Living with a Purpose

Living with a Purpose Blog

A woman living life through writing and motivating others.




             



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Something hot is about to hit the bookshelves

Posted by JENNIFER SENNE on May 10, 2019 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)


How It All Came Together - Personal story from a young and inspiring writer.

Hope Bolinger started writing novels at CVCA her junior year. During her senior year, she attempted to jump into the publishing industry and quickly realize how difficult it was to land a literary agent and so she decided to self-publish her first novel “Unmasked” before she graduated CVCA.

She left to pursue a professional writing degree at Taylor University where she published more than 300 works (short stories, articles, poems, etc.), but it did not stop there. She still wanted to pursue her dream of getting a novel published. While sitting in a Gen-Ed Old Testament class, a comment from her professor on the topic of Babylon known as the Book of Daniel caught her attention: “Daniel and his friends would’ve been fifteen or sixteen when they were taken into Babylon captivity to start their three-year education.”

Wow. That sounds like high school, Hope thought. And they stood strong, even when the King tried to kill them for not conforming. Thus, the idea for Blaze was born.

She met with a publisher at the Maranatha Writer’s Conference and pitched the book she’d completed in summer of 2017. They reviewed it, sent back several edits, and eventually offered a deal.

Blaze comes out June 2019, and is available for preorder until June 3rd.


Endorsements:

“Vivid. The perfect picture of the adolescent human condition that both entertains and empowers.” - A. R. Conti Fulwell, author of An Angel in the Distance

"Blaze peels back the curtains of our world’s desires, and reveals the beasts lurking behind. Packed with relevant topics and worldview, the book draws readers into a white-knuckle adventure where anything can happen—and anything can go wrong. Hope Bolinger delivers a fiery page-turner perfect for students and pyromaniacs, and shows what happens when we’re called into the lions’ den." - Caroline George, author of The Vestige

"Hope Bolinger is a fresh new voice in compelling YA fiction that's not to be missed!" Bestselling Author, Michele Barrow-Belisle


Back Cover

If you can't stand the heat, don't walk into the fire.

Danny knew his sophomore year would be stressful . . . but he didn’t expect his school to burn down on the first day.

To make matters worse (and they were about to get a lot worse), he — and his three best friends — receive an email in their inboxes from the principal of their rival, King’s

Academy, offering full-rides to attend the town's prestigious boarding school. Danny wants nothing to do with King’s Academy and says no. Of course his mother says yes. So off he goes to be bullied and picked on for not being part of the popular and rich "in crowd."

From day one at King’s, Danny encounters hazing, mocking insults from girls at the "popular and pretty" table, and cafeteria food that, for such a prestigious school, tastes as if it were purchased from a military surplus supply warehouse. If he survives, Danny will have to overcome his fears of failure, rejection, and loneliness—all while standing strong in his beliefs and walking into the fire.


Meet Hope Bolinger


Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a recent graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 300 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 2,700+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog, which receives 63,000+ monthly hits. She is excited for her modern-day Daniel "Blaze" to come out with IlluminateYA (an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). She enjoys all things theater, cats, and fire.

Preorder Link: https://www.amazon.com/Blaze-Hope-Bolinger-ebook/dp/B07Q44JDNQ/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=hope+bolinger+blaze&qid=1554054306&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Release Date: 6/3/2019


Contact Info:

Facebook: @therosewoman

Twitter: @hopebolinger I

nstagram: @hopebolinger

Website: hopebolinger.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hope-Bolinger/e/B00V0VWFKQ?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_fkmrnull_1&qid=1550020518&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13700140.Hope_Bolinger


Blaze Extras

Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/hopebolinger/den-novel/ Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4kXdjZSHqf09ooHU10dMjf Webpage and game: https://www.hopebolinger.com/blaze Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVZAs5S2OXk

Amazon Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Blaze-Hope-Bolinger-ebook/dp/B07Q44JDNQ/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=hope+bolinger+blaze&qid=1554390640&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Blogs on Blaze https://www.hopebolinger.com/single-post/BLAZE https://www.hopebolinger.com/single-post/2018/08/17/Into-the-Den https://www.hopebolinger.com/single-post/book-contract-at-21

Reflection

Posted by JENNIFER SENNE on March 18, 2019 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (2)




Everyone has their own stories and experiences in life. Many people choose not to share, but I strenuously believe that I have been tasked to do so and hopefully bring inspiration to people; especially to children.


