Receiving Our Lives

January 14, 2013

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 1 Peter 1

It’s been a few weeks since I said goodbye to my friend. I sucked in all the grief to hide it away and I squeezed her hand and whispered,

“Listen to me Sarah- I love you and we will love your kids… we will teach them about Jesus, we will tell them about you everyday my friend: your faith- your passion- your spunk- your love for them. We got this. You can go and and you don’t have to feel afraid.”

That was real- a few weeks ago, my best friend was dying- brain surgery and strokes and the doctors believed she may not make it through the day.

But she did make it and yesterday I visited Sarah in the rehab facility in Houston… a place holding an inordinate amount of our hopes… this is the place where she will begin to heal. This is the place that will try to teach her to speak again, to walk again.


But not today. Today she wobbles a little as she holds herself up, today she’s learning to swallow, today she offers a small peaceful glorious smile as I tell her stories about her kids.

And with each milestone, our little sisterhood goes crazy….


Hearts explode with every piece of life God gives back! Because you see, she was about to die and now she is alive.

Healing, they say, will take time. “How much time?” we are all quick to ask.

But not Sarah… she seems peaceful and patient and at ease with her body that doesn’t work.


We’re learning it. Somewhere in between tasting death and learning to swallow- Sarah found a peace that is worthy of our envy. Let me be clear- she is in there- smiling at inside jokes and even nodding a little to answer questions. She gets it. She just isn’t fighting it.

See we get one life. One. And whatever God’s story for us is- do we want it? Or are we fighting it? I’m tired of striving and pretending to control.

I’m learning to receive my life.

What are you fighting? What are you trying to control? What would it look like to quit?

41 Responses to “Receiving Our Lives”

  1. Jennie, you don’t know me. I’m a friend of Sarah’s through her friend Tracey. This post was so encouraging to read. Thank you for writing it! I’ve been praying for Sarah’s miraculous recovery and believing God is going to restore fully! She is so blessed to have a wonderful friend like you! 🙂

  2. Emily has been praying for Sarah now. I think that Kate is asking the class to pray for Sarah. Watch out when children pray!! I think that there must be fleets of angels around Sara and her room. Soooo grateful to hear how God is using this trial for His ultimate glory and that Sarah is joyful in her trials is so amazing and moving. I love it and long to meet this wonderful woman and have coffee someday soon. Praise God that we can even dream these dreams in faith and with joy that defies circumstances. He restores, rebuilds, and reheals us everyday. Thank you for sharing this Jennie!

    • I know- this is shaping so many and especially our kids. My kids are so invested here. beautiful!

  3. When I read her caring bridge post from yesterday, and it said that some friends had come to visit and a Jennie was mentioned, I felt in my heart that it was you! What a sweet time of love and tears and fellowship! This picture that you posted just broke my heart….but then, I read your words that God gave your spirit, and my tears turned to joy. It is a hard road….I have been on a similar one with my mama. But when it’s a young mommy, strength from Him is needed in triple doses. Thank you for you words….comfort and joy. The peace that Sarah has is that which Paul talks about. She is truly a blessing. Hugs, my friend!

  4. Carol Hulin

    For me, giving up control and not fighting Him would mean leaving the life of a loner/hermitess-like/reclusive life….and doing community.

    I pray for your Sarah daily.

    I was just thinking she’s at peace with Jesus even though she’s kinda trapped inside her body. I’m not at peace with Jesus and am trapped in my loner ways…..

  5. What’s funny is that this morning I sat in a fast food chain doing my BSF study and had the questions asked about what I do to try and speed up Gods plan for my life (it was asking in relation to Sarai, who tried to speed the plan God had made by offering Hagar to Abram). We’re constantly trying to control what God has promised, and what He ultimately wants us to do is sit back and relax. So much easier said than done. Praying with you for the complete healing of Sarah!

  6. Rejoicing with your sisterhood over God’s sweet mercy. He is greatly to be praised.

  7. Whitney Eoff

    Jennie…you are precious. Thank you for sharing your heart with the rest of us! I LOVE your sweet heart! Miss you guys and even though we don’t see y’all, you are on my heart and mind often because in so many ways, I”M SO PROUD OF YOU and so blessed to know you! I’m humbled and encouraged watching you love on your friend AND for a while I’v been wanting to tell the enormous impact you’re having in Dallas with ME and so many young girls you don’t even know. My brother and sister in law own and run Crossfit Richardson and Julia is leading several girls in our 2nd study of yours. We just finished STUCK and now we’re beginning to dive into CHASING. JENNIE!! I can’t tell you A. how much fun it is for me to watch you each week. It makes me feel like I’m having a little coffee date with you and getting to hear your heart and in the process, falling more in love with Jesus in the process. (which is how I always felt getting to talk with you!!) AND…my heart is busting open each week watching lives be completely transformed by the Lord using YOU in the lives around us here in Richardson! He’s using you to transform lives for the first time. Girls coming to Christ and girls teary each week as they walk through your study and realize more about how crazy Jesus is for them. It’s a complete BALL!!! So, thank you for seeking Him with all your heart and for sharing your heart and Jesus’ love with us! I LOVE YOU!!! You’re precious!! We miss you guys and hope you, Zac and the kiddos are doing great! Hugs from Dallas…..

    • Oh dear- that is so fun to hear. I am so thankful for you as well friend- what I wouldn’t give to do life with you and Katherine MeDonald again! xoxo

  8. I’m sobbing! This is such a miracle! Oh sweet jesus, thank you. Thank you for this woman and this family and this team of prayer warriors who believed.


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