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When God Turns a Page (how putting HOME 1st changes everything)

I have always loved public ministry. No matter the opportunity, I love inspiring women that in Christ, we can ALL have a new day. We can all turn a page.

I love seeing women open their hearts to the love God has for them. It may sound strange, but I feel relieved when they come forward and cry at the altar, sit down with me in my office, or reach out for prayer, because that means they are seeking healing, opening their hearts, turning a new page, and wanting to start a new chapter.  

Maybe I love this so much because I was that young woman who needed someone to reach out to her and say, God sees you. You are not alone.

Most of you know I never set out to be in ministry. I just made myself available. Accompanied by one incredible woman after another, I went from venue to venue in awe at how powerful our stories can be. I fell in love with teaching the Bible that dramatically changed my life, and fell more in awe with watching it change others.

But like any of us, I have fallen. I have made mistakes. I have struggled. A handful of years back, my soul was holding very little “living water.” If someone close to me were to take a drink at the wrong moment, what I had to offer might taste bitter. You could say my cup was poisoned by lies, brimming with anxiety and fear.

I was able to lead others to Jesus outside the home, but at Home, I couldn’t seem to be His minister.

Feeling like I was failing at my marriage and failing as a mother, I often acted out of anger. Then I labeled myself a failure and sometimes even felt completely useless to my family. Desperate for reprieve, I battled for peace and joy on a daily basis. I fought with everything I had.

There are times we all feel anxious, grieved, depressed, unheard; none of us are immune. We know what it feels like to question our value. We know how it feels to fight for our worth. Sometimes quitting seems like a viable option, but deep down we know it’s not.

As for me, I dug in my heels, focused on the people and things that mattered most, and prayed for the page to turn.

They say that Home is where the heart is. And for me, that couldn’t be more true. For the past several years, outside of ministry, I’ve focused on nurturing our marriage, raising three children in this crazy world we’re in, and coming to understand how to be an example for Christ within the walls where we live. And every single minute has been worth it.

I’m pretty darn ecstatic to tell you now that our marriage has never been stronger. The love Shane and I share is second to none. We have a bond that we’ve created through unconditional love, understanding, and grace (which we both need a lot of . . . LOL). Just as wonderful, our relationship with our kids is better than ever, and we are proud of the people they are.

In the middle of our trials, I re-learned how to rely on God as our Provider, Redeemer, and example of the true meaning of Love.

Every trial contains treasures meant to be discovered. Whatever you are facing today, first you must believe that God has a plan — and that He will turn your story around for the good. Be faithful and watchful and count those blessings day by day — knowing that He is good — and when it’s time, the page will turn.

As for us, we’ve turned our own page.  Even when we fell, even when it was hard, even when we struggled, we know we were blessed. And through it all, God has showered our family, our marriage, and ministry with love, grace, and provision. 

Many of you have been on this journey with us for a long time. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your steadfast love.

(With lots of help from Shane!)

Always,

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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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