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jenna weber: clinging

Posted on Mar 4, 2013 by in #SheReadsTruth, Community Testimonies | 41 comments

3

On April 24th four years ago I got the phone call that no one ever wants to get.

It was a seemingly normal Friday, and by four o’clock I had already worked an eight-hour shift and just gotten back from a hair appointment. I had plans to hang out with my boyfriend and some friends later that evening and was looking forward to a relaxing weekend. However, that phone call changed everything and in a matter of mere seconds, my life changed completely.

At about three thirty that afternoon, my little brother had been over at a friend’s house and had accidentally shot himself in the head. Now I know what you’re thinking because I have thought the same thing over and over — how do you “accidentally” shoot yourself? Well, his friend happened to have a loaded gun laying on the coffee table at his house. They were watching a movie on TV when my brother picked up the gun to look at it. It exploded in his lap. He was only nineteen years old, and two weeks away from graduating from high school.

I remember screaming while driving ninety miles an hour to the hospital. Things like this just didn’t happen to families like us. We were just so…normal. And where was God now? Where was He when that gun went off, when my mother had to learn over the phone on a business trip that her only son was now dead? Where was He when it physically hurt to breathe and when I wanted to just go to sleep and never wake back up because my life had turned into a nightmare? It wasn’t fair and it didn’t make any sense at all.

I remember with such clarity the doctors asking me if I understood what was happening and that John was going to die. I remember right after hearing that and racing into the hospital bathroom, gripping the cold sink with my hands, asking God why He had forsaken us like this.

But you know what happened next? I looked up into that bathroom mirror and felt the most intense feeling of calm come over me. In that completely broken moment, I felt God lay his hands on my shoulders and tell me that no matter what, He would never leave me and He would NEVER forsake me. Even now. Even in this. Right then, I accepted the fact that John was going to die but that I didn’t have to face it alone. For when we are weak, He is strong and He would see me through this because that’s the promise He makes to us.

I’m not going to lie, the days and weeks that followed were the hardest of my life. They were also when I felt the closest to Jesus.  I started to listen to Him….really listen to Him. Going back to Church was incredibly painful after the funeral so I took a break, but immersed myself in scripture and conversation. Just three months after John died, I had the opportunity to go out to California for a job interview that I was urged to apply for by my boyfriend at the time as a way to take my mind off the painful events of the previous months. And believe it or not, it was there that I met my future husband.

I came home from that weekend in California and felt like God was urging me to take the biggest leap of faith yet. So, I broke up with that old boyfriend, packed up everything I owned in a couple boxes and boarded a plane to San Francisco. I was scared out of my mind. I had no place to live, no job, and only about two hundred dollars in my bank account. Looking back, I can’t believe my parents even let me go. It must have seemed completely crazy, but I knew God had called me to move.

The next six months that followed the move were very difficult. I lived in a tiny five hundred square foot house without any furniture in it because I was so broke. The guy who I was so sure God had told me would be my future husband and whom I broke up with my boyfriend for, wasn’t so sure he’d gotten the same message. We didn’t speak for months. I was lonely and homesick to the point of crying myself to sleep every night, wondering why God had called me here when it clearly wasn’t working out. Nothing was making sense in my life but still, I clung to God’s promise that He would be enough and that He would see me through this season.

Looking back now, four years later, I can see that time for what it was: a season. A season of loss, a season of brokenness, a season of incredible growth in the Lord. The guy who wasn’t so sure? We are getting married in May! God worked a number on both of our hearts, to say the least. I pray that my testimony can serve as an encouragement to you, whatever you’re currently going through. God is there — right there — no matter how hard things may feel. He will never, ever give up on you and has a plan for your life that far surpasses your own.

Jenna

 

// Jenna’s Blog //



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41 Comments

  1. I’m very moved by this and so sorry for your loss. I am going through a temporary situation with a boyfriend that I thought was the one. We weren’t ready at the time and it was a bit of a disaster for us. We had both come from bad relationships and I was too needy and he was guarded and held me at arms length. I had and still have feelings for him. God intervened in our damaged relationship for a reason. It hurt, but in the process I’ve become involved in my new church and am starting a ladies ministry for abused/crisis survivors. My focus is on God now and His desire for me to help others in need of encouragement.
    I feel that I’ll be reconciled with my boyfriend eventually, but now I’m preparing for something big!
    God’s timing is perfect and I’ll wait for my prince when he’s ready. God is working on him too, he needs to heal and grow.
    I know God has His best for us.
    Jesus IS LORD!!!!!

  2. Oh Jenna, your testimony is so powerful! I love how you remind us that there are "seasons" in life. I have been following you on instagram for a while when I saw you through Kate at The Small Things. I discovered She Reads Truth through you! When I read the devotion today and clicked on your blog link, I said out loud, "Oh my goodness, it's Eat, Live, Run!!!" Blessed by you today. :)

  3. Jenna, thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony. I have been reading your blog for years now and remember this heartbreaking loss and the months that followed. I can relate to a similar period of breaking and being found again in Christ. There are no words except to say that He is so good. And it has been absolutely amazing to watch God hold you and bless you so much. I'm so happy for you and Adam, your book, and all the blessings that have come, I pray for you, and think of your life often when I feel called to take big leaps of faith that seem "impossible" on the surface. Thank you for sharing!

