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Arise and Shine (for the glory of the Lord rises upon you)

In 2020, I had a dream. In the dream, I was writing a facebook post about politics when God stepped in and got in my face. “But YOU,” He said, pointing his finger straight at my face,”YOU have a  ministry to girls about their SELF-IMAGE.”

At that moment I knew what I had to do. While many of my friends were frantically voicing their opinions about the election on social media, I had to shut up and do what I’m called to do – which is help young women find their worth. There was no “when” to this message. The indication was for now. 

Now, when girls are stuck behind screens, attaching their beliefs to the images they see.

Now, when girls are being told lies about the true beauty of womanhood.

Now, when anxiety, depression, self harm, and low self worth are on the rise.

I have a ministry to girls about their self-image – and along with being a dedicated wife and mom – this is the cause we must direct.

So when our Executive Director, Kristen Jordan, sat me down and told me God put it on her heart to put on an event in her hometown of Wellington, Texas in April 2021 to help girls with their self-image, the only answer was yes. She assembled a small army of prayer warriors; her family mobilized the town; our friends flocked to help us; and the Arise Conference was born.

We started by speaking in the public schools, handing out fidget spinners provided by The Goodness Project, and invited the girls to come to a movie night. That night we played the Documentary based on my life story at the historic Ritz Theatre. Afterward, some girls found Shane and I in the balcony, told us their heartbreaking stories, and the event had begun.

With the foundation established for a day of authenticity, freedom, and the power of God to transform a life, Kristen’s dream of bringing hope and healing to young women’s hearts came true. Girls got honest about their struggles. Women experienced emotional healing. God banded a town together for the next generation, and brave leaders emerged who plan to lead Arise groups for women and girls.

The highlight of the day was when Kristen’s sister Marnie did a prophetic painting of the Bride of Christ. Afterwards, we distributed over 250 rings to symbolize the commitment God makes to His daughters. (The rings were also provided by  The Goodness Project).

The Holy Spirit blew us away when the girls poured from the balconies to the front of the stage like streams of living water, bowing at the altar and repeating the salvation prayer in unison. I looked at Kristen and saw her sweet eyes streaming with tears. “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45)

In a year like this one, remind young people who they are in His eyes. They are seen, known, and loved. In an ever-darkening world, they are the light. God handmade them for a purpose – and it’s our job to draw them out.

To God be the glory — for He is faithful. He is righteous. He is good, forever and ever.

Your Friend,

Jen

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About the Author: Jennifer

Jennifer Strickland is a wife, mom, TEDx speaker, and former professional model. She is the author of Girl Perfect, More Beautiful Than You Know, and Beautiful Lies, among other books and Bible studies that teach women their worth in God’s eyes. Since leaving the modeling industry, she founded URMore.org, a non-profit ministry that provides resources to hurting women and girls. Her favorite moments are found working on the family ranch with her husband, who she calls “the Cowboy”; in her kitchen, concocting a new version of her famous spaghetti; or spending time with their three precious children.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.

Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA

“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”

Nancy Ortberg

Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church

“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”

Allie Marie Smith

Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made

One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”

Thelma Wells

Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon), President of Woman of God Ministries
As a teacher, participator, and observer of public speaking for most of my life, I’ve come to realize that many speakers make one of two mistakes when interacting with their audience (especially when that audience is mainly teenagers.) They either expect their audience to climb up to their level (which feels unattainable to the crowd) or they step down to the level of their listeners (which feels cheap and pandering.) The best speakers meet their audience where they are and lead them up to where they want them to be. This feels genuine. This is what Jennifer did over the last few days at our school.
Jennifer Strickland is a funny, engaging, dynamic speaker. She shares truth with authority and credibility that comes from both experience (her story is powerful) and an obvious depth of study in the Bible. The ideas she presents about Value, Identity, and Purpose are truths everyone needs to hear.
I heartily recommend her for your conference, school retreat, or any event where you want your people to be encouraged and challenged with deep, impacting truth.

Andrew Doan

Andrew Doan, Concord Christian Academy, Concord, NH
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