Saturday, April 17, 2010

Diana present’s Guest blogger Jena Morrow

Today Diana present’s Guest blogger Jena Morrow. Jena had the privilege of receiving her first copies of her soon to be released book, HOLLOW from Moody Publishers Thursday. She shares with us here a few excerpt posts from her I’m Just Saying blog.

Heartwarming post from a reader . . .
Posted: 15 Apr 2010 09:05 AM PDT

Received this today from a young woman via Facebook private message and she has agreed to allow me to share it. I am humbled and blessed to think that God would use my random confessions and musings to reach and touch others. How cool that He could do it without us, and yet He chooses to use us. I'll never get over the wonder of that.

Chelsey says . . . "I just came across your page after seeing a post on Remuda Ranch's wall and I decided to read over the blogs listed on your info. They are wonderfully convicting and remind me that although every day is a battle to not engage in self-hate and remain in recovery, there is unceasing hope and grace at the hands of our Father.

I don't know you but I also cannot adequately express my gratitude. After going into organ failure at the age of 18 (I'm 21 now), I was sent to Remuda entirely against my will. I've never felt more understood or loved, and for once I felt like I was allowed to heal -- that I didn't have to remain sucked into the lies I'd been told my entire life and that it was really okay to be okay, in fact, maybe I deserved that.

Anyway, that's just a short musing of my story. Know that your blogs are rays of light in the continual fight to truly live.
Love, Chelsey

P.S. I just saw you have a memoir being released in a couple weeks! That's awesome!"

Thank you again, Chelsey, for reaching out. I wish you all the best in your recovery and in your journey. Stay well! Continue to CHOOSE LIFE!

And another post:

Sunday, February 21, 2010
Remembering Cindy (A Personal Challenge)

This week marks the five-year anniversary of the death of a dear friend of mine, Cindy Ward. Cindy died of complications of anorexia at the age of 29—ironically, right at the beginning of Eating Disorder Awareness Week in 2005. This time of year, then, is always bittersweet for me as I see the efforts and outreach events planned to help raise awareness and educate people about the very thing which stole my friend’s life out of season.

Five years is both a short time and a long time, depending on one’s perspective—it’s a short time, for example, to be married; it’s a long time to be a prisoner of war. It’s a short time to enjoy the life of a child—and a very long time to live without the child after her passing.

We can do a lot in five years time, can’t we? I was thinking last night about all the things that have happened, just in my own singular, fleeting-as-vapor life in the five years since Cindy passed away. I’ve gone from mother-of-a-toddler to mother-of-a-second-grader. I watched my grandmother take her last breath. I’ve changed jobs twice. I bought a house. I got laid off. I wrote a book. And I got to wondering what might have happened in Cindy’s life that she never lived to see or accomplish. Would she have gotten married? Had a child? Gone back to school? Written a book or gone on a mission trip or shared her faith with dying hearts? She might have. But her own dying heart beat her to the punch.

I truly believe Cindy didn’t see it coming. Even after multiple heart attacks before age thirty, she didn’t really think she’d die. If she had known, she would have done things differently. I just know this.

So, naturally, I got to feeling philosophical and weepy about it all. It’s become a cliché, to lament that life is short, our days are numbered, blah, blah, blah. It’s become so trite, I think, that we forget that it is true—and we never know for whom it will be true next. What if it’s me? Or you? What do we want to do before our number is up? If it’s something huge and seemingly insurmountable, shouldn’t we at least give it a shot so it can be said that we died trying?

I’m not sad for Cindy; I know where she is and Who she is with. And I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that even if she could come back here, she wouldn’t—not for one minute. I’m not even all that sad for myself anymore, as I was when she first passed. It dulls after a while, the longing for one last hug, one more email or card or phone call. We move from grieving to acceptance—and maybe we even feel a little guilty about that as the grief becomes lighter and lighter a burden. What I’m sad about is the loss of what could have been—how Cindy could have contributed to the world over the past five years. She could have done so much with her talents, her generous spirit, her kind heart. And I’ll never know exactly what.

But all of you who are reading this are still here. And not to be morose, but of those who will read this, one of you will be next to leave this Earth. Someone has to be. Maybe it will be you. Or me. If it is, are we making the most of our time until we graduate out of this world? Are we chasing a dream or working on a goal or loving to the fullest of our hearts’ potential? I can’t answer for you; I can only answer for myself, and I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m not. I’ve gotten complacent in a few areas. I’m dragging my feet on some things for fear of failure. And really, what’s the worst that could happen?

