When Life Changes

Have you ever had "one of those days?" You know the kind I'm talking about...when everything seems to go wrong, your head is about to explode, and hopelessness surrounds you? There are moments in our lives when it seems that life as we know it is over. In August 2008, I had one of those moments.

My Mom, Dad, and I were vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We were enjoying our first summer in our new fifth wheel camper. Life seemed perfect. Then, life changed forever.

One evening, we were sitting in the living room watching a DVD episode of The Waltons. In a split second, my Mom sat up, stared straight ahead, and despite my pleas for her to stay with us, my Mom went home to be with the Lord. We did not have a chance to say goodbye. There was no warning. Life just changed.
Since then, I have continuously questioned, "what if?" What if the paramedics had arrived on the scene more quickly? What if I had dialed 911 a millisecond faster? What if…

My Dad and I called out to the Lord, pleading for Him to spare her life. I needed my Mama to be with me. Didn’t God understand this? I knew that God was a miracle working God. I had seen evidence of this through my own journey into this world, even to the point of God raising me from the dead, and I had seen His hand working in our lives countless times again when my Mom, Dad, or I endured an illness or accident. Why wasn’t He working now?

There came a time in my journey that I no longer held on to the heartache. Sure, I still miss my Mom even today. I’ll be honest. Some days are incredibly difficult. But, the real difference came when I stopped dwelling on the past. Specifically, a change came when I stopping reliving the night my Mom went to be with the Lord. This night had haunted me for nearly two years. After much prayer and searching the pages of God’s Word, I finally realized that I no longer had to bear the burden of the “what-ifs.” You see, the “what-ifs” don’t really matter. I could question God for the remainder of my life with questions of “what ifs,” but it would not matter. Why? Because God is a Sovereign God.

If you have ever, even for one split second, questioned whether or not God heard your cry for help, rest assured that He heard you. There is never a time in your life when He does not listen to everything you say.  He is always watching over you, guiding and protecting you. God has a perfect dream for your life. He knows when you will cry tears of sadness and when you will cry tears of joy. Regardless of your current situation, God is in control.  He knows, He cares, and He is there for you, in the sunshine and the rain.

As human beings living in a troubled world, we will experiences changes in life. There will be times when we don’t know what to do. There will be mountains we have to cross that seem too high, rivers that seem too wide, and deserts that seem too dry. Sometimes, God leads us through trials in order to bring us to victories. We may not understand His guiding hand at the time, but as the beloved song tells us, we will understand it better by and by.

Even in the darkest, most difficult times of our existence, nothing is impossible with God.  Sure, the EMTs said that it was too late.  They said my Mom had suffered a heart attack, and there was nothing they could do. Still, I waited silently, at first, assured in my heart and soul that God was going to perform a miracle. I knew He would not let me down. I knew He would intervene.

Jesus said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27). I believe God’s word with my whole heart, and I clung to the words of this verse, knowing that it was not too late. What the EMTs could not do was entirely possibly with God! I knew that a miracle was possible. Yet, time passed by, a blur of men and women in uniform, fellow campers offering their condolences, my Dad and I finding ourselves in the lowest valley we had ever walked through. God could have intervened, yet He chose not to. Do I understand His purpose? No, I don’t always understand God’s decisions. Still, I know He is working for my good.

Life Is Tough, But God Is Faithful: How to See God's Love in Difficult Times
A Must-Read!
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Notice the scripture doesn’t say that all things work together the way we choose. Instead, it says, “in all things God works.” God works in our lives the way He chooses. He sees the big picture. He’s not just looking at the next ten, twenty, or even fifty years. He is looking at your entire life, from the very beginnings in your mother’s womb to the moment you enter into eternity in either Heaven or Hell. No matter what happens in your life, remember this: life is tough, but God is faithful.

If you feel hopeless, remember that God is the giver of hope. If you are tired of change, rest assured that God will never change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God will always love you. He wants you to experience a life of joy and happiness. If you love God, He will work for your good. He will give you hope. He will restore your faith. He will reveal to you the life you always dreamed of living.

