My journey With Christ: how I discovered Jesus’ love amidst the rollercoaster of life
Suddenly everything makes sense, the struggles of the past ten years, that is. I have been on long, winding spiritual journey with Jesus hard at work. He has been shaping me through my tears. So many years of fear and pain, but I am brand new in His unending grace. Finally, I rest in His embrace. Let me share with you my story.
Jodie’s Spiritual Journey
It’s funny I should choose the word “suddenly” to begin my story because it feels like the journey has been anything but sudden. I guess I would say that I never choose the easy road. Throughout my entire life I’ve always preferred the uncertainty of adventure over the security of an easier path. While my sister chose marriage at age 25, I chose to accept my first teaching job in Morocco. But this story is not about my entire life story. I only find myself reflecting on some of the revelations that now make sense to me.
My Spiritual Journey Toward Jesus
Why would my spiritual journey to find Jesus be a straightforward and easy path when the rest of my life has been anything but that?
In 2008 my husband lost his job. We had just moved to a new area and our children were one and three years old. We had bought a beautiful new home. Little did we know that everything was about to change.
It took three years for my husband to decide what he wanted to do. It took another four years before his new business allowed us to pay ourselves. Things were incredibly stressful. My naturally introverted husband became extremely withdrawn, and I found myself relatively alone with my own struggles.
Struggles Grow Our Faith
Read another powerful story of how Julie’s struggles with infertility was God’s way of growing her faith, another example of how Jesus is always at work for our good. Read her struggle with infertility here.
Growth Comes through Struggle
My life had changed drastically between 2008 and 2015. Where I used to find happiness in shopping, working out and socializing I was now working part-time for my husband’s business and doing everything I could to avoid spending money. It seemed every aspect of my “old life” involved spending money. I started saying no to lunch dates, dates to meet for manicures or go shopping, even coffee. I was ashamed of my new “status” and began to sink deeper into a state of self-pity and depression. We canceled our gym memberships and basically stayed at home, which, for this extrovert meant isolation and sadness. 2015 was a really low time for me.
At this same time my twin sister Julie had just moved to Seattle. She had her own struggles, the challenges of a new place, without friends or family nearby. They spent the first year in a small apartment while they waited and wondered if their California home would ever sell. But during that year of outward struggle God was hard at work in her family’s life and in their hearts. Click here to read her Spiritual Journey and her powerful Testimony.
The next summer Julie was excited to take me to their church. I remember going every Sunday for three weeks and crying my way through each service, wanting what she had but not sure what it was or how to get there. I was searching for something. Undoubtedly, Jesus was tugging at my heart. He was planting seeds of desire that would take years still to bloom.
This was about the same time we both started our Instagram accounts. The spring and summer of 2015 opened up the world of IG to me and provided me a welcome purpose and distraction from my worries and the pity-party I had come to embrace.
Meanwhile my husband’s and my business eventually started to show some promise and we dared to believe that things would start to improve. I saw the happiness that my sister’s faith was bringing her and I wanted that but somehow it continued to stay just out of reach.
So Many Excuses
I made excuses for myself, blaming it on not finding the right church. I had attended a few local churches and none of them had felt right, blaming it on my family. Neither my husband nor my boys showed the least bit of interest in finding a church. In reality, they pushed back on the idea until I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. I told myself, I don’t have time to even go to the gym anymore. Where am I going to find time to go to church?
Looking back, I know that these were just excuses. Excuses because I wasn’t ready to devote my life to God. I feared what that might look like. I was afraid that I didn’t know HOW to let go and let my faith lead me.
Jesus Brought Me to My Knees
In 2017-18 I started getting severe migraines. I had had migraines all my life but these were different. I was waking up in the middle of the night several times a week and no medication could take away the pain. Out of utter desperation I reached for a book that my niece had given me called “Jesus Calling” and through tears of pain started reading and praying to Jesus. These prayers were my last resort. And Jesus was there for me to take away my pain.
I had reached my breaking point. The stress. The anxiety. The solitude. The feeling of complete isolation from friends, family, even from my sister and my husband. It had been nearly 10 years of financial stress. Worrying how we were going to pull ourselves out without an answer or solution.
All of this finally triggered a physical reaction and I was brought to my knees. At three a.m. through the pain and tears, as my migraine started to lift, I saw my migraine as God’s gift to me. It was his way of calling to me. And telling me when all else fails that He would be there for me. I started to feel relief in those moments. And I felt grateful for Jesus who I knew was there for me.
I continued to visit my sister’s church when I visited Seattle. I wanted so badly to have what she had. But I still felt lost. My Husband was reluctant. My children were reluctant. And all my attempts to find a local church had left me disappointed.
