Jodi is a 2010 graduate from Wayland Baptist University. She’s seen her share of what life can throw at her. Failed exams. Dead end job interviews. Heartache.
Her plan after college was to be a teacher. After a few years of pouring her energy and passion into applications, she came to a point in her life where she didn’t really have any direction. “It seemed like every time I pressed forward, I’d just hit a dead end.”
She didn’t want to get hurt any more. She didn’t want to fail; but the way forward seemed hopeless.
Reflecting on her situation during this time, Jodi thought, “There’s nothing good that can come out of my heart being crushed.”
In the midst of her frustration, Jodi met a new friend. A woman from Jodi’s gym “was wearing a Redeemer t-shirt and we just started talking about things… I needed someone to stop me in my tracks.”
Suddenly it became clear to Jodi that she needed a place to connect–a place to be known and to know others in more than just a superficial way. She needed friends–people whom she cared for and who cared about her. People to hold her accountable.
“Redeemer just sounded like the place for me.”
Jodi found the teaching at Redeemer challenging. It was just what she needed. It was an easy decision to become a member. She wanted to be taken care of but she also wanted to give.
She began attending a Gospel Community with her friend and quickly got connected. There were between eight and fifteen people in the GC and it just worked. Jodi needed to be there. “Because I am in a GC where I feel safe, I can share my heart and let my friends know what’s going on.”
Past feelings of hopelessness and failure gave way to new perspectives on life. Jodi found encouragement to pursue different avenues in her career. She would end up serving in Redeemer’s children’s ministry and be asked to join the ministry’s leadership team.
God has continued to bless Jodi after connecting her with a strong GC. In addition to the encouragement offered during her search for a job, her GC leader would actually recommend her for a position at a local credit union.
While struggling to find her way to a rewarding and challenging career, Jodi learned that being told, “No”, is not a dead end. Her obstacles and false starts were part of the process to get where she needed to be.
Jodi has since been able to look back and see that everything—all the pain and heartache—was redirecting her back to the Lord. “It doesn’t matter how many times we fail, because those failures have a purpose… God is always using them to bring us back to Himself.”
“Just three years ago, none of this was happening,” Jodi says. “Looking back on it now, I can see how God had His hand on it.”