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Feature Friday: Jennelle Bergsma

Every doctor appointment and job interview I was asked the same question, reminding me I was not enough:

What are your hobbies?

I hated this question. It forced me to face the reality that I was a “plain jane.” I had no hobbies. I wished I was passionate about something...anything. I was boring. I wasn’t a tomboy, I wasn’t a girlie girl. Just plain, boring Jennelle with no hobbies. Apparently, something was wrong

with me.

At the age of 22, everything changed. I walked into my first bible study. I discovered that I love digging into God’s word. In bible study, I found my hobby, I found my “place.”

At 27 I led my first bible study and fell in love. I loved watching women grow closer to Jesus. I enjoyed watching them develop new lifelong friendships. Finally, I knew what I was called to do.

I am called to teach God’s Word and create tools that help women read and understand the Bible. I love watching women grow in their understanding of God and who they are In Him.

10 years ago I was introduced to one of my husband's co-workers. He looked at me and asked if he could share a word that God had given him for me. I thought sure, why not?

What he shared blew me away. He said,

“You are going to do something new and different within women’s ministry that is going to go all over the world.”

Um okay… I was 24 at the time and honestly didn’t think much of it. I kept living my normal life and knew only God could make that happen.

Fast forward 7 years…. I helped my church create our first “She Will SOAR” journal and bible study. Followed by many comments:

“This is going to go all over”

“We need to bring this to other churches”

All of a sudden the prophecy came back to me. I’ve only shared it with a few people until this post. The prophecy became a hindrance for me at that moment. I began to feel pressure believing I had to get the She Will SOAR Bible Study to other churches “for” God.

I began to strive. I spent hours upon hours researching ways to build “platforms” in order to bring the bible studies to other women. I went as far as creating a business plan and contacting potential investors to make this happen. I had a team of women ready to help, approval from my ministry leads and Pastor. It seemed like all doors were wide open.

But I didn’t have peace. I knew it was not the right time. I tried to fight it, I told myself the lack of peace was just anxiety from stepping out, but deep down I knew this was not what God was asking me to do.

God so beautifully showed me that I didn’t have to do anything “for” Him. It was already done, and all I had to do was be obedient to what He was calling me to at the moment.

My concept of God was inaccurate. I thought I had to measure up, do more, be more, make sure I didn’t waste the life he had given me.

God never put this pressure on me. I put it on myself and said it was God. God is already well pleased with us. We don’t have to do anything for God, but goodness it’s fun to do things with Him!

Honestly, I don’t know if the prophecy is true (prophecy can undoubtedly come with human error) what I do know is that I am called to help women interpret and apply the Bible to their lives. Whether that stays within my local church or goes around the World - well that’s up to God :)

Once I realized that I didn’t have to prove anything for God to be pleased with me, I struggled with proving myself to others.

I struggled with comparison and insecurity. I considered quitting multiple times because I did not like what “ministry” brought out in me. But I know now that it was the grace of God, refining me and making me more like Him.

I struggled with finding my worth and identity in what I did:

In how good of a speaker I was.

In how many Facebook “likes” there were.

In how many people raised their hand for salvation after my message.

I hated that about myself. I didn’t like who I had become. I didn’t want these struggles. I wanted to be all about Jesus. I wanted everything I did to be for Him, for His glory.

Through this struggle, God taught me there is nothing in this world that can fulfill me but Him. He has filled me and brought me to a place of contentment.

God also taught me that the girl who struggled with comparison and finding my worth and identity in what I did was not really me. That was my flesh. That was my old self. God reminded me that I was a new creation in Him.

When I realized who I was because of who HE is, that’s when freedom came. That’s when the comparison and identity struggles faded away.

Lastly, in writing this post, I was asked to share any advice I may have for women who are stepping out into their calling.

First and foremost, be at the feet of Jesus. As you are at the feet of Jesus, He will lead you and guide you. He will give you wisdom, fresh ideas, and the strength to endure. He will give you peace when you feel like everything is falling apart.

You will undoubtedly receive conflicting advice from good wise people. Some will tell you that you are doing too much. Others will tell you to “jump in” and work harder. It is hard to decipher what YOU are called to do between all the “noise”.

As you are at the feet of Jesus, you will know exactly what HE is calling you to do. He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding.

Know that your timing and God’s timing will most likely be very different. Trust God, trust His timing. Remember, in every season God is refining you to make you more like Him. Embrace your season.

Refuse to find your worth in what you do. Know who you are because you know who He is. Do it all FROM a place of acceptance and love. Knowing that accomplishing your dream will not complete you, you are already complete as you are.

Live from the truth of who you are In Christ rather than feelings. Feelings lie.

Dream Big, dream God dreams, and when God brings them to fruition, don’t doubt for one second that you have been called and placed there by God. Then GO and have fun!