Jesus Begins Delivering Miracles
Then this past year placed another big hurdle in our path. My oldest son would be graduating from the private school he had attended since 2nd grade and would be entering high school. We knew that our local public school was not an option that we would be satisfied with, but we couldn’t afford any of the private schools. We were at a loss. It seemed like the only option was to sell our home to try to move into another town where the school districts were better. Unfortunately, this would mean putting additional financial stresses on our family. It would mean downsizing and giving up the one positive thing that we were still clinging to, our beautiful home.
I looked hard at my priorities and realized that I was willing to sacrifice my home for the sake of my son’s education. But at that moment one of my good friends told me about a local Christian school her daughter was attending. Not only did she speak very highly of the school, but it was an affordable option. However, I was very skeptical because I didn’t think any of my family members would even be willing to consider it. But Jesus had a plan.
Jesus Visibly Shows Up in Our Lives
It was January and acceptance letters were already being sent out. We needed to have a local church and the boys needed to show regular attendance at a youth group. We started going to a church with my friend the very first Sunday in January and committed as a family. Together we didn’t miss a Sunday and the boys didn’t miss a Youth group meeting. They even attended a three-day winter retreat. By mid-February we were able to ask the pastor for a letter of recommendation and applied to the Christian school. It was by the grace of Jesus that he was accepted and an answer to our prayers that he would be able to attend such a wonderful high school.
A Hard-Won Spiritual Harvest
Little did we know this was just part of the miracle that Jesus had planned. There I was, I had my family surrounding me, my husband holding my hand. And God’s love promised to me. I had finally found a church, New Life Church in Alamo, CA where I felt at home. My husband was willingly attending by my side. My children agreed to go and everyone committed to our shared purpose. This was my moment to let go. I started saying yes to every opportunity to worship and connect and even went alone a couple Sundays when my husband and boys were out of town. Sundays became my favorite day of the week and began looking for every opportunity to reach out, and even offered my services to help with the church’s Instagram account.
I Am in Jesus’ Hands
Most recently I attended an all-female two-day conference called She Conference led by New Life Church and felt the power and courage that comes with opening oneself up to Jesus. Letting go and finally not being afraid. Suddenly I found myself raising my hand and committing openly, publicly to Jesus. What I had always longed for but been too afraid to commit to. It suddenly was mine. As I raised my hand, I felt the warmth and reassurance of other hands on my shoulders. Other women were gathering around me and praying with me, over me. What had been a private longing of mine was suddenly thrust out in the open.
All at once my insecurities were thrust out into the open for all to see, acknowledge and dissolved all in the same instance.
Be sure to watch this amazing highlight video of the She Conference event.
In the Darkness I see Light
In the obscured darkness women all around me sent their prayers up to Jesus. There were tears. I shed tears for the fears that I was releasing. I swapped fear for joy and embraced a new-found courage that I was claiming. This was my new path, the journey I had longed for so long. In that moment I recognized the joy and hope that was promised by God all along.
A lump wells up in my throat as I write this. I know that I am still learning what it means to accept Jesus in my life to His full power and glory. It is the biggest adventure I have ever embarked on. Accepting His will. Surrendering to Him. It feels scary and reassuring all at once. But every time I fixate on His will, good things happen. So, I accept the challenge laid in front of me.
It is All for His Greater Purpose
And suddenly, I am back to where this story began. Now, “suddenly” everything makes sense. All the hardships I faced were worth it so that I could know the face of God. I hate to think of my life any other way. What if? What if I hadn’t experienced those financial hardships and had to experience the stress and the depression and the feeling of being lost and the migraines? I may have remained trapped in the superficial focus on “things” and “experiences” and never would have found a relationship Jesus.
What I know now is this: I haven’t arrived but am simply on God’s path. I have so much more to learn and so far to grow but it’s ok. What is important is that I have surrendered to the love of Jesus, and I acknowledge my ignorance in His ways.
Jesus Was Always with Me
I know that the deeper I grow in my faith the stronger I will become. I know that this is where I need to be and that Jesus is by my side. All I need to do is remember that.
And, the quote Lysa Terkeurst from “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” I have learned…
“If I want His promises, I have to trust His process.”
“God isn’t ever going to forsake you, but He will go to great lengths to remake you.”
“What if disappointment is really the exact appointment your soul needs to radically encounter God?”
Julie and I highly recommend Lysa’s book and study series. Lysa shares a strong Biblical message woven through personal struggles that we can relate to. It is a powerfully insightful book that you’ll want to read and reread.
