I give each year a title. This coming year for me is The Year of the Giver.
The year to give steadfast love. The year to give hope. The year to give my time, attention, and resources exactly as God leads. As Proverbs says: “A gift opens the way for the giver, and ushers him into the presence of the great.”
To give is to open the door to greatness. To Joy. This year I’m giving as the Holy Spirit leads, not as I think I should do. When the “shoulds” are taken out, they are replaced by “coulds.” I could give this, and that would delight her … or bless him … or empower them. It’s a cool way to give, and it gives back to my heart the joy of Christmas, which isn’t a material holiday; it’s a spiritual holiday, and we signify the spiritual with the material gifts that make hearts glad. I love it!
This year, our ministry has seen miracle after miracle …
We’ve met girls rescued from abortion under a bridge in Massachusetts, helped women be set free from the shame of sexual abuse in Wisconsin, and even helped a woman bound to a wheelchair give her heart to Christ right in the middle of a bookstore in Texas.
Her caretaker asked me to tell what my book was about.”God thinks you are Beautiful. Worthy. Loved,” I said to the girl in the wheelchair, and a string of tears like pearls streamed down her face as she writhed about, wound up and bound up and tied up and broken … and asked if she could have Christ give her peace, right there in Barnes and Noble.
I could go on and on about the many thousands of women we have ministered to, and the countless who have discovered their identity in Him.
But this ministry is Hard! It’s not easy! It takes sacrifice, and time, and a tremendous amount of work … and like you. sometimes I question how long I can keep on … and the word I hear this season, is: Persevere. I want to keep going, keep giving, keep writing, and keep learning.
In the public schools in Texas, I spoke to slews of elementary, junior high, and high school kids, skin every color it comes in, and saw hearts change and eyes open and truth be uttered in ways I couldn’t have dreamt. (By the way, the younger kids are, the more they know what real beauty is….)
We spoke to kids in a community that speaks 100 different languages, yet the language we all left with was Love.
At Texas A & M University, I delivered a message to a room busting with sorority girls, and afterwards many gave their lives to Christ. (Then I got “Winged” by the Thetas!)
And beyond my belief, I spent a weekend of free training with Logos Bible Software, joined by Kay Arthur, Renee Swope, Patsy Clairmont, Lisa Harper, June Hunt and many more. (I guess you would call that “the presence of the great” 🙂
All of this, with the incredible support of my amazing husband and family, who never let me give up and move mountains so I can minister.
To be more present for my family, I traveled this year, and as a result got to share 12 special weeks with some of the most beautiful, wise, and honest women I’ve met in a long stretch, doing my Beautiful Lies Book and Bible study with a local Gateway women’s group. We saw marriages restored, hearts redeemed, identity found, and beauty redefined.
It’s been a full year, a year in which I have been stretched to Believe that God will continue to provide for this ministry. How sad that I have doubted him, especially when every coin we carry says “In God We Trust.”
As Paul says, “Since through God’s mercy, we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:1)
Your gifts make it possible for us to continue our work. I literally cannot do it without the faithful support of our donors. And truthfully, now that U R More is a non-profit, 501(c)3, our donations have actually dropped.
I know times are hard. I know it! And I am aware that you have many worthy ministries to give to. But can I humbly ask that you would please consider giving to ours so that our work can continue? With donor support in 2015, we can:
– continue our work in schools, teen crisis centers, and women’s prisons.
– provide semiweekly devotionals through our new blog, Jen’s Journal.
– continue to present Christ on college campuses and places where young people are searching for a foundation for their lives.
– produce a new video series to be used in public schools and churches, inspiring teen girls to find their true identity, value, and purpose in Christ.
For every $50 we receive, we will donate a book in your name to the school, counseling center, or program of your choice (or we will pick a place for you.)
We sew 10% of every donation back into ministries where hurting young people are.
As you prepare your year-end gifts this season, ask God who to give to and how much. He will lead you if you listen. Knowing how and where He wants us to give provides peace. (Click here to give a gift.)
Above all, Thank you for your support and faithful friendship to this ministry. You (and everyone you love) are the reasons why we do it!
Oh, and make sure to cuddle around the fire this year and savor the Savior … how Sweet are His footsteps as He enters the room where He is invited …
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
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, 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, 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.”