Thoughts from the Stillness

I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for a few weeks now.

I’m on a short break from traveling and I didn’t know how I was going to handle this time until now coming to the end of it.

Rest.

It sounds so great in theory but when trying to live that out, it’s gotta be one of the most difficult things to do well, especially for someone who is not the best at sitting still (me.)

My preferred pace is 150 Miles per hour, without a break. Anyone that knows me can attest that sitting still is not my forte and I’m often impatient. I want things to be done now. Patience is a virtue which the Lord is working on in my life. 

If I can be honest, it’s only in that non-stop, run till you can’t anymore pace that I feel like I’ve accomplished anything and it’s only then that I sometimes feel validated.

It’s that mindset of If I’m not producing, I’m not pleasing to God.

That’s actually a true statement. But our human definition of producing looks so different than God’s.

Jesus said in John 15 that only those that producing fruit pleases the Father.  If we continue to look in the scripture, however, we see that producing fruit that pleases the Father is actually easy and effortless on our part.

It’s found in the ABIDING.

Continually I remind myself when I’m doing something, this action does not validate me. What I do doesn’t validate me or count me as successful.

Being in His presence and finding myself at His feet: That’s where fruit that pleases the Father is yielded.

Friends, the magnitude of His presence will ALWAYS overwhelm what we do. I remember being in a church service during worship, and the Lord spoke to my heart to picture in my hands all that I’ve done, all I’ve accomplished and all He’s assigned me to do. As I was standing there in His presence I realized how small the things I have accomplished looked to the magnitude of who He is. It was just a reminder to ALWAYS make Him bigger.

What He has done will always overwhelm what we do.

These kind of lessons are the ones that keep us from our Pharisaical mentalities.

Our righteousness is like filthy rags.

The Spirit alone gives eternal life.Human effort accomplishes nothing.And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life .John 6:63

I’m a FIRM believer in action. YES. We’re not called to just sit around and do nothing. There’s a lost and dying world that needs to be loved.

He’s called us to action. But He’s also called us to rest in Him.

And many times even stopping and resting in Him is out of our comfort zone just as much as going to an unknown land.

My actions are an offering in response to my right standing through Christ Jesus, not a mode to get there. 

No matter what I do or what I don’t do, I am loved by Him.

My actions do not determine His love for me. They determine my love for Him.

And don’t we love Him?

If He is calling us to come away with Him, we will.

If He is calling us to GO with Him, we will.

I’m as fruitful sitting still as I am going 150 miles per hour, as long as I’m abiding.

And it’s really in the stillness that I gain strength for the going.

These are some thoughts from the stillness. 

 

- J.

Growing up Copeland

