About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

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  1. It was a fall day with gorgeous leaves on the ground. My husband had a stroke in January of that year and I was caretaking a massive property for him. This meant, backpack blowing acres of lawn (now with leaves piled almost .5 foot of leaves deep). I too was listening to a Christian radio station KTIS 98.5 FM Mn. when my weeping became praising and worshipping Jesus because I didn’t even know how to pray I was so sad. But, those tears became tears of Joy and Peace in Jesus…..I knew He had this and I could go on. Because he is paralyzed on one side, I still love listening to Christian radio as I mow our 3-4 hour job on our rented property. Praise Jesus, no matter what!

    • Nancy – I am so sorry that happened to your husband. Thank you for the servant heart you’ve exhibited throughout all this time and yes, praise Him, no matter what.

      Many blessings to you and your family.

  2. Thank you for this story – it is just what I needed this morning. The Lord spoke to me through you!

  3. I have been struggling with fear, this morning in prayer I surrendered my prayers to God. I then received a text from a friend (who is retired and normally is not up early in the morning) reminding me that fear is not of God. She also sent me, Isaiah 41:10, I am thankful that God met my need this morning.

  4. Great testimony to our creative Creator meeting us where we are! Thank you for sharing & encouraging me this am!

  5. Within the past 5 years I have endured some really, what I think or consider “Job” testing/hardships: Loss of a parent-2016 &2017, breast cancer diagnosis-Praise the Lord both tumors were Stage 1, Loss of a parent and sister within 18 days of each other in 2019 and another cancer diagnosis in 2020 of the which I had this rare deadly form for several years-Acral Lentiginous Melanoma on my right ring finger of the which only spread to one lymph node in my elbow-Praise the Lord it hadn’t spread elsewhere as it is very deadly…then I developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in that hand from all the trauma I have endured. I had been struggling spiritually with a hard heart, rebellion, backslidden and off the narrow way from the Lord. These storms have brought me back to where I need to be with my relationship with my Lord. Oh, I’m still on that journey of restoration. I have had to relinquish my whole heart to Him. I have quite a ways to go, but so thankful He has never left me nor forsaken me. My Lord has never moved from me, I am the one that moved away. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise Him! Many a days and nights I have heard His still small voice Do you trust Me? Do you trust Me? Let Me do the work in you. Everyday I say Lord, take my heart and change me to what You want me to be. Healing is a blessing! Thank you for your timely devotional!

    • Oh Becky – I can’t even imagine all that you’ve gone through, but to read your last sentence, “Everyday I say Lord, take my heart and change me to what You want me to be,” was an encouragement to my heart too.

      Praying for your journey this morning.

  6. My sister and I were adopted. We were biological sisters and grew up together. She passed away in 2016. The song “He Already Sees” by the Collingsworth Family spoke to me and when by brother passed away a few months after my sister, it was my go to song.

    “God sees the storm from the other side. He knows the lessons learned and just beyond the clouds He sees clear skies. He speaks peace to the raging storm when peace cannot be found. He already sees the rainbow when we see only clouds.”

    • Donna – I am so very sorry for the loss of both your sister and brother. That leaves such a hole in ones heart. Thank you for sharing your special song with us.

  7. I was also in the car when I heard God. My father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and the treatment was turning him into a skeletal zombie. I was driving by myself, crying and praying for my dad to survive this treatment and have some quality to what remained of his life. As I prayed, I so clearly heard a voice saying “he is going to be ok” and an incredible peace came over me. Within a week, my father improved and had more 2 years (3X the life expectancy they gave him) of almost normal living before the cancer took his life. The memory of God’s voice speaking to me is still so very vivid.

    • Monica – what a gift of those additional years you had with your dad. Although I know it’s now left a hole in your heart, I love reading how the Lord met you during that time.

  8. I’m 81 and was saved at age 22. But ll years ago while I was still in church, praying, etc. there were things in my life that I knew were not right. Early one morning while staying on the beach with my husband & good friend, I got up about 6 AM to walk along as I loved doing. It was a perfect morning, star studded sky, water lapping near the shore. I was singing praise songs and praying. I looked at my watch it was 6:27 so I decided to go few minutes more before returning to complete an hour. I noticed a washed out gully so stepped over it since I had tennis shoes on. I felt a hot pain and down I went on hard sand on left knee. I couldn’t get up. I crawled away from the water’s edge and looked up and simply said “It’s you and me God.” I immediately felt like Jesus was sitting next to me and felt the most overwhelming peace I’ve experienced. I prayed and asked forgiveness for things not right in my life.Then quietly sat there ’til someone came along and called 911. I had fractured my left knee and my pelvis in 5 places. The recovery wasn’t easy but I grew closer to God daily and found Christian in the Rehab who helped me and also got to counsel and witness to workers there. Since then the Lord has called me to be an elder in our little church and I give Him all the praise for the painful situation that changed my life forever. I experience pain now as result from fall daily but it’s a good reminder of God’s love and provision and it’s nothing compare to what Jesus suffered for me.

