Day 12

Day 12

Scripture:  Psalm 139:23-24 NLT – “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

Observation: God is with us every minute of every day of our lives. He wants us to experience all the goodness he has created, but also expects us to be obedient to him and focus our thoughts and actions on things that bring him glory.

Application: Diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the end of 2020, I spent the first half of 2021 in and out of the cancer center and hospital.  In addition to a radical hysterectomy, I endured chemotherapy every three weeks, which produced symptoms ranging from nausea, pain and neuropathy to low white blood cell counts and anaphylactic reactions to the drugs in four out of seven treatments.  My cancer story reads like Murphy’s Law in action: if something could go wrong in treatment, it did.  Toss in going through all this during a worldwide pandemic, which prevented me from being able to have my friends physically by my side and, well, let’s just say 2021 was not my favorite year.

Psalm 139 is a lifeline for me when times are tough. Throughout the verses, David reminds us that God is always with us. He knows every trial we face, every hurdle we jump, every dark night that seems to take forever to pass.  Through it all, he is right there with us.  In my darkest days of 2021, I knew God was always by my side, holding me up.

It was easy for me to cling to God during those months of illness.  My needs were great, and my eyes were firmly fixed on him to get me through the worst days of my life.  Now, as I try to return to some semblance of “normal”, I find myself distracted by the world and the anxiety and worry I face daily, wondering when or if the cancer is going to return. Instead of focusing on all God has brought me through, I let my worries take hold of my thoughts, which can lead me to make choices that are less than God’s best for me. This is when I need the accountability and encouragement of my church family. He uses those I gather, connect, and serve with to help me focus on him and his plans for me when I’m apt to make choices that are me-focused instead of God-focused.

Whether you are battling cancer or facing a different type of hurdle that leaves you feeling like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your back, know that your situation matters to God because YOU matter to God.  He is right there with you, every step of the way.

Prayer: God, it’s so easy for me to think I am capable of accomplishing things on my own instead of remembering that you are the source of all my abilities. Use the people in my life to show me when my focus is on the wrong thing and to point me back to you.

Going Deeper: 

  •  Pray through Psalm 139, taking time to personalize the lines to your own life and the blessings God has presented you with.  
  • Ask him to show you where you are choosing less than his best for your life and to use the people around you to get you back on the right path.

Jennifer Newman/Communications J-Teamer

Jennifer has been attending The Journey since February 2020.  A Sourcing Analyst in the purchasing department of an international juice manufacturer, Jennifer builds Excel spreadsheets by day and sings in a competitive barbershop quartet by night.  She also enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling with other single friends.

  • Barbara Harrington
    Posted at 05:12h, 04 February Reply

    Thank you Jennifer for your devotion ❤️

  • Wendi Rader
    Posted at 05:44h, 04 February Reply

    Jennifer, I enjoyed your devotional today. Thank you for sharing your Journey. You continue to be a source of encouragement and inspiration. I’ am looking forward to our Jgroup this semester and spending time and fellowship with our sisters in Christ!

    • Jennifer Newman
      Posted at 12:01h, 04 February Reply

      We missed you this week. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on chapter 1 of our book next Wednesday!

  • Queen H
    Posted at 06:08h, 04 February Reply

    Thanks for sharing this, Jennifer.

  • Lisa A Moody
    Posted at 06:27h, 04 February Reply

    Thank you for the reminder that God is on our side through everything. Praying that you continually walk in health for the balance of your days.

    • Jennifer Newman
      Posted at 12:01h, 04 February Reply

      Thank you!

  • Kim Lindell
    Posted at 06:50h, 04 February Reply

    Thanks Jennifer for sharing your story. Five years ago I had a full radical hysterectomy, my doctor was 99% sure I had ovarian cancer based on a growth and blood tests but by the Grace of God when I had surgery there was no cancer! What a great reminder to seek God not only when we are struggling but at all times and to give him the glory when things are good.

    • Jennifer Newman
      Posted at 12:02h, 04 February Reply

      I’m so happy for you that there was no cancer found. What a blessing!

  • Mark Johnston
    Posted at 07:25h, 04 February Reply

    Powerful Jennifer! Just what I needed this morning.

  • Omar McNeill
    Posted at 07:27h, 04 February Reply

    Thank you for sharing, Jennifer.

  • Lou DeYenno
    Posted at 07:51h, 04 February Reply

    Every morning while waking I’m focused and talking with God and then I get up and jump right into my “slot and spot”. Then my humanity and reality sets in and distractions begin…
    Thank you for your story and the reminder to always let God direct my life!

  • Stacey Winns
    Posted at 08:22h, 04 February Reply

    Powerful! Thank You!

  • Karen Williams
    Posted at 08:38h, 04 February Reply

    You are such a courageous person and thanks for sharing your story and reminding us that God is always there for us. We just need to reach out and let him show the way!

  • JoAnn Babbie
    Posted at 08:42h, 04 February Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I have been feeling anxiety too more so this week, perfect timing I can relate to anxiety trying to trip me up in my walk with Jesus. There is a lot of brokenness in the world that tries to distract and challenge us. I find 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 to be encouraging and thought I would share. I remind myself that brokenness is a ripe field that’s ready for redemption and healing for His Glory. I also find 2 John 1:1-4 extremely encouraging to help me continue to walk in the light and turn away from the things that try to make me fall. Thought I would share that too. Keep the Faith. 💝🙏🏻⚓️

    • Jennifer Newman
      Posted at 12:04h, 04 February Reply

      Thanks JoAnn. I will definitely add those verses to my arsenal!

  • Deanna Jenks
    Posted at 09:05h, 04 February Reply

    Thank you, Jennifer, for you devotional and sharing your journey. You are a strong and courageous woman. I needed this reminder today as I struggle with anxiety.

  • Deanna Jenks
    Posted at 09:15h, 04 February Reply

    Thank you, Jennifer, for your devotional and sharing your story. You are a strong and courageous woman. I needed this reminder today that Jesus is always by my side, holding my hand, calming my anxiety.

  • Michael Norcross
    Posted at 09:29h, 04 February Reply

    Thank you Jennifer. I have read your last paragraph several times. Thank you for the guidance today.

  • Penny McKenney
    Posted at 12:05h, 04 February Reply

    Jen …you are so strong and that’s because the holy spirt resides in you taking up place and being your biggest warrior and advocate. We know that he doesn’t give us a spirt of fear but of peace , love and sound mind. We know all sickness isn’t caused by him, but we also know he is our mighty Physians who can do the unthinkable. And also remembering is greater is he that lives in me /you then he that lives in the world. He is your soldier right in the front battle lines so be still and know he is with you, while he’s raging his team all around you for a defeated victory! Much love.

  • Alfred R Ceaser
    Posted at 18:57h, 04 February Reply

    Thank you Jennifer. When I look in the dictionary under steadfastness, you picture comes up. God is your rock and your strong tower. You remind me thank God is faithful through all the storms of life. God bless you!

  • Court Neil
    Posted at 20:20h, 04 February Reply

    Jennifer- Thanks for sharing your story. I know it’s hard going through something medically and I’m so proud of you for leaning on our amazing god. We’re so blessed to know he will always be there for us!

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