6.06.2014

Coffee with Jennifer


Jennifer talks about placing our hope in future glory, not current circumstances.  Her drink of choice is an iced chai latte. 

I get married and three months later my husband gets laid off due to economic downturn. (groan)

Three months after that…My younger sister who is also my best friend dies while 30 weeks pregnant in a car crash. (groan)

Pre-term labor for three of my four pregnancies. (groan)

Five babies in six years time. Apnea monitors. Oxygen tanks. Breathing tubes. Reactive airway disease. Chronic lung disease. PICU. Acute Asthma. Feeding Tubes. Cleft Palate. (groan)

One of my sons is diagnosed with Hypertonic Cerebral Palsy. (groan)

Eight months later another son is diagnosed with Embryonal Metastatic Prostatic Rhabdomyosarcoma. (Really bad, rare, aggressive, pediatric stage four cancer had metastasized to both lungs.) 15 + months of chemo and radiation. (groan)

And I’m still groaning. The kids spill milk. I find a myriad of spices all over the kitchen floor and laundry piles. My kids scrape their knees. Toilet overflows. Air conditioning is broken in the car. (more groans)

My hope is Future Glory. It comes not from my current circumstances, fleeting distraction or short-term wins. It comes in knowing that in God’s full and complete work there is a Glory to come that will surpass all the suffering, all the consequences of sins, all the trials, loss, grief, heartaches, heartbreak, and death. All the groaning.

Romans 8:22-25 speaks about groaning and waiting…

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Without Christ, the trials I have experienced offer a grief narrative that offers only self pity. How sad and empty, a story by itself.

In Christ my groan-filled story is being redeemed to bring glory to God as I await resurrection, glorification, New Creation and life everlasting with God as my reward.

My story is incorporated in the great story of God redeeming all of Creation. Suffering will melt away in the light of His glory. For now, I am sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yes I still groan, however, …I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)

A Little About Jennifer:
I’ve been married over a decade to my best friend Mike. We have 5 children (1 girl, 4 boys). Our life is busy and LOUD. I love writing and finding hidden treasures at thrift stores. Our family has recently relocated from life on 99 acres in Chesapeake to the City of Norfolk to be a part of the Redeemer church plant.