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  • Writer's pictureJen Henry

This Game Of Life

Hello friends,

So grateful to be spending time with you today. I hope this past week was a good one and you were able to fill a bit of your time with some joyful activities, as the fall season is well under way. It has been a busy last week for us, but I always love to connect with you and spend time writing. I am reminded daily of God's goodness and His grace. He is greatly to be praised.


I am sure we don't have a clue half the time at how Gods Holy Spirit is standing in the gaps for us on the daily. He is working all things together for good, for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 is such an incredible scripture to refer back to because it is so easy to not understand some of the things we are faced with or going through in our lives. Let's be honest, some of these things that come our way or that we take on, are self-induced, I'm just sayin' but other times they seem so unfair when we are hit right upside the head and are blindsided; similar to what a wide receiver feels on the football field, as he goes flying through the air after a surprise tackle from the opposing team. We ask ourselves, "Who would sign up for that!?" but it's the chance the athlete takes when he steps onto the field before game time. I believe God has implanted in all of us since childhood, an instinct to learn, grow, and push through challenges as we journey through the game-field-of-life. As an adult looking back now on our lives, can you imagine if we would have been tightly bubble wrapped since birth, only to live in our homes, never to experience the highlights and lowlights of life, and never given the opportunity to participate? Where is the fun or growth in all that?!


(This is my adorable Grandson gearing up for his life's journey :)







If we take a closer look at what we are going through, these things might have been well on their way far before they hit. Is it possible we might have been experiencing a bout of procrastination, or was something left cooking for an extended time on the back burner, that finally boiled over? Other times, we are caught completely off guard and we are an innocent bystander in what we are facing, that can be really tough! I can promise you, if we open our eyes wide enough, we will see there is opportunity for growth somewhere in all of it! I think at times we just hope things will just peter out or suddenly vanish on their own, but many times they don't, we need to deal with it. We have to gear ourselves up for these moments, so we are prepared and ready for action.


Going back to the football analogy, since it is football season you know, an athlete doesn't just step onto the big field of shining lights in front of millions of fans, by sitting on the sofa consuming a boat load of bon-bons and putting in no prep time. Professional athletes get to that level by putting in some serious sweat equity and countless hours of practice and dedication. They all have an overflowing amount of passion for what they are doing, daily discipline, stealthy laser focus, and an enormous amount of heart. Most of us will never be an NFL player, in fact only about 2% of college athletes ever make it into the pro's, but there is one thing we all share in common with them, and that is, we all do life and we do have the choice to handle it with character and dignity or not. These athletes are admirable, but It is important to not put these unique people on a pedestal for multiple reasons. One thing we can do is draw inspiration from them with the time and effort they have put in to get to that level and how they might be handling their success. As I am writing this post, it made me think of the difference between dedication and commitment because the last few sermons I have listened to touched upon these two words. As I looked deeper, I stumbled upon a short article which contained this explanation of these two words, taken from a LinkedIn article by Travise Smith who I am not familiar with: Commitment is about one's obligation while Dedication is about one's passion in the performance of the obligation.





