Chatting with an Overcomer: Jenna

Today’s featured overcomer is the ever-lovely Jenna Woestman. Jenna is a master of many things – singing, cooking, mothering, writing, and wit. When I think of people who live out in the open, unhindered by shadows, this lady is one of the first to pop into my mind. She’s not afraid to admit that life is rough, and more importantly, she isn’t afraid to admit the greatness of her God. I hope you are blessed by her candor today.

JennaW

 Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What fills your days?

I’m from Indianapolis, IN by way of Dallas, TX, and I grew up in Iowa. I like to think of myself as a happy mashup of city and country; I equally love shopping and mucking out stalls, pedicures and backpacking, cocktail dresses and carhartts.  I’m married to Joey, a student ministry pastor who will totally change your mind about student ministry pastors, and we have a precocious three year old daughter named Analie.  I also love to feed people and lead worship, but not usually at the same time.  I’m happiest at home, lost in a crowd of strangers, comfortable with a group of friends and a glass of wine, and crazy out of my mind over a fresh herb garden in summer.

 

What ignites your passion?

I love experiencing God through his creation, feeling the power of his Word brought to life through music, empowering my husband and being a hands-on mama to our daughter.

 

What is one of the biggest lies you’ve had to overcome?

My worth as a woman is not tied to my fertility or how many children I am able to have.

 

Tell us a bit about your story. What has God brought you through and how has it affected the way you walk with Him now?

In 2009, towards the end of my husband’s seminary education and after many months of trying to get pregnant, I experienced a difficult miscarriage and was told that we would not be able to get pregnant naturally again.  The months that followed were so dark that I can’t remember much about them, except the pervading theme of worthlessness, anger at God, and not being able to understand how he would have taken the trouble to create me and yet make me broken.

But even in darkness I could not hide from God. As I crawled through the desert place, I realized the meaning of the verse in Proverbs that says “there are three things that are never satisfied, no four that never say ‘enough!’: the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire”.  I could not let go of my bitterness with God for making me in a way that I felt was wrong, and to be honest I really didn’t want to try very hard.  It was easier to be consumed with pain and anger than it was to try to understand why God had given me something hard.

We were able to conceive our daughter through a couple rounds of IVF, which is a faith story for another time, and I held on to her with white knuckles, refusing to give her to God because I didn’t trust him.  I was afraid he would take her too, just like he took our first pregnancy, and my ability to conceive children.

Then one day as I was washing dishes and listening to Scripture, the story of Sarah came alive to me in a new way.  She was barren for 90 years, yet she trusted God with her only son Isaac. I stood at my sink, sobbing as I listened to Sarah’s faith and thought about how she would have felt.  God showed me, in that moment, how he had prepared Sarah and carried her through what surely would have been a series of excruciating years.  I realized that he had prepared me, too.  He didn’t create me this way on accident. “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb…your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.” (Ps 139:14-15)

 

What key truths have helped you overcome your biggest lies?

We are all broken, everyone just wears it differently.  Each smiling face hides a story, and God can shine through each story to make his church a beautiful patchwork of healing and growth. He made me broken this way because he loves me and he wanted me to be this way to grow me, and to grow you.

 

If you could tell this generation of women one thing, what would it be? What truth would you declare over their hearts?

“For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” – Eph 2:10

God doesn’t call us to walk the road of pain without a purpose and plan.  We will all find ourselves here, and some will stay longer than others, but it’s not because he doesn’t love us.  If you’re struggling with anger or bitterness with God because of how he made you, it’s a hard place.  It’s lonely.  Persevere with God, even in the darkness, because YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made. All of you. Even the broken parts. God’s grace can show you where the light in your story is.  Then, raise it high.

 

You can check out Jenna’s blog here or like her Facebook page.

From + To: A Passion Week Project

Here at Overcome the Lie, we’re passionate about empowering women to overcome every lie because Jesus overcame the grave. Given that the latter half of our mission statement is centered around the resurrection of the Messiah, Easter is a pretty big deal to us. It’s a time to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus, His outrageous victory over death, and the greatness of His power. He is risen, y’all – from the grave and in our hearts.

