Jenna’s Story: New Mercies and Slow Restoration
My husband Matt and I recently moved to the Louisville area from Dallas. We did not have family or friends here, so I immediately started us on the path to find a church home. We had bounced around churches in Dallas, but unfortunately never plugged into one. Matt is a pilot in the Navy and would often be gone on the weekends, and if he was home, we made “our time” the priority.
We found Southeast through the recommendation of a fellow pilot and the first time we visited was during the At the Movies series. We instantly were intrigued and felt at home.
I grew up Catholic and was baptized as an infant, so baptism as an adult had been weighing on my mind for several years. I wrestled with whether I was truly already saved and how much of my life I actually wanted to give to Christ. After attending Southeast for a few weeks, I felt convicted to “choose” God, and discussed this desire with Matt. He surprised me by saying he was also interested in being baptized! We invited family to town to celebrate our new devotion to Christ together, and were lucky enough that Matt’s mom was able to fly out from Delaware to share the experience with us.
Since then, Matt and I have made an intentional effort to welcome God into our home and our hearts. We started doing things like praying before we eat, talking about our individual relationships with God, and seeking relationships that inspire us to become better disciples. We began volunteering and started to meet wonderful people in the church community who we are able to hug and chat with when we are there.
Later in the year, we began to be challenged, and our marriage suffered. I was resistant to entrusting my struggles to Christ and as a result, felt so alone.
When Matt learned that I was struggling, he sought guidance from leaders in the church. Matt came home one night after Man Challenge, and told me he loved me and wanted to become the leader in our marriage that God was calling him to be. He was patient, kind, forgiving—all of the qualities that may have been a challenge before we made God our priority. At that moment, I knew our God was working in my husband, and I cried. I was so inspired to be more like my husband, more like Jesus.
I am happy to say that we are working on rebuilding some of the destruction in our marriage, but with a new outline that glorifies Him and the mercy and grace He has shown us.
There was a quote by Charles Spurgeon in a sermon series that I absolutely love and has been something I say with regularity in prayer. “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”
I know that Matt and I have grown closer to Jesus through this valley, and for that I am so thankful.
Jenna and Matt are members at Southeast’s Indiana Campus.