Visit her site for her ministry and amazing inspiration. Her newest book mentioned above is not available on her site, but her past book are.
My Life in the Hands of Jesus
Now I understand. He has shown me the light. My life and all the suffering finally makes sense. I am at peace. And I am ready and excited to move forward with renewed hope and confidence that everything will be alright. Everything will be just as it should be. I am truly on the path of becoming the person God created me to be.
Know that Jesus is Good, Always
Jesus works all things for our good. Even and perhaps especially during our struggles. This is incredibly encouraging to know as we face the toughest times in our lives. Know they are for purpose. Know that Jesus is at work. He has not forgotten you. On the contrary, He is calling you, growing you, and has designed your challenges for His purpose and your greater good.
With love and hope,
Yay! Yay! Yay! This is the BEST thing ever!!! God is so faithful to pursue us and allow our struggles to drW us to Him! Sooo in redibly happy for you, dear sister/friend! 💗
Susie, Jesus is our one and only! He is our reason for being! He is our strength and our purpose. Thank you sweetness for your dear friendship and support. Love you darling, Jodie & Julie
Jodie, this is so beautiful, just like you are….inside and out. I know God is smiling. You both won! God bless you on your journey with Him. Love you, Genah
Yes, My Friend! He is smiling! He wants our hearts and will pursue us to no end. Thank you for your gorgeous reply and sweet support. God bless you too, Jodie & Julie
Dena Breitmeyer says
I so hoped you’d share your story with us! Praise God! What a beautiful story of how He pursues us forever and never gives up on us! There is so much power in sharing your story with others! Thank you for being so brave, being so open and humble! Your stories bring all the glory to the Lord! I am so thankful for you Jodie! I am so grateful for you Julie! I hope you see just how loved you are and that God has amazing things planned for you both! I know that our friendship exists only because of God, he brought us together simply to be a blessing in my life! You are both dear treasures!
Dena, Indeed indeed! Amen Darling! You are a gift from God. He sent us to one another to lift each other up and support each other like encouragement from God himself. Thank you is almost unnecessary…but thank you for your beautiful love and support. Thank you for being a courageous shing light of God’s love! Many blessings always, Julie & Jodie
Jodie, I am so very happy to hear your story. I remember your uncertainty over where to send your son to high school and it’s wonderful to hear that this and more are working out in your life and for His Glory! Still keeping you in my prayers. Thanks for the book recommendation. This IG community is the best! 🙏🏻💕
Kim, All for His Glory, indeed! Thank you for your kindness, your support, and most of all, your prayers. Yes, this community is more than we ever imagined it would be, that is for sure. God works through us, through us and through you! We are endlessly amazed at God’s amazing love and pursuit of our hearts. Many blessings, Jodie & Julie
Wow! I too have been where you were but mine was in a relationship that lasted way too long. I was 16 when I met Al. My first Love and first kiss and I fell hard. I would walk through fire for him and for 20 years on and off we would have a long distance relationship and I became the person I thought he wanted me to be. I loved his family as if they were my own. He would treat me so horribly playing mind games and my self esteem was brought to the lowest levels. One weekend when I was flying from Dallas to NY our plane got diverted to Chicago and they put us on another flight. I boarded the plane and Ann Landers (the advice columnist) was seated next to be. You may be too young to know of her but she was an Icon. I had prayed for so many years that God would make Al love me the way I loved him. I told my story to Ann Landers and her first words to me were “Dump Him”. I did just that. I was 36 and my biological clock was ticking so to make a long story short I told him I cannot do this anymore and I left. It was July 22, 1990.
I decided I was done with a relationship and I will live happily ever after single and traveling. Well God’s plan for me was different. I was invited to our AA company picnic by my now Sister in law. She wanted me to meet her brother. I did not want to go. I was resolved on just being single for the rest of my life. I called my dad up that morning and my mom picked up the phone. I did not have a close relationship with my mom as I did with my dad but this time I told her how I was feeling. She told me to go have a good time at the picnic. I thought about what she said that day on August 11 and I went. I met my husband that day almost 29 years ago. Never saw it coming. God had a plan on his watch for me.
He heard my prayers but did not give me what I prayed for for a reason. He had better plans for me.
I can’t ask for a more loving husband who gave me my wonderful son. Life is Good!
My Mother died exactly 2 years later on August 11.
I hand my troubles and worries to God. I feel his presence always!
Sorry for the long story! You have been the kindest lady on Instagram.
I follow you and your sister… God Bless!
Thank you for sharing your story! It really is so special to hear how Jesus has worked miracles in your life and how strong your faith is. Julie and I are so blessed to know you. We know that God connects us with special people like you for a reason.