We want you to help us make much of our God this week. Jesus has brought us out of darkness into His blinding, marvelous light and we want to hear how that is personal for you. What has Jesus brought you from and what has He brought you to? We’re going to collect your stories through a community-sourced photo project. If you’d like to participate, here’s what you’ll do: Take a picture of yourself holding up a sign saying what God has brought you from and what He has brought you to. Post your photo to our Facebook page and we’ll upload all of the photos into an album so we can look over and rejoice in what God has done.

We can’t wait to see a glimpse of your story, to hear how the love of Jesus has redeemed you, to praise God for His grace in your life. Thank you, in advance, for coming alongside of us and making much of our God. He is victorious!

unnamed (1)

unnamed (2)

unnamed (3)

unnamed

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5

Fear to Fail

unnamed

“Come here friend, let me see your hands, let me help you. See how clenched your fists are? You’re going to suffocate the thing you’re trying to control. Open your hands, watch freedom fall on your palms like rain.”

Stepping away from the party, we entered a small bedroom, the atmosphere turning from fun and loud to quiet and serious. We sat down on the edge of a bed and stared at the floor. Breaking the silence, he asked: “Would you be willing to move to West Virginia?” Looking up from the floor, I met his eyes with questions,  uncertainty and new fear. “Well, what would we be doing there? What would it entail?” Slightly shaking his head, he turned toward me and gently picked up my hands. With his stern but loving tone that I could have predicted, he said, “Jennie, I wouldn’t take us somewhere that’s not good for us. It will be okay. Just trust me.”

I woke up, replaying the dream, searching for the meaning. I realized the underlying lesson and with the biggest grin on my face I wanted to run free in a field of sunflowers. The dream was one of Jesus and I sitting there. When He shook His head slightly, it was because He knew I would say those four words that I would ask that question, “What would it entail?” He wanted me to stop asking, to let go and trust. Yet, He was gentle because He knew and knows.

See, He knows His daughter has been beaten down and become scared of failure. He knows she attempts to protect herself by preparing and knowing what something “entails” before committing. But here’s the truth. The truth is you can know what is expected of you, what a task “entails,” yet failure still enters. Fear of failure becomes a beast I want to hide under the covers from, making no noise so it cannot find me. I know failure is temporary and victory in Jesus is eternal, yet I am still learning how to let go of my twisted view of failure. I’ve learned how to pretend failure doesn’t bother me, to just dust it off or view it as a joke, but it does bother me. I’ve tried to hide my failures and eventually I couldn’t play that game anymore and my walls broke, my failures exposed and tears streaming down my face. As much as I would love to cure this fear as soon as possible, I can’t tell you I’ve reached the point where I’ve learned how to let it go. But I do know that He has taught me a lot through my failures. Often my view of failure is measured by the ones whom I must tell I’ve failed. Often my view of failure is rooted in the world, and not the Word. So when I have failed again, He taps on my heart and says “Stick with what you know I say about you, not the world. Because you can check all of your to-do’s off, you can study many hours, you can get straight A’s, but did you love? If you didn’t love, what does all of your worldly success matter?” When I am so focused on me and achieving my things, I can miss the lonely person or the one right across from me. The world says succeed but the Word says Love. The world says, “Get ahead, but the Word says stay behind, stoop low, serve.” 

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Posted by Jennie Kerns

Jennie is a lover of the little things – the ways He shows His love through things like dance parties with her nieces, snuggles with her nephew and laughter that makes her sides hurt. She’s a fan of coffee, chocolate ice cream, traveling, piano, words, words, words and polka dots. You can follow her blog here or find her on Twitter.

Heart Monsters

heartmonsters

Art oftentimes has the ability to tell us something vital about ourselves. The way we create and interact with art is a mirror to the heart of our own issues. For this reason, I knew I needed to take a deeper look when a movie called The Dark Knight shook me to my core. In this movie, the late Heath Ledger plays a dark and frightening villain called the Joker. Joker is a complex character with a spotty past and ravaged morals. During one scene, he makes an intriguing, and in my opinion, relatable statement when he says, “We stopped checking for monsters under our bed when we realized they were inside us.” That sentence rang in my heart because I knew that it was true of my own life.

