Since I’m pretty new to Congruent Culture, thought I would introduce myself a little.
Hi, I’m Jenna.
All of my life, I have known and loved God. I grew up in the same traditional Methodist church my mother was born into in a small town. When I was 12 years old, I went through confirmation, a season of learning about what Christianity is and what it meant to be a Christian. At the end of the process we were presented with the opportunity to choose our faith for ourselves. As a natural-born journalist, I questioned everything, which I’m sure was fun for my mentor throughout the process. I took it really seriously. But at the end, I decided I would choose Jesus, no looking back. As I did, standing in front of my entire church family, it felt as if I could fly. Even though eternity was being given to me, it felt rather that a heavy burden was taken away – all my sin, gone.
I would love to say “happily ever after,” but this was only the beginning. My teen years were filled with growth as a leader and new challenges to overcome. I had an unshakeable calling to stand for truth as a journalist and to get into a university more difficult and farther away than anyone from my small town usually went.
Eventually I did fulfill my calling to go to that university and met genuine Christians who really lived what they believed. One girl in particular who was a few years older than I was took me to a steel bridge over the city’s river. She asked me to climb it with her. It really wasn’t all that high, but I am no risk-taker. She saw my fear and asked me if I trusted her.
I heard, not with my ears, but with my spirit, that I was meant to say yes. I know that was God in that moment. He told me to trust her, to follow her, not just up the bridge, but into a deeper relationship with Him. That day and many, many days after, she showed me what it was like to trust God, to heal from lies Satan had whispered, to be set free from all that held me back from a growing, wild faith.
She showed me how to read my Bible and pray expecting God to talk back. Every time I tried to make her the object of my worship – because she really was the most loving and faithful friend I had – she would refuse the crown and direct me back to God.
“Just stare at Jesus,” she would say if I was feeling lost and confused. What she meant by that is that even when it seems like everyone has stabbed you in the back, when you can’t trust anyone, when lies and darkness are all around you, just look to Him and He will be the light. He is the road to freedom and there is no other, no better, no greater love.
Satan tries to lock us up in a cage: self-pity, worry, hate, fear, rejection… he tries to label us with our worst experiences and mistakes and failures, and it works. But it only works as long as we let him. See, when Jesus came and died for us, He didn’t just steal the key to the cages, He burst open the doors. But He gives us a choice. Stay in the familiar darkness, or run, dance out into the light. You won’t always be safe from struggles and you won’t ever be perfect, but it is the only way to be free, to walk in the freedom He gave us when He sacrificed Himself, pure and holy, and rose again, defeating death. He’s daily asking “Do you trust Me?” All we have to do is drop our chains, step out of our cage and follow.