Thursday, March 26, 2009

She Speaks Conference

1 Corinthians 14:12So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.

I can't believe it is time again for the She Speaks Conference from The Proverbs 31 Ministry. Time is flying! Please visit the above sites to find out more information. The Conference helps to equip people to use their spiritual gifts and boost confidence.

Growing up was a very painful thing for me. My biological father left the picture when I was one years old. I saw him up until I was four, then that was it. I had such a yearning in my heart for a father. I grew up very fast in my opinion. My mom remarried when my twin and I were 6 and my older sister 7. We were soon adopted and I idolized having a father so bad. I clung to his side every second that I could. I also grew up and was abused until the age of 18. While most kids were working for insurance money, I had to work to survive. I lived on a lot of land growing up and I would go outside, look into the big blue sky and think. I wondered why I was here, where was I going, what was God like?
In my home we went to church but that was about it. I didn't have a clue about Jesus or any of the stories that other kids knew (that went to the baptist We did not take our bibles to church. In fact I remember men and women at our church standing in the kitchen talking about those bible toting baptists, meanwhile I wished I was one of those kids who went to that "big" church. I grew up learning legalism. Nothing about a relationship, it was all about rote traditions that do not even come from the bible.
I prayed to receive Christ when I was 13 at a youth lock in. I was so on fire for Jesus but I never was discipled so it sort of fizzled out.
I really believed that I was going to get to heaven by being a good person. I had no idea about grace and the sacrifice Christ had made for me. In other words the church I went to did everything they could to make God as boring as possible. James MacDonald once said that he thought one of the greatest sins was to bore people with God's word. I agree because His word is alive and active.
Anyway, my life was one of co-dependency especially when it came to having to have a man in my life. The Lord literally stripped me of all of that and performed major heart surgery on me before I was ever healthy enough to be with my husband. The Lord wanted me to know that I would still live without a man in my life since I had idolized it so much.
Beth Moore said before that if you have a passion to tell everyone what you are learning you are probably called to teach. Growing up I had zero talent. I could run and that was it. I always wondered if I was in a talent show what in the world could this clumsy girl do? Make a bed on stage? Wash some clothes? I had it so embedded in me that I was not gifted or talented. Oneday, our singles minister came to me and asked me to pray about teaching. So, I began teaching for the next 7 years. It made me learn so much and challenged me so much. It gave me more joy than I could describe here. I was never once burned out. It gave me purpose and made me excited about life in general.
My very first exposure to a Spirit filled person was when I saw Beth Moore teaching Breaking Free right when it came out. When I saw her I felt the power of the Holy Spirit and prayed silently, "Lord, whatever she has I want that." She has mentored me along with countless others through the Moody broadcasting network over the last 11 years.
I married when I was 23. Our first daughter, Shelby Hope, died prematurely on August 20th 2004. I had gone to the Patriarchs taping and Beth Moore prayed over all of the pregnant women so I thought for sure this life was going to be so special. And it was. The Lord revealed to me that it wasn't Lazarus that He was crying over, but the Mary's and Martha's like me who are left with the sting of death. It was never meant to be that way. Her life brought God glory, even though it was one of the hardest times of my life. I had to stay in the Word and walk by faith even when I did not feel it. I am so blessed with my daughter Morgan hope now. We have been through more than our share of trials in getting her here and health problems in general. I feel like I can relate to most anyone who is suffering from what I have been through and how God has redeemed my life from the pit.
So to wrap up this long story...
I have felt a call to vocational ministry for several years. When the Living Proof Live conference was held in Birmingham, AL, she told us to go home and do some homework. Looking at our past, present, and how we wanted to use all of that to help the next generation. Well, I did my homework and I asked God to put something on my heart to pray. I prayed that if I was called to vocational ministry that Beth would call me out of that crowd of 18,000 people and I would know that this was the call on my life. So, she was teaching on Ephesians and how we think God doesn't notice us but He does when she stops teaching and sees me. She remembered that I was the one from the Patriarchs that had lost the baby. She made me get up in front of all of those people and I told everyone what I prayed.
Well, almost 4 years have come and gone and I have been tested and humbled until Psalm 130 has been engraved on my heart. I have been facilitating bible studies but nothing else. That is why this blog came about. I wanted to have an outlet to share what I am learning.
At times I have thought maybe the Lord has forgotten about me or that I have missed my calling. I am still just going to keep trusting Him. I feel so ill equipped but I also have such a passion for people to know God. To know Him through His word. To be set free from legalism, bondage, things that have happened in the past and on and on. I don't know where I would be without Jesus. I was headed for destruction and He reached down and took hold of me. If it weren't for other people who have stepped out to believe God, and be a voice proclaiming His word, I don't know where I would be. So, I just want to be a vessel that He can use even though I have sinned so greatly against Him. It amazes me that He has never dropped or abandoned me. I love Him so and want others to have more than a Sunday relationship with Him.


debra said...

beautiful, just beautiful.

