A New Season

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Andy Horner, Premier Designs’ CSO, July of 2011

There comes a time in our lives when we have to let go of something in order to fully enter into that which the Lord has planned for us. The letting go can be painful, difficult, and down right scary. After all, it does require change, and change is often uncomfortable.

Casey and I transitioned from our last church back to The Crossing in March after much prayer. We knew God was bringing us into a new season. In April we found out we were pregnant, and in May we miscarried. I had applied to Southeastern university for church music after prompting from my husband to go back to school for what I loved to do—lead worship. This was before I was pregnant and I wondered how I would manage the two. Then I miscarried. God’s plans are so much bigger than we could ever imagine.

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National Rally 2011

The past couple of months there have been so many God ordained things that have happened that I am in complete awe of my Father. They began with me finding out I didn’t need to do scales for my video audition for the music department and the chair of the music department telling me earlier this month what I needed to study for my upcoming music theory placement exam (see more about this here).

These God winks continued with me singing for the first time at The Crossing’s SouthShore campus and knowing without a doubt while on stage that I was smack dab in the middle of God’s will for my life. The doors began opening  after that. I went to noon prayer at church last Wednesday and was asked by someone on the worship team if I could sing for the upcoming women’s conference. I was placed on the schedule to sing later in September as well. I really began to feel that I was doing what I was created to do, even though I have sang on the worship team at my last church for three years.

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Singing for the first time at The Crossing’s SouthShore campus

While all of this was happening, there was also a struggle going on inside. I was working my Premier Designs jewelry business, but finding myself overwhelmed with my schedule and all that I was trying to balance. I was also (and still am) studying for my music theory placement exam which is of utmost importance. I started to find that which once brought me great joy seemed to cause me stress. A lot of it had to do with my physical limitations as well. I had a jewelry show the Friday before I sang at The Crossing for the first time (again) and it took a huge toll on my ankle. It was then that I knew I had to really choose carefully what I put my time and energy towards, and really re-evaluate my goals.

I attended training Monday and brought a friend with me. Again, I struggled. I didn’t want to go because I felt God had made it clear what I was to do. However, the friend I was bringing was looking forward to it, so I went. While there I felt different, because I knew this season was coming to an end. My dear friend India Hopper opened us up in prayer and proceeded to read a devotional entry that was straight from the Father to me. I listened as tears streaked my face. This moment was not by chance, but by His design.

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For months I had struggled with what to do. I can’t count on two hands how many times I cried out to the Lord for direction on His will for my life. Premier has been such a huge part of my life for almost 6 years. The friendships formed through the business have been the biggest blessing. What would I do without Premier? What about the Haven of Hope retreat I am scheduled to attend next week and I have already bought airfare for? But then confirmation after confirmation came.

I began clearing my schedule of things that I didn’t feel lined up with God’s will for me at the time. I need to focus on school and the worship team at the moment. I planned to message Jennifer Pelham, a friend of mine, to cancel my Thirty-One party I had scheduled with her. Before doing so I received an email from one of the worship leaders at church putting me on the schedule for the women’s conference as well as the rehearsal for the conference which happened to be the same day and 30 minutes before my Thirty-One party.

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Some of my sisters at Rally this year!

This morning I emailed Cheryl Johnston of Brandon Christian Writer’s to tell her that I wouldn’t be making the monthly meeting tomorrow night as I need to cut things out of my schedule that aren’t related to what I feel God is calling me to right now. Today at noon prayer the worship leader that emailed me came up to me and asked if I could sing this Sunday because a gal that was supposed to had something last minute come up. The rehearsal is tomorrow night—the night I was supposed to have my BCW meeting. (Not by chance, but by design.)

This morning I discovered that there is a mandatory orientation for music majors that is followed with the music theory placement exam next Sunday. That is the day I am to return from Haven of Hope, so clearly can’t make it to the retreat.

At noon prayer Pastor Stan had everyone who was able to get on their knees in the posture of prayer and began to pray over us. He said the Lord was wanting us to let go of the thing we are holding onto so tightly so that He can take us deeper into His will for us. He spoke of no longer striving, but instead surrendering, and not letting the fear of “what if’s” plague us. He said that God has a plan for our lives and a purpose we are to fulfill. I stayed on my knees, face to the cold floor, tears forming a puddle beneath me. I began to sob and could hear others sobbing and praying in agreement. I couldn’t believe it. What he said was pretty much the same as what the devotional India read Monday said. WOW. How great is our God?

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Making dream boards with my Premier sisters at a beach retreat last fall

After prayer I drove to see a dear friend and counselor of mine, Phyllis Tarbox, of Above & Beyond Counseling Ministries, and she assured me that I am stepping into a new season and God has great things in store for me. However, I need to be obedient, trust Him, and move forward without looking back. (After all, I don’t want to become a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife.)

I left feeling so much peace. I no longer had the fear of, “what will people think of me if I don’t renew with Premier?” Because honestly, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am doing what I believe God wants me to do. He wants to free up my schedule so that I can do the things that I love and that bring me joy. And in doing so, it would bring Him joy. So, here I am, deciding not to renew with Premier next month after 6 years of being a part of the company. I know this will be a huge shock to most because I have been successful in my business, have been attending training’s, holding shows (I just had one Friday), attending Rally, promoting to Builder, etc. But this should prove all the more that this is something I am doing because I am being obedient to God, not simply throwing in the towel because it wasn’t working out for me. It was working out. It’s just time to move into a new season.

