Turning Back To Say Thanks 28

Now one of them …

turned back, 

glorifying God with a loud voice, 

and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him.

Luke 17:15-16

IMG_5045 - Version 31 phone call

Been watching my phone for, oh, about four months now. Each time it’s jangled (that popular old-fashioned ring tone that sends half of us diving for our pockets when we hear it in a crowded room), my heart has convulsed a little. Could this be the “yes” I’ve been holding my breath for?

Each time it hasn’t been. An appointment reminder maybe. My daughter saying she’d be home late. My grandson calling to FaceTime me. But never the call I hoped for.

Until two days ago. That’s when I heard these words: “Hi, this is __________ from MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship). We’d like to offer you the job of Writer and Communications Coordinator.” My voice spoke calmly even as my heart boogied down. “That’s awesome. Thank you.”

100 conversations

Picked up my phone and started calling, emailing, and texting. (Good thing my keyboard is routinely blue-toothed to my iPhone.) Seems my whole world has been praying with me about this: Greg, my kids, my dad, my siblings, dear friends. I felt the need to tell all of them, right away.

As responses flew back to me, each one felt like a warm hug: “Can you hear me cheering from here?” “All in His timing, my friend!” “Praising God with you, woo-hoo!”

9 + 1 + me

The very morning of the phone call, I’d spent some time considering the ten men with leprosy whom Jesus had healed. Only one of them had returned to thank Him. Jesus had asked the grateful man, “Where are the other nine?”

In my journal, I wrote that perhaps they were anxious to be declared clean by the priests. Perhaps it didn’t occur to them to return and thank Him.

Or maybe—just maybe—they were too busy sending a flurry of texts to all their family and friends.

Standing in my kitchen to take a breath that afternoon, it was as if the gospel of Luke bopped me on the head. “Hey, you’re like those nine clueless guys!” It’s possible I had breathed a quick “thank-You” after hearing the good news from MAF, but I had no recollection of it. So I stopped that moment and thanked my gracious, faithful Father.

I’ve been trying to remember to thank Him ever since.

Blog #56

Today’s post may be my last for awhile. I start my new job on Tuesday, and I want to give it my best attention. It feels like a sacred trust.

So, today, it seems appropriate to wrap things up with gratitude.

Thank-you #1

First, I want to publicly express my gratitude to God.

It was He who flooded me with sudden, undeniable peace the moment I heard the words, “There might be a job opening at MAF.”

It was He who opened the door to that job, then closed it. It was He who opened a second door, and a third, each quietly clicking shut. Finally, it was He who opened this fourth door and—with one phone call and a glint in His eye—invited me to walk through it.

It was He who gave me the three prayers to pray, providing a framework for my faith all these months:

  • Lord, please till my heart so it’s ready for whatever job You bring me
  • Please lead me to the job where You’ll be most glorified in me
  • I trust You

It was He who answered not only those prayers, but also the desires of my heart penned boldly on a page of my journal back in February.

And it was He who graced me with a host of comrades in arms who had my back during the moments when my faith faltered and my resolve wilted.

It is toward these prayer warriors that I now turn, with full heart, in gratitude:

IMG_5024 - Version 2Thank-you #2

To each of you who has prayed with me, hoped with me, commiserated with me, encouraged me, and counseled me as I’ve waited for a job, I offer my most profound and humble appreciation. I absolutely know I could not have endured this stretch of the path without you.

Furthermore, to each of you who has read my blogs, shared my blogs, commented on my blogs, and expressed what my blogs meant to you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You have honored me beyond words.

Until next time, I will be—as always—

Listening to the Shepherd (with you),





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28 thoughts on “Turning Back To Say Thanks

  • Theresa

    Yeah. Praise God! Fantastic news. Have a great first week. And second, and more. Of course please write about your job at MAF and let us know all about it. I feel we have been on a journey with you and you can’t leave us hanging now. :)

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Aww Theresa, that blesses me that you and others might not want to be “left hanging.” I will try to write a followup post when I can. Thank you so much for your sweet support these couple of years since the writers conference–has been a gift to me!

  • Judy

    As I’ve watched you and prayed for and with you these last months – years – of ups, downs, maybes, hopes dashed… I’ve so appreciated and admired your transparency, your honesty, as you’ve shared your journey with us. I went back and re-read all of your posts: EVERY one of them ends with praise to our Lord, even among the questions, the hurts, the “I don’t understands”. Thank you for that faithfulness of always pointing us back to Him who loves us best. ‘Love you, My Friend :-)

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      You’re kidding me——you went back and read them all? Dear amazing friend, that touches my heart! Wow. Thank you! And thank you for what you saw in them, that praise and worship I’ve tried (sometimes not so successfully) to maintain through the questions and puzzlements and doubts. Thank you for being so faithfully on this journey with me, praying and believing in God’s goodness all the way. Love you too, my trusted friend.

