About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

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  1. Jen,
    After reading your post and uttering a short prayer, God brought to mind my “Miss Mike”. Right away I pleaded, “Oh no, not her…anyone but her!!” The person I’m talking about is my ex-mother in law. The woman who sat silent while her son was verbally and emotionally abusive, abandoned his family, cheated on his wife…in my place, she welcomed mistresses (out with the old – in with the new I guess). No surprise that she is a bitter and lonely old woman. In my heart I have forgiven her, but I have avoided any form of contact. This is going to be a really hard one. I don’t know what God is calling me to do, but I realize that in His eyes even she is special and loved. This is going to take some real prayer, but thank you for not letting me skim over the unlovable in my life. It is so easy to love those who love us, but we are called to so much more. Pray for me please…
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • oh precious Bev – I will be praying for you this week as you pray through how the Lord would be have you reach out to her. That is truly loving the unlovable and while I don’t know what that means for you, but in His timing, He will reveal that and I pray for your courage to see it through to fruition.

    • Bev, in Mark 3, Jesus is misunderstood by his family, so He supremely understands your situation. He wants your obedience, then He’ll do the rest. Will be praying for your strength and peace during this time. Gentle Hugs…

  2. Wow. This is riveting. I am so sorry about Mike! I recently had my own encounter and that same scripture came to mind. Thank you for being the love of Christ!

  3. Jennifer, I am moved by your story of hard love and convicted to open my heart to such chiseling. What a seed you planted into the hearts of your children for God to water through the years!!

  4. Cindy – I can’t imagine reaching out to someone who has treated me in such a way but that’s why this kind of love is truly of Jesus. I pray that you can figure out the best way to meet Anne right where she’s at.

  5. Your message truly speaks to me, and I’m a firm believer in reaching out to those in need. Lately, I have reached out to a certain friend who appears always to have some problem (drama) in her life. She is now going through a divorce, and I have reached out to her by giving her money and other things at various times when she has asked or needed. My problem is that I see a pattern of her constant need, and it drains me. I spoke with a mutual friend of ours who has known her for 20 yrs and she confirmed my feelings of being used. I want to love the unloveable, but I don’t know how to do that to someone who keeps taking all the time. I pray that God can help me know how to love others as he does, without allowing myself to be used.

    • Kat – I have had people like that in my life too and sometimes trying to find that balance can be a tricky place, most definitely. I don’t have an easy answer for that. I know he wants us to love and keep loving,, but doing so without enabling is definitely something we need his wisdom for. I’ll be praying for you in that regards, Kat.

  6. Awww, what a sad, sweet story. Yet it is a story of hope and love and encouragement to do more for our neighbors.

  7. I really feel you did what God asked of you. Now I am wondering if I would have done half of
    what you did…
    Thank you for putting this before us. I will keep my eyes open…

  8. I will be praying for you Bev. It will be hard to crack open the door and show love. Who knows what a phone call or card would mean to her now. With God ALL things are possible!
    Prayers for you and blessings!!

  9. Jennifer,
    Bless you for reaching out to Mike. Something you said or did might make an impact on your children in the future. Perhaps they can reach out to people like you did. Prayers for Mike and his family.

  10. I love this post today.. It sort of parallels an event in my life this week. The unlovable Mike and loving them anyways.. I started a new job this week.. its an important job and a very good one. I want to make sure that I make it past the 120 probationary period and dont want to do anything that would call me into question. However.. a guy my hubs is friends with who has been to the house often and we’ve done a few things socially occasionally works there as well. He has a way of being loud & obnoxious and I usually stay busy when hes around. He told me before I ever got hired on to act like I dont know him cuz everyone hates him.. and I believe it. Though he has calmed down thru the years, he has made a lot of people really angry with him. He & I had a blowout a few years ago but we got thru it and we’re ok these days. Anyways.. I ran into him twice in the halls this first week.. once I was alone but today I was with a gal who is training me.. and when he went around the corner, she started talking about him.. she DEFINITELY doesnt like him.. she used the word hate that guy.. All three of us kind of did a double take at each other & it was quite awkward.. she not knowing I knew him.. I laughed when she was done and told her that she didnt need to tell me anything about him because I knew him . I just couldnt be a Judas.. I told her that he wasnt really a bad guy, he has a good heart, he just needed to keep his mouth shut.. which is the truth.. it just gets him in deep trouble & often.. but in the end.. my heart just hurt for him.. He wanted to say hi cuz we’re friends but he didnt want to turn her against me so he tried to act like he didnt know me.. I just couldnt deny my friendship with the undesirable.. sigh..

  11. Wow! Thank you for sharing this. God has always put people in my path who are “Mikes”. The outcome hasn’t always been fantastic but I have been so blessed. I am between “Mikes” right now but I’m open to whoever God sends.