Today is the day. I’m so excited! For over a year and a half I’ve been diligently working on putting this book together. Now it’s here. I can’t believe it. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement along the way. You all helped in making my dream a reality.
This book is a nostalgic coming-of-age memoir about growing up in the ’70s and ’80s. Jennifer began her quest for self-discovery at an early age when she realized she was different from other kids. Suffering from a bizarre condition known as Sensory Processing Disorder, she has a unique perspective on life and shares her innermost thoughts and struggles. She fell into many deep potholes on her journey, which included abuse, addiction, and poverty. Ultimately, however, the challenges taught her some valuable life lessons. This story will make you laugh, cry, and cheer as you travel alongside Jennifer on the road to hope, transformation, and the meaning of life.
I have been through numerous trials in my life. First, I have a bizarre neurological condition called Sensory Processing Disorder that creates challenges for me every day. Secondly, I’ve survived sexual abuse and a decade of drug addiction. So, how did I finally find true peace? In this video I share exactly how my anger and hopelessness was replaced with abundant joy, contentment and purpose. If you know anybody who is hurting or can relate to my story, please feel free to share this with them.
My parents gave me the chore of weeding our garden as a kid, which I wasn’t very fond of. It was a constant, grueling battle between me and the weeds. If I didn’t do my job properly the nasty intruders would eventually choke out and kill the fruit we intended to grow.
The Bible has a similar warning against bad roots. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.”
If you’ve been hurt deeply by someone else, this is much easier said than done. I’ve been abused, molested, raped, conned, cheated on, lied to, slandered and mocked. I also raised my 21-year-old son without a dime of child support. Those things wounded me deeply and hurt for many years. However, God repeatedly pushed me to forgive. The closer I grew to Him, the more I found peace and freedom from the torment that consumed me. Then I began to live in victory, rather than as a victim.
However, was forgiveness enough? From time to time I still find myself thinking, “Why have they gotten away with their crimes? It’s not right. I wish they’d get what they deserve!”
Bitterness is like a weed. It has roots that grow fast and strong, which attempt to choke out the good fruit in my life. If I entertain vengeful thoughts for long, my heart starts racing and I become angry all over again. I was thinking about this a few days ago as I was driving to a prison in South Georgia to encourage inmates. God keeps using my experiences to help others who are hurting, which is amazing. But He has a funny way of always teaching me something too. There’s no doubt I had a divine appointment that day…and not just for the inmate’s benefit.
I have faced numerous adversaries in my life. They include childhood bullies and even truly evil people who assaulted me in various ways, including sexual abuse, rape, stalking and harassment. As a result, I spent many years feeling like the world was out to get me. I didn’t trust anybody. I constantly looked over my shoulder for the next bad guy and always assumed the worst. I was overcome by fear…even paralyzed at times to go anywhere new.
However, after receiving counseling, participating in support groups, and diving into the Bible, I eventually learned how to turn my negative experiences into positive life lessons. I surrendered my life, burdens and fears over to God, and He led me on an amazing journey of recovery and healing, and even turned my experiences around for good. Now I’m not paranoid anymore, but I’m prepared. I’m not crippled with fear, but I’m wise. He restored my confidence in myself and other people. He has even used me to encourage others who are hurting, which has been a truly awesome blessing. Take THAT all you evil monsters!!!
I drew this picture as I was thinking about all this. It’s a self-portrait of me as Little Red Riding Hood, but not the naive little girl who nonchalantly wanders into dangerous places. It’s the girl who is aware and ready, and brave enough to venture into the unknown, despite her emotions.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9
Growing up I was often made fun of for being a rambunctious kid that couldn’t sit still or obey very well. I even overheard my second grade teacher complaining to others about how difficult I was. And whenever I felt intimidated or hurt, I felt provoked to fight, rather than flight. But my response always created even more trouble for me.
When I was in sixth grade, there were two older boys who often waited by my bus stop for me and my little brother to get home from school. They were a lot bigger than us, and as mean as rabid pit bulls. They rode their bikes in circles around us and called us names while we walked home every day. It didn’t bother me to be called names because I could hurl flaming insults right back with the best of them. But when they started getting physical a vicious fire rumbled inside of me that spawned an evil spirit of revenge in me, so I devised a plan to retaliate.
Zombies are typically seen as a bunch of slobbering idiots that need a swift ax to the head, but I want to draw attention to some of their positive attributes. Sure, they may be terrible with personal hygiene–plus there’s that whole wanting to eat humans thing which is simply disgraceful–but I believe there are valuable life lessons we can learn from the seemingly unruly bunch. Just humor me here.
1. People are a Priority –
Zombies are not into material things or superficial beauty. They just want people for who they are. The simple fact that we are human should be enough to make seeking relationship with others our priority…not what we can gain with wealth, status or lifestyle.
2. Diversity is Valuable –
Zombies pursue all kinds of people, even if they’re not the same. They’re never picky about gender, race, wealth or weight. We should seek diverse relationships as well. It will help us gain knowledge, perspective and experiences that we’d never have otherwise.
3. Patience is a Virtue – Zombies are methodical and consistent. They don’t rush around with too many things going on at once, nor do they get into a frenzy over traffic or other everyday things like humans do. Likewise, we should plan our steps carefully and avoid making rash decisions. Then, when an opportunity presents itself, we’ll be ready to seize the moment.
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