“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5–6
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3
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No matter what season of life you are in, God is calling you to a place of deep and wholehearted relationship with Him. We desire to see women empowered to live their Christian faith confidently with transformed minds and hearts. Psalm 33:11 & 14–15 says, “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.”
Our mission is helping women be fully surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ and courageously on-mission for Him – one heart at a time. One of the ways we do that is by sharing real-life stories of Christian women both past and present who have decided to follow Jesus wholeheartedly in this way. We pray that each story is used by God to fashion your individual heart, to know and experience Him even more deeply, and to joyfully do His will to His glory!
We (Beth & Jenni) attended a Christian university that emphasized Jesus’ command to “Go into all the world…” (Matthew 28:18) It was here that our paths crossed with many people from all over the nation and even the world with a sense of mission and purpose to bring God’s light into the sphere of influence He had called them to. Whether in the legal field, the classroom, business, the medical field, church planting, and much more, the vision at Oral Roberts University was emphasized to us as students over and over again: “Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, where My voice is heard small, and My healing power is not known, even to the uttermost bounds of the earth.”
It was here that I (Jenni) met Krystal, a mighty woman of God with a heart that overflows with God’s love and relentless service to Christ. Today, she and her husband have three children, and Krystal has been a stay-at-home mom and pastor’s wife for a number of years. She and her husband have recently sensed God calling them to plant a church and are in the thick of following His leading about it every step of the way. We are thrilled that Krystal agreed to share from her heart with us. May God use what you read today to birth something afresh inside of you for His purposes, your good, and His glory. This is Krystal’s story…
Will you tell us about your journey as a follower of Jesus Christ? How have you experienced God then and now?
An openhanded life of faith bathed in scriptural truth. These are the first words that come to my mind that have directed the course of my journey with Jesus. Saturating one’s mind in Biblical truth I feel is a crucial step to living a Biblically surrendered life to the God who created you. How would I know what in my life I need to surrender to God’s greater plan if I don’t know the kind of life God has intended me to live?
My path often seemed to look like God giving me a step (with the ending unsure), and me following what I perceived to be his will for my life not knowing what was on the other side of the one step I was shown to take. I think a life of faith often looks like this. God most likely isn’t going to lay out an entire plan for your life from start to finish right in front of you. He WILL give you one step and then wait for your obedience. Why? Because God has called his people to live by faith.
There are so many layers that God has added to my personal story that have prepared me and my husband to plant a church and launch into the ministry to which we have been called. I studied Biblical Literature in college (which honestly sometimes I scratch my head, because it’s not a practical degree in my opinion and for sure wasn’t going to necessarily land me a job right out of college), and then went to Bible school 110% by faith. I did not know the outcome of this schooling, but I knew it was where God had called me.
I met my husband, Paul, in Bible school. Coincidental? No. Part of God’s plan as he directed my steps, absolutely. I will stop right here to tell any unmarried woman reading this that one of the most significant choices you will make outside of committing your life to Jesus is who you decide to marry. This is a life trajectory altering decision. When we seek first God’s kingdom and his desires for the earth, God meets our needs for his glory. I gave the desire of having a husband to God and, by his providential hand and grace, he led me to a man that was exceedingly, abundantly above all I could ask, think, or imagine.
Did I know I would end up being a pastor’s wife? Well, in retrospect, I can see God’s hand preparing me for this task. But no, I didn’t. I opened my hand with majority (I hesitate to say all) of the desires I had as a young, single woman and said, “God, this is what I want, but I open my hand and say do as you please. Let what I receive be for your glory and your kingdom. Let it be used to impact eternity.” I also sifted my desires through the sieve of Scripture. Were my desires rooted in selfishness and personal gain? Or were they rooted with an eternal perspective in mind. Was spreading God’s good news at the forefront of my desires? (And, no, you don’t have to be called to full time ministry to have this perspective as the lens through which you make decisions!)
I did not hold tightfisted the desire for ministry, the desire for a husband, the desire for a successful career, etc. I trusted God would fulfill these desires how he pleased and that he would build something eternally significant for his kingdom.
After our first year of marriage, my husband stepped into full time vocational ministry. I worked full time at what my husband calls my “dream job” as the food and fitness manager at a non-profit, free of charge, Christian, residential home for troubled young women. It was beautiful to work there and see God’s power and his word take very broken lives and bring healing and wholeness to them.
We became pregnant and both felt that God was calling me to stay at home with our baby after she was born. I loved my job and for a moment considered staying, but I released this to God. The tug to be at home to raise my daughter was too strong, and I stepped down from my position. This was a step of faith because we had been living off of two incomes and were down to one.
Living off of one income was tighter but doable, and it was 150% worth the sacrifice. Openhanded with the idea of what my life and career would look like, I ended up becoming a stay at home mom and further down the road a homeschooling, stay at home mom. It was all by faith, in his grace, and with us leaning into God’s provision that was always there. God knew best as to what my home and family life should look like, so I trusted his leading and still small voice in the direction of our home.
Then and now, how have you cultivated a fully surrendered heart to Christ? How has God led you to be on mission for His purposes?
Surrender can be defined as ceasing resistance to an opponent and submitting to their authority. Can you be in opposition to God as a believer? Sure. We do it every day when we oppose his rule and reign in our hearts and mind. How do we cease resisting him and submit to his authority? I think part of that comes more easily if we take time to learn his character through what he has revealed in scripture. When I grasp the grandeur of God, how his wisdom is without measure, how his power is without end, and the fact that the work of Christ allows me to have relationship with this omnipotent being, I gladly surrender my heart and will to his authority. His love for me is awe-inspiring; why would I not submit to him? If I doubt his good intentions and love toward me, perhaps I’d be hesitant to submit.
One way I have cultivated a fully surrendered heart toward Christ is through becoming a student of the Bible. I will admit that pre-marriage and pre-children, it was significantly easier to cultivate this surrendered heart to Christ. I had more time! Perhaps this is why the Apostle Paul communicates what he says in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 about how unmarried people have more time to focus on the Lord’s work.
Consistency is key here. During my single years, I developed a consistent rhythm of practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, quiet reflection, and reading of Scripture that has carried me into my early 30s and through the stresses of life and raising children. Yes, it is trickier to find time to spend doing these practices now, BUT I strongly believe everyone makes time for what is important to them. As I live my life and make decisions based off of the desire to live a Gospel-centered life, the easier it is to surrender my heart and will to God.
God has led my family into places that are difficult at times and thus require complete dependency on his power and ability. We currently are in the beginning stages of planting a church. Leaving the stability of a full time pastoral position to plant a church in the midst of a global pandemic, in uncertain times when hundreds of churches are closing their doors, makes no sense in the natural. We said yes to God, his hand of provision is with us. We are committed to building a healthy, disciple-making, Biblically literate church full of people equipped to fulfill the great commission in whatever spheres God has called them to live in.
Living by faith is not always easy, but the character and grit in builds in your soul is worth every moment. Join the great adventure, step out of your comfort zone, and say yes to God. A miraculous and truly fulfilling life awaits.
***Find out more about Krystal, her family, and their church plant HERE: https://www.supportlivinghope.com/