Life doesn’t always happen the way we think it should. In fact, usually it doesn’t. Jenna’s blog challenged me to ask myself, “Am I living for my own purposes, or to please my Father God?” Sometimes things that look very good to us aren’t His way. So am I willing, as Bethany said in the previous blog, to go “all in,” no matter what that means?
I love this girl – my forever travel buddy! She’s crazy, spunky, spontaneous, and hilarious – everything I’m not. Fluent in the language of sarcasm, fully living every moment of life, and unshakeable in her devotion to friends and family, you can recognize Jenna’s arrival by the laughter and excitement that stirs into the room with her. We spent most of 2007 together, as RAs on opposite ends of the same floor during the spring, on a mission trip to Costa Rica in the summer, and studying abroad in Australia (with a mini-vacation to New Zealand) in the fall. This woman lives – fully, deeply, passionately. There is no better way I can think to describe her; she has my deepest admiration for the way she lives every moment. After graduating Roberts Wesleyan College with a degree in elementary education, she promptly relocated to England, where she is teaching fulltime. I only wish I could be there with her! Ladies, it is an honor to bring you Jenna Girdner…
Favorite color: Pink
Favorite food: Pancakes
Describe yourself/life in 3 words: Passionate, tenacious, loving
What you want to do with your life: I want to live it for God, wherever that takes me and whatever that means; I want to be willing to follow Him.
One interesting fact about you: I was electrocuted when I was 3.
Most dangerous thing you’ve ever done: On a mission trip to Costa Rica, I was blessed with so much courage for the tasks that we were sent there to do. One of the services projects we were assigned was going to these really rough areas and passing out food to the people living there. That was probably the most dangerous thing as one of the men showed his gun as a threat to get more food. We gave it to him with open hearts and warm smiles, that’s God for you.
Favorite quote: “You’ve gotta stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” – The Script
Favorite Bible verse: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17
What is one secret to living life as a woman of God in today’s world? To constantly and everyday give your life back to our Papa in heaven.
“Aligned with His Heart” by Jenna Girdner
I’ve been reading the books of Samuel and trying to focus on the character of Saul. David and Jonathan are really great too, but I had a feeling there was something God wanted me to learn from Saul. And, as much as I’ve read this story before, heard it tons of times since I was in Sunday school, I am now finally understanding what this means in relation to my life.
If you could, whether you know the story or not, please take time at some point to really read 1 Samuel.
In the beginning of 1 Samuel, you’ll see that the Israelites don’t have a king. But they’re looking at all the other nations and realizing that they all have kings. So Israel says, “Hey God, you forgot to give us a king! All of the other nations have kings, we want one too!”
Now, this may seem fine, Israel wants a king, so God gives them one, no big deal, right? Wrong! Israel was God’s chosen nation. Don’t you think God was looking after them? I mean if you read the previous 7 books of the Bible, you see it. You see that time and time again, God didn’t leave His own people…ever. He took care of them through everything! God was actually taking care of them by not giving Israel a king, because God was their King. God even warns the people what will happen if they do have a king to rule over them in 1 Samuel 8 vs. 11-18. I wonder what pain God must have been feeling when His chosen people decided that they wanted someone other than God to lead them. I bet we don’t even understand a millionth of what those emotions were. (I got a bit choked up when typing out those last few sentences.)
It says in 1 Samuel 9 verse 2, there was a man from the tribe of Benjamin, “He had a son named Saul, an impressive man without equal among the Israelites – a head taller than any of the others.” Ok, so here we learn that Saul is a pretty standout kinda guy. And he became the first king of the Israelites. The Israelites wanted a king, so they got Saul.
Alright, that sounds pretty obvious, out of all of the Israelites they picked the most impressive one. That sounds like a good choice actually, but I think the thing we need to focus on here is that he’s not God. Saul might seem like a standout kinda guy, he might be taller by a head, he might be impressive, but he’s not God.
If you go throughout the Old Testament you see that the first three Kings of Israel were okay. I mean, David was even better than okay, he was the man after God’s own heart. But after Solomon, the line of kings really goes downhill from there and Israel really suffers because of it. God knew that it was going to be painful to the nation of Israel to have a king over them, yet because Israel asked for it, he allowed it.
I just want to really take seriously the idea of aligning your heart with God’s heart. I know I have an idea of what I want out of my life and the things that I have prioritized as important, but really when it comes down to it, I need to focus on what God wants for my life. I want to pray for life circumstances that will honor my Papa in heaven and align with his desires for my heart and life because only then will I be truly satisfied.
In Matthew 5, the Message version, in verse 1-6 it says:
1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said: 3″You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. 4″You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. 5″You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.6″You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
We live in such a broken world, and we are such broken people. That is what choosing our own independence from God, going way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, did. We chose to know Good and Evil and in doing so, heartache, sickness, war, starvation, abuse, and so much more pain have entered our lives. Independence is something that is thrown at us everyday in the modern world, but really I’m not sure that is the best for our lives. We are blessed when we call upon the Father and live our life constantly coming to him and being redeemed. We are embraced when we trust in him fully. My prayer is that you will really consider putting aside independence and in its place depend fully on Christ for “He is food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.”
To continue on to Devo #7 by Esther Joy Thompson, click here!