Not too many people know that I have struggled with insecurities all my life. I was and still, at times very good at putting a mask on to hide how I really feel inside. I never knew that my experiences as a child will lead me to have low self-esteem, self-limiting beliefs, and insecurities as an adult. Let me tell you if I may, it is very difficult to get over these negative thoughts as a grown woman. The years of listening to all the false statements about myself had marinated in the deepest part of my thinking that it had cost me so many possibilities in life.


Yes, many get over it, but not everyone is a strong as other people are. I was weak with no one to guide me and felt as if there was nothing I could do. “This is me – incapable.” Other people saw it too and therefore took advantage of it. I was bullied in school, put down emotionally and mentally by people who I thought cared for me.

Insecurities had a damaging impact on my personal, professional and spiritual growth. Self-limiting beliefs played an influential role in my personal relationships. As I contemplated o how I got there, I realized it was all because of me! No one else to blame but my own thinking! I believed all the unpleasant things I was hearing and experiencing around me – I accepted it and believed it.

Every time I looked in the mirror, I saw someone who was weak, incapable and fearful of everything in life. Looking back, I realized I had control of how it could have been, but no one was there to encourage me or to tell me otherwise.


Children are vulnerable to these types of problems. Insecurities, self-limiting beliefs, and low self-esteem may just be words we hear often and at times take for granted. “They will get over it!” but I know for sure that these simple words can lead to a dangerous path. We often wonder why we have school dropouts, depression among teens, youth and adults suicide rates are high, I believe it is because they lack self-love. Their self-image and self-value are so low that they do not see their self-worth. Bullying is so prevalent, and our youth do not have the strength to stand for themselves, and I believe it is because they see themselves as weak individuals who do not matter and therefore silence themselves, put on a mask and pretend everything is OK until it’s not. I know, because that's how I felt. 


It is my prayer and hopes that in a simple way be able to touch children's minds and heart and let them know as early as possible that they are beautifully and wonderfully made. They may not have a hard childhood as I did, but in a world full of negativity, selfishness, and criticism, children need affirmation, a pillar to hold on to. They need encouragement from parents, siblings, friends, teachers and most especially from themselves. They need to know they matter. Take it from someone who had experienced the consequences of these negative thoughts - it is not easy to let go once it has infiltrated your lives.


Children are valuable – they are to be nurtured, be discipline the right way and be loved. They are who they are going to be as they grow up. They will make their own choice. They will either be weak or be a strong individual, but I believe that whatever we invest in our children will always stay with them. They may turn from it for a while, but I believe one day, they will remember the values that we shared with them and hopefully, make the right choice to love themselves and be a great contributor to society.


We need to be intentional and show them just how valuable, capable and amazing they truly are and I hope and pray that they will see themselves in a positive light early on that they will become successful in everything they try to accomplish in the future.

Find one positive phrase to say to your child each day, you have no idea how powerful a simple statement such as "You are Amazing!" can be to a child's life!



The Queen of Our Hearts

Posted by JENNIFER SENNE on May 12, 2018 at 3:05 AM Comments comments (0)



The queen of my heart is no other than my mother. She carried me for nine long months; I often wonder how hard it was for her to go through the situation at such a young age. Did I give her problem while I was growing inside of her; making her nauseous, cry for no reason or crave food she normally would not eat? Did she resent me as I made her body change and made her feel things that could hardly be explained? As I slowly grew inside of her, did I give her sleepless night by my constant moving in that small space inside of her? Did I make her jump by kicking her from the inside and pushing everything that was surrounding me? Did she welcome all these? Was she ready? Did she want to give up? So many questions in my mind. I hear women saying how beautiful pregnancy is; the experience of having a child growing inside of you is a gift from above. I never fully understood the awesomeness of this experience until I finally had the privilege of becoming a mother myself.

Despite being young, she was strong; she took care of herself not for her benefit but for the miracle that was slowly growing inside of her. She was a fighter, fighting for the new life that could not fight on its own. Fear and uncertainties, she conquered and replaced it with the only feeling that overpowered it all, her love. The hardship in life did not stop her from welcoming the situation with open arms. As I formed into a being, I’m sure the stronger our connection became. Though I don’t remember, I am sure her heartbeat was a sound I found comfort in. Each beat gave me the purpose to live and made my heart beat in the same tune as hers.

