"Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days."
That's what I think about when I consider my old friend Jolina Petersheim. As a young college student, I'd give Jolina rides home from church and pepper her with well-intentioned advice with the air of a sage.
Looking back, I cringe at how I must've come across to this giddy little junior high girl who must've seen me as a major party pooper. I couldn't hold back, though. God had changed my life around her age, and I wanted SO BAD for her to taste and see how good He is.
Time passed, and we both went our different ways as life played out. She was in my wedding, and I heard through the grapevine as she headed off to college and then got married.
When I heard through our shook-up community grapevine that Jolina had not only published a book, but it was a best-seller, all of us were thrilled. For me, who'd always entertained secret crazy dreams like running in the Olympics, writing, and being a radio show host, a spark of "what if I could, too!" was secretly lit.
I began reading her blog, which was far different than it is today. In the following years I observed as this spunky dreamer mellowed into a wise woman who regularly offers insight that shapes my own thinking.
So if you've poured into younger women, praying for them, feeling like your words fall flat, just know that it isn't us that makes people wise.
He sometimes allows us to join in the process, and sometimes He removes us and puts others in our place.
He's the One doing the work.
And we will reap. If we don't faint.
And here's the Youtube link if you'd like to listen that way:
Jolina Petersheim is the critically-acclaimed author of The Alliance, The Midwife, and The Outcast, which Library Journal called “outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational” in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. That book also became an ECPA, CBA, and Amazon bestseller and was featured in Huffington Post’s Fall Picks, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and the Tennessean. CBA Retailers + Resources called her second book, The Midwife, “an excellent read [that] will be hard to put down,” and Booklist selected The Alliance as one of their Top 10 Inspirational Fiction Titles for 2016. Jolina’s nonfiction writing has been featured in Reader’s Digest, Writer’s Digest, and Today’s Christian Woman.
She and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but they now live in the mountains of Tennessee with their two young daughters.