AnnaMarie Jenema

Before I came into being, my life was already going to be a place for sadness and misery to sink in. My parents were not the best people a child could be raised by. They had a one- time fling and the next moment they knew - a little surprise walked into their life: me. My birth dad left the moment they learned of my birth mother's pregnancy, and so my birth mom was left alone with an important decision to make. She had questioned abortion, but thankfully my grandma changed her mind. She had me and planned to raise me ... but she couldn't handle thinking for and caring for another life. She has fetal alcohol syndrome and can't think properly. What we deem to be common sense she has no concept of. So she put me up for adoption. There happened to be a kind, gentle, loving pair who could not have children - but wanted to share their love. God brought them to me and saved my life before I ever understood what life even was. It was an open adoption and my birth mom had contact with them frequently, but after a week or so without me, my birth mom wanted me back. I got a cold and she was unable to understand how to help me, so she sent me back for good. My birth mom smokes, drinks, and doesn't understand the meaning of promises or that love is a two way street. She never understood that a 13 year old doesn't want Winnie the Pooh toys anymore and that no present compares to being there for your children. She has never come to a single dance recital of mine and did not come to her own daughter’s graduation. She has never come for my birthday and will probably not attend any event of importance to my life. My birth dad is an alcoholic and has been to rehab for drug use and is currently in jail for doing something unspeakable to my half-sister…his own daughter. If I were to live with my own DNA (my birth parents), I would not be the person you see before you today. I would be someone I could not stand - drinking poison enough to kill, swallowing capsules filled with relief, only to escape a reality I am so thankful not to have. I would be someone that I will never want to see - but I'm not because the gracious hands of God saved me before I was even brought into this world. On that fateful day, He saved my life. 

Abby VanderCook

This week I gave 1/3 of the money I had to my name to the church for my tithe. As I did this, I prayed that God would bless it and bless me for my obedience to Him and His word. I prayed for financial provision, because I'm still seeking a job. The last few months have been a huge struggle because my savings has significantly depreciated. But I had ABUNDANT faith that God would provide a new job for me because of my faithfulness to Him and that He would do it all for His glory. Well, last night at 11:34pm my old boss texted me and asked me if I could come back to work for them. It took everything in me not to jump up and down screaming (because I didn't want to wake those who were sleeping). God is SOOO good. And He is SOOO faithful! This season has been pretty hard to keep the faith, but I have been speaking life into what seems like a dark situation. This small act of love from my Father has grown my faith tremendously more! God is faithful to those who love Him!

“Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.” Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT


Recently we owed the IRS several thousand dollars in taxes. We were blessed by a loan from family to settle our debt with the IRS however it still put a strain on our finances to repay our family. I reached out to family and friends for prayer. I also reached out to the Real Woman prayer warriors. So many people were praying for relief for our family and for financial blessings. We suddenly were blessed by a friend of the family to double check our return for free. He discovered that our tax person made a large mistake!!! He is filing an amended return for free for us and the IRS will be repaying almost all of the money we had to pay in! So very blessed and so very thankful. 

Renee Looks

At Res Life in Cadillac, we have been going through a video series about tithing. The basic idea is that we are supposed to tithe ten percent. Our family tithes but it is usually less than ten percent. Our income is pretty tight but I said "Okay, God." Well, here I am a week later with double the money back! God is so good! You can bet that I am tithing ten percent tomorrow and from now on! I see way more blessings when I tithe ten percent versus when I tithe less.


For several months, I have been worried about losing my job. I prayed about it often. In January, Pastor Dan was talking about fasting. I had never fasted, so was not sure what to do or what to expect. I fasted for one month. During my fasting time, I read my Bible more and listened more closely to what God was saying. Two weeks into the fast, my supervisor called me to a meeting. I thought I would go from this meeting and then directly to the unemployment office. When I arrived, she told me how she had been writing a job description for a new position. She said that as she was writing out the responsibilities of the new position, she kept thinking of me and how this would be a perfect fit. As she explained the job to me, I quickly realized it was a perfect fit! It was as if the job had been created and tailored just for me. (I believe it was!) It fit my skills, experience, interests, and education perfectly! Of course, I immediately accepted this position knowing that God was putting a great plan in place for me. I am very excited to start this new position and want to give the glory to God for blessing me with this amazing opportunity!

Jessica Holly

I had been stressing about daycare expenses as my tax return was whittled away and summer on the horizon... My daycare cost is about 800 a month during school but skyrockets to 1200 in the summer!

After two sleepless nights, I talked to mom and declared my tithers rights (had a huge revelation about that when pastor Scott Bender shared that video) and that money wasn't going to be an idol or focus in my life. That my Daddy would always provide and every six steps (figuratively) I'm praising Him for his provision over the last decade of raising these babies. I didn't know what was going to happen but I knew I wasn't going to let worry steal my joy!

My children go to Joyful Hearts, in the back of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church. They have for quite some time. Well Jayne, a fellow believer and head of the childcare, is the husband of the treasurer. He knows that I sometimes fall behind in my payments and she knows my heart and how hard I try to stay afloat.

She wrote an article about my situation and put it in their communication.  Two days later, four families had stepped up to sponsor my children for their summer camp program. Jayne said nothing was official but she had taken MANY calls of people wanting more information. She was hoping to help lighten my load and in fact, I may have no childcare expenses for the summer months!

I am so so humbled. And so so loved and so so thankful! I have always felt like I couldn't follow my heart because it would be irresponsible in regards to my providing for my children. I now know that I know that I know that He desires to provide. Abundantly.

It's a new and AMAZING freedom. Every day He grows my faith. Every day is new hope, joy so huge, such a tangible presence and such an outpouring of love.

Never ever do I want that to change! I'm nothing if not His.