  4. What an incredible story of faith "Be not afraid,I go before you always. Come follow me and I will give you rest." No truer words have ever been written. Thank you for sharing – I needed to hear this today.

  5. I’ve felt that “calm in the storm” when my mother almost passed away…I had to call family and tell them that it didn’t look like she would make it. Watching the sunrise the next morning, I had that perfect peace- when everything makes sense for a brief moment in time . That moment brought me to faith and belief in Jesus- that He IS with us!
    That season passed, and many more and now I draw encouragement from women like you Jenna!
    This is my season for tough changes. Your example of strength and faith is what helps me to
    follow thru and take the first step of a giant leap of faith for my life. Thank you for blessing me!
    Best wishes for your wedding, and your Happily Ever After!! :)

  6. Thank you for your testimony! It has been very encouraging. Things in my life are so hard right now, but God is speaking to me and I’m comforted by the fact that I know He is at work on my behalf. I’m trying to be obedient and do the things He asks of me…even if it’s out of my comfort zone. By Him taking away I’m seeing the areas where I need growth and I will continue trusting in Him for clarity and direction.

  7. God is so sovereign and faithful! PTL :) your story is so powerful and encouraging. I love your act of obedience that took each small step of faith and to see how God has been working in your life, going before you and also behind you :) wow. I'm in a season of life that is (different to yours) .. Definitely challenged me in many ways..especially asking God why this and that is happening in my life. But, now I reflect on all those events, God designed each and every little things that happened. He specifically fashioned it for me! I am so happy for you Jenna. I am sure God is so pleased too :)

  8. "It was just that… a season." So much of my life I make a bigger deal than it really is. Hard times come and go, but there's only one thing that really matters in light of Heaven. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can't imagine what that loss must feel like. I hope you'll continue to feel His comfort in light of Heaven.

  9. Thank you Jenna for your testimony! I am very touched by it and will definitely remember your story.

  10. What a powerful testimony, Jenna! I almost don't even have words to express its power. I had tears in my eyes reading your words. Thank you for sharing your beautiful, honest heart. Your faith is an inspiration, and I'm so encouraged by you.

  11. Wow. This brought tears to my eyes – both grief over your brother and gratitude for Jesus who is nearest when we need Him most (even when we scream at Him). I see a bit of my life in your testimony… I didn't lose a loved one, but a cross-country move to a city I didn't want to go to (and still don't, sigh), knew absolutely no one except my new husband, no job, no money… I know that loneliness and daily tears and homesickness, wondering what the heck God is doing. It finally clicked about a month ago that this is my opportunity to rely on Him for everything. Everything. It hasn't been easy, but I feel closer to God that I ever have. Thank you for sharing!

  12. you have grown so much. peace be with you as the 5th anniversary rolls around. one question-i thought you broke up with your old boyfriend before you moved out to California? so then how did you break up with him for adam?

  13. This is beautiful Jenna.. Love you so much

  14. Jenna, I know the loss of your brother has been so difficult, but watching you walk through it for the past 4 years has been one of the biggest blessings for me – just to see God doing an incredible work in you!

  15. Jenna ~
    Your blog touched me deeply. God accomplishes amazing things even through tragedy. I am blessed to have become friends with your sweet mom through John's death. We sat side by side at Bible study that following fall. Love, Tammy (Quay's mom)

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this. Reading your testimony gives me renewed hope in God's strength, that he is the source of everything we do! What a powerful example of His love for us!!

  17. I was so happy to see your name, Jenna, on today's post. Thank you for sharing your testimony and the powerful reminder that God doesn't promise all rainbows & butterflies in our lives but He does promise to stay right here with us, no matter what. And because of that, we can truly endure anything. Many times I wish God protected us from such terrible tragedies or grief, but I'm learning to not ask why but just trust. This reminds me of a favorite quote from C.S. Lewis: "You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage, but He is building a palace. He intends to come & live in it Himself."

  18. Thanks for sharing your testimony. I learned about this site from your blog and it has inspired me as well kept me Christ-centered. We always tend to focus on our circumstances and when they become to overwhelming we panic and fear and guilt sets in. Staying focused on Christ that he will never leave us and will carry the burden for you if you let him and put all your cares on him, then life will be bearable and even joyful. Christ is in control no matter the circumstance!

  19. What a beautiful story. God always has a plan, whether we may see it or not. :)

  20. Thank you for sharing your story and showing us another example of God’s love. I am going through a tough season too…albeit not as tragic…but I feel God making changes in my life too. Thank you for the reminder that God is w/ me and that this is all just a season and one day I will look back and se his hand in all this.

  21. Thanks for sharing your testimony! It's amazing how God meets us right where we are no matter how much we question Him or if we don't feel Him, we have a wonderful Father! Congratulations on your wedding!