I have monsters that like to hide in the crevices of my heart – in the darkest places where my defenses are down.

The thing about monsters is that they look a lot bigger in the dark and feel a lot more tangible when they’re hidden. We give them power when we push them back in a hush-hush manner. Those big, hairy beasts grow to be over ten feet tall until we pick up our mega-watt flashlights and see that they’re just a shadow. They don’t actually exist at all!

Our insecurities lose a lot of their power when we say them out loud. When we take a step out into the light, we are able to see the truth – the faithful goodness of a God who encompasses our days. His freedom is real. His love is redemptive. His pursuit of your heart is unfaltering.

So, take a bold and brave step into the light today. Shrink those monsters down to the intangible shadows they are. They only have the control that we give them so let’s start redirecting our efforts. Let’s be bright women. Let’s be truth-telling women. Let’s be women who stop hiding from all of the monsters – the ones under the bed and the ones inside of ourselves.

Photo Credit: Tumblr.

Posted by Maggie Johnson

Maggie has large opinions, a quick temper, and quite the feisty attitude. She’s lives in Indianapolis with her bearded husband where they serve in various capacities at their little church plant. She has a heart for empowering women and loves basking in the truth of God’s Word. You can follow her blog here or find her on Twitter.

February Theme: Fearlessness

We are excited to roar this month, get our bravery on, get courageous and find out just how fearless we are made to be.

Blog posts, Twitter Parties, and Instagram fun will be based on this months theme. Gonna be awesome.

What makes you feel fearless?

Round up! Week 4 of the Blog Tour

With all the excitement of the 40 Day Challenge (which you can still get in on!), I am a little late on the Round Up for Week 4 of the Blog Tour, but it is here! So go + check out some of these amazing posts and follow these beautiful women.

Also reminders, that you can totally jump in on Twitter Parties on Mondays at 9pm EST under #overcomethelie. As well as, #shoutthesecret on Wednesdays, shouting from the rooftops the truths God has been declaring to us in secret!

As for the posts, here we go!

Beautiful Nina kicks inferiority to the curb in this incredible post at The Grand Adventures of Me.

Kelsea declaring straight up truth to our hearts about how Jesus is enough at Hey Kelsea Rae.

Love Heather’s heart as she shares about where she is at and how nothing else satisfies at My Melodious Heart. 

Sweet Bailey is sharing about how she has overcome the lie that to be single is to be worthless at Becoming Bailey. 

Amanda is chatting about the curse + how Jesus overcame it. You’ll love her heart at Living on Grace.

Love how Brittani calls out the dreamer in us over at Linen and Lace. 

Neisha is reminding us that we’re enough because of Him over at Neisha’s View.

Round up! Week 3 of the Blog Tour

They’re have been some fiery and chain breaking posts this week on the blog tour + I am so excited to share them with you!  Seriously read them. Do it. This week, we had over ten amazing women take part. Come on over and let’s glean from some of the revelation and wisdom these ladies carry.

Kelsie is giving us some strategies on how to overcome the lies we fight against over at Bella Ragazza. Straight up truth.

Just love the journey Ashton shares with us as she lets go of the lies and grabs onto Jesus at The Discourse of Ashton.

Sarah confronts lies about what it means to be with God and what it looks like to experience Him at Sarah Writes. Rich.

Lena shares her sweet story as she talks about our plans + God’s plans at Roots and Blossom.

Beautiful Sarah shares a story about her daughter + the truth of what God says of our beauty at Redemption Diary.

Caroline tackles to the trap of performance to the ground + reminds us of the truth of our identity at Completely Caroline.

Whitney brings is in this post and gives us scriptures we can use to declare + overcome at Beauty in the Mess. 

For all the single ladies, Mosby reminds us that it is okay to be single at Simplicity is Key. This is gold.

Lauren over at the Albrechts Blog admits she is a jealous person then sings the truth. So good.

