Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

To Be Continued Part 5 April 12, 2013

Filed under: Jolene's Gensis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:06 am
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What’s your Genesis 5020?

I miscalculated and this is Jolene’s last week with us. So will you be next? I need another story, God needs more glory. Email your stories to: 5020genesisstories (at) gmail (dot) com

I hope those who have been visiting to read Jolene’s story will continue to check things out here on the blog. There are some amazing stories to share, maybe it’s yours!

Let’s finish up with Jolene’s Genesis 5020.

book-textbookWe had a great group of students for that initial study, many who came consistently every week.  We had a video teaching and then my husband would take the high school students and I took the middle school students for small group discussion. 

This is quite ironic in a way only God would plan, because before I was married I had spent a year in middle school youth ministry and quickly decided those kids drove me nuts and it wasn’t for me!  Now I found myself with a heart for those slightly awkward, loud and talkative middle school students that showed up every Sunday. 

We had lots of good discussion and fun just hanging out together.

Other times I felt like a complete and utter failure.  Who was I to do this youth ministry thing?  I wasn’t trained or hired to do this.  Were we really helping these kids and pointing them to Christ, or just filling time on a Sunday morning? 

I was reminded through a study of Experiencing God (Henry Blackaby) that God doesn’t call us to do the things we think we can do in our own human strength and wisdom.  He calls us to do the great things we can only do through His strength flowing through us.  And that is exactly where I was with youth ministry. 

It would have to be God because I surely didn’t feel it was me.  I don’t like to fail or take risks and this was risky and I felt responsible for speaking truth into those precious student’s lives.  But God was up for the challenge and I stayed obedient, although sometimes reluctantly and with sporadic complaining!

It is now over a year and a half since we started that first series with our students.  When it was coming to an end they started asking if we could continue meeting.  So we have, and it continues to be a stretch for me, but also a huge blessing. 

I have grown to love those kids and look forward to seeing them on Sunday morning and being challenged by their enthusiasm and questions!  I still feel inadequate, but know that God is equipping me to do what He has called me to do.

As I was thinking of how to wrap this whole thing up, I just couldn’t come up with anything that seemed to work.  After pondering and praying for a couple of days God spoke. 

This story is not finished yet.  God continues to write my story as I grow in my relationship with Him. 

I am sure there will be other circumstances on my journey with Him where He will turn what was intended for evil into something precious and good.  That journey is not always easy, but I rest in the promise that the hard times have an eternal purpose.  They are part of a story greater than what I can see with my earthly perspective.

So this seems like a more appropriate ending – To be continued…

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 2 Corinthians 2:17 NLT

Thank you so much for sharing, Jolene. Your ending was perfect, God is still writing your story.

Would you mind taking a minute and leaving a comment for Jolene? Thank her for her honesty and sharing her heart. I know this wasn’t easy for her but I know so many have been blessed by her story.

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5 Responses to “To Be Continued Part 5”

  1. Amy Says:

    Thank you for telling your story Jolene. Those students, and your church, are blessed to have you!

  2. Beth Van Buren Says:

    So proud of you for stepping out and sharing your awesome story!

  3. Renee Brown Coffman Says:

    Thank you for sharing Jolene! I enjoyed growing up together as cousins and am so glad we can keep in touch some again. My ladies Bible study also did “Experiencing God” by Blackaby….we are now doing “On Mission with God” by him. It has been life changing for me also. I went through something similar in our church a little over a decade ago….it was one of the hardest things that has ever happened to me and I also lost my mom to cancer toward the end. Looking back 10 plus years, it is amazing the many ways the Lord has been glorified and the unexpected ways it has been used in my life….”to be continued” was the perfect ending. The Lord used reading your blog to remind me of His faithfulness and working in our lives. I pray for you and your family and am so glad we are “following” each other again.

  4. Tammy Says:

    Hi Jolene, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story! It’s awesome what God is doing in our church & with our youth in this generation. I am hanging on that verse that you shared, the hard times have an eternal purpose!! I’m gonna hang it on my fridge today:) Thanks again, Jolene!!
    Tammy
    PS-i still miss my good morning girls! :):)

  5. Jolene Says:

    Thank you to everyone who has left comments, sent emails or facebook messages. God is so good in using something that was so painful at the time, for His Glory! I never thought sharing it would touch others in the way that it has. I hope it encourages all of us to be a little more open and honest with how God is moving and using the challenges in our lives. I am slowly learning that He can’t get the glory if we don’t share the story!


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