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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

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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