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Jennifer Slattery Christian Blog and Commentary

Jennifer Slattery

Author and speaker Jennifer Slattery has addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation and her love for seeing others embrace freedom in Christ is evident in each of her six contemporary novels and on her devotional blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As Founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit with Jennifer on Facebook at JenSlatte.
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My schedule had ballooned, leaving me fighting for air. Though I managed to juggle all the demands and responsibilities bombarding me each day, I made numerous errors. I epitomized the phrase, “Jack of all trades but master of none.”

Or perhaps that’d be better phrased as “Doer of all but proficient in few.”

My joy, peace, and relationship with Christ was suffering. In my constant rush to tackle one task after the other, my prayer time had shifted from treasured and protected soul care to something I squeezed into my already rushed day, out of guilt and obligation rather than a desire to genuinely connect with my Savior.

Though I claimed God’s sovereignty over my present and future, my schedule and mistakes—my choices, my will—became my God.

If I did X, Y would happen. If I failed to do C, D would never occur. And if I stepped down from a certain role that, potentially, led to promotion, my life’s dreams would be irrevocably derailed.

In other words, when I evaluated the root of my busyness, it came down to this: Fear of missing out. Fear that if I said no to a particular opportunity, I was potentially robbing myself of something good that could lead to something even better.

My fight for control and fear of missing out, of in some way hindering God’s very good plans for me, revealed deep-seated, faulty views of God.[bctt tweet="My fight for control and fear of missing out, of in some way hindering God’s very good plans for me, revealed deep-seated, faulty views of God." username="@Jenslattery"]

Either I believed He was sovereign or I didn’t. And if I did, then I didn’t need to stress over the small stuff or my ever-changing circumstances. Instead, I’d rest in the One who walks beside me, stands behind me, goes before me, and holds me secure.

Either I believed He was supreme and worthy of all my praise, or I didn’t. If I did, then I’d recognize that everything I engage in or pursue on earth is but a shadow of what God has prepared for me. I’d remember how insufficient temporary pleasures were in filling my deepest needs and heart’s desire.

My schedule revealed my priorities—my true gods. But perhaps most convicting, my stress and fears revealed what I truly believed about God, His heart, and ability to care for me.

That realization empowered me to make changes. I analyzed my thought processes and the things that caused anxiety in light of truth, and I asked God to center me in reality.

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Here’s reality—God is in control. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 says , speaking of God, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand are power and might, and in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all” (ESV).

Because God is bigger than any obstacle or setback I might face, and no matter how things might appear today, in the end, He wins.

Let’s talk about this! Do you struggle with a fear of missing or disrupting God’s plans for you? How might focusing on obedience help you find peace in the uncertainties and abundance of opportunities assaulting you each day?

For those participating in Wholly Loved's Becoming His Princess Bible study, if you're on week four, which deals with overcoming fear, you can listen to the audio segment HERE. If you haven't grabbed your free copy yet but would like to, you can do so HERE. You can watch the videos for sessions one and two HERE.

Before you go, make sure to sign up for my free quarterly newsletter to receive short stories, recipes, devotions, and more! You can subscribe HERE. As a thank you, subscribers receive a free, 36-lesson study based on 1 Timothy (ebook, with a link to download sent in a separate email). AND, make sure to grab your free copy of my ministry's study, Becoming His Princess!  You can do so HERE, and you can watch the first large group video HERE. You can download the audio for free HERE

Social awkwardness finds me. The more I try to avoid it, the more inevitable it is. I’m the girl who packs my daughter’s shoes instead of mine to a weekend writer’s conference, only to discover they’re half a size too big—enough to cause them to slip, very unglamorously, with every step.

I’m the girl who discovers, after a speaking engagement, that my lipstick turned my teeth bright pink.

And I’m the woman who once attended the Cattle Baron’s Ball in North Platte Nebraska wearing glittery pumps and a full-on gown.

I wanted to look beautiful. To stand out.

I did, but so not in the way I’d hoped.