    • Betsy – I got chills reading your experience. Since you are a life season ahead of me, thank you for mentoring us through your comments here and reminding us that through all the decades He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

      blessings to you

  9. My daughter was having teenage girl mental health issues. Very scary times. She had made a suicidal ideation comment and her counselor recommended an inpatient stay, so they could assess her and decide on a medication protocol. So hard for me to check her in and leave her there… we wouldn’t be able to see her again for over 24hrs while they did their assessment. That night as I cried to myself as I tried to go to sleep. I got down on my knees and prayed “Please God, I know she had to be so scared and feeling alone, please wrap your loving arms around her and let her know that you never leave her side and she is never alone!!!” I got a warm feeling like God was saying “Rest my child, I will be with her, just as I am with you”. I slept that night. The next afternoon we met with the Dr. Who said they wanted to start medications for depression. My husband and I waited anxiously as they went to get our daughter to join us in the Dr. Office. When she walked in she looked peaceful and gave us both a big hug(something she had not done for months, my husband and I both looked at each other in awe, this did not look like the same angry girl we had dropped off at the hospital a little over 24hrs ago.)The Dr. Started to discuss the plans for medication and asked my daughter how she felt about that. Our daughter said ” I need to talk you about what happened last night, my heart raced thinking oh no what now, had something happened to her in here, She continued…” Last night I was scared and couldn’t fall asleep so I started to pray, telling God I was scared, finally I did fall asleep,, next thing I knew I was walking on a beach listening to the waves, I didn’t feel scared, I felt warm and safe, I looked over and saw Jesus walking next to me, I asked him, “When did you get here?” and he answered “My child I have never left your side, I have always been here, you are never alone, just reach out I am here to help”. When she was relating that story I felt chills and knew that God had answered my scared Momma prayers in such an amazing way, he touched that angry, distant, scared girl in a deep loving way to remind her that he will always be with us no matter how dark times may seem!! She continued, “So I don’t think I need medications, I just need to keep praying and remember that no matter what God is here to help me and so are my parents”. The Dr. Told us he still thought medication was the answer. We told him we were going to hold off on the medication and wait to see how things would go. We still had turbulent years with our daughter, but, we never got to that dark, dark place again. Our daughter turned 33 two days ago, she is a Momma to four beautiful kiddos, she is a God fearing, Jesus loving woman…I had shared The Footprints in the Sand story with her many times during those troubled years and it really touched my heart that God used that setting to reach out to her and comfort her during that scary time. Our God is an awesome God!!! He will reach us during our dark and stormy times!!

    • Oh Ann – I was hanging on every word you shared about your daughter and your family’s story. Isn’t it something how those days so long ago can feel like they’re yesterday. Thank you for sharing and testifying to His faithfulness in her life. And four grand babies later? What joy there.

  10. Music is how I have heard God twice when it was time to look at my life and make job changes. The first time was a Kelly Clarkson song, most recently Lauren Daigle.

  11. Our son David was also born with Herscbraugs disease & had to have an illostomy. He is a doctor know & also married a lovely Christian girl & has 3 kids. I can relate to this. We were also in a dark place but my God lifted us out & promised He would do great things with our son. We continually praise Him for this.

  12. Music of all kinds has always been the way God speaks to me… when i was married and expecting my 1st child… i discovered that my husband was a drug dealer and user.i was terrified for many reasons ( such as would my child be missing crucial body parts or even be born at all ?). I was sitting in a rocking chair watching the sun set and Desperado by the Eagles came on my CD player. Some of the lyrics spoke to me like they never had. It was like God saying to me ” you better let somebody love you before it’s too late.” God wanted me to let Him love me and my child. I was saved; but not abiding in Christ. It was life changing. My child was fine and we still are. It has been hard; but Jesus has been with me all the way. I learned to listen better too.

  13. One of my daughters had serious health issues when she started college. She actually has an ileostomy, which is similar to a colostomy. She finished college with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She married a wonderful guy and has a 5 year old daughter. I cried out to God many times during the hard days and He held us and comforted us. And brought us through to the other side.

  14. Jen,

    I have two stories of God speaking to me through music. My hubby & I had just started dating Thanksgiving week 2003. He invited me over to his house. I said yes. I was nervous. Didn’t really know him that well. Anyhow I dressed, got in car & turned radio on. “God is in Control” came over the speakers. I silently mouthed the words “God is in Control”. Immediately a sense of peace & calm came over me. The evil one was pushed aside. We had a good date & ended up marrying in January next year.

    March 2017 I was visiting my dad in the assisted living. He “went off” again. Put fist in my face & hit CNA in stomach. I called family & said dad has to go back to geriatric psych hospital again. It was day before mine & hubby’s birthday. I spent most of afternoon & evening getting him into hospital. The next I didn’t want to face the fact dad was back in hospital. I got Steven C. Chapman on You tube channel. I spent the morning dancing & singing praises in the kitchen. It helped to calm my weary soul. About 2 weeks later he died. Dad was 91 just 6 months shy of 92. I was ok when he passed because I knew he was better off in Heaven with mom.

    Blessings 🙂

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