Ash at her blog goes after the lie of perfection, one that we’ve been all quick to believe. Must read.

Just adore what Gretchen shares about having the perfect home at That Mama Gretchen.

Enjoy!!

Instagram Challenge: #shoutthesecret

We’ve been moving forward on a ton of fronts lately and I want to thank y’all so much for jumping in, interacting, preaching truth. It is a good season!

Over on Instagram, we’re hosting a weekly Instagram challenge called #shoutthesecret. And I think it is going to be pretty powerful.  So read what it is about + come take part!

“And you should proclaim in the bright light of day everything that I have whispered to you in the dark. Whatever whispers you hear—shout them from the rooftops of houses.” Matthew 10:27

Wednesdays, we want to invite you to join in with the hashtag #shoutthesecret and post a picture of yourself with a truth that you’re declaring in your life about who you are and/or who God is in your life. Example: I am brave, I am a child of God, Jesus is my Beloved, He is fighting for my family, etc.

I think there is a power that will come not just in making the declaration, but making the declaration in parallel with a picture of yourself. Because it moves from “this is something I think” or “this is great for other people” to “this is a truth of God I am owning for my life.” We want you to begin to own the truth of God’s word. To really begin to walk in it and see the fullness of everything that He has intended.

So that truth God has been speaking you into the dark, get on that rooftop we call Instagram and #shoutthesecret.

Our first week will be tomorrow and I (Ashley) will lead the charge with a picture of yours truly. We’ll keep going every Wednesday and we’ll feature some on the blog every two weeks or so. It’s also an awesome way to meet some of the other women in our community and encourage some lives!

Let’s do this.

Round up! Week 2 of the Blog Tour

They’re have been some INCREDIBLE posts this week on the blog tour + I am so excited to share them with you!  This week, we had over ten amazing women take part. Come on over and let’s lean in to some of their stories.

Leah preaches some incredible truth in her post and reminds us all of who really defines us over at Beautifully Molded.

You’ll love Amber and her story. The girl is releasing her roar and it is so good over at Mr. Thomas and Me.

The sweet Kiki shares with us how she is overcoming over thinking at In Its Time.

Beautiful Beka slays lies left, right and centre over at Sunshine to the Square Inch. She is one to follow.

Erica shares with us so beautifully + courageously about a lie she has overcome at So Much Sunshine.

The always inspiring Amber shares her story + destroys the lie of not being forgiven at Under the Oklahoma Sky.

Kate reminds us of how God provides and how good His plans really are at Classy Living. Truth.

Kaylie talks about the giant of comparison and strategies on how to overcome it on her blog. Pure gold.

Elizabeth is passionate and her story is powerful at Chasing Seagulls. You’ll want to check it.

The lovely Shayla shares so beautifully from her heart + it is moving on Moons & Junes.

Whitney talks about identity + how we describe ourselves at Journey Mercies. Free printable too!

Kenzie talks about how we think, while giving us a taste of some of her journey on The Ashcraft Bunch. Beautiful.

Pray you’re having the most incredible day,

The Overcome the Lie Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exciting News: Free iPhone backgrounds + 40 Day Challenge

Hi ladies! We have a couple exciting things to bring to you today!

We pray that as you’ve been digging into who God says you are this month, that your thinking + living are getting transformed. Our dream is for you that the words that God uses to describe you would be the same words you use to describe yourself.

Exciting News 1: Free iPhone backgrounds! 

We have some amazing iPhone backgrounds free to you designed by the beautiful Jusika. Use them as a reminder of where what your true identity is. Download them here.

Exciting News 2: 2014 Forty Day Challenge starts February 1st

We want to invite you to be a part of a 40 Day Challenge that is starting February 1st. We are going to go after what it means to call Him Dad and be called His daughters. You can find out all the details here.

Blog tour is still running, so watch for those posts. New members to connect groups have been put on pause as we figure out some of the details. Twitter Parties are running Monday nights at 9pm EST.

Any questions, feel free to hit us up on Twitter or via email.

You’re amazing!