Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My friend, Jaime

I want you to meet my friend, Jaime. I mean, I seriously want you to meet her. Your life will be blessed by her in ways that I cannot explain. And not just when you're around her. She'll move away and for the next several years you'll only continue to realize how amazing she is and kick yourself for not getting to know her better while you were in the same state. Trust me. I speak these things from experience. Jaime is probably blushing now, so I should move on.

Let me tell you what I love about my friend Jaime. Are you ready for this??? She believes God. I mean, she doesn't just beleive in God. She BELIEVES God. She takes Him at His Word. She obeys Him in complete and full anticipation of His blessings. I know, I know... many of us think, "Well, I kinda do that, too." No you don't. I mean, you try like I do... but we fall seriously short. I honestly never thought that anyone could follow so hard after Christ, believing Him, trusting Him, relying on Him the way my friend Jaime does. We tend to love God and follow Him but when we find ourselves in the middle of a tantrum because things didn't go our way, we pat each other on the back and say, "It's ok. You're only human." I used to think that way ok. But I don't anymore. Not since God introduced me to Jaime. So let me introduce her to you...

Jaime is the mother of 3 beautiful little boys... Micah (9), Noah (6), Isaac (11months) and the wife (for 12 yrs) of Jason. Jason recently left for his 3rd deployment. I have much to tell you about that, but first I want to tell you what drew my heart to Jaime in the first place. Jaime loves God's Word. I mean, she LOOOOOOOOVES it! She says it is "essential to every area of my life." She goes much farther than reading Scriptures... she memorizes and meditates on them. And I don't mean she has memorized John 3:16 and Romans 3:23. Jaime has memorized chunks of Scripture that bring her encouragement, instruction and comfort. She's even memorized the entire book of James!!

I asked Jaime why she has chosen to devote so much time to memorize Scripture. Her response? "I can't teach God's Word to my children if I don't know it. I need to know how to respond to them with Bible verses...what God's Word says about things they are struggling with...whether it is conflict & how to resolve it, complaining, lying, being unkind, anger, etc...we are all sinners and we all struggle...God's Word is the ultimate counseling/teaching guide..."All Scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness"...

Jaime sets time aside each morning and each evening for prayer and meditation on the Word. She picks out Scriptures to teach her boys and works on memorizing them with her children or she looks for verses that help her deal with the circumstances of her life.

She says, "God's Word is the instruction manual I use for my life, marriage, parenting, etc...so memorizing God's Word helps me to live my life, obey the Lord, teach my children, encourage my husband, know my role as a wife, help in our struggle with sin, comfort me, etc...If I am struggling I can remember what God's Word says about it...and if I know what God's Word says it helps me to be more discerning...etc..."

When I was going through an incredibly difficult trial in my own life, I was so blessed to know Jaime. I had been the leader of a Bible study for Military Wives at our church that she had been a part of. She came along beside me in prayer and encouragement. She sent me books and a Bible and Scriptures to read and memorize. I learned alot about Jaime during my trial. As the "leader" of such a group I was humbled at how much she taught me about loving God, about truly digging into Him and His Word, about living for Him and with Him and thru Him.

Jaime says, "Reading, memorizing, meditating...all go hand in hand...it is a way of life. The more we study God's Word...the more we love Him and the more we love Him...the more we desire to study His Word and the more we study it...the more we are able to memorize it."

This woman does more than talk the talk. She walks the walk. Don't believe me? You should be lucky enough to be her facebook friend and read the status updates that she posts. They encourage my soul every time. For example... a short time ago, she posted on facebook that her husband had just learned that he may have to deploy rather quickly. In a matter of days, he was on orders to leave. If you're like me, this kind of event can leave you horribly sad and shaken if not angry, panicky, worried, anxious and completely devestated. With three small boys to care for, Jaime faced the deployment with such grace, from the very beginning.

Her first status read: Just found out on Wednesday that Jason will be deploying back to Afghanistan for about 10 months...leaving as early as (XXX DATE)..."The LORD is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him."
Psalm 28:7

I'll  be honest... thanking God is not the first thing I would think to do, even tho God tells us to give thanks in all things.

The following days, she continued to post Scriptures of praise, thankfulness and faith in God. She publicly thanked God for the tools He's given her to face deployment. She was honest about her feelings, sharing that it was hard to watch her husband pack for Afghanistan. She didn't sugar coat what she is going through. She lives in Alaska. She has to learn how to use a snow blower. She has to keep her family warm and fed for a very long winter. But she's optimistic. And hopeful.... because she knows in Whom she trusts.

I don't know about you... but just by looking at Jaime, I'm encouraged to be more like her. I see the benefits of digging into the Word. I see the way it can truly transform our lives if we let It. If knowing and meditating on God's Word can give you the kind of grace this woman has, I WANT IT.

How about you?

Thank you, Jaime for your beautiful, living testimony. You are a blessing beyond the ability I have to express it.