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Penny Marshall, my Premier “Glamma”

Premier Designs is an AMAZING company built on Biblical principles that truly has a heart for the Lord and for people. I have too many testimonies of times when fellow jeweler’s were there for me when family and even church family were not. Mike Glenn of Premier’s prayer team has been praying for me since my accident in 2009. My sister who was a jeweler, called Mike and he put her in contact with a jeweler in SC where my accident was. She opened up her home to my sisters and my mom for a week and even packed them lunches each day for the hospital. I had the blessing of meeting her years later at National Rally when I got back into the company. I even had jeweler’s I didn’t know mail me inspirational jewelry.

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Mike Glenn AKA “Dad”

It has been such a blessing to be a part of this company. I believe they have the most generous hostess plan and marketing plan available. A little research will prove this. So if you are looking for a sisterhood, a ministry, a biblical based business, or some awesome free bling, Premier is the one for you. I will cherish the many memories made over the years, but even more so I will cherish the friendships.

I find the most joy and fulfillment when I am singing on the worship team, helping others enter into the presence of Holy Spirit through the worship experience. That is what I feel God has created me to do. I must be obedient in that without looking back or having a back up plan. Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). After all, that is what true surrender and trust look like.

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My dear friend Kelly Spezzano and I

 

Thank you for all of your love and support the past 6 years. If you have ever hosted a show for me or purchased a piece of jewelry from me, THANK YOU. You were such a big part in my business and success. I am forever thankful for you. Stay tuned for a going out of business sale! 🙂

To my Premier family (especially Penny Marshall, Jalene Browning, and Kelly Spezzano), THANK YOU for all of your love and support through all of my surgeries, the death of my dad, my mom’s health issues, and my miscarriage. You ladies know who you are and I appreciate you more than you know. May God bless your businesses and make all of your dreams come true. Love you to the moon and back. ❤

UPDATE: I have since changed my major to a BA in Multidisciplinary Studies with a minor in Church Music and a minor in Creative Writing (because you can’t have too many writing degrees, lol).

 “There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety – let us pray that we may always know it!”
Corrie ten Boom

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14 thoughts on “A New Season

  1. A beautiful testimony of being willing to give up something you love so that you can, more importantly, be in God’s will. Thank you for sharing. God will bless your faithfulness.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for the detailed explanation of how God is repositioning you for this next season, Jennifer. You have been so faithful in everything you put your hand and heart to. I’m thrilled to watch what He has planned next for you. You are wise to move forward. Going WITH God is always the best direction. We’ll miss you at Brandon Christian Writers, but are excited for your future. Thank heavens for blogposts, texts, e-mail and Facebook that will help us to keep in touch! Best wishes, always!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JEN
    WOW!!!! I am moved with emotion as I (we) will terribly miss you in Premier…..You have beautifully and ever so adequately detailed how God has led you to this decision to move forward through the open doors that are definitely without a doubt from God….Premier was such a blessing to you, Jen, and God was so good to have given you this opportunity. God does have a plan for you in music…He has given you a lovely gift and ability to praise Him through that talent and be a blessing to others, too….I have come to learn that our venue can change but who we are in Christ does not. God will use you in your new setting to be a blessing for others and for His glory and He will build upon what you have experienced in Premier and Brandon Christian Writers in what He is leading you to do now….
    It has been such a blessing to me to know you and I am thankful for that opportunity God has given me because of Premier…
    God bless you, my dear friend!!
    Much love in Christ…
    MIKE

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dad, I have shed many a tear over the thought that I won’t get to see you again, but I thank God for technology that enables us to keep in touch. You can bet that if I ever make it to the Dallas/Fort Worth area I will make it a point to visit. Please let me know if you are ever in Florida. I’d drive to see you. You are so special to me and I actually had something I wanted to give you at Haven so I may have to mail it to you. It was such a blessing to have you praying for me and giving me godly counsel. It means more than you know, and I will NEVER forget you. I love you to the moon and back Mike! God bless you always! ❤

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  4. Jennifer!! Awesome post! I’m UBER trilled for you! 👏🏻💕 im inspired by your surrender and unashamed love. I am honored to call you sister 💁🏼 excited to see your journey play out. Looking forward to the out of business sale 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jennifer, I am so happy for you because I know that God is leading you for His purposes. Just as He used you to be a blessing in Premier, He will use you to bless others wherever He places you. Thank you for being obedient to His voice. It is inspiring to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jen, what an inspiration to see step-by-step how God has led you through all these open doors and you’ve had the faith and courage to step through them!
    Letting go can be hard, but nothing beats being in center of God’s will. I once heard it said that the best way to find God’s will is to have no will of your own. This is pretty difficult to do, and I don’t think it means we shouldn’t have hopes and dreams for our future, but just that our hopes and dreams, when aligned with God’s plan for us, will take us on a way more amazing journey than we could ever dream of on our own!

    Liked by 1 person

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