About the Author

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of several books, including Growing Slow. She and her husband live on the family farm, raising crops, pigs, and two humans. She’s a fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. She wants to live life in such a way...

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  1. Amen! Your words and message speak/spoke directly to me today so much so they feel like God directly answering me. Thank you!

  2. AMEN!!! Just heard some giants fall!! This conqueror is on the move. A wonderful story to start the day! Thank you for sharing your Aunt’s story.

  3. Thank you Jennifer. Your story greatly inspired me this morning. We have the Holy Spirit working in us.
    Blessings

  4. Wow! My daughter, who is in her first year of college, and I just had a conversation about just that yesterday. She feels God calling her into nursing as a major but lately she has had people in her life question her choice causing her to feel inadequate and to question herself. These are other students that are questioning her. Your post is timely and I am going to forward it to her. Thank you for sharing. I know that it will impact her just as it has me.

    • Sometimes the voices of doubt come from within. That’s hard enough! Even harder, when outside voices seem to affirm our deepest insecurities. I hope she can work past that and do what God is calling her to do. Only SHE can hear God speaking into her calling.

  5. Jennifer,
    “Give God your weakness and He’ll give you His strength.” Amen! I just wrote a blog post this week on resurrection power being our “Super Power” – in response to all the super hero powers being touted by Hollywood. I find that I am most often writing to myself. It’s been a rough few months and I needed the reminder that I have the Holy Spirit in me and with that I have the same exact power that allowed Christ to rise from the dead and defeat sin and death on the cross. But, how often do I call upon that power? I am limited only by my finite mind that can’t grasp the awesomeness of the power God gives us. Another favorite verse of mine along with this is: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14). So thankful God gives us His strength in our weakness and He will go to battle for us, if we just be still. I will think of your aunt as I quit placing limitations on what God can do through me. Thanks for this much needed reminder this am! Love your storytelling that highlights truth!
    Blessings dear friend,
    Bev xo
    ps. How’s the book doing?? 🙂

    • Bev: you are a valiant victorious warrior – I am so inspired by your persistent perseverance and trust in Him. It reminds me of Gideon when he, in his weak and vulnerable state was greeted with “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour” God was telling Gideon who “he is” even when he couldn’t fathom it. Gideon rose to the occasion of mighty warrior.

      God has also clothed me in that Gorgeous scripture given to you: ” the Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still.” Is it not incredible that God gives us a “scheduled timeout” as He graciously fights for us. And we are the benefactors of His Grace. Bev: May His Spirit abound in You so that each victory is experienced like whipped cream in many Divine desserts you never expected! Recall: He guides us to “be still” and then …He gives us a Divine dessert of victory to taste-test. Bless you as you continue to persevere in Spirit Strength . You are inspiring Bev. And The Spirit will continue to use you to inspire others. HUG.

      • Janine,
        Thank you so much for your sweet words, they truly bless me <3 I had a counselor that once told me that if "Perseverance" was a class in school, I'd have gotten an A+. None of that is my doing, but the Holy Spirit working in me to enable me to hold onto God's righteous right hand. He has seen me through so many valleys and has never forsaken me so I keep continuing to try to trust. So true is the scripture, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere." (Psalm 84:10). God bless you for taking the time to encourage me.
        Have a blessed day….
        ((Hugs)),
        Bev

  6. Jennifer:

    How incredibly inspirational and sweet this story is. My son plays a high level of rep baseball so I have been to hundreds upon hundreds of baseball ⚾️ games and have the mileage on my car to document it!

    Your aunt Joyce had “vigour that leads to victory”…she didn’t see herself as a victim, but as a resilient warrior who rises to the occasion. She didn’t let pity or pain prevent her from tasting victory through gritty perseverance.

    What a beautiful example she is to you – what a great family legacy of grit and strength she left behind.

    I am truly inspired.

    Your words “The same overcoming spirit that made Christ obedient, even unto death on a cross LIVES …within [me]” will grace he pages of my journal. Break out the crayons and vibrant colours!

    May your words resonate personally to all reading this – may we go to the Lord with …the impossible task, the impossible circumstance, the impossible person, the impossible dream”. May we trade our weakness for His Strength and then hear Him say: “Come out of that tomb. RISE.” (As he said to Lazarus and to shocked and amazed audiences. May what “He does in us” be celebrated by onlookers in our life! Just as Joyce’s phenimal feat was admired in that game and those circumstances.

    Jennifer: Your words will grace the pages of my journal but mainly,they will be etched in my heart – as I am facing a lot of things that could threaten to become obstacles. But …Christ’s Power turns obstacles into …opportunities for overcoming.

    Hooray!

    “The same power that made Christ obedient , even unto death on a cross, LIVES in [all of us]”

    May we get in the game, stay in the game (through abiding in Christ) and press on to victory over every defeat that ever tried to make us obedient. We make all our thoughts obedient to Christ. Christ is the stronger and strongest. With His unchallenged strength, “if He is for us, nothing can be against us”.

    Let’s stay in the Heaven-on-earth-ball-game where strike-outs don’t actually exist if we are coached by the Living Coach, the Spirit of God. He only ever equips us to hit “Homeruns for Heavens Glory”…and we get to experience the elation of exquisite Spirit Victory “With Him”. He makes us honourary members of His Dream Team and we are never benched. He has something Glorious to do and achieve in each of us.

    Awesome! yes…let’s “PLAY BALL”.

    • I was so inspired by my Aunt Joyce’s story when I learned of it recently. It’s really made me think about the strength that we do have within us, but how so many self-doubts and insecurities get in the way. Christ’s power is available to us, and I know that I don’t always lean on it (or always believe that it will be available for me). I’m daily learning to step out more and trust in Him, rather than my own strength.

      • Yes Jennifer…I can resonate but now I am turning a swerving corner in my spiritual life with the Holy Spirit. I have been praying the scripture powerfully and if I didn’t believe before, I would say “I believe help my unbelief” but now I just ask the Spirit to infuse into my Spirit the Power to believe as I say out loud any scripture God is calling me to connect to Him with. It has been astounding how that has transformed me from “glory to glory” and I feel as though I have never experienced the spiritual exhilaration in changes. My own “internal changes” of mind and thought – nothing to do with circumstances. It was so great that your Aunt Joyce won the game and that makes life more exciting. But I am finding that even in unchanged circumstances, God’s transformation in my character or His Spirit gifts that He is adorning me with – – those are the most sublime things. It is exciting. Thank you again for your “persevering forth” message. May God give you grit and strength and courage and confidence while He brings you from “glory to Glory”. Blessings Jennifer

  7. I love this and needed this today. Thank you Jennifer.
    I would love to have seen than softball game – what a girl and woman you aunt must be.
    I’m off to listen to my inner Joyce and let His power make up for my lacking today.xx

  8. Oh my goodness did I need this!!! I did not even KNOW that I needed it… lol Isn’t is amazing how the Lord works?? Sometimes when the Lord calls me to something, I just take a deep breath, put my head down and plow through it… lol This was that ,”You CAN do this daughter!” from God that He does not have to give, but chooses to anyway because He knows that I need it. He IS my Father after all!! 😉 I am in a season of being called out of my comfy place and into a place of greater impact and interaction with people. I’ve been a stay at home homeschooling mama for the last 12 years… here and there I have gone to work part time, usually around the holidays. It always went abysmally. Hideously even. Over the last several months I have been HEALED of two major things that have plagued my life since I was a child. I finally feel like a New Creation! Just over the last three days, I have been feeling a nudge from the Spirit to apply for a part time job with our local Lifeway store. My sister friend from church is the assistant manager there and she told me to go for it! I am excited, and nervous all at once! There is a fear attached to this that I am fighting and walking forward in faith in. My life is SO different than it was 5 years ago…. and I know that since God has called me to this (and confirmed it three different times) that He has already made provision. Not provision like material things, but provision of comfort and strength from Him in the area of my fear. We are in THAT season, the one of stretching and growing into the ministry work that He always intended for us to have. Thank you Jennifer for this message this morning!! It spurred me on and stoked that fire that the Lord had placed in me already about this!

  9. I love this truth about the power within us. This subject has been in my thoughts lately as I apply it to my life. I love your writing style too. Thank you!

  10. Love this, Jennifer! Of course, I know her as Joyce Lee, but wow! What a trooper she was and is. I saw some of her spunk real-time of late, when she went relentlessly to bat for Caryl in prayer and would not give up. I saw it in you, and then I saw HIS power heal your precious mom when she was down and nearly out. I saw His power in her too. The Dukes do not give up on life, because they do not give up on Jesus, and He never gives up on them (or us or me). Praise God! When He is strong, we don’t care if we’re weak. I’ve dropped off the face of the world in a number of ways (most recently, when my computer crashed three weeks ago, and all my writing, emails, and address book seemed doomed). Talk about a feeling of helplessness (no, not in the vast scheme of life, but my brains and contacts, built over a lifetime, were in there). I don’t mean sacrilege here, but I did pray God would resurrect my stuff. God finally sent a wonderful computer expert who worked brilliantly with us. God gave me that resurrection. Anyway, for a number of reasons, it was important that I read your essay today. I need to get step up to the plate and not pull a “Casey at the bat” by default. So glad to be among the living again, and to get a strong, bracing dose of courage-laced-with-Christ’s-power from my dear friend Jennifer. Still recommending IAUC at every turn! You’re wonderful.
    Love
    Lynn

    • Actually, it’s not Joyce Lee. That’s my mother-in-law. Joyce Dukes is my aunt. 🙂 But Joyce Lee definitely has a lot of spunk too!

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Lynn. You’ve been such a dear friend and prayer warrior for our family. Love you!

  11. Oh my gosh, Sister… PREACH!

    I love this. I am constantly forgetting that the resurrection power of God lives in me, even though I “know” it. When I look in the mirror and see a worn-down, tired momma, I feel like the Holy Spirit has taken a vacation or something. LOL. Or when a dream that I’m pursuing seems so far out of reach, especially with my crazy life right now. I can easily think, “Maybe I’m dreaming too big. Maybe I’m mishearing Jesus. Maybe I’m not enough…” But God steps in, speaks life into my soul, and helps me walk to the plate. 😉 Over and over again.

    Thank you, Jennifer. These words were exactly what my heart needed to hear today!

    Stepping up to the plate with you,
    Becky Beresford

  12. Jennifer, I loved and needed this today, as well. Praise God for His perfect timing and wisdom! The story of your aunt resonated with me because I, too, come from a small town in southern Iowa, and was much like her. There isn’t much that would ever have prevented me from performing in a game of softball or basketball! We are tough, hardy, gritty people in Iowa, and we “just do what we have to do.” My nephew broke his arm in a football game, but he was back in the next game, wearing his cast! God has always been with us and blessed us for generations in my family. Now in my latter days, it is frustrating when my strength is declining, and many days it is difficult to find the motivation to tackle hard projects and tasks. But God always gives me strength, motivation or courage to do whatever I face. “Morning by morning, new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me”!! Besides scripture, I also love to use great hymns to remind me of Father’s goodness, faithfulness, grace and mercy. May He continue to bless and guide you in your service to Him! And remember, “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind; is there anything too hard for me?” Praise God for His lovingkindness is from everlasting to everlasting!

  13. Jennifer,

    Your aunt had spunk not seen of late. This generation too easily gives up on themselves. Thinking they can’t do it. No we mere humans can’t do some things, but with God ALL things are possible. We must remind ourselves daily that the Holy Spirit’s power is working in us to will us toward God’s destiny. Life these days gets super busy & we have many demands made on us. Lysa Terkeurst said it best in her book The Best Yes: “Saying yes to everything won’t make me Wonder Woman it will make me a worn out woman. We need to seek God’s wisdom & power to make right choices. There is an old song “The Battle Belongs to the Lord”. That should be the heart cry of anyone going through trials or hardships. He will fight the battle for us-we just need to be still & follow His leading.

    Blessings 🙂

  14. Oh, Jennifer – I needed this reminder today. I feel broken, bruised, forgotten…wondering how long this trial will last. I’m claiming the power to step up to the plate today, in the name of Jesus!

  15. This was inspiring to read, thank-you for sharing your Aunt’s story with us Jennifer.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

  16. You spoke to me today!!! This is just spot on. I am not powerless. I have more power than I can fathom. Yes!!! It is time to play ball. Thanks Jennifer!

  17. Oh, Jennifer! You make me want to find a bat and swing for the fences. Even more, your words make me want to LIVE like the Jesus-raising Spirit is within me. My weakness ain’t got nothin’ on God’s greatness, on His ability to powerfully work in me. And you! And all our sisters here! Can you tell you’ve ignited a spark of spunk in my heart that would make Aunt Joyce proud? So grateful for you and this timely word. Thank you, friend. xx

  18. Your aunt’s incredible story WOULD make a great movie! And what a powerful lesson you gleaned from her experience. Praise God for his power within us, enabling us to be and do more than we ever imagined possible. AND, we’re on the winning team–guaranteed. Thank you, Jennifer, for cheering us on!