About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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  1. This is the sentence that I need before my eyes: “From our point of view, things can look messy, but that isn’t the view that matters most.”
    Thank you, Jennifer, for wrestling with the trust/control continuum in plain sight so together, we can all work towards becoming “tuned to His truth.”

  2. This is EXACTLY the season I’m in. I moved for the 13th time in8 years. Exhausting. And work is dropping down to two days a week after the September holidays. Thanks Jennifer. This hit the nail on the head – an arrow in my heart.

  3. Thank you for this message this morning my marriage if 31 years has ended and I dont know why . My husband has just quit and wont out any effort into mending it. So I am trying so hard to simply trust and that is hard, when it’s not what I want. But God has a plan and again, He sees the bigger picture. Thank you for your encouragement this morning.

    • Jesus, please show Tammy your way forward. Let her abide in you moment by moment, trusting you to walk beside her through the messiness of life. You are the vine, and we are the branches. You are the life-giver, and you are the one with a plan bigger and grander than any of us could imagine, even if right now our hearts ache and tears seem to be our only companion. You have promised you would never leave us. Let Tammy be aware of your presence in a very real way today. Thank you for how much you love her, even though her path today is not what she expected. Thank you that you will never leave her, no matter who else might. You are a good God, even when life does not feel good. Let Tammy be reminded so strongly today of your love for her. Amen.

    • Tammy,

      God please give Tammy a discerning heart to know your will for her life. Help her in this trying time. Give her wisdom & understanding. Allow her to sense your leading in her life. Shower her with blessings, your peace & comfort. This isn’t the path you or she wants for her life, but help & guide her through this journey. Keep her connected to your life giving soul. Bring friends in to help with the grief & loneliness.

      AMEN!

      Blessings 🙂

    • Oh Tammy, I am so sorry for what you are going through. It is so extremely hard to trust in these hard seasons! My heart hurts for what you have to go through. Praying for you, knowing He sees the whole picture and knowing how much He loves you.

  4. This is how I am feeling this morning. I am in the last week of work before my retirement, and I am confused about what is next. I took a step of faith, but I am alone, without family close by, wondering where I belong. God makes it clear that I belong to Him, and this should be enough. Still, I feel paralyzed at times. Change at any season is hard.

    • Linda, I know what you’re feeling but God does have a plan, in fact, He has a blank slate in front of you to be filled with new adventures and joy. I moved out of state knowing no one, but now 10 months later, I’m in a bible study being blessed by His Word as well as new friends. “God is next”, keep your eyes on Him.

    • Congratulations on your retirement, Linda! How very exciting! I do understand how change is hard, but I hope you can enjoy this new chapter in your life. His right there with you and we are cheering you on!

  5. It’s as if you’ve been reading my journal…

    I’ve got dozens of pages of words crying out to God asking Him for the ‘next right step’. I’ve been in a horrible season for a long while now, where even my theology has been in doubt. But this reminder came at the absolute most perfect time. “So don’t worry about what is next – God is next.”

    You are so right. And I’m grateful for the reminder that if I keep my eyes on Him (not my reality) He will lead me THROUGH. Not just out, but through. I have to trust that He can do what I am incapable of doing.

    (FYI – best devotion I’ve read in a very long time.)

    • You caught the right word, Janee… not just out, but *through*. Yes, He will see us through! Even when we see no possible way. Not easy on our part, but truth. Praying for you!
      (And thank you so very much for your encouraging words for my writing. It really means a lot to me.)

  6. Yes!! it is a messy season and I often find myself filled with worry and fear. I am working hard on giving it all to Him. Thank you for this perfect message today.

  7. AMEN!!!!! Only His love, His mercy, His grace, His wisdom……. We have none! But He is so full. How amazing is it to realize we are the righteousness of God in Christ. We now have a relationship with our God filled with love and truth! Words cannot convey all He has done for us!!!

  8. AMEN!!!! We are the righteousness of God in Christ!!! How utterly amazing is that. We have a relationship with our God based in love and truth. He has given us His mercy, His grace, His wisdom, His faith, His forgiveness…….. Words cannot convey how awesome what He has done for us!

  9. Thank you. I sometimes need this reminder to steer clear from “messy” Loved: “So, don’t worry about what is next — God is next.” PTL! I also need to catch myself before making a “mess” I’ll share this with others. Hugs.

  10. The verses below are ones I have used to encourage others and myself. They are wonderful verses to take to heart, to hide in your heart, to pray and meditate on and trust that God will use them to lift you up and encourage you. I pray they strengthen you and bring rest to your soul.

    Psalm 27:14
    Wait on the LORD;
    Be of good courage,
    And He shall strengthen your heart;
    Wait, I say, on the LORD!

    Psalm 31:24
    Be of good courage,
    And He shall strengthen your heart,
    All you who hope in the LORD.

    Isaiah 49:13b
    For the Lord hath comforted His people,
    And will have mercy upon the afflicted.

