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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

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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