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U R Cared For (when you aren’t so sure…)

I always seem to be writing out of the wrestle.

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The moment I think I’m the only one feeling pinned to the mat breathless, along comes other girls who say they feel pinned too. We all wrestle. We all have days that go sorely wrong. We all hit that moment where we feel jammed and twisted and ask if we’ll ever get out from under the grip this life has on us. We all feel alone at times, defeated, uncomfortable in our skin, and we all gotta dig deep for hope and new beginnings.

I spoke to a bunch of teen girls in the public schools the other day and lots of them signed up to receive this journal. So I’ve been thinking about how it’s hard to be a teen, how your life can feel messed up and your parents can look really messed up, how everybody’s messed up and nobody’s saying it out loud.

So girls if you’re reading this, you might as well know about me that I’m in the Bible pretty much every day – it gives me the advice I need — but it’s rare that the words actually make me cry.

The other day was one of those rare days, the Word took my breath away and gave me breath at the same time and I sobbed myself silly right there in the middle of the living room. I read:

You will be called by a new name that the Lord’s mouth will announce. You will be a glorious crown in the Lord’s hand, and a royal diadem in the palm of your God. You will no longer be called Deserted, and your land will not be called Desolate; instead, you will be called My Delight is in Her, and your land married, for the Lord delights in you.

… “Look, your salvation is coming, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.” And they will be called the Holy People, the LORD’s Redeemed; and you will be called Cared For, a City Not Deserted. (Isaiah 62:2-5)

2016.12.14 U R Cared For

Do you feel lonely or afraid? Do you think you’re the only one who feels messed up and messed over, who has hurt bottled up inside? You’re not alone, friend.

God’s got a message for you today: You are Cared For — not Deserted. The name He gives you is “My Delight.” No matter how much you’ve messed up, no matter how much you need to forgive yourself or others, no matter how this day began or will end, you’ve got breath. You can dream.  You have purpose. You have gifts. You can choose joy.

The other night the Cowboy and I watched the movie, The Martian. The main character was stranded on Mars, and he absolutely made the most of it. It made me think: why do we focus on what we don’t have, or all that is going wrong, when what we do have is right before us? To find the good, all we have to do is look for it. In the movie, the main character said, “I wake up in the morning and see the horizon and I walk it. Why? Because I can.”

What can you do today to make it great? As long as you’ve got another day, you have a future, and that future is in the palm of the One who calls you His — and He calls you a jewel. He calls you Cared For.

Your friend,

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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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