Spotlight: Stephanie Jenkins

What is God doing in my life?
For a while now God has been talking to me and showing me through different situations how to fully trust him and worship him through all circumstances. That message was fully driven home recently.
When the tornados hit Perryton, Tx recently I was devastated. This was my hometown where I was born and raised. I had only just moved from there to Amarillo 2 years ago. My son, other family members,  and dear friends still reside there. We loaded up our truck and headed to Perryton the very next morning to help our family. No one was hurt, and my son’s house made it through. That wasn’t the case for my uncle and cousin. My cousin lost his home and my uncle sustained extensive damage to his home and property, which will probably end up a total loss.
I won’t lie to you. I was angry. The heaviness of that day was almost too much to bear. I kept finding myself having internal conversations with God. I kept asking him “God where are you in all of this?”. All I could see was sadness and grief as we sifted through the rubble of my elderly uncle’s belongings just trying to fit back “some” pieces of the life he had built on that property for 40 plus years. The lost look on my cousin’s face as he stated, “I don’t even know where to start”, as he looked at the destruction that was once his home, completely shattered me.
My heart was hurt and so full of anger for my family, and I continued to ask God “Where are you? Where were you? How are you in any of this?”.
Later a man came driving down the street and stopped to talk to us. He is a member of a church down the road that my mom used to be the worship leader at. The church was not spared either. We talked for a bit and as we said goodbye, he looked at us ( it actually felt like he was looking and speaking right into my heart) and said “We are going to see his face in this. We just have to look for him.”
In that instance I saw the faces of the men that were pulling a flatbed trailer and handing out cases of water and toilet paper up and down the road. I saw the faces of the ladies that walked by earlier carrying boxes of food and stopping at every house to make sure no one was hungry. I saw the face of my son’s friend who was driving up and down the street making sure momma’s had diapers for their babies. I saw the living, breathing faces of my son and family.
God simply told me “There I am.”
I was so focused on the circumstance that I couldn’t see him right in front of me! He reminded me that whatever we focus on is what we are going to find over and over. He relentlessly pursues us and we should be relentlessly seeking him. If we aren’t looking for him, we aren’t going to find him.
That was the first moment since I had learned of the tornado that I actually felt peace and a glimmer of hope. It was almost a feeling of contentment.  It was a little confusing to be able to feel those things while surrounded by such destruction and devastation. I am not saying that everything just got suddenly easy, but I can tell you that I was able to bear it when I kept my focus on the work God was doing instead of the wreckage. I kept my focus on his goodness in the form of neighbors helping neighbors. His goodness came in the form of organizations and companies setting up to feed everyone. His goodness was shown in the many states and communities that sent their first responders, utility crews, and contractors. His goodness was pouring in through donations from all over the country. If we change our focus, we see it.

You see God never said that life would be easy once we walk with him, but he promised that he would be with us and supply our needs. That is exactly what he was doing and has continued to do for me, my family, and for Perryton.
He is far more concerned with the change in us than in our circumstances. I heard a great analogy not too long ago. Worship is like putting on a coat in a snowstorm. It doesn’t change the weather, but it changes us.  It protects us. When we continue to worship amongst our circumstances they begin to change because our outlook changes, we make different choices, and we see his goodness beyond what the world has given us.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” – Jeremiah 29:13
Stephanie Jenkins