Hello Sisters! My name is Jamie Ward and I am the contributing writer for Engaged: Beautiful Outside for the Fall Intro issue of The Grace Mask Journal. I’m a Gospel Girl, who makes friends easily, A wife of over a decade to Benjamin and a mother to a wild, brave & empathetic 6 year old boy Paxton and a theatrical, cuddly yet to himself 2 year old, Thatcher. We’re on the journey of adoption again (as our boys are adopted from birth) to welcoming Halyna, a spicy, vivacious & artistic 14 year old girl and prayerfully soon no longer an Ukrainian orphan. We are on our knees & frequently mentored by some giants in the Faith as we parent both forward & backward. Teaching our kids to love bravely & cling tightly to Jesus. The doors to our home and heart remain open as we trust Jesus with what is before us. Our family motto is ‘We don’t have much but we have Enough.’
I was rescued from the need to control my life and the outcome of others choices. I’m being continually rescued from my own personal agenda & preferences. I’m inspired by God’s grace for me. God has always had a way of walking people who need each other towards each other. Through life groups, people who sit in my salon chair needing a word for their soul more than a work to their hair (most of whom don’t realize it till they’re crying in my chair being set free because Jesus met them through my obedience) or even with relationships made while building & serving the Church.
His Words Evoking Beauty:
Psalm 45:11 set me free… “The King is enthralled with your beauty; Honor Him, for He is your Lord.” 1 Timothy 4:12 – “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in speech, life, love, faith and purity.”
At just the right moment, when I position myself to study it – His Word comes alive and blankets my mind with peace, the memorization of it becomes a place my mind can run for refuge and combats anxiety, its truth can rebuild & replace the broken & distorted places in my heart, it calls me out lovingly & brings solution to all the questions & challenges that life offers us. It’s fellowship with a living God that makes evident his livelihood and minimizes what the Enemy hopes he can maximize. His truth puts all lies in their proper place.
Bringing Out the Best:
I experience His desire to bring the best out of me most in the times when I have blown it. When I can still sense God’s accessibility (either through His Word, prayer, encouragement from a friend) and His instruction to make it right. His invitation to be an active participant in my life convicts me and drives me to want His wisdom, grace & truth. I’ve felt a deep sense of His presence in times when I’ve sought repentance from a friend I’ve hurt, or when I’ve apologized to my son for losing my cool & telling him how the Lord dealt with me about it. I’ve felt His loving hand say No to things I desperately wanted so He could say Yes to the very best.. and in trusting His best, I have in a sense felt Him embrace me “under the shadow of His wings”.
My favorite thing about the Church is we have the opportunity to be desperate about our need for Him, held accountable if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable & trust God to bring us from “glory to glory”.. When we collectively say “I don’t have it all together” and we only look to Jesus to be Healer & Savior we can hold each other’s hands while we get to where He is.