What I’ve Learned About Healing

Dear World Changer,

If you’re like me (Jenny), you may have struggled with what God’s heart is when it comes to healing. For years, supernatural healing (I mean, the kind that happens in a moment, often times when people pray over you and/or anoint you with oil) was a tense subject for me. You see, I was born premature with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. The lack of oxygen to my brain is the reason my eyes are not “normal” (I have Superior Bilateral Oblique Nerve Palsy to be exact!). I have longed and prayed for my eyes to be touched and healed, for my depth perception to come back. But after two surgeries at a young age and years of prayer, nothing has changed. Then there’s my period. When it started a few years ago, it was obvious that that wasn’t going to be “normal” either! Without going into to too much detail, I was either bleeding too much, or not at all…there never seemed to be a middle ground. And then earlier this year I got diagnosed with cancer and just finished walking the road of chemotherapy… no supernatural healing there either.

Trust me, I have felt some of my lowest lows when it comes to me grappling with the “whys” and “why nots” surrounding the lack of supernatural healing in my life. But I have also experienced breakthrough in both my perspective on my different physical situations, and recent miraculous healing for one of those areas! And that is why I am writing this post. To share my story with you, in hopes that if you too have struggled or even become bitter towards God when it comes to miraculous healing, that you will be encouraged. So here it is…

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, one of the things the doctors had to tell me about was the possibility that the chemo drugs would possibly impact my fertility and probably stop my period for the extent of treatment. When it comes to fertility, apparently the chemo I received doesn’t stop many women from being able to become pregnant, and I had heard testimonies of women who had gone through the same treatment years ago and now have multiple kids, so this is not something I was/am concerned about. However, I did experience months without my period during chemo. Because my cycle had been so wonky from the start of my “period journey”, it wasn’t something that caught me off guard, but I did ask my oncologist how long it would take for my period to be back to normal after chemo. She told me to expect three months to go by before seeing a normal cycle again. So that is why it was such a shock when, during my last chemo treatment, I started spotting! And I even experienced a regularly length period!

A few things stood out to me from this recent miraculous healing. The first is the faithfulness of the Lord. I had been on a pill to regulate my cycle for about a year, when I suddenly decided to stop taking it just before retreat last year. I believed that God was going to heal my cycle, and the only way I would be able to tell was to stop the pill, and see if my body would function properly without it. And I had a regular period after retreat! Although I didn’t between March 2017 and the end of October I clung to the knowledge that the Lord had started a good work in me and would see it to completion. And I choose to believe now (even though I am waiting to experience my next cycle) that my period is indeed fully healed. The second thing that stood out to me is that the Lord is so kind and encouraging even after we have been bitter or cold towards Him. I had wondered why He hadn’t healed me years ago when my period first started being abnormal. I had been angry with Him before and during chemo about why I wasn’t miraculously healed, why I had to walk through treatment. And yet, He allowed my period to start and be regular on the last day of treatment. The last day of a treatment that had the potential to steal much more from me than my hair and my period. You see, I felt the Lord give me a promise a few months ago with regards to my future as a mother. I felt like He was saying that I would indeed have my own children, so I don’t need to fear the possibility of infertility. Well, He could have let me cling to that experience from months ago, yet with my period starting at the very same time as chemo was coursing through my body, it was almost as if I was receiving confirmation on that promise of fertility. That encouraged me a lot!

And remember how I mentioned that my perspective on healing had changed? Well, now I am not scared or reluctant to pray for healing in others. Just because I haven’t received healing, or received it the way I’ve wanted to, doesn’t mean I don’t pray for others to receive healing! I dare to hope, just like it says in Lamentation chapter 3, even if it is for someone else, because I know the character of God. He is loving and kind and merciful. And He knows exactly what is best for His children!

Lamentations 3:21-23: “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

So, World Changer, you may still be wondering why I even wrote this post. I wrote it to encourage those of you who are walking through physical difficulty and don’t see healing as a possible option for you. I wrote it to encourage you to see the Lord as He truly is, as One who is able and kind, who will be there with you whether it is as a Comforter through the tough season, or as a Healer right now! Dear One, you are going to have great impact. Whether that comes through a testimony of miraculous healing, or through a testimony of walking through a dark season. Stay close to the Father and reject bitterness. Who knows what He has waiting for you just around the bend!

We, your female IntenCity Leaders, love you and are here to encourage you, listen to you, and walk with you through any season life throws at you. You are cherished and much loved! Here for you always.

Love,

Jenny

Cardio And Ab WorkOuts

Dear World Changer,

I LOVE working out. Seriously! I think it all started when I was a competitive gymnast. Every practice would consist of conditioning exercises (workouts). Most of my team mates dreaded this, but I thrived off it! I loved feeling sore the next day because it meant I worked hard (and maybe didn’t stretch enough!). I love setting goals and the feeling you get when you reach them. Conditioning never felt like a punishment, it felt fun! And since then I’ve always viewed and created workouts with fun, goal setting and challenge in mind.

Here are my go-to Ab and Cardio workouts! Some require equipment and others don’t! I will post my leg, arms, back and chest workouts another time! And remember, always stretch BEFORE and AFTER a workout! This is super important for your muscles!

  1. Cardio: I do this treadmill routine every time I hit the gym. I get really bored on the treadmill so I switch up the speeds and incline often. I found this routine on one of my favourite dancer’s blog! It works like a charm!