I know my friend, and if she could come back for five minutes, I think she would tell us to shrug off the fear that binds us and go for it—whatever our particular “it” is.

So . . . shall we?

In joyful, loving memory:

Cindy Ward (1975-2005)
“Cowgirl up, Cindy!”

Jena’s book HOLLOW is dedicated to Cindy.

In the opening endorsements, author Jane Rubietta says, “Not just a haunting tale of a wicked disorder, but the story of a tenacious God who does not give up on His children. Jena’s story offers reality and hope to millions of people (not counting their relatives and friends) impacted by eating disorders.

Jill Flegal, a licensed counselor at Crossroads Counseling and Care Center writes, “In Jena’s words, it is a ‘cautionary tale’ told by one who tarried in the darkness, but who no longer lives there. Jena’s story moves beyond the slippery darkness into the strength of relationship with the living God. Just as her decent into anorexia was no solitary journey, so her wading into God’s mercy requires journey companions. Jena came to know her place in the grandest of all love stories. It’s the love story every one of us needs to hear, because it was written for each one of us.

One in every 200 Americans struggle with anorexia nervosa. Let’s pray that many of them through this book will be led to freedom in Christ and subsequent victory.

In prayer toward this end and from my heart to yours,



Jeanette Levellie said...

Jena: I'm delighted for this dreamed-of day in your life, dear. But happier still for those who will be touched and set free by your courage to share.

My own daddy died at age 38 of cirrhosis of the liver. I wish a Jena or a Jake who'd been set free from alcoholism had written a book and put it in Daddy's hands.

May the Lord richly bless your ministry to every Cindy and Daddy who need your message of hope.

With gratitude,

writer jim said...


Your post was so moving. I fervently pray God will use your book to help many in need. Actually, I know God will honor your efforts to be a help...and will guide your book to the very hands of those in need. Why am I so sure?:

The other night about 3AM my phone rang. As I awoke God said, "This is a young man doing a prank call; but do not hang up. I have 'caused' him to 'randomly' dial your number. He is seeking Me to be saved."
After his prank call joke punch line...He giggled. Then I said, "God told me you want get saved." He burst into tears, and BEGGED me not to hang up. He said the reason he was awake at 3AM was that he was so worried about going to hell...and decided a prank call would give him a laugh so he could relax and get to sleep.
In a few minutes I helped him pray for salvation. As the prayer ended his phone bleeped; and he said "Mister, please don't hang up...but let me see who is calling me. No one should be calling me at 3AM."
When he came back to me he said, "Mister, you'll never believe this; but that is my best friend calling me...he said he was awake all night too, wishing he could get saved...and suddenly felt he HAD to call me."

Of course, we helped his friend get saved too.

That is a perfect example of what the Bible calls "us working together with God." That is just what you said above, Jena...that it's amazing that God chooses to allow US to work with Him.

I wish more writers were like Jena...truly seeking to serve God and help others. Jena, I really do paise God for people like you.

Millie Samuelson said...

WOW to all FOUR of you -- Jena, Diana, Jen, and Writer Jim! It's so inspiring to hear/read the witness of God's power working in other's lives. . . :-)

Bonnie Toews said...

What you are doing is so moving and awesome! God in action never fails to astound. Thank you for being His channel to those who need to feel His hand and hear His voice through human connections. God be praised!

Elaine W. Miller said...

Great post, Jena and Diana. I am praying "Hollow" fills the empty lives of those suffering with eating disorders. Thank you, Jena, for your vulnerability and your transparency and your humor. I am excited and thankful that this resource is available.

Joy said...

Jena, what important work you are doing. Your story sounds moving and inspirational. I hope that it touches and reaches everyone who faces this issue. You sound like a truly amazing human being. Best of luck to you on your path to success.

Jena said...

Thanks to ALL of you for your encouragement and prayer support! This is a very exciting time in my life, as ministry opportunities open up before me . . . it is my prayer that I would not miss a single one of them, and that I -- like Writer Jim -- would be sensitive to the promptings of God's Spirit.

Thanks again to all for the kind words . . . I cherish them!

Forever hopeful,