With love and gratitude,
Jodie & Julie
Yes even though we fail Gods love & grace will never,his loves endures forever.He is with us always ….the
,love, inner peace is all by his presence in our life ,praise him .
God bless u more .
Aww, your words are such a blessing. Thank you for sharing your faith and your support with us.
With love and gratitude,
Jodie & Julie
Thank you for sharing your heartfelt and beautiful story. It really spoke to me and touched me. Oddly today – for the first time in a very long time – I found myself struggling internally with some things that I’ve been praying about and your testimony really blessed me. Thank you for your raw honesty. I needed to hear this today. 😘 (Funny how God does that, huh?😜) I’m going to check into Lysa’s work. I think I will really like her.
You have already blessed Julie and me more than you know! It has been so special to connect with you on such a personal level ever since Waco, and to feel connected to your personal journey. Your faith and your spiritual strength has impacted me and I will be forever grateful.
Thank you for taking the time to read and to share how my story touched you. God is so amazing. And He will continue to amaze us all with his plans.
God bless you sweet friend,
Jodie & Julie
Heather Lane says
This is the BEST!!! I’m so happy you shared your story with us! I prayed for you when you talked about moving where your son could change schools. I just LOVE how the Lord works! He’s just AMAZING!! I’m so thankful you gave your life to Jesus, my sweet sister in Christ! I just bought that Lysa Terkeurst book a few weeks ago but still need to read it. I’ve heard it’s wonderful! Thank you so much again for sharing your beautiful story!
Thank you so much for sharing your love for Jesus with me! Thank you for spending the time to share in my journey with Christ. Your prayers are heard and so appreciated. God is working miracles in all our lives and my heart is overflowing this day with gratitude!
Thank you again….you have blessed me!
Wow, I have been standing on my driveway in Warrandyte, Australia reading your testimony. Although thousands of kilometres apart, I feel like I have travelled almost an identical road. I would like to say that God has finished in His quest to teach us during this season in our life, however I know He has much more for us to learn.
Thank you for so eloquently describing your journey, I’m absolutely certain that God puts thoughts, friends, moments and even IG posts in your path when you need them the most. I am so pleased that your season of hard learning is passing. I pray that soon we can say the same thing. But through it all I know that Jesus is walking beside us and when times are really hard He picks is up and carries us. God Bless, Monica
Oh my goodness!!! YOU are why I wrote this post. I knew there would be at least ONE person, and as I read your message I feel like you were the chosen one. I am literally holding back tears..just to know that my simple story touched you and meant something to you. It was all worth it to share my story so you should know that across the world there is someone else who is walking a similar path. Your message encourages me…you are right!! That we may still have trials ahead, and for certain we have much further to grow in our faithfulness and full understanding of God’s compassion. But we are on the path, knowing that Jesus is holding our hands as we walk forward.
God is so good!
With blessings and love,
This is THE BEST!! What a testimony to so many that your blog reaches!! I want to live in your neighborhood in heaven!!
Aww! This is so sweet. Thank you for these words. It means more to me than you know!
With love and blessings,
Jodie & Julie
Nydia Marron says
His timing is always perfect! What a powerful testimony! Xoxo
Thank you so much for your words of support! All things through Him! I am an example of God’s heeling and I’m so very very grateful.
God bless you,
Jodie & Julie
Stephanie Mcfarlin says
This is a beautiful story showing Gods faithfulness in our lives! Thank you for sharing!🦋
Thank YOU for taking the time to read and for your words of encouragement and support. God is so good!
With love and blessings,
Jodie & Julie
Yes God is still at work. Amen and Amen. Your testimony reflects the joy of being born again in Christ Jesus. He is worthy of all praise! Thank you for sharing.
(All the way from Paris, France)
Thank you for reading and for sending your blessing….all the way from Paris! Merci bien!
Jodie & Julie
This just warms my heart . . . I read this with tears welling in my eyes!
Jesus takes us beyond our “beyond”! We pray & pray for a certain outcome, but if we just let go and hand it over to Jesus, he will take us beyond our wildest imagination!
My world crumbled in 2005 and our whole family was brought to our knees. I believe God allows Satan to break us, so He can get our attention and build us back up! I could have never imagined our family could have healed, but we did!
I’m so happy for you and your family! Find your local K-Love station and take Jesus everywhere in your car!
God is just amazing. Thank you for sharing your story of loss and your story of being heeled by your faith. The strength of God’s love is known most deeply and profoundly through our struggles, I believe. Thank you for sharing and for reaching out to offer your support. You bless us with your words!
