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who you are

Good thing I didn’t make any promises about starting to blog again…because obviously that didn’t happen. Ha!

So…JJ Heller was here for a women’s conference and I couldn’t go. It killed me! My family and a few friends went and they were super sweet (haha!) and texted me pictures of themselves and videos of JJ Heller leading worship so I could see what I was missing while I was at a family reunion. My sister told me I had to listen to Who You Are. It’s one of my new favorites now…actually the whole Loved album is so good.

I love this song because God has been teaching me the importance of knowing who God is and trusting His Word over my emotions in big ways over the past five years. When Cora died I remember so often crying out through my tears…God, what are you doing? I never came up with answers that made sense to me or made the pain go away, but I came to a point where I could rest in knowing who God is and that I could trust His Father’s heart even when I couldn’t make sense of what was happening in my life. It was the peace amidst the storm.

This past week there has been a reason for my absence from this little blog. The day of Griffin’s birthday party I got the worst strep throat I have ever had. It seriously knocked me out for a week and my throat still hurts a little. Joel got strep throat last week too…right in the middle of corn harvest. We were quite the pathetic parenting pair. Thankfully neither of the boys got it! I was just thinking we were finally going to be able to go back to normal this week when last night Joel told me half his face was numb and drooping. That gives you something to worry about for sure! Long story short, he has Bell’s palsy. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful we are that it is nothing worse. So, so grateful. But as I start this week having to watch my husband deal with Bell’s palsy and burdened by the many other struggles I see others facing around me I find myself again asking God…why? God, what are you doing?

I needed to hear this song again today.

It is so easy to fall into the temptation of doubting God’s goodness and wisdom. When we are overwhelmed and confused, when we are hurting, when we can’t make sense of the things that are happening in our lives, we can always fall back on what we know to be true about our God and what we’ve experienced of God in the past. He gives us a firm place to stand…safe in His loving arms.

I don’t know what you’re doing.

But I know who you are.

How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. Psalm 31:19

  • Melissa Joy - Oh Jess, you were in my prayers over the weekend… I didn’t exactly know why. But there you were. And He knew.
    I’m so thankful that we know who our Father is, even when we don’t know what He’s doing.
    Thanks for blessing me this Monday morning. Peace be with you all.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - Jess, I had bell’s palsy years ago & had a complete recovery thanks to a speedy diagnosis. I did take predisone for 2 weeks but I understand now not all doctors give that but it does help with the swelling of the nerve. Then I brought a small hand held massager and spent 10 minutes 3 times day massaging my face. I did exercises in front of a mirror so I could see myself and any progress…making myself try to smile, wink, purse my lips, fish faces(sucking your cheeks in), ect…I will be praying for Joel’s quick recovery & restoration.ReplyCancel

  • Erin - I’m so glad you came back to blog and today with the message you shared. You spoke directly to my heart and I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face. Thank you for speaking your heart and allowing God to speak through you. I am deeply struggling with understanding the whys. Thank you for the reminder that I can rest in God’s loving arms.

    Holding you family in prayer!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - Did miss your posts 🙂 So sorry this is why. Praying for complete, quick healing for Joel! and you!ReplyCancel

  • Susy - Prayers for you all but go back and have the strep rechecked on you both. Lots of complications from strep. Be well and God bless!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - This was beautiful and a powerful truth I am thankful to be reminded of. I’m so thankful He never changes! JJ Heller’s song “your hands” was such a blessing to me last year when I lost one of my closest friends to cancer. I’m glad to know she has a new album. I’ll definitely be checking it out! Glad to hear you and Joel are feeling better and PRAISE JESUS your little ones didn’t get it! That would have been awful! Blessings, friend!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - I needed to hear this tonight..thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Lewis - I’m new to your blog. I found you through the Hope Spoken site. I read threw a bit of your space here and just landed on this post. I love JJ Heller and hadn’t heard her new song. Oh my word, I love it. I love the video too. I love the idea of having a bunch of broken people over to eat with and talk with and just get into the mess of it all. I love that you share your brokenness here and I’m so thankful for that. Your an inspiration. Praying for you and your family.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle from Australia - Prayers for good health are coming your way. M xReplyCancel

  • Katy Collinsworth - Thanks for your inspirational post and for sharing that beautiful song …the first part is what I am dealing with now….not 41 years old yet, but trusting that God has a plan for me to have a child. Starting round 3 of IVF this week…prayers are appreciated! xoxox KatyReplyCancel

  • Tori - I’m what you would call a blog-stalker, and I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before. I found your site before you lost sweet Cora, I don’t remember how exactly, but you’ve been on my “Favorite Reading” list ever since.

    Your words are truth I needed to be reminded of today. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for over two years now, and my heart has been so heavy with doubt, disappointment, and anger, especially these past few days. He received news that a girl he works with aborted her unborn child because the doctors told her the umbilical cord had wrapped around his arm, most likely causing permanent damage. Other than being slightly smaller than he should be, he was a healthy baby. We long for a child, pray for a blessing, but God remains silent. All I seem to say is why?

    Thank you for sharing, and for being a blessing.ReplyCancel

  • creole wisdom - Praying for healing from the great physician.

    You know, even thought I don’t “know,” you- I think you’re one of the nicest people I do “know.” The way you express your faith is lovely and inspirational.

    Hang in there. I’m sorry to hear about Joel and that you had to experience such a difficult strep.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Hmmm. . . I love when God prompts us to pray for one another. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Keshet - So sorry to hear this! Hope things start looking up for you guys soon:)ReplyCancel

  • Patti - Jess,
    I love your blog..
    Your words are so inspirational and uplifting to me and I love the way you write. I love that you are real. Even though you dont know me I feel like I know you and you keep yourself real and personable through your blog. Thank you for that.
    I am a 42 yr old mom of 4 and 6 years ago I got Bells Palsy after being worn down and getting strep also. My doctor immediately put me on something but I dont remember the name of it. I also started taking mega doses of vitamin B12 to help with new cell growth so my face would recover. I also went to physical therapy 3x a week for just my face and indeed I did start seeing progress at the 6 week mark. I was finally all better at 3 months. Its hard. I felt wierd and it was scarey for my kids. Have Joel do those face excercises in the mirror as they will “remind and retrain” the face of those muscles and keep things moving. Massaging the face is good too. I think I had like 20-30 excersises to do a day and had to do them day and night. I really believe they help. I cried but I think it was ok to feel sad and be afraid if it would come back.
    I will pray for you and Joel.
    Glad you are feeling better. Your little Levi shares a Birthday with my little Emma 🙂
    Patti from IndianaReplyCancel