"...I will transform the Valley of Trouble into a Gateway of Hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did when I freed her from her captivity...." ~ Hosea 2:15, NLT
Today, I am both excited AND delighted to showcase and introduce you all to my sweet friend-- and now, fellow blogger over at Journeying On.... -- Jessica! I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Jessica since she was about 8 or 9 years old, when her mom and I first met at church and became friends. I've watched her grow from childhood into young womanhood. She is a person who fiercely and sincerely loves and lives for Jesus.
I’ve read many of Jessica's writings on the Notes section of her Facebook page; writings she's transferred over to and which make up her Wordpress blog. I've been encouraged, inspired, touched and convicted by her words, her thoughtful insights and the hard lessons learned. Her words have often made me laugh out loud, or caused me to sit at my computer with tears streaming down my face. While she is young enough to be my daughter, Jess has the wisdom of someone much older, which I believe is due in part to her particular life journey, a passage which was not without its difficulties and dark times.
But, thanks be to God, through the intervention of her devoted and loving family, the compassion and care from some amazing and dedicated folks at Mercy Ministries, and the powerful prayers of the faithful in Christ, Jessica has experienced restoration and strengthening in her relationship with Jesus, finding freedom from that which kept her in bondage for so long. At the top of her Journeying On blog, she very appropriately references the verse of Scripture from Hosea 2:15.
|Hosea 2, by Rebecca Brognan (from John The Baptist Artwork series)|
While the specifics of her experiences and trials may not be the same as yours, it is my wish, (and I'm sure it's Jessica's as well), that as you read this and other posts on her blog, you will be able to identify with her struggles, her feelings of unworthiness, helplessness and hopelessness, YET ALL THE WHILE coming to see and know the transforming power of the love, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, His continual pursuit of you and His constant presence in your life.
So now, without any further ramblings from me, I invite you to come along with Jessica on her journey, with the following blog post I’m so privileged to share – 'Unwrapping Some More':
As it gets closer to Christmas, I am reminded of my favorite Christmas ever; Christmas at Mercy Ministries, where I was loved in a way like never before and blessed with gifts beyond what I could really comprehend. I remember the few days I had visiting my home, where I could really think about all those gifts I received. I couldn't believe it. I'm so unworthy, I thought to myself, I don't deserve this. Any of this. I don't really 'need' any of that stuff. They shouldn't waste their time and money on me. I don't deserve nice things, I'm not worth it.
But that was the point. They were showing us (the residents; 'Mercy girls') how Christ loved us.....continue reading here