The time has finally arrived where agony had to come before the reward. I wondered how painful it may have been for my mother, how loud her screams were and did she feel like giving up once again? The uncertainty, the weary days, the physical change and finally the excruciating pain that comes with motherhood can undoubtedly make someone give up. However, one thing tramples it all, and suddenly a woman embraces all the painful journey of becoming a mother. The unconditional love that has been simmering in her way before the child was born overflowed and all the unpleasantness that was felt has now dissipated. A new reality sets in, everything became a part of a beautiful process of becoming a new mother.

I was separated from my mother when I was younger, but her love was always there. Her heartbeat was a constant part of my being that even when she was far away, our connection never faltered. There is no such thing as a perfect mother. Mothers make mistakes, after all, mothers are human too! However, I believe that nothing can come close to perfection than a mother’s pure and unconditional love.

There may be different types of mothers out there, but everyone shares the same experience of anguish and reward. Being a mother is a gift from above and ultimately becomes art as they raise their children into adulthood. Motherhood does not stop right after a child is born. It is a long and at times painful, but beautiful journey that women are willing to experience more than once. They may reach their destination of raising their children, but being a mother does not come with an expiration date, motherhood is forever.

Some mothers may be forced to make hard decisions because of difficult life circumstances, but I believe that love is always present. A mother will do anything and give up everything; including her life for the sake of her children. She is willing to embrace discomfort and sacrifice anytime of the day. As Agatha Christie once said, “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” That’s how strong a mother’s love can be. Motherhood and love are two words that will always be attached to each other just as mother and child will always be. Now that she has brought us into this world, her heartbeat I may not hear anymore, but her love is so strong that wherever I may be there is no doubt that her love is always with me.

Let us cherish every moment we have with our mothers; without them, we won’t be here. Without their love, we won’t know what love is. Let us show them how special they are no matter what the circumstances may be. Let us express how much we appreciate them, be thankful that they were willing to embrace the challenges of bringing us to the world, protecting and nurturing us while in their womb and are eager to continue to do so until they face their tomb. Our mothers are special; they are one of a kind. Let them know that they will be forever the queen of our hearts!

When Your Bucket is Full of Garbage, DUMP IT!

Posted by JENNIFER SENNE on April 2, 2018 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (0)




Where did my stilettos bring me this week? It brought me to my bucket full of garbage! Too often we live our lives straight to the point; living each day in the same old routine. Many get into the trap of living an autonomous life, and at times we forget to examine whether we need a little change. I say reflection is uncomfortable for many people. When we decide to stop, and reflect on our lives, we often see something we do not like, and this forces us to change. As my friend and mentor, John Maxwell taught me, “If were growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” If we want to grow, we need to embrace change.

Last week I had an opportunity to speak to my son who is in college. He is oceans away from us, and just by talking to him over the phone I noticed that his self-image and self-esteem were gradually sinking. He seemed to have the cynical outlook on everything, especially about himself; this bothered me for the sole reason of knowing where he is heading. I was in his shoes not too long ago, and it was quite challenging to overcome. I came up with the bucket metaphor as I was trying to encourage my son.

As we grow up, we either fill our buckets with positive or negative thoughts about current situations we are in, people around us and most especially about ourselves. I, however for the longest time was filling my bucket with self-limiting beliefs, doubt about other people, mistrust, and other things that hindered myself from growing. I filled my bucket with garbage! My bucket overflowed, and I drowned in negativity. This garbage spread like wildfire throughout people I encountered daily and people I had a relationship with. It stunk, and it was ugly. I had to suffer and made others bear with me along the way until I couldn’t hang on anymore; I was sinking in my own garbage. After reflection and realization of what was happening, Acceptance followed. I dumped the rubbish out; cleaned up after myself and started filling up my bucket with positive things; I was forced to change. I was forced to look at myself differently; to look at situations in a positive light and to try harder to see the goodness in other people.

We are all vulnerable to what our environment says about us; we tend to believe everything we hear and see including negative and harmful thoughts about ourselves. Unfortunately, family, friends, teachers, media, movies we watch and even the music we listen to can contribute to filling up our buckets with either positivity or negativity. We need to be intentional in making sure we fill our life buckets with something beneficial; something that will help us become a valuable part of the society. Self-limiting belief about ourselves will only drown us in the end. As the rugby player, Leon Brown says “You are your worst enemy. It is your negative thoughts that hold you back, nothing else.” Our minds are powerful that whatever we say, we believe. Let's feed our minds with positive things that will help us grow as an individual.