In Christ's Love,

As I sat in church this morning, I must admit that I began thinking of the long list of tasks that needed to be completed during the upcoming week. Sure, I should have been 100% focused on the service in progress. Instead, my mind was processing a gigantic to-do list. The deadlines, meetings, phone calls, e-mails...at times, life does get a little overwhelming. Then, something completely unexpected happens. Even when the unexpected happens, I want you to know that life IS worth living and that Jesus DOES love you.

Last week, I experienced one of the saddest days of my career as a 7th grade language arts teacher. One of the students at the middle school where I teach took her own life. Only God knows what was going through her mind before she made the decision to end her life. She had only been in this world for 12 years. What could have been so terrible to cause her to make this irreversible, permanent decision? I wish I could have told her that everything was going to be alright. I would have liked to share with her the words of Jesus, "do not worry about your life" (Matthew 6:25 NIV).

You may be thinking, how can I stop being concerned over whether or not I will meet every deadline? Or you may be wondering how you will be able to pay the bills? You may be questioning when your physical or emotional pain will go away. As humans living in an imperfect world, we are going to have worrisome days. Even though we will have troubles in this world, we need to make sure that we do not allow our worries to overcome us. Jesus does not want us to worry. Instead, He wants us to lean on Him in times of trouble.

Jesus said, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6:26 NIV). Our Heavenly Father loves you more than you can ever imagine. You are more valuable than the birds. You are more valuable than any earthly possession you may own. You are important in the eyes of God. YOU matter! Jesus wants you to live a long life with a personal relationship with Him.

Jesus goes on to say, "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:27 NIV). No matter what is going on in your life, worrying will not add a single moment to your life. Worrying will not do anything but cause you stress. Instead, Jesus wants you to trust Him to help you overcome the difficulties of life. He wants you to call on Him when you feel overwhelmed. He wants you to know that He will be with you every step of the way.

It is my hope and prayer that you have been encouraged by my blog. If you are facing a difficult situation in your life, I pray that God restores your joy and that you can live a life free from worry. Please e-mail me at jennifer@jennifercampbell.net, if you would like me to stand with you in prayer, or if you simply need a listening ear.

Stay tuned for my blog tomorrow where I plan to share more about my journey through life, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the meantime, don't worry, be happy!


My First Official Blog!

Here it is: my first official blog post. It is my prayer that this blog will serve as a means to encourage and uplift at least one person who is going through a difficult time in their life. Although I am only 29 years old, I have walked through many valleys and climbed many mountains. Yet, through every moment of sorrow and every time of joy, God has stood beside me every step of the way. He continues to work in my life, every moment of every day.

On January 2, 1982, Kenneth Lee Campbell and Pamela Suzanne Campbell became the proud parents of a little baby girl..ME! My first few days on earth were rocky, though, as I was born premature and lifeless. Nevertheless, my Mama and Daddy did not lose hope. They did not pray a complicated prayer with formal language. Their prayer was simple. They humbly prayed, “Jesus help.” After the doctors had given up all hope for my survival and began focusing their attention on my mom, my parents tell me that I began to cough like a little kitten. I was alive.

Although there were many difficult times in the weeks that followed, God performed a miracle. The doctors said I would be nothing more than a vegetable, if I even managed to survive. They were wrong. God raised me from the dead, and I am now enjoying my 29th year on Planet Earth. As for me being an illiterate vegetable, they were wrong about that, too. I earned a 4.0 GPA when completing my Master of Science degree in English Education. Let's face it, when God performs a miracle, He does it right!

Philippians 1:6 says, "he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." You see, God began working in my life even before I was born. He knew my mom and dad would endure the biggest trial of their lives when I came into the world. He also knew that the "good work" that He had begun in my life would be completed! My parents prayed and had faith, and God answered by completing the work He had set out to accomplish.

If you are struggling with some aspect of your life, remember that God is not through with you. He is always beside you, always guiding you, molding you, and making you into what He has called you to be. Listen to His still, small voice. God will complete a good work in you, too! It doesn't matter what you are facing, God knows what you are going through. Finances, illness, divorce, cancer, death, anything! He is greater than all of the pain and sorrow in the world. He sees the emotional and physical scars deep within. He knows the pain you bear. Call out to Him today. Pray, "Jesus help." He is waiting to hear your voice. Have faith and stand in awe as God does a good work in your life!

Until next time...God cares about you and I do, too!