JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Posts Tagged ‘faith


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(from Bittersweet, by Shauna Niequist)


Written by Jessica

October 16, 2013 at 1:33 am

Posted in Wisdom

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‘Trust in the slow work of God’

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Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We would like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet, it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability — and that it may take a very long time. Above all, trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine-dresser.

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin via Sojourners

Written by Jessica

August 28, 2013 at 5:08 am

Honestly, I want to see you be brave.

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Ok. Holy smokes I am in love with this song. I just heard it for the first time over on Lisa-Jo’s blog and it made me a little teary.

I think for the first time, I’m going to participate in her Five-minute Friday challenge. Technically it’s really Saturday, but who’s keeping track? Plus I’m still up and in a Friday kind of mindset.

Five Minute Friday

Each week, she gives a word and you have 5 minutes to set a timer and write up a storm, without editing. It’s supposed to be raw and real and a creative act, free from self-editing (my inner critic makes that especially hard) and self-censoring.

This week’s word: Brave.

Let’s give it a go, shall we?

“My mom said, why can’t you be brave like Jessica?”

The words flitted into my Facebook chat screen, from a far-away friend who is often racked with social insecurity.

Ha. If she knew what it is like to be inside my head, I think she’d find a different view of me. I find it hard to see bravery in my life sometimes, mostly because so much of my life is doubt and anxiety ridden. What do other people say? What do other people think? I wonder.

I’m my own biggest critic.

I’m afraid that I’ll always be more overweight than I want to be, I struggle with being single (which I, in my twisted mindset often equate to being unwanted), I worry that I’ll never quite fit in.

Yet somehow, life moves forward. My fears usually tend to be unfounded. I live a little, learn a little, and try to take deep breaths more.

And try to hang on to a tiny sliver of hope that things will go better than expected, and the belief that God has my back and that he can handle my fears.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest.” Peter says, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”

I need to take those up more often.

Written by Jessica

May 4, 2013 at 1:47 am

‘I began to suspect that life itself has a plot’

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How do I happen to believe in God? … Writing novels, I got into the habit of looking for plots. After awhile, I began to suspect that my own life had a plot. And after awhile more, I began to suspect that life itself has a plot.

— Frederick Buechner, “Listening to Your Life” 

Written by Jessica

March 26, 2013 at 1:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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Life in God’s Waiting Room

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That’s what they call Florida. Because of all the gray-haired retirees that populate this state.

It’s a little ironic. I feel like in a few ways, that I don’t really want to get into on this forum, I’m in a metaphorical waiting room right now. In a holding pattern. Waiting for something to happen. Its appointed time is yet to come. In the meantime, I’m still here. Waiting.

I’ve never been a patient waiter. In college, when something didn’t work out, I jumped to a new place. A few times.

In theory, life is big and open and there are possibilities.

In reality, we are very much dealt a number of limitations.

I feel like for whatever reason (one that I don’t know), I’m supposed to be here. No attempts at being able to go elsewhere (even when I was sure I had it) have succeeded. You can only hit a brick wall head on so many times before you give up.

Over the last few months, though, I feel like I’ve been gradually been called back to having a real, living, active, breathing faith.

A professional journalist I met this past spring encouraged me to find a home church, something that I’ve put off and eventually gave up on. He was actually the second person to do this, but he put it in a new way–one that hit so close to home. He said that news business can be so soul-sucking when one is not being fed spiritually. Let’s just say I feel like for awhile, my soul has been majorly sucked away.

For the first time in awhile, I have started going to a church frequently. I found one within my denomination and have been going pretty regularly (except for a three-week gap of a black hole earlier last month, to be quite honest), but every time I go, I feel a little more alive. More connected. People remark on my absence. I wish the church were closer — it’s 45-50 minutes away — but I love the congregation, the pastor/his family, and, crazy enough, the drive. It’s like a mini-road trip.

I am beginning to connect with other people.

Last week, the pastor focused on the importance of reading God’s word. Given the fact that I’m a slacker in so many other disciplines, I’ve definitely been a slacker there. I’ve put more energy into reading this week, via an iPhone app reading plan, and it’s been amazing how relevant each message is each day. It’s like God’s there, waiting to speak, but by not reading, I’m not giving him room to speak into my life.

I’m still in a rut, and my life is messy. But it feels like there may be a glimmer of hope left.

One verse that hit my gut this week came from the story of Abraham and Sarah. It’s where God promises the patriarch that his wife will have a child, a preposterous statement because she thought she was well-beyond child-bearing years.

She overhears this conversation between God and Abraham and laughs.

God says, “Hey, I heard that,” (ok, maybe not in those words) and asks, “Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Genesis 18:14, NIV)

Then, she becomes pregnant. Even when it seemed impossible, even preposterous that she would. And she named him Isaac, which means laughter.

I guess if Sarah can have a son, if God worked a number of ways through his people, surely nothing is too hard for him in my life.

I guess I just have to keep faith that he is doing something, even if I’m not clued in on the plan.

Written by Jessica

September 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Posted in Florida Living

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