    Psalm 34:18
    The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
    And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

    Psalm 116:1-2
    I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he has inclined his ear unto me, therefore I will call upon him as long as I live.

    Isaiah 41:10
    So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    Psalm 73:26
    My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

    Psalm 46:1
    God is our refuge and strength,
    A very present help in trouble.

    Psalm 147:3
    He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

    Isaiah 26:3
    You will keep him in perfect peace,
    Whose mind is stayed on You,
    Because he trusts in You.

    Psalm 121:1-2
    I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
    From whence comes my help?
    My help comes from the LORD,
    Who made heaven and earth.

    Isaiah 40:31
    But those who wait on the LORD
    Shall renew their strength;
    They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
    They shall run and not be weary,
    They shall walk and not faint.

    2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

    Proverbs 18:10
    The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
    The righteous run to it and are safe.

    Matthew 11:28
    Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    Psalm 55:22
    Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

    Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

    Psalm 23:4
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

    Philippians 4:6-7
    Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    Philippians 4:19-20
    And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

    Psalm 94:18-19
    If I say, “My foot slips,”
    Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up.
    In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
    Your comforts delight my soul.

    Psalm 34:4
    I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

    1 Peter 5:6-7
    Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

    Psalm 139:9-10
    If I take the wings of the morning,
    And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    Even there Your hand shall lead me,
    And Your right hand shall hold me.

  11. Jenifer,

    Praying for you & your family during this time of messiness. May you sense God with you always guiding you all on this journey. Everyone will have messy seasons. We are all going to have trials in this life. God is perfect & He will guide us through the trials. Each trial produces perseverance & perseverance, character; and character, hope. He is teaching us to trust Him more & more. We just need to focus our attention on Him & not the ugly stuff of this world. I know since going through my own trials with my aging dad that I can trust God more readily. I have been witness to two miracles & know that God is more than able to see me through any trial. I am an overcomer thanks to God.

    Blessings :)✝

    • You are so right, Beth, He is teaching us to trust Him more and more. Thank you for your continued encouragement through your experiences. I appreciate you so much. Grateful for your prayers!

  12. Thank you so much for this encouragement today Jennifer! This was definitely God inspired timing for me!

  13. So beautiful, “what’s next? God is next.” He is forever faithful and His mercies are new each morning.

  14. Sure needed to hear this today… I remember the days I prayed for my husband to attend church with me and the kids. There were Sundays that were outright full blown crying sessions of asking him why won’t he come. My husband like myself had grew up in the church, we were Christians from the womb and yet he refused to attend church several years after we got married. I prayed for God to change his heart at first and then I realized it was me who needed to change my heart. It was when I asked God to change my heart, that my viewpoint shifted. Little by little, he saw the changes in me and took notice. Two decades later and my husband now attends church regularly with us and let me tell you, there are days my heart smile so big when he makes little comments on how much God loves us. So yes, keep on walking even when we can’t see the road ahead or understand why He is taking us on a detour. God’s plan is always better than anything we can imagined!! Thank you for sharing this,

  15. I am in a season of trusting the Lords path following him as he slowly reveals answers and experiences as we go. It feels and looks exciting and I am so grateful for Gods provision. As I would not be able to fo any of it without him, not at all! Even so I still have doubts in the day can I do this…I get wound up in my emotions and thoughts and then God calms me. Will God heal my body? Back pain, hip pain at times? Am I really up to this trip? And not just physically? Will God bring me back to my family safely? Honestly I am growing in Him, I am far from perfect actually the opposite! However I do not know what is ahead of me (I have an idea) but won’t know until I’m in Cambodia on this practicum and experiencing it. All I know is to trust in God and give him, release to him all control ….cause honesty what can we control?

    • Oh Jas, that sounds so exciting! What a journey He has you on! I can just imagine how much you are growing in Him through these experiences and through these opportunities to trust Him fully. Thank you so much for sharing! Praying for you in this journey!

  16. So truemessty, Thank you for this message today.Me and my husband has been married 21 years. Things are messy things days in my life.We are not getting along any more and I don’t know why. I am praying to the Lord to show me why we are not getting along. Please pray for us.

  17. Jennifer,
    I hear you and I feel your pain. I have walked through many seasons of messy. Some seemingly lasting for eternity, but He promises to walk us THROUGH the valleys. Praying for you as you walk through these. When I look back on each messy season, I see that He was growing in me an utter dependence upon Him….letting go of “my” control. (I never was in control to begin with). When I come through to the other side I raise my Ebenezer because God has been faithful, as He promised, and these seasons give me confidence that God and I together can handle whatever lies around the next bend. It would be nice if it was a smooth path, but if not, I know that, in God’s grace, I will get through.
    Blessings to you,
    Bev xx

  18. “So, don’t worry about what is next — God is next. That is the beauty of a life tuned to His truth, a life with eyes on Him, a life walking beside Him.”
    That sentence caught my eye this morning — and stayed with me all day. I just read it out loud to my husband and daughter, and the truth of it, is so encouraging.