I got up a few mornings ago at 5 AM, said a prayer, and jumped into writing this post. Many times I start these posts but don't publish them for a few days to see what The Lord reveals to me during that in between time. After I wrote a few paragraphs, I realized I hadn't read my daily devotional as I usually do before taking the plunge, so I stopped and read it. I am behind for the year in keeping up with my one year bible devotional, but I am always reminded when I read it, that I am right where I am supposed to be. The devotional I read that morning from the book by The God Of Your Story ties in quite well to what I felt The Lord was prompting me to write about. Brian Hardin was recapping the story of Nehemiah in Nehemiah 1:1-3:14. Nehemiah who was a Jewish exile in Persia, had a passion to rebuild God's Temple in Jerusalem after it was destroyed. Even though he had a passion and a desire that began to boil inside him, he had much opposition while fulfilling his mission. He had discouraging words thrown at him, he was threatened with attack after the wall was only half built, he was then taunted by naysayers, followed by their intimidation. But Nehemiah pushed through the discouragement and threats by not wavering. He stayed connected to God and remained steadfast in a forward moving direction. Through the story of Nehemiah, we see he was laser focused and showed much perseverance in accomplishing his mission to rebuild Jerusalem's walls. He did not lose sight of his utter dependence on the Lord even when he began to have issues among the people within the ranks, who were helping him rebuild it. Nehemiah brought the issues they were having among them to light, exposed the opposers who were taking advantage of those on board and their situation, and the mission was back on track again. Nehemiah handled the challenging situations that continued to arise in an upstanding and Godly way. The wall was rebuilt in record time (fifty-two days to be exact) so he went back to Persia to resume his role there in the kings palace. Later he returned to Jerusalem and saw that the people had gone back to their ungodly ways. As Brian wrote, "The wall was indeed strong, but the people were weak." (Good line!) Nehemiah began to spread God's word and revival traveled throughout Jerusalem. Nehemiah isn't just a great story or a piece of history. It is a rich metaphor for how to pursue a passion and live into a calling.


I think we can draw much inspiration from Nehemiah as we go through trials, changes, unfamiliarity, challenges, difficulties, opposition, uphill battles, and being blindsided. Nehemiah surely wasn't an NFL athlete of today we so easily cheer on, but he surely displayed qualities of perseverance, unwavering focus, dedication, determination, loyalty, and a passionate heart, that kept him on his mission. He was a man of honor and stayed true to his calling, although he had the alluring opportunity for personal gain. As Nehemiah faced relenting opposition, he combatted it with simply working harder to complete his mission as seen in Nehemiah 6:9 They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”


(Picture of QB Russell Wilson, after winning the Super Bowl in 2014. He is quite a guy)





If we take time to pray, give thanks, and ask God to help direct us through this challenging game-of-life, we will cross the endzone with dignity, experience triumph with contentment, and rejoice in the growth we have gained. Allow God to guide you through what you are going through. He doesn't just show up for the game, He will be right by your side through the daily practices as well. He will continue to be your biggest fan. Just give Him the glory and you will thrive, not just survive.


Update on my Mom:

I just wanted to give an update for many of you who have my adored mother in their thoughts and are lifting her up in prayer through her healing process. She fell and fractured her pelvis less than two months ago and was progressing well in a quality skilled rehab facility, but unfortunately had some setbacks with an upper respiratory infection and a bout of Cellulitis she is now taking antibiotics for and is slowly in the process of getting over. Her foot swelled up quite large and she has not been able to put any weight on it which she has needed to do through weight bearing exercises to help heal her pelvis. Here moveout date is quickly approaching and we would appreciate your prayers through the next phase of her uphill climb to get back on her feet again and also relocate. Through it all, she is reminded to keep her head up and cast all her cares and concerns on The Lord, as He is known as the Great Physician Jehovah-Rapha (The Lord Our Healer) and Jehovah-Jireh (The Lord Our Provider) among many other names.


God bless you all and know you are frequently in my thoughts and prayers. Have a blessed and enjoyable week. Please feel free to pass this post on or my website if you feel someone you know might enjoy it. You can find more categories by clicking on the menu at the top of my post, or scrolling through my previous posts which can be found at the bottom of this post if you are viewing it form your cell. I am including the link to my site as well. www.intoyourgrowth.com I always love to read your comments and knowledge nuggets on each post or your messages you send me via PM. It helps me to grow as well and be connected closer to amazing you.


God bless you as you continue to go through This Game-of-Life.


Big hugs to you all,


Jen Henry


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angarthur
Oct 10, 2023

Praying for "your Joan" as she improves and gets her strength and health back. And for each of you as you care for her in a way that honors God and her simultaneously. You go girl.

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Jen Henry
Jen Henry
Oct 10, 2023
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Thank you sweet friend! I can always count on you!

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