At the same time, our children requires us to be the example they desperately need to be aware of these limiting factors in life. My son is only twenty-one years old; my daughters are eighteen and fifteen. Their buckets aren’t full yet, but if left alone with no reflections about their lives, they too can fall into the trap of letting negativity fill their buckets, what a dangerous territory to be! They need to be guided and appreciated. We need to aid them in filling their buckets with positivity that they may, in turn, add value to the society in the future.

As we go on with our lives, let us not settle for being comfortable. We need to stop and reflect even if it reveals something about us that we are not ready to face. Is your life a mess? Perhaps your bucket is full of garbage, and it is waiting to overflow; do you want to take the chance to be in a drowning situation? Are your children always doubting their capabilities, afraid to make a mistake, and continually putting themselves down? These could be signs that they are filling up their buckets with nothing but negativity; it's time to intervene. Stop and examine your lives. Is our bucket full of garbage? DUMP IT NOW before it’s too late.

GATE C9 - When your body betrays you.

Posted by JENNIFER SENNE on March 11, 2018 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)





Traumatic is the best word I can use to describe the experience I had at one of the major airports in the United States. For those who are not familiar with the difficulty and complexity of my illness; Dystonia you probably would not understand.

I was fine, enjoying the end of the journey my husband and I took for three weeks and then our flight was delayed for 45 minutes on our way home. I usually do not fret about these things. However, we had two other plane ride to catch on time. One of them was an hour after our first. Needless to say, we landed late. We rushed through the humongous Houston airport, bumping onto other passengers on our attempt to make the next flight. I have never said "sorry" to so many strangers in my life until that day. To make the matter worse, we heard the final call as we started running towards the gate.

I am not fond of running, to begin with, but I tried my hardest to keep up with my husband. My breath became shallow, so I decided to pace myself, but when I lost sight of the blue sweatshirt that my husband was wearing, I started to sprint once again, and that’s when it happened. My left calf stiffened, my chest tightened, and before I knew it, my whole body gave up on me; I could not move. I saw my husband fading right before my eyes as he attempted to make the gate on time later informing me his intention of begging the attendant to hold the gate for me. This time, I panicked.

I was surrounded by other people who were in a rush to make their gates, and a good Samaritan could not help but asked if I was OK. I nodded as I tried so hard to move my legs one after another. I dragged, I walked, I even attempted to jog. I walked, and I trotted some more to what felt like an eternity. Finally, I had a glimpse of the man in a blue sweatshirt, a look of concern scribbled on his face, as if asking me if I was alright. I shook my head to let him know; I couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted to give up and fall right in the middle of Houston airport. I looked up to see my husband, and his expression tells me, “it’s ok, take your time. I’ll take care of things” like he always does. I nodded for him to go ahead and make the gate for us. Once again, I took one step at a time, dragging, walking, and jogging. Before I knew it, I saw the number I’ve been looking for; GATE C9 under it, the man in a blue sweatshirt, smiling and nodding as if to tell me, “I’m so proud of you.” A lady was standing next to my husband signaling for me to take my time and a guy behind the counter who seem to be amused by my distress.

I wanted to cry as soon as we got on the plane, but I held my composure. My dystonia symptoms continued throughout the flight; the tightness in my chest stayed, my voice left me and my ankles twisted inward in response to the trauma I just went through. I rested, and my husband comforted me. “You did great; you made it. You can relax now.” I know in my heart his intentions were pure, but I could not help but fall apart. I cried and cried; I wasn’t embarrassed to let him know how scared I was. My body betrayed me that day.

LIFE LESSON

Though traumatic, there are still lessons to be learned. Sometimes we can’t control the circumstances around us. We had no control over our delayed flights or the gate being miles apart or even my body stopping me from moving. I did, however, have the choice to give up or keep going. Sometimes, life can be so arduous and traumatic that we have no other choice in mind but to give up, but if we just take one step at a time, give it a little more push, perhaps we will make it to our destination, however long it may take. There will be obstacles, no doubt about that, but if we just keep our eye on the goal and hear the silent reinforcement around us, we will persevere. I could have taken my husband’s going before me as a negative thing, but I knew his intentions, and I took his constant pauses to reassure me that everything will be OK. I saw in his face the cheer for me to keep going. I focused my attention on his encouragements not on what was holding me back.

Yes, I broke down and cried. Crying doesn’t make us weak; it means we are human. However, this doesn’t give us the excuse to dwell on the negative experiences in life. Cry the frustration out instead, cry the overwhelming feeling you just faced and leave it all behind. The most important thing we can do is to learn from it and find the lessons behind each experience and turn it into motivation.

