Hello lovelies! My name is Jenna, and I am a Jesus-lover, church-lover, wife, mom of 4 fun and crazy kids. I have been a youth and young adult pastor for the last 15 years here in Surrey, BC. My hunky hubby is a pastor and preacher, and we are currently on a little break from ministry due to the last year of our life - I’ll explain more below!
A little bit about myself. . . I’m a singer, and all-around creator/DIY-er/anything to get my creative juices flowing! I consider myself an amateur ‘foodie’ and am always on the hunt for the best burger in whatever city I am in. I love writing and planning and dreaming of future things. I’m also quite passionate about you -yes YOU!- reading this, and kudos to you for finding and reading a website like THIS ONE that is here to encourage you towards the TRUTH. The truth that God LOVES you and His plans for you are GOOD! I have always had a passion for young women to discover their God-given potential. So here we are! I pray this ‘How-To’ will be helpful for you!
One thing the Bible tells us is that in this life, we WILL encounter troubles. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be complete, not lacking anything.” We know that we will encounter troubles/ tough times/challenging seasons. . .
Maybe your parents just got a divorce, or friendships at school plain old suck, or you just got dumped. Or maybe you are walking through a ‘fire’ that feels like you’re completely alone. Perhaps something happened to you and you just don’t know how to process it all. So, how DO we RESPOND? How do we keep our faith flourishing, keep trusting God? How do we have faith in the fires of life? Keep reading, my friends!
I’m going to give you THREE THINGS to try, if you haven’t already done them! For me, these were the things that God gave me to do- active responses- that helped me especially in this last season of our lives. My newest son, Judah (he’s pretty famous… and CUTE!), was born 3 and a half months pre-mature, and on top of that, he had gone 6 weeks in my womb without any fluid (that’s not good). Since many of you aren’t moms yet, I know those details may go over your heads, but they are crucial, and crazy and totally NOT normal - nor were they expected! Judah was just 1 pound, 14 ounces when he was born, and the day he was born, we began a new chapter in FIGHTING for our faith like we never had before. We found ourselves in the biggest and hottest “fire” of our lives.
So here (at last!) are my tried and tested 3 steps for ‘”HOW-TO KEEP YOUR FAITH THROUGH THE FIRE!”
1. Choose to Trust God
Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your path straight.” When tough times arise, we need to KEEP trusting God, and that His plans for us are good, even though it might not FEEL like it in the moment. God is the One we can run to, not the one that causes the trouble. He is the One that can bring peace to us, not the storm. He is the One that has big, huge open arms to carry us through the trials. He is trust-worthy.
When Koby and I knew that our situation with Judah was probably not going to be a ‘normal’ one (meaning we probably would not be having a baby born after 9 months of healthy pregnancy), and that Judah’s life, and even my life, was hanging by a thread at some moments, we made the decision to TRUST GOD - NO MATTER WHAT.
Romans 8:28 also says, “And we know that in ALL THINGS, God works for the GOOD of those who love Him” (emphasis my own). No matter what the outcome, God is the One who can take a trial, a tough situation, ANY situation - and reveal the good in it, or through it. Only He can do that!!
So, what does it look like, practically speaking, to trust God? It’s like knowing there’s hands to catch you when you fall, though you may not see WHERE you’re falling. He’s ALWAYS there, friends! For me, in the craziest moments when I don’t know what’s around the next corner, I make a choice in my heart to trust God, knowing that He’s already preparing my way!
I love to worship God. Obviously in our culture, we associate “worship” with singing and music, and so much of the Bible points to that, too. But worship is more than that. Worship is truly our heart’s stance towards God. In the good times in life, it probably feels easy for you to get up and put your favourite Spotify worship playlist on and sing along with Taya ;) But ESPECIALLY in the tough times in life, girls, those are the moments where we NEED to stand, lift our hands, open our mouths and PRAISE ( at least that’s my way, but you do you, boo boo).
I used to sit by Judah’s bedside, when he was too small and fragile for me to even hold. The days where I wasn’t sure if he was even going to LIVE through the next hour. And sure, tears would flow down my face, but praise was on my lips. It’s a CHOICE, in every situation, to open your mouth and speak worry, or open your mouth and praise God.
Praise is what elevates your perspective above the situation. Rather than sitting in self-pitty (no matter how deserving that may be), or staying stuck in a sad place, get your worship ON, girlfriend. Even if you are crying too hard to sing it out, listen to the words, and allow the presence of God to penetrate your situation. He will. He is so faithful. (*Side note: I highly recommend ‘Even When It Hurts’ by Hillsong United!)
Sometimes the hardest thing for us to do, on the hardest days of our lives, is to receive HELP! And it’s when we need it most. This is where my love for the church comes in, and my passion for the importance of community in the Family of God.
Koby and I spent years pouring ourselves into people - willingly and happily. So, when all of this came down with Judah, do you know what happened? All those people (and so many more), rallied around us. They prayed as if Judah was their own child. They supported us with encouraging texts. They bought us coffees and made us meals. It was AMAZING! But we had to be willing to receive it. This is why God made the Body of Christ - His family here on earth. We are meant to be here FOR each other in all seasons of life!
I encourage you - if you are not yet part of a thriving, life-giving, Jesus-centred church, then get your butt out to church! Ask a friend or google it (or send a message through this website!). I promise you, there is one in your area that has been praying for you before you even knew it :)
So long story short - Judah just turned ONE (a day I dreamed of and hoped for and prayed for!) on July 15th. He was in the hospital for 6 long months, but every single one of those days, were filled with promise and hope, all because of the grace of God. What He did for me, He can do for you too!!!
You CAN have faith in the fires of life girl, and guess what? Your faith CAN grow, and deepen, even in the toughest of times! I know, because I have experienced it first-hand.
We're so thankful to Jenna for lending her story of hanging on to hope through the really tough stuff. We pray it will encourage you to keep the faith, even through life's biggest fires. God is good - and He WILL carry you through.
You can read more of their story (and see lots of cute baby photos!) on her blog here!