being called to something bigger than yourself? Well, God is bigger, my sister! We, as daughters of the King, must stand firm in our God-given destinies no matter how overwhelming they may seem. Every time I feel too small for the role God has called me to play, I cling to the God-breathed Words that Mordecai spoke to Esther,

“Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).



A little bit about Victoria …..“I am a Child of God, entrusted with the hearts and minds of three wonderful children and blessed with the heart and hand of the man I love. We are a homeschooling family that God is growing each day.When I’m not teaching, learning, fiddling with photography, or writing, I’m probably somewhere being weird.It’s a gift.” You find Victoria at her personal site, Let the Son Shine.

8 Lovely Thoughts Shared:

Beth in NC said...

God bless her! Thank you sharing her story with us! I'll hop over to her page.

Love,
Beth

Victoria said...

Thank you for asking me to be a part of this..it is just the sort of transparency God has been calling me to.

Your sweet words of our friendship touched me so much! I feel the same! In fact, you are that sister in Christ that I wrote of enlisting for prayer--just in case you weren't sure-- I meant you!

I love you and your heart for the Lord and the women who love Him!

Jenifer said...

Beth, thanks for stopping by for a visit today! Much love to you!

Victoria, you are such a blessing to me. Thank you for sharing your story and letting the Son shine through you!

Krista said...

Awesome post! I will visit her place too! Thanks for sharing!

Krista

Jennifer said...

Such a powerful - and inspiring - story...that really spoke to me and encouraged me today. I'm so glad you shared it today. I'm looking forward to popping over to her site as well! Have a great day...

Jennifer said...

Quick question...I linked over to "stories you might like"...Proverbs 31 Lesson Two - but was having trouble finding Lesson One! I'm really goofy about reading things in order....can you help me find it? I also think I saw a lesson three...how many should I be looking for? Thanks -

Jenifer said...

Jennifer, if you will look over on my sidebar, you will see my "Writing Topics". Scroll down until you get to "Proverbs 31" listing. All the studies that I participated in on with this particular study will be found there.

If you'd like, you can visit amybayliss.com for the entire study.

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Amen! What an encouraging testimony! I love that scripture. God has reminded me of that one many times.

Thanks for sharing Victoria with us Jenifer. I will have to go check out her blog.

Take care my friend!
Hope you are having a great week!