Jodie & Julie
Thank you for sharing your struggles and finding Jesus. I have done the Jesus Calling devotional for years and it always seems to apply to what is going on in my life that day! It also makes me feel like God is wrapping me in love.
I couldn’t have said it better myself! He is always there for us. No matter what is going on. And his word is there for us to offer support, comfort and guidance. All we have to do is reach for it and open up our hearts and minds to Him. God is so good.
Thank you for your love and support my friend.
Jodie & Julie
Jodi, your story is so encouraging. I’m so so happy that you found your place in Gods community, and how wonderful that your family is a part of it. I had been wondering about your move and am thrilled that the place you call home is still part of your inheritance.
You have been so inspiring about making the most of what you have and keeping a beautiful home, leading a healthy lifestyle and now sharing what incredible things God can do!
Well done Jodi!
God is good all the time!
Thank you for being a living example.
It’s so amazing to know that you have been with me through all of it. You are been by my side as a friend…reaching out and sharing…supporting one another through the past couple of years (or more!) It means so much to me, as I know you know already! We are stronger together, and we owe it all to our faithful God. Bless you sweet friend!
Oh this makes me SO VERY HAPPY!!! There is only one decision in our lives that matters, and that is whether or not we choose Jesus and strive to serve Him every single day. As Spurgeon wrote — “I have learned to kiss the waves that threw me upon the Rock of Ages.” All the trials in our life point us to One thing . . . Jesus. Many times I have not understood His plan or His path, but He has never failed me. Thank you for standing up for your faith. It is not easy in this world of “all roads lead to Jesus” (they don’t) and “it’s all about me and my beautiful house” (it isn’t). ONE THING matters . . . . do you know Jesus. BLESS YOU FOR SHARING!! You and I may never meet on this Earth, but I know we will meet in heaven. That makes me smile :)!!!
Thank you so much Robbin, for taking the time to read my testimony and for taking the time to share your words of wisdom. I grow stronger and more steadfast in my faith every day. Thank you for blessing us with your support.
Jodie & Julie
Meg Passalinqua says
Thank you for sharing such a hard and beautiful journey!
Meg, Thank you for reading and your kind reply. It means a lot. No matter our struggles I truly believe He works all things for our good. Blessings to you, Jodie & Julie
Congratulations!! Welcome to the family! So happy for you and your family!🙌🙏❤️
Thank you Kathy! It feels amazing and certainly the answer to prayer. God is so good!
I cried tears of joy reading your story and looked toward heaven saying, “another one.” Welcome to the family where you will be forever! Yours and Julie’s stories are so inspiring and I encourage you to keep giving God the glory. He will use you both in amazing ways!
Aw Jennifer, Thank you for the most beautiful and heartful welcome! We indeed feel welcomed with open arms into God’s community here on earth! We certainly feel called by God to give Him the glory and share with the world His love and endless gifts. Thank you for the encouragement. Blessings always, Julie & Jodie
Katrina Morris says
What an incredible testimony Jodie! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for both you and Julie. Your obedience to His calling will change the world. I can’t wait to be beside you again one day soon. ❤️ Love you dearly!
oxygen for sale says
This is such an amazing content right here. I really appreciate you for this that you share in public. Thank you so much..
We are so happy to share. Thank you for your kind feedback. We hope you continue to enjoy our blog. Blessings, Julie & Jodie
Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. I am so happy for you. It is a joy to have a friend that loves the same things I do and have such an enthusiasm for life….Faith in Jesus, family, friends and everything home. Love you guys!
What a kind thing to say sweet friend. We appreciate the encouraging words and support more than you know! Love you!
Lots of love,
Jodie & Julie
Karol Dreibelbis says
I’m so happy that you’ve become aware of Jesus pursuing you and how your life now makes sense. He is so good. I’m also so grateful for the boldness you have in sharing your journey to Christ with this group of followers. Very brave and my prayer is that one soul be brought along on this same journey. ❤️
Thank you so kindly. Julie and I both have similar stories about Jesus pursuing us and us coming to Christ, the small details and the timing is a bit different, but the main ideas are the same. Thank you for the kindness. God bless you, Jodie and Julie
Karol Dreibelbis says
Meant for Jodie 🥰
So exciting!!! Thank you for writing out your story!! It’s beautiful and encouraging! <3 Praise the Lord!
Aw thank you kindly Jolene! Praise God indeed!
Thank you in sharing your story. Hope is beautiful .
It was my joy and privilege to share my story. I’m glad it can continue to provide hope to others. Hope is indeed beautiful. Thank you for your kind reply. Blessings, Julie & Jodie