You have not been forgotten. never.

Toknowhim said...

I have heard the story before about you getting called out by Beth Moore...what an amazing confirmation of what God was showing you...

Just keep taking one step at a time, and you will fulfill your destiny, like Esther :)

Thanks for sharing your story with us... Kim

holly becton said...

Sweet Jenny, I came across your blog and want to let you what a blessing your words are to me. Thank you for your openness and honesty - I love learning and soaking up the wisdom!

Patty said...

I love your heart. I love how God answered your prayer at Beth's conference and I know through all you just shared that you are walking in your calling. God will continue to guide you and use you. Writing and sharing on your blog is one aspect of it. You are such a special person with a heart that is filled with love for Jesus!
Love you,

Jen said...

This was such a well written post. God's grace and mercy are so evident in you. You shine so brightly for Him and it is clear that you are chosen and dearly loved :)

colorfulwoman said...

Thankyou so much for sharing your story here Jenny! You are such a blessing and God shines through you in person and through your words on this blog...may He bless you as you seek Him daily Jenny!

connorcolesmom said...

Girl I was there in B'ham when that happened and I told you when I met you that I REMEMBER what Beth said, what you looked like and what you said to BEth!
Girl God has NOT forgotten you - in His timing He will reveal what, where, and when
In the meantime the ministry you have at home and church are SO VERY important
DO NOT LET the enemy try to tell you otherwise
You are a blessing and an inspiration
Love you and praying for you!

Anonymous said...

I love you, Jenny Hope! Don't have time to cry at the moment BUT I want you to know this....when I knew that precious high school girl, Jenny W, she lit up my room with fun, smiles, and joy. She was bright and sharp. You may have been sad inside but you were a ray of sunshine (still are). Like Joseph in Genesis 50 it was meant for evil but God used it all for good.

We are all trying to find our place in this world and to figure out what we are suppose to do when we grow up! Destiny is a marathon not a sprint I think.

BIG ((((hugs)))) JW

Anonymous said...

I want to grow in THE WORD=what can I do to get in there and learn more? - What bible study can I use for a single person, not a group, to help me? I love you blog.
Nancy in
North Carolina

jennyhope said...

y'all are so sweet...I could cry. you mean so much to me. Thank you especially Mrs. Jill for what you said!! I just love you!!

Nancy I will so send you some stuff.

April said...

Thank you for sharing your heart sweet friend... You already are a vessel the LORD is using in mighty ways... May be you can't see it but trust me I know He is! And continue girl to do what you are doing... seeking, walking by faith, encouraging, sharing, discipling... God is preparing you and even as He is preparing you He is using you!!! Remember sometimes His timing is not ours... but it is always right! (Audra and I had a talk about this the other day... about our calling, our desire, etc.) Walking by faith... and trying to keep my eyes focused on Him.

Bev Brandon said...

I love you to pieces Jenny Hope...and I love it that you keep on going to Him (john 5:39,40) and finding your good God in the midst of your heartache. You're beautiful! Love, Bev

lavonda said...

I want to get in my car and drive to Alabama and give you a big ol bear hug! It's obvious God's got his hand on your life. It just spills out of you, like an overflowing cup. and I love that.
I can't wait to meet you in person!

Maryanna said...

Amen sista! Your testimony means so much. Keep running hard after Jesus.
...oh, and that dress... let me see if I can perfect the seams. They are awful on that dress, but I'll try again. I'm still in the learning process and need to practice more. :)

Shelly said...

Uhm....I odn't know what to say, but praise be to our God for you Mrs. Jenny Hope....

ocean mommy said...

LOVE you and can not wait to see what God has planned. :)

(I could so hear your voice as I read this...made me miss you!)


Lindsey @ A New Life said...

Sweetie- this was just precious. I am stopping by all the ladies who entered and have been so humbled and blessed to find others just like me. Wishing you luck in the contest and to let you know I am praying for your dream to attend the conference!

Lindsee said...

Everytime I hear this story I love it more and more. Keep seeking after Him, sweet Jenny. He's up to something big! Love.