  22. Although I have been following She Reads the Truth for some time and have filled just about 3 journals doing so, I have never commented, but I must say this week of testimonies has really moved me. I feel with each testimony I can relate to these women. Reading how each of these women turned to God has so inspired me. After I read their testimonies, I then read the chapters of the verses that were quoted in their testimonies. It as helped me interpret the Bible in a new way. It has brought new meaning to familiar stories. Thank you to the She Reads the Truth team and community. Thank you to these wonderful women who have shared their stores with us. It has helped me tremendously and made me see aspects of my own life with different eyes. I apologize if I am using your space Jenna to write about all of you wonderful women. I do not mean to detract from your story at all. Congratulations to you and your fiancee!

  23. Wow! I don’t know you at all, but what a powerful story and amazing testimony. My Monday morning was just turned around completely…thank you so much for sharing and for changing lived by doing so!!

  24. thank you for sharing jenna! i also found #shereadstruth through your blog. your blog has been my favorite for about 2 years now & i feel the need to tell you over the last year i have noticed you have stepped out more in talking about your faith & it has been such an encouragement to me & i am sure to others. you are a light jenna & people are drawn to you because of the way you glorify Him. thank you for sharing your heart & how He has moved in your life.

  25. i have tears rolling down my face- i remember so vividly where we were when i saw on your blog that it had happened. my heart still hurts for you.
    it was amazing to read about how your relationship with god helped you make it through such a horrible tragedy. you're an inspiration to so many (myself included) and i'm so excited for this new and very happy chapter in your life <3
    xoxo

  26. Love this testimony of God's faithfulness always, and how willing you were to share. Thanks for writing this, Jenna. I found it incredibly encouraging.

  27. Jenna, thank you so much for sharing your heart even the most painful and difficult parts. You are such an inspiration to me! God uses the most painful things in life to bring us closer to Him – he brings beauty from the ashes! Be blessed and know that you always have people (even like me who only have met you once, at your book signing) praying daily for you.

  28. Thank you Jenna! Your testimony brought tears to my eyes …how well you describe God’s faithfulness and love for us. It is beyond amazing.

    I’m so happy for your upcoming wedding. May both your lives be blessed as you start this journey together.

  29. I have lost a loved one and I have questioned God in that difficult time so, yes, your post really really hit home for me. Thank you for sharing your testimony with us.

  30. thank you so much for sharing this story. i have never experienced loss like that, but i have experienced the calm given to me by God in trying times. It's so important for people to hear about it, and you are such an inspiring person to share it with the world.

  31. That is so amazing that God gave you a calm in the center of the storm! What a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life with us. I am inspired by your trust in God throughout!

  32. Thanks for sharing your heart, Jenna! Your faith is inspiring & encouraging! Blessings to you & all our sisters today!

  33. God has blessed your father and me with a "beautiful" you ~ I love you Jennifer XXoX

  34. When I saw Jenna's name show up for today, I knew I had to squeeze in a few moments before work to read her testimony. Thank you, Jenna, for continually opening up, sharing your faith and your struggles and for being so full of truth on your blog – and now here, in your personal testimony. Blessings, A.

  35. i was so happy to see your name at the top of this morning's testimonial.. it is all because of YOU (through your blog) that i have found the #shereadstruth community, and it has changed my life. your story is beautiful. i too have experienced seasons of loss.. and although i didn't know it at the time, He was there for me, and He did get me through. i am so much more aware of God working in my life now. I am so grateful that i don't have to "do it alone". thank you for sharing Jenna.

    • I agree…it was Jenna's blog that led me to find She Reads Truth! So excited to hear your testimony and thank you for sharing!

      • Yep, me too! The Pioneer Woman led me to Eat Live Run, which led me to She Reads Truth. And I'm so glad!!

  36. Thank you, Jenna, for sharing your beautiful story of faith!! I just finished reading in another devotion this morning that said no where in the bible does it say that "God won't give you more than you can handle". In fact, God gives often gives you more so that you can see what HE can handle. I have experienced a season of loss and a season of change and transition and found God right there in the middle with me everywhere I went (Joshua 1:9). Thanks for your openness! Congratulations and good luck in May!!

  37. "the most intense feeling of calm come over me. In that completely broken moment, I felt God lay his hands on my shoulders and tell me that no matter what, He would never leave me and He would NEVER forsake me. Even now. Even in this."

    I have had very similar experience and also received this feeling in my life as well. It shook me, and I will never forget it!

    Thank you for sharing this with us all and your testimony that God never leaves us, "EVEN NOW, EVEN IN THIS" . it's so true.

  38. What happened to your brother was tragic to say the least….. I can understand what you said about the season of loss – a season of incredible growth. With Him by our side , our pain is eased and we can emerge victorious!

  39. I remember when this first happened…and I appreciat you opening up about this. I remember, and feel very privileged, to have watched you transition in your life…I was SO excited that you were moving to California…I knew that it would reap great things. I do think that oftentimes when life is just going all sorts of crazy ways, we have to lean really hard into our faith. The moment of surrender, the moments of complete unbridled faith that 'it will all work out as it should in due time' has been a lifesaver for me in so many instances. There are always going to be very rough patches, and in many (including yours), unimaginable pain. The grace which God can give us in those moments is paramount to anything on earth and for that I'm eternally grateful, because God and his love is always the silver lining.

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