A man under the counter seemed to have delighted on behalf of my struggles. Many people will laugh at what they perceive as our weakness. People will doubt us; people will pull us down, people’s reaction can break us, but we need to realize that those people are the ones with the problem, not us. I once saw a quote; that said,

“You can tell a lot about a person’s character by what they laugh at.” Unknown.

Another great quote I read says, “Small minds can’t comprehend big spirits. To be great, you have to be willing to be mocked, hated, and misunderstood. Stay Strong.” Unknown.

The man under the counter had no idea what I was going through yet; he dared to laugh at me. I wonder if he knew that my body gave up on me, would he have compassion instead? No one will know. All I know is that I choose to draw strength from my weakness instead of letting it defeat me. 

Take some time to reflect, is there perceive shortcomings in your life that you can turn into fortitude or resilience? You won’t believe what the power of positive thinking can do in your life.

Be blessed! :)

PASSION. PERSEVERANCE. FAITH

Posted by JENNIFER SENNE on February 23, 2018 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Passion, perseverance, and faith these are valuable lessons in life that we usually want to teach our children. Lately, I have learned these three lessons from my seventeen year old daughter. I watched her go through so many emotions in her early years. I watched her laugh and I watch her break down; perhaps a typical teenage life. However, she never fails to amaze me with her perceptions in life. This girl has always been fierce even as an infant; she knew what she wanted and when she was old enough to get it, she did. However, nothing was simply handed to this girl. She always had to work harder than everyone else to get what she wants. She struggled with social, emotional and ultimately spiritual issues early in life. As a mother, it was arduous to watch her struggle with life lessons, but it was also rewarding to see her grow and let her find her path.

At a tender age of 9 she was introduced to the life of sport, although she was not too thrilled about our insistence that she join, she ultimately ended up loving it; loving it that her whole life revolved around sports, especially in the area of basketball. Most of her life lessons came from sport. Although she plays well, a natural talent was absent, but it did not stop her from getting good at it. She worked harder than everyone else until she accomplished her goals. She spent hours and hours practicing things she can improve on. The overflowing passion together with her dedication and work ethic is something to be emulated. Her tenacity in life exemplifies in everything she does, surprising for someone her age, I would say.

With her passion came perseverance. Life brings forth disappointments and failure. She stumbles and falls, but the ground isn’t where she belongs. She gets back up stronger than before; exerting all her energy into getting better, stronger and getting back in the rhythm of accomplishing what she had started. Success, however, did not come effortlessly. She had to overcome emotional and physical tests, but she never let any obstacles stop her from doing what she loves. Her passion was stronger than any hardship she ever faced. Her tenacity moved her towards her objectives in life. She always perseveres, and she displays this by getting up brushing off the dust that may have attached to her, and she chooses to fail forward, not looking back, but looking ahead; continuing where life had temporarily stopped her.

She could not have done with just passion and perseverance alone; the two came a little painless for her because of her faith. Faith not only in herself but most especially to the one that guides and gives her the energy and strength to move on. God has always been a part of her life, getting closer and building a stronger spiritual relationship with Him as she goes through her experiences in life each day. She looks back, not to dwell on her weaknesses but to contemplate and learn from her it and shares them to those who may need them. Her faith in God in turns gives her confidence in herself to extend the blessings and wisdom she has received, especially to those who may not see value in themselves. I may be biased, but I see beauty in her inside and out. Her weaknesses and vulnerability make her a strong young warrior. She inspires me and reminds me that I have to live life with passion, perseverance and, faith. Who would have thought that I; a mother can learn such valuable life lessons from a young lady such as Haley.

Finding Peace in the Storm

Posted by JENNIFER SENNE on February 11, 2018 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Finding Peace in the Storm

Each of us has a story; some are fun, and some are painful. “Life is not fair”, I often hear. If you consider my story; walk through my storm, that phrase may shed some truth to it. Never once thought to be introduced to the words Dystonia or Hemiplegic Migraines; entirely scientific sounding words but these have become a part of me; my storms in life. Walking, thinking, seeing, talking, breathing; these are daily functions that we do not give much attention to, naturally because we wake up each day and there they are; faithfully working for you. It is just a part of a normal living. However, in my case, each day is a guessing game, a waiting game or merely a surprise; not knowing what each day will grant me.