  • Peggy Forstad

    Oh, Jeanelle, I am so delighted at how the Lord is directing your path! Your patience and the value of time spent in waiting by wrapping yourself up in worshiping Christ and intimately knowing Him is going to be the foundation for your next chapter. You give me such encouragement, as I am in bed for the second time in less than two years with my “toes above my nose” for a third foot surgery that will hopefully return me to my former status of walking, leaping, and praising God! I look forward to hearing how He is daily mapping out His imprint on your life and the lives of those whom your writing will impact.

    Prayers, love, and blessings,

    Peggy from Overland Park, KS

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Peggy, my friend! I’ve thought about you so often since we met at the worship conference last summer! What an ordeal your Shepherd has brought you through–waiting of an entirely different sort than I’ve experienced. How I pray you are back to walking, leaping, and praising God for healing much sooner than you anticipate. Thank you for your delight, and your affirmation of my patience and my “wrapping myself up in worshiping Christ and intimately knowing Him.” You KNOW that’s my goal; I know how often I’ve failed. But His mercy is without boundaries, and I’m so grateful. Praying today that that mercy wraps you up with reassurance in this waiting season. A big hug to you!

  • Elizabeth Clark

    Thrilled for you Jeanelle! Your writing gifts will be put to such good use. Loved the picture of your prayer list and how God has answered that with an exciting job at MAF. And thank you for the reminder to be the leper that returns and thanks the giver of all good gifts. Recently been through a similar waiting time through which I have not always waited patiently or well. I found out yesterday that I get to start my dream job on Monday. So this post was just perfect timing.

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Oh Elizabeth, I’m thrilled for you! It’s been a long journey, and you’ve worked so hard, and I smile to think of the beautiful ways God is going to use you to help and encourage others in your much-prepared-for career! Your dream job! The best! So proud of you! Please keep me posted, okay?

  • Daniel

    We are so excited and thankful with you, Mom! Also, sounds like you have been studying the passage I have to preach next week. Maybe you should preach it instead? :)

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Really? You’re preaching that passage? You can use me as an illustration of how NOT to be. :) And hey, thanks for the invitation to preach instead of you. I’d love to, but, you know, I have a job now and everything… Proud of you and so thankful for how God is using your giftedness, Son. It brings me deep, deep joy. And thanks to you and Molly for your amazing support of me these past few months. Love you!

  • Patricia Robertson

    Jeanelle, congratulations on the new position! I’ve been wondering how your job search was progressing. I’m doing some searching of my own, still no luck. Maybe you can do one more post telling us about MAF and what you will be doing?

  • Cleo A. Lampos

    My heart is so filled with joy for you. MAF is blessed to have you on their staff, and you are blessed to have the opportunity to make words reach people in many ways. Our journeys are all different, with doors opening and closing, but our final destination is Heaven. We will have a long time to share how God created such exciting journeys for each of us. Keep in touch. We want to know how this is going. Blessings on your new job.

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Cleo, your joy brings a smile to my countenance right now. Thank you. I can’t wait to hear someday all the doors God has opened (and closed) for you, in His perfect timing—and heaven we’ll be able to see their purpose so much more clearly. As a fellow writer, I”m honored to be on this journey with you, though He’s calling us to live it out in different venues. Please keep ME posted too, as you use your beautiful gift for Him.

  • Mary Gray

    Jeanelle, I am so thrilled for you! I have absolutely loved your blog even though I am still not caught up on all them. I will get thru them as timing allows. Congratulations and I hope it is all you envision and more. Love the picture of you in this post!

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Thank you so much for your happiness for me, Mary! And now I’ll be giving you a really long time to catch up. :) (Thanks, about the picture—Greg and I hiked up Bald Mountain a few weeks ago. That was a brave smile there, through lack of breath and aching calf muscles!)

  • Judy Fossgreen

    Congratulations, Jeanelle! What an amazing job—–you are hand fitted for such a wonderful job. God surely will be glorified, and you will be in hog heaven using your gifted skills for MAF. They are an awesome organization. I will miss your blogs, but I am so very grateful for this opportunity God has given you. You have been a blessing to many, and now will be a blessing to many many more.

    May you walk with the Lord through this new journey with great joy.

    Love and blessings,

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Judy, these words are so strengthening to my heart. I do feel grateful and undeserving of the opportunity to work with MAF. Also, thank you for your wonderful Comments these past few months–they’ve blessed me very much, and many others too, I’m sure of it!

  • Ruth Hartman

    Celebrating GOD’S FAITHFULNESS with you!! HIS timing is PERFECT….never delayed or ahead of time! Your talents and gifts of writing will be a BLESSING that makes an ETERNAL IMPACT around the world!!! To GOD be the GLORY!!!

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Ruth, it’s so true! It FELT like He was a little tardy with my perfectly-planned schedule, but once again He has proven to be an impeccable scheduler. I’m so excited to be connected in this way now to your sweet daughter and family! Thanks for the hope for my writing to be a blessing with eternal impact–how I pray so, to God’s glory!