Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer has been married for twenty-three years to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is the mother of three children, Paul IV (22), Samuel (6), and Grace (6). She also has six babies residing in heaven. It is those six tiny souls who have propelled her into women’s ministry. She is a conference speaker and author of the book Nothing to Hold but Hope (one woman's journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility). Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
The heart’s journey isn’t always a pleasant one. We often have to wade through the mire and muck of our lives to find the beautiful. It hurts.
I find myself walking hills and valleys and none of it is easy, but I can say with an honest heart that it’s always of value. Leaning on Jesus to lead one out of a valley and asking Him for extra oxygen during the uphill climb is character building. When we press in, we produce patience and acceptance of things we have zero control over.
Right after my stepfather died, I left the house one day and just ran. I’m not a runner and my body refuses to allow much effort in this area before it starts to scream, “You’re over forty and out of shape; take it easy!” But one day I put on my running shoes and went as fast and long as I could. I needed a release.
It didn’t fix my situation, but the pounding beat of my heart and burn in my lungs reminded me of something I had forgotten. I’m still here. I’m still alive.
Part of finding our beautiful is remembering that through every trial and tired ache of our circumstances, Jesus lives there. We are alive because He died and rose again. I’m ashamed to say it, but the most significant, life-giving event of our lives is the revelation of the cross and yet it seems to be the easiest to forget.
It’s hard to think of scars being beautiful and blood being a source of life and yet they both mark the path to eternity.
We spend a lot of time trying to attain beauty by figuring out who we are, but the truth is we need to commit to the search of who we are in Christ. Who did He create us to be?
I look in the mirror and see eyes staring back at me that are older than they once were. Tiny lines form around them and each one tells a unique story. With everything in me, I don’t want my story to be marked with all I lost, but instead, I want it to be marked with everything I’ve gained in spite of it.
The lines are beautiful because they say, “I was robbed but Jesus restored.”
There is a beauty formed from restoration that is undeniable. What we’ve been through forces a tangible kindred with Christ. We press into His wounds and allow His love to penetrate our brokenness. It’s a daily process and a worthwhile journey that leads us to His heart.
I want to know His heart, and I want to minister through my own grief, because He thought enough of me to comfort my soul and catch every tear. Serving Christ doesn’t mean bubblegum and fairy tales. It means it will often take grief to remind us of the true life we were meant to live. It means living from day-to-day depending on the Holy Spirit to whisper grace, truth, and love regardless of our brokenness.
Serving Christ means our tears will never be for nothing. They count.
Dear friend, it all counts.
May you find beauty within the journey of your heart. May you sit still long enough to hear the whisper of mercy. And may your kindred always be Christ first.
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Join us this Thursday for #findingherthursday! Snap a photo of whatever it is that you find beautiful in your day, use the hashtag, and post it to Instagram. I would love to have a glimpse into your beautiful day!