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5 minutes with Jess ...

Tell us a little about yourself I'm married to Brad and we have a gorgeous little boy Eddie Bruce. This first year of parenting has been loads of fun, and definitely very different to what I expected! I was raised in a Christian home and my whole family know and love God, which is a huge blessing!I'm a primary school teacher and am about to start working again one day a week, with Eddie having a daddy day! (Will see how they cope!) We recently moved from Sydney to the Central Coast after loving the church we are now a part of, Hope UC. I love exercising, beaching and gardening. What's your favourite bible passage & why? My favourite bible passage is John 10:10 "I have come that you may have life. Life to the fullest". This verse has so much meaning to me. For many years I was made to believe that we should be miserable because of our sin. It wasn't until I went through a divorce, being left with nothing and barely a relationship with Jesus, that He showed me this verse in random times and places over and over. I came to see that God has blessed us with so much and we have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate. He has given us a life that is to the max and we should enjoy every minute of that, all because of Jesus. No need to dwell on the past and our sin anymore, because we have new life through Him! How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus? I've always been a music person, and love worship songs. Most of the time I struggle not to just cry my eyes out in response to the words I'm singing. But I love being able to just forget the world and what's going on, and just be in the moment of praising His name. It's like I'm singing prayers to Him and connecting with Him. What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know? That our worth is far more valuable than we often give ourselves credit for. I've struggled for many years thinking because I was divorced I wasn't good enough. That everyone else seemed to be so much better than me. Add to that many years of eating disorders, and body image issues, and constantly feeling like I wasn't loved because I wasn't skinny or pretty enough. But Gods word says we are far more precious than rubies. I've learnt to tell myself that over and over and know that He sent Jesus for ME! How precious that really is. I want women to know their value in Christ and to really believe and know just how much they are loved by our King. What's one thing that you love about your local church? I love how welcoming our church is. It's not forced. And it's not fake. The very first time we went there, we were invited out to lunch and the whole lunch was paid for. The people are so generous and we have never felt so at home. I have real relationships with so many people and have loved becoming a part of Hope UC. We have had a hard year, from the stresses of a new baby and moving away to a new place, issues with our flat and the real estate, and then losing my mother in law suddenly. But through it all we have been abundantly blessed with meals, gifts, and even having our flat cleaned and spotless for us upon returning from 2 weeks away for the funeral. I've never experienced love and generosity like this in my life. What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard? I learnt that God is everywhere. Even when my choices are not honouring to Him, He was still there calling me back. That gentle whisper of loving forgiveness was always there. Deep down I knew He wanted me back and when I chose to listen, my life changed dramatically. What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about helping others who have been through similar journeys to me. I felt so alone and thought I was the only one who had been through such things. It's funny how God places you where you need to be. I've found so many people who I thought were perfect, actually have a past too. Although I have always known appearances can be deceiving, when you're in the moment, it's not the first thing that comes to mind. I want to be transparent and honest about my life in hope that it may encourage others and help them see that we all are imperfect, but made perfect through Jesus. What do you enjoy doing when you rest? I love to clean. Haha! Cleaning seems to make me feel better and relax! I don't understand it but I just love it. And I love to run too. Not really two things that scream 'rest' but it works for me!

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