“You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” this phrase is often used to describe those who are valuable to us; what a cliché’, but it’s the truth. You don’t know how important some things are until they start betraying you. Your own body betraying you is not something you expect in life, but that’s what Dystonia and Hemiplegic migraines did to me. A battle of oneself as you may see. Each day, I wake to wonder if I could walk, see, talk, think clearly or breath properly. The thought, the fear of being betrayed with oneself continually lingers in the air; will I function completely? Will there be a pain? Will my muscles obey the signals of my brain or will there be a malfunction? The unexpected spasms, twisting and pulling of muscles that leaves one’s body enervated, becomes a source of frustration each day. Daily normal activities are not as simple as it once was. Independence has become a foreign word. People are not familiar, and so they do not understand how one day you are entirely functioning and the next you are not able to move; they cannot empathize.

Life is not fair, yes, I concur, but it is what you make of it, you can choose to drown, or you can choose to swim. Self- pity is not an option. Storms in life are not here to stay. The sun will always come out, and that’s a source of hope for me. Each day I hang on to every bit of light that peeks through dark days; a reminder that at the end of a rainstorm, a rainbow will emerge. I look for strength in each drop that falls from the sky, searching for the blessings that I may miss during the sunlight. In the storm, you can learn to be strong; learn to cherish each sunray that peeks through the dark clouds, you can learn to see the tiniest piece of grass that grows. As for me, I learned to appreciate each step I take, each breath I breathe. I delight in the wonders my eyes see clearly; I learned to use my voice to praise the one above, I learned to appreciate them all in the midst of the downpour. I realized that blessings could come through pain, through tears, through raindrops, and even through a storm. I take time to appreciate not only the sunny days but to cherish the stillness during a heavy rain. I listen to each drop that falls, powerful they may be at times, I know it will weaken soon. When the sun is finally out, I never forget the blessings, peace, and calmness I experienced during the rain, for this is what gives me security and prepares me for the next storm to come. God sent a rainbow as a promise to His people once, and I hold onto that same rainbow today remembering God’s promise to me. I chose not to let my illness; my storm define me. So, I say to you, whatever your storm may be, know that the sun will always come. Hang in there and in the meantime, be still and know that He is good.

THE BEGINNING OF THE STORM

Posted by JENNIFER SENNE on February 5, 2018 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (2)

It was a sunny afternoon of the year 2007 when a routine check-up became the beginning of a storm in my life. My Doctor had found a tumor in my ovary, and it took test after test, but they could not confirm their suspicion; cancer was on the horizon. We played the waiting game, hoping for the tumor to remain in its size or magically dissipate, however after a month, the mass grew, and the blood tests showed the possibility of cancer in my body. I decided to get a second opinion and had another ultrasound done; the result was consistent, the report says: “cancer cannot be ruled out.” Though I was familiar with what cancer can do, I did not get a sense of panic in me. They did a series of tests for what felt like an eternity, and the tumor kept on growing.

My family and I were scheduled to go on a vacation soon, but the Doctors were adamant to have the surgery as quickly as possible to prevent cancer from spreading. The whole thing did not worry me until the Doctor prepared me for chemotherapy in the future. I was asked to sign a form allowing them to proceed with radiation treatment right after the surgery. I went home heavy-hearted. I saw my children, and I watched my husband struggle with the news. I immediately felt a stab of pain in my heart, and I asked the Lord, “who’s going to take care of my family now?” I now assumed the worse. Suddenly I heard a voice, a soft but firm voice as if scolding a little child, “Why do you doubt me? What made you think it is you who takes care of your family?” I knew it was the Lord’s voice I was hearing. It is not often that I hear him as clearly as I did that day. I was scared and humbled at the same time. All I could do was weep and left everything to Him. Somehow, I felt a sense of calmness in my storm.

The day of my surgery came, my husband on my side reminding me that everything will be alright, perhaps the Lord had spoken to him as well? I don’t know. He kissed me on the forehead as they wheeled me into the operating room and everything after was a blur. The Doctor came in as I was recovering and announced that they had to remove my ovary and fallopian tube however the tumor was free of cancer. After months of tests, seeing different Doctors and preparing for future treatments, the verdict came to a miracle, a calmness in my storm. I remembered what God had said to me then “Why do you doubt me?” I closed my eyes and thanked Him for his mercy and love. My husband and I went through the storm together, and together we overcame, coming out with a stronger faith, knowing that whatever the outcome may have been, God had his plan and all we needed to do was trust Him. This storm was just the beginning, but it has become a testimony in my life reminding me that God is in control and that we need to have faith just as it is said in Mark 4:39-40 “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”


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