A. Walking at 0% incline 4.0 speed for 10 minutes

B. Walking at 4.0% incline 4.0 speed for 10 minutes

C. Jogging at 0.5% incline 5.0 speed for 10 minutes

D. Running at 0.5% incline 6.0 speed for 10 minutes

E. Cool down 0% incline at 3.5 speed for 10 minutes

I didn’t start with doing each step for 10 minutes! I started by doing each of these for 4 minutes then worked my way up! It’s better to do it right, then do it fast! If I want a quicker cardio workout, I’ll do 5 minutes each!

2. Abs!

All the pics posted are from that dancers blog!

A. Mountain Climbers – I like to do 3 sets of 20

Fix Jenna10

B. Medicine Ball Crunches – I like to do 50 with arms behind head, then 50 with arms up.

 

C. Medicine Ball Pikes: I do 3 sets of 10. You can also try it without piking and by simply bringing your knees into your chest (it’s a little easier).

 

D. Twisties with weighted ball (can also do them without a ball)! I do 3 sets of 20

E. Side Planks: See how long you can hold each side and try to beat your time at every workout! Tip: Try to get your hips up as high as you can – it burns more!

FixJenna8

And that’s my cardio and ab workout! Sometimes I mix it up with other cardio and ab exercises to shock my body (I’ll talk about that later). But these are always my go-to!

Remember – always set goals! Start by seeing how many/how long you can do these exercises and write it down on a chart with the date beside it. Then write down where you want to be in a month! Continue recording your time/reps each workout and reach for that goal of yours! Once you hit it, set another goal! I always set fitness goals for 1 month, 6 months and 1 year!

Any questions about how to make a goal chart or about these workouts, just fill out that contact page and I’ll write you back!

PNat

Love Yourself

Dear World Changer,

You are magnificent! Loved and lovely, you are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Created with purpose, intentionally designed. And with that being said, you are called to love yourself.

Maybe like me, that last sentence scares you. “I can’t love myself, that’s pride” or “I am not worth it” or “who would love this”. Maybe like me, you have said those things. But Christ loves you, and He showed you just how much He loves you when He sacrificed Himself for Y O U.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to love. And that love includes, and must start with, loving ourselves. Because until we have both allowed Him to love us, and learned to love ourselves, we can’t effectively love the world!

So, that is why I am here chatting with you today. One of the ways we show love to ourselves is how we fuel our bodies. My fitness teacher taught me that I teach my body to trust me (and, as a result, work well) when I consistently feed it what it needs (healthy, nutrient rich foods and beverages) when it needs it. She taught our class that our body needs a rejuvenating snack POST-WORKOUT, consisting of both Carbs and Proteins (the ratio is ONE palm sized serving of PROTEIN to TWO of CARBS). Carbs give us energy, and refuel us quickly following a tough workout! Some examples of carbs include: cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, brown rice, quinoa, beans, etc. (basically any fruit, veggie, legume, or whole grain). Proteins restore our muscles, which is super important after tearing/straining them during a workout. Great proteins include: nut butters (peanut, almond, etc.), meats (chicken, beef…), cheese, etc.

Some quick and easy post workout snack ideas are:

  • Energy Balls,
  • Peanut butter and banana,
  • Carrots and hummus…

…And so many more! Check out Pinterest or pick up a cook book and just experiment with some quick and easy recipes. I am actually going to outline two of my favourite recipes below and insert their links, so check those out as well:

  1. No Bake Energy Balls

http://www.myfussyeater.com/bake-chia-energy-bites/

I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I found it a few weeks ago, and have been making these up consistently since then. I used to struggle to find a recipe without dried fruit (I am NOT a fruit in my snacks kind of gal) but these balls are super healthy WITHOUT the fruit (*insert all the praise hands*)! I leave out the drizzled chocolate, and play around with the amounts a bit (ex. I really like coconut, so I add some more in addition to what’s written…), but let’s just say this recipe is a keeper! Pop two in your bag for school or bring them to the gym for after your workout, and you’ll get a healthy serving of both your carbs (oats) AND your proteins (chia seeds = the bomb)!

  1. Hummus

https://ultimatedanielfast.com/want-a-snack-have-some-hummus/

Talk about heaven in a bowl, this stuff is golden! My mom made it for the first time while on the 21 Day Fast in January of this year and it has frequently graced the top shelf in our fridge ever since! It is so easy and quick and stays good for 1 week in the fridge (but trust me, it will be gone before then!). Cut up some yellow and red peppers to go along with it, and you’ve to another simple and carb/protein power snack. One tip: if you don’t have fresh parsley, use 1/8 cup dried parsley. Also, taste test the hummus as you blend, and add little amounts of different things one at a time. I find myself adding more salt and lemon juice most times I make it, but that is just me so don’t stray from the recipe until you have tasted it for yourself! And remember that it will taste best once it has been in the fridge for a few hours.

So, lovely, you’ve got some inspiration, now go feast on some healthy goodness! I just wanted to encourage you to honour the way God has so intentionally designed you. He didn’t make a disposable garbage can, but a purposeful World Changer who must learn to love herself in every way, including how she nourishes herself.

I love you and I’m rooting for you, my sister! You’ve got this.

Love,

Jen L.