On Wednesdays we are thrilled to fling open the doors to all of YOU! We love hearing your dreaming stories…the lessons you’ve learned, the roads you’ve walked, the dreams He’s planted in your hearts! Today we welcome Jenny Reese Clark to this space! She is sharing her testimony and the dream journey God has taken her on. Thank you for your words today, Jenny!
It’s been a little over five years since I walked around with hopelessness.
Back then, you could never sell me on the vision of today. I would have never believed that healing and restoration of this magnitude were even possible. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe dreams could come true; I was just living outside the realm of where they existed.
Today, you can find me in schools, rehabilitation centers, transitional houses and VA Hospitals. I speak on military bases, in churches, and on occasion, even a street corner or two. I write for the Lord and I profess for His glory, but it wasn’t always my heart’s desire.
In 1999, my life was tragically altered. At the age of seventeen years old, I was in a car accident that nearly took my life. I was thrown from the car and taken to the hospital with multiple injuries. Before the accident, I’d been physically fit and active so this allowed my body to heal at a rapid pace, which amazed the doctors. Despite being healed my body still couldn’t do what it was accustomed to.
What I was going to be when I grew up, a water skiing coach, was no more, and the idea that I was forced to do something else with my life, other than what I’d originally planned, was beyond me. I couldn’t believe that something like this could have ever happened to me.
After the accident, I recovered but not without a growing, bitter resentment toward God. I didn’t question that He knew best but hated that this was in His plans for my life. I proceeded to get married without really asking Him for any more favors and this, too, proved to be another bumpy ride. After the birth of my second child on such a delicate frame, I was permanently challenged in my physical life. I was in a lot of pain, and thus began my addiction to pain meds.
I would never be the same.
Little did I know that these few things for me were only the beginning of an extremely intense refining process. I didn’t even know what addiction was, much less prison, so when I found myself at the back gate of the infamous Julia Tutwiler Penitentiary for burning my sister’s house down in the course of manufacturing illegal methamphetamine, I was dumbfounded. I knew I was sinning, but had no clue to the magnitude of consequences that would stem from my personal choices. I’d become so desensitized over the course of the last few years of my life prior to this date that I didn’t even realize my own pride was killing me.
I’d survived many near death experiences by this time, but again, I couldn’t tell you why I was permitted to exist. I felt that I offered humanity nothing apart from a tax increase, and my guilt and shame drew me to reflect less often than needed for a healthy recovery. The emptiness in my life, even though I looked to Scripture for truth, was overwhelming.
It was here, in the deepest part of my shame that the Lord reached into my life and began to explain His purpose behind it all.
Had I not traveled this intense of a path, I would not know the depth of His love. I was the hypocrite having professed with my mouth, but unable to believe in my heart. I was the one with knowledge, but lack of trust. I was the reason many turn from Him, and yet He picked me to bestow undeserved favor and mercy. He chose to use me when I was broken, without worth, and full of burden.
I look back and it’s easy to say that because He first loved me, I love Him. My efforts to further His kingdom now are only the natural progression of what life-giving hope he planted within my soul years ago. I can take credit for nothing apart from a willing spirit and if I’m completely honest, I was made willing.
If I had only one opportunity left to share something of great value with the world, I would go down with God. Jesus Christ would be the last name on my lips, and I can’t see myself wanting it any other way.
He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
If one truly desires a God-sized dream, it only requires man-sized guts. Give Him your heart and He will give you life. Surrender your will, and be blessed with a new vision. Die to yourself, and with this sacrifice, gain eternal strength.
To God be the glory forever.
(To listen to Jenny’s full testimony click here)
Jenny Reese Clark is a living testimony of what true faith in Jesus Christ can bring. As a multiple felon of serious drug charges, Jenny is no stranger to breaking the rules or suffering their consequences. Although once bound by her addiction and PTS, close attention to the Word of God while in prison provided her with excellent training for a new life of service today. While suffering played an extremely significant role in Jenny’s past, she now uses her losses to reach out and help others overcome. Encouraged by her husband and supported by family, Jenny is now an author and testimonial speaker for the Lord. You can learn more about Jenny’s life, ministry, and blog at jennyreeseclark.com. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Amazon.
“To change one’s field of influence is to change the course of one’s life.” Jenny Reese Clark
Do you have a God-sized Dream story to tell? We’d love to have you share your journey with us!
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