Oh, Sweet Friends! Today is a thrill for me to share my friend, and fellow book lover, Jen Sherman with you all. I first met Jen in our Sunday School class at Prestonwood. She was a mentor couple that came into our class and shared wisdom and words with us. She has since started a very successful "bookstagram" account and opened up her own independent book shop which is a must-see when at Cedar Creek Lake in Texas. (You can also shop her books online). You all will be so encouraged by this woman's sweet heart and tender wisdom she is sharing with us all today!
Tell us about yourself, Jen!
Hello! my name is Jen Sherman and I live in Carrollton, Texas. I was born and raised in New Mexico and moved to Texas when I was 13. I have been married to my husband Tom for almost 28 years and we have 2 children, Meghan who is 25 and Thomas who is 21. I was a stay at home mom for 25 years but currently am the owner and executive director of Bookish, an independent, not for profit bookstore in the small town of Malakoff, Texas.
Books and reading have always been a passion of mine, however, my calling from God is definitely discipleship and mentoring younger women. I have discipled women for the last 15 years and have developed a training program to teach others to disciple as well. It is something I take with me in my church, community and wherever the Lord leads me!
Alright, Jen. Tell us a bit about a time you needed to believe God!
Having lived over 50 years and walked with the Lord for most of those years, I could discuss many times that I have chosen to believe God and walk in obedience. However, the Lord has shown me a deeper and more intimate way of trusting Him recently. In the last couple of years, I have experienced some things that I could have never predicted.
In April of 2017, my father passed away from Parkinson’s. Just 6 months later, my precious, seemingly healthy mom passed away in her sleep completely unexpectedly. I was in the middle of putting up my Christmas decorations when my brother called me with the news. That day, i was not expecting THAT call.
After losing my mom, I began to find myself waking up with a fear of what might happen each day. Worry and fear was not something i had struggled with in the past. However, after the death of my mother and a few other unexpected trials that year, I found myself waking up each morning with a sense of worry. I would begin my morning fearful about what the day might bring. It was during that time that the Lord began to show me that I needed to truly trust him with each day and surrender every aspect of every day to Him.
I have always had a love of journaling as part of my daily time with the Lord and I began to incorporate a simple prayer of surrender every day in my journaling. I would end my time with the Lord by writing out "I surrender this day to you Lord, whatever it may bring I know I can trust you with it."
This simple act of surrender began to change my perspective every morning and I began to notice less fear and worry throughout my day. This discipline of surrender was definitely tested during 2020 when it felt like every day started with a headline that could have caused much fear. During that time i discovered how much my practice of surrender had really helped me have peace in the midst of hard times. Encouraged by this, I continued to pray that prayer every day. Fast forward to May of 2021.
My 25 year old daughter had been experiencing some facial numbness for about a week. We were on a family vacation in Colorado together and finally decided it must be related to a tooth. We took her to a dentist who immediately explained to us that is was definitely not a tooth and to take her immediately to the ER. He suspected possibly a brain tumor.
It was not a brain tumor, however after several tests, including an MRI, the ER doctor came in with his diagnosis most likely being Multiple Sclerosis.
In that exact moment, the first thing the Lord spoke to me was “Remember your prayer of surrender. Do you trust Me?” I immediately felt a peace about the news from the doctor and knew that the Lord would give us all the strength to deal with the unknown future.
I had to make the choice at that moment if I was going to really trust God with the situation like I had been praying every day or if I would respond with fear and worry. The power that came from the Holy Spirit in that moment enabled me to trust Him even though my flesh was full of questions and I could not understand what was happening and why.
A verse that I often incorporate in my daily prayer of surrender is Romans 12:1-2.
"I appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing, you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
I am so thankful that God is faithful and trustworthy. I CAN surrender all and rest in Him!