So, there I was, a grown woman looking like a prom queen wanna-be, surrounded by a bunch of cowboys. I was mortified and demanded my husband take me home. Again and again, stomping my sparkling, mud-covered shoe for emphasis. (Maybe I hoped if I tapped them hard enough, they’d work like Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the Great Wizard would whisk me away.)

All I could think of was the idiot I must’ve looked like.

All my husband could think about was how much he loved me. He grabbed my hand, pulled me close, and whispered in my ear, “You’re here with me. You’re mine. Who cares what anyone else thinks.”

Ladies, I think God’s saying the same thing to us.

So often, we can feel like we donned our best dress shoes only to step ankle deep in a pile of manure. The poo smells, sure. We’re bummed about the shoes and nylons, but what cuts deepest are the inadequacies those experiences expose.

When did we allow our identity to get tied into our looks and fashion choices? In our accomplishments, bank accounts, or Facebook feeds? When did we trade the depth of true beauty for such a shallow lie? There’s nothing wrong with dressing nice or getting one’s hair done, but as we do, may we always remember where our true beauty lies.

We know this intellectually, but it’s easy to forget in our selfie-taking, photo-shopped culture. To remain centered in Christ takes work, determination, and practice. We have the power to control our thought life and protect our hearts. But we must, daily, make the choice to do so. When we walk into a room full of other women, we can either feed all our insecurities or remember God’s presence and power within us, what He says about us, and determine to live in that.

Truly, we can.

We can soak in God’s truth and rest in His grace. We can give Him the final say.

We can filter every thought and interaction through the lens of His love and grace.

We can live victoriously, like the beautiful, radiant masterpieces God created us to be.

Jesus paid a heavy price to make us His. That's where we find our unshakable value and identity--in Him. 

That's an identity worth guarding. 

What can you do today to rest in who you are in Christ? How might doing so enable you to live and love more effectively for Him?

Before you go, make sure to sign up for my free quarterly newsletter to receive short stories, recipes, devotions, and more! You can subscribe HERE. As a thank you, subscribers receive a free, 36-lesson study based on 1 Timothy (ebook, with a link to download sent in a separate email). AND, make sure to grab your free copy of my ministry's study, Becoming His Princess!  You can do so HERE, and you can watch the first large group video HERE. You can download the audio for free HERE

His hair was matted, filthy, his face streaked with dirt, his anger so intense, not even chains could keep him bound. His body, naked. Whether he was pushed from his home, having destroyed the relationships he once held dear and told never to return, or whether he ran from his loved ones, we don’t know. But by the time Jesus found this dirty, smelling, unclothed man, he was living in tombs.

A dead man living among the dead.

No love. No joy. No hope for better.

I assume most had given up on this man, believing his heart was too dark, his mind too depraved to every change.

So he remained alone, in the tombs.

That’s where Jesus found Him, and saw him, truly saw him. And Jesus, the man’s Creator, God in flesh, loved the person imprisoned in this dirty, lifeless, hopeless shell.

And God brought healing.

He restored him to wholeness.

Jesus brought the light of life into this man’s darkened soul, and in a moment, his life was changed forever.

Jesus offers this same radical change for each of us.

What has you in shackles and is keeping you from living the full and victorious life Christ promised? Give it to Him in full surrender, trusting Him to lead you from the tombs to abundant, radiant life.

Perhaps God has led you from the tombs. Friend, remember what it felt like to live in isolation and chains. Don’t ever forget, and use that not forgetting to show the way of freedom for the walking dead all around you. Real love is active. It helps, it seeks, it initiates, it sacrifices. Real love is life changing.

What will you do today to grab hold of and live in the abundant life Christ died to grant you?

What will you do today to show that life to someone else?

Before you go, make sure to sign up for my free quarterly newsletter to receive short stories, recipes, devotions, and more! You can subscribe HERE. As a thank you, subscribers receive a free, 36-lesson study based on 1 Timothy (ebook, with a link to download sent in a separate email). AND, make sure to grab your free copy of my ministry's study, Becoming His Princess!  You can do so HERE, and you can watch the first large group video HERE. You can download the audio for free HERE

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