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Seasons of Change

Since our family has moved to the mountains, I have been struck by the power of seasonal change. We have seen the sky turn from brilliant blue to hazy gray, the clouds from white cotton to black coal. The shifting seasons have delighted us, kept us inside and drawn us out. Their power has dictated how we spend our days and the very tone of our nights. I have fallen asleep to the soft drumming of rain landing and sliding down the roof; been jarred awake by the sound of angry clouds crackling and spitting; and woken in the morning to the still and mysterious whisper of snow gently piling on our doorstep.

I sit up in bed and see the sweetest sight: the towering pines are laced with a fine white powder; the once brown, irregular soil is now carpeted in a pure, white blanket. The children run to the window and squeal, It snowed, Mommy! Daddy, it snowed! As they crawl in bed to cuddle, I am reminded, His compassions are new every morning. It is so refreshing to know the mercy of God. Each day, as the world around us is made new, so are we.

And yet, the chill of winter does take its toll. The warm sun returns, the snow melts, and the roads become muddy and wet. The streets are cleared, but over time they become lined with dingy, brown piles. The pure white highlights disappear from the trees. It is cold, wet and drippy. No one wants to go outside.

So it is with our souls. We go through seasons — of joy, celebration, excitement and adventure — and then longing, dissatisfaction and fear. Past resentments or bitterness threaten to steal our joy once again. The storm clouds of jealousy, greed, disappointment or doubt loom over us; we cannot seem to escape them. These hurts need to purge themselves — sometimes we need to weep, pray, talk to a trusted friend, confess, repent, or simply rest — so that the winter clouds within us are released and we ourselves are cleansed.

What we cannot imagine in the midst of the storm is what it’s going to look like when it’s over. When the sky thunders and the world darkens, we cannot imagine the pure snow that will follow; further we cannot envision the new blooms of spring. But be assured my friend, spring is around the corner. Faith is believing that the sunshine will return even when we cannot see it; faith is trusting that light will bask the world again in glory . . . that light will shine again in our hearts as well.

There is a time and a season for everything: a time to experience the winter of our souls, and a time for spring to come again. As the world is made new each season, the Word promises that we too, through faith in Christ, are made new. If we have the faith to ask, God will gladly give us a new heart and a new song within it. As the restorer of our souls, He shines His light on the dirty piles of hurt, mistakes and failures within us, melts them away, and floods us with clean, pure water, forgiveness, renewal and hope for the future.

May this spring be one of “newness” for you, whether it be a new child in your life, a new faith, a new adventure. Whatever season you are experiencing right now, remember it is only a season. It too shall pass. And what is around the corner, if you keep your eyes on the Son, will draw you closer to Him than the season prior. Spend quiet time alone with God this season. He will surely water your soul, flood it with light and bring about the new blooms of spring.

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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

The honesty that Jennifer uses to tell her story drew our young women in and captured their hearts. She provided them with practical tips that the women use daily to transform their lives. These decisions have caused them to do things differently. We loved her so much, we are having her back!

Chrissie Dunham

Chrissie Dunham, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, TX

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

Jennifer has the ability to make you laugh, cry, and see yourself as one of God’s glorious creations — and that is just her warm up! Once Jennifer starts speaking, all you want to do is listen, learn, laugh, and love her. She takes you outside of yourself while helping you see inside of yourself, and does it in such a way that you feel safe, empowered, and capable to embrace all that the Lord is waiting to give you. She opens your eyes and your heart to hear from God in ways you never have. She connects you with others who share similar life experiences — and shines a bright light on the pathway to forgiveness, love, and blessings. Jennifer is also an amazing mother, compassionate, loving wife, and loyal, dedicated friend. Any opportunity women of any age have to hear from her is a gift and one that will produce fruit in their lives.

Lori Kennedy

Lori Kennedy, Outreach Event Coordinator, Riverview Evangelical Church, Bonsall, CA

I just picked up my girls from school today and they both talked all the way home about Jennifer’s presenation. It was a BIG HIT with Middle School and High School kids (both boys and girls). My high school daughter mentioned that she was glad that for once, a speaker focused on girl’s topics instead of sports or boy topics. She said that Jennifer engaged with the boys and made them answer questions too. My middle school daughter said that everyone in the middle school was paying attention too, and that all her friends were very tuned into what Jen was saying. Both girls said that they thought it was fine that the boys were with the girls during the presentation because the boys “needed to hear this stuff too.” 

Mother of two student attendees

Mother of two student attendees of Jennifer's U R MORE school program for boys and girls

If you think Jennifer gets the attention of adults, just see how the teenagers respond! My teenage grandchildren said they wanted to hear more from her and that her book was the only one they’ve ever really enjoyed reading! If teenagers are informed, inspired, and desire more, does anything else need to be said? Jennifer is an unusual voice of truth, integrity, and dignity. She needs to tell the world about her experiences and her victory. She encouraged me, a 70-year-old great grandmother. So, from teens to grans she has something everyone can benefit from.

Dr. Thelma Wells, D.D.

Dr. Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon.), Speaker / Author / Founder of the Ready to Win Conferences

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