Jenifer Jernigan is the founder of Diving Deeper Ministries. Her passion is to equip people of all ages to d.i.v.e. deeper into God’s Word, teaching them to study Scriptures for themselves.

I asked Jenifer to write a guest post for Vessel Project readers. She graciously offered this excerpt from her boDive Deeper: Finding Deep Faith Beyond Shallow Religion. (Thomas Nelson, March 2014. Used with permission.)

I hope you enjoy it.

And Then I Was Chosen

We stood in a circle on the playground, nervously laughing, chatting, and looking over our shoulders. The boys stood, bowed up like a flock of banty roosters, strutting their masculine sixth grade stuff and talking among themselves. We knew exactly what they were deliberating.

Ben, taller than the rest and with dark-brown hair and sky-blue eyes, the most popular boy in the sixth grade, the one all the girls wanted to “go with,” kept looking at me.

I wanted so badly for him to choose me, but I was still fairly new to this school, and my friends’ perms didn’t make their hair frizzy, like mine did. They were allowed to wear makeup; I had to wait another year. They were skinny; I was on the fluffy side. And unlike mine (my dad was the “preacher-man”), their dads had normal jobs.

As the five boys turned around and began walking toward us, we broke open our circle and unfolded into a straight line, as if we were about to play Red Rover. But we all knew better.

My heart was racing, my hands were sweating, and I was silently praying Ben would choose me. Then everything would be right in my sixth grade world. We made eye contact—a sure sign, I thought—but within an arm’s length, he shifted to his right. And chose the other girl. My heart shattered. Ben didn’t choose me; no one chose me. I was the leftover sixth girl to those five boys.

“Not chosen” became a recurring theme in my life. Until Jesus.

I love The Voice translation of Ephesians 1:4:

“God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world; He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him.”

Before the foundation of the world, God chose me with my frizzy hair, fluffy body, no makeup, and preacher-man dad. He walked straight to me and called me by name because I was the one He wanted.

Today, know this: before the foundation of the world, God chose YOU too! He wants so badly to be in a relationship with you. He’s calling your name. Will you answer?

Thank you God for wanting us and choosing us to be in a relationship with You! We love You and praise Your name this day.

Jenifer Jernigan is a wife and mom of 3 whose past would spill over into her present if it weren’t for the healing power of God’s Word.

As founder of Diving Deeper Ministries, her passion is to equip people of all ages to d.i.v.e. deeper into God’s Word, teaching them to study Scriptures for themselves.

She is co-owner and regular writer for Internet Café Devotions and is part of a team of writers creating curriculum for Journey Church in Raleigh, NC.

Her first book, Dive Deeper: Finding Deep Faith Beyond Shallow Religion (Thomas Nelson, March 2014) is available now anywhere books are sold.

Find Jennifer Here:

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