About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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  1. I’m not much of a “launch out of the boat” kinda girl either, Jennifer, and God is teaching me to pay attention to my fears, to be mindful of what I’m protecting. I’ve been learning a lot about myself in the process and (more importantly) about the God who said that the waters will rise and be frightening, but he will go through them with me. (Isaiah 43)
    Blessings to you in all your summer boating adventures!

    • I’m definitely with you not a jump out of the boat girl either but metaphorically I’m going to do it with this Masters, oh Michelle I’ve wasted so much time being fearful and focusing on any excuse to avoid it! No more!!

  2. Jennifer,
    We spent a lot of summers on a beautiful mountain stream-fed lake in Wild Wonderful West Virginia. Those were some of my happiest childhood memories and for my kids as well. My daughter, however, used to tell her brother who was five years younger and unbeknownst to me, that there were fresh water alligators in the lake. Awful, right? I always wondered why he didn’t want to jump out of the boat when it was out on the lake…over the deepest part. Like you, he couldn’t see way down to know what was below the surface. I’m like that a lot. If I can’t thoroughly see what’s below, or what lies ahead, I can be cautious. I try to maintain control. The enemy gets in there as well and tells tall tales. Faith, that is only found in taking Christ’s hand, is the only thing that will get us over our fear. Faith is bigger than fear (or it can be if we ASK God to fuel our faith). You can’t walk on water if you don’t get out of the boat…and you won’t get out of the both unless you put your stock in faith over fear. Great post and can’t wait to see your new artwork!!

    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  3. Jennifer what a post that is speaking directly to me. Fears of not being good enough or worthy enough I began self sabotaging my efforts avoiding writing to finish this Masters. My son has also been ill with a mystery virus of the gut since Christmas Day and before you know it this excuses I look back and 8 months have nearly gone by! What a fool I have been. It is my human fear. I have a deadline of August 24 and I really don’t know how I’m going to do it. But your post has inspired me. It’s like Jesus and God saying through your words, Jas Ye of little faith…I am still here waiting for you. I am with you, get up and step out of the boat and do it!! Write and finish!! If you feel so inclined please pray for me and my efforts to be safe and finish this, for good health and for the health of my son. Thank you for your words!
    Jas

    • Jas,
      Any thoughts of not being good enough or worthy enough are lies straight from the pit of hell. God never speaks to us like that – that’s the enemy trying to discourage you. You’ve let time go by. God wants to pick you back up, dust you off, and gently encourage you to keep walking forward one step at a time. He will be faithful to enable you when you ASK. That’s a prayer He is happy to answer!! We ALL have little faith at times. God will honor your desire to have more. No guilt trips allowed!!
      Blessings sweet sister,
      Bev xx

    • Your words are encouraging me, Jas! I have been looking back over this year thinking the same thing. Darn human fear! He is waiting for us, Jas. He is calling us out of the boat! He will help us through it! Praying as you finish your Masters… so awesome by the way! Also praying for your dear son! xo

    • Jas,

      Been praying for you for a while now. You need to kick the enemy of fear to the curb! Tell him t take a hike-you & Jesus have this. I know you can write your thesis. God has brought you this far & He won’t stop now! Don’t you dare give up!! You have what it takes to write that paper & finish. Praying your son gets well soon also. May God send His healing hand upon him.

      Blessings 🙂

  4. thank you for your encouragement, so appreciated!
    As I continue to deal with difficult life changes, fear and worry creep their ugly heads. Even though I struggle with where God is and if he has me in all of this and receive verbal abuse from the person who chose to end our relationship, there are many times when worry and fear grasp me. BUT I continue to keep faith in God’s promises.
    Thank you!! xo

    • Heather,

      I am praying that you would hear NEW tapes that God wants you to play in your head – words that say “You are worthy; you are loved; you are beautiful and beloved.” I was married to an emotional and verbal abuser for 26 years who walked out of our marriage twice. The second time was for good. I know when you hear those words from another person, that you trusted, for such a long time, you start to believe them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Praying that God’s perfect love for you would drive out the doubt and fear. God’s got this! He’s got you! He wants you to live in the light of His love and not let any human person dictate your worth. Cheering and pulling for you!!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

      ps. Jennifer (writer of this post) is working on a wonderful art project and one of her works speaks to sisters , like you and me, who have experienced this pain. You are not alone…

  5. Sometimes, when I take that leap of faith and get out of the boat, I seem to fall flat or have a bad landing and I wonder why is that since God wants us to demonstrate our faith, and stepping out of the boat is doing exactly that, but I think sometimes He is testing us and growing us, it isn’t always about a walk on the water kind of event, if that makes any sense? I think He is also saying keep our eyes on Him, because everything around us can be so uncertain.
    Living outside of the comfort of the boat is a leap of faith!

  6. I love this as we are to get out of the boat and trust Him, our Creator and Savior! I have noticed when someone does get out of the boat, does put their trust in God’s leading, does go against the norm that people expect, that many of those around them question and criticize instead of encouraging and supporting. May we be that encourager for others that get out of the boat, too!

    • Sad, but true observation, Bonnie. Maybe they are just wishing they could take the leap of faith! I echo your words… may we be that encourage for others!

  7. Yes so true. Sometimes it isn’t that we don’t have courage to step out in our faith, we simply are too comfortable in our own little bubble, we forget that there are others who may need us if we only extend our hands. I am most guilty of saying this to my hubby. He is truly content and happy in his own little boat and see no reason to step out. We never know who needs us. Too many people are hurting and afraid to show their vulnerable side for fear of not feeling adequate enough. Lord, I pray we all would be willing to set aside our fears and allow others to see You in us. It doesn’t cost a thing to be kind and show our fellow humans that no matter what is taking place in our lives, let us walk together in this life and have the courage to lift up someone’s spirit. Let us be bold enough and get out of our boat and pull someone’s else boat and share all that God had done and still is doing in our life. Thank you Jennifer for sharing this message.

    • Yes and amen to that, Maylee! My greatest hope is that other see Him in me. I think it is the best thing we could all hope for! Thank you for sharing these thoughts, I do think it will encourage others!

  8. Thank you for this encouragement. I think God is calling me to something that really scares me and this encourages me to step out.

  9. Fear is a very real thing we all face at one time or another and there is a multitude of reasons for those fears.
    As for myself, my fears are real because what I’m afraid of is things of this world like snakes, creepy, crawly things, car wrecks, plane crashes, etc. you get my drift.
    I’m not patting myself on the back but early on in my walk with Christ, I came face to face with evil. In the situation I was in there was no time to think about options. All I could do was say His name over and over and over and Lo and behold the fear and the evil I was surrounded by left. Every so often I relive that experience so that I never forget that He is faithful and his promises are real and can be depended on to take care of every situation.
    I just want to encourage everyone to know and depend on that truth that as declared in His word that at the name of Jesus Satan has to flee. There is power in His name and that power will conquer all fear. Christ is more than able to take our fears and replace them with peace and joy and trust in His promises that nothing, absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him

    • What beautiful encouragement for us all, Loretta! “There is power in His name and that power will conquer all fear.” Amen to that, sister! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Most of the time looking out of the boat and jumping does seem scary! I know recently I’ve been trying to stop trying to control my current situation and just led God be God. Just let Him work in my life at His pace without me rushing Him. I stopped trying to jump out and now I am trying to focus on life one step at a time. Some days it’s going well others… not so much but one step is definitely closer to where God wants me!

    • It is all a difficult journey, isn’t it, Ashley? Life can be so hard! Thank you for the reminder of going at His pace, one step at a time, to where He wants us!

  11. Jennifer,

    I got out of the boat this year! Back in January I lost a part-time job I’d had for about 2 years. It was a little bit of a shock. In a small way I was actually happy. I knew deep down that God had something much better for me. In less than two weeks I found myself employed part time at a hospital (of all places) doing clerical work. One bonus is that I get extra hours when one of the secretaries takes off or we have a busy day. (don’t go over 40). This job while hard is by far one of my favorites. I love my co-workers & boss.
    It was all a matter of keeping my eyes focused upward. Multiple times in the Bible God says “Do Not Fear”. He means that. We can worry a bit about situations. He doesn’t want fear to hold us back from doing what He has called us to do. He wants us to be more like Peter & just get out of the boat & start walking. If He calls you to something-just do it! Praying about it is fine, but then just take that leap of faith!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Thank you for writing this. I have so many regrets because fear has ruled my life. I am 52 and I don’t want to keep missing out on life due to fear! I could have had and done so much more…and now I just live with horrible regrets. Fear and panic are hard things to overcome and deal with…it is much safer staying in the boat…not letting it get rocked…not really living.
      Please pray that I can overcome this …..I know God wants me to live life! I also feel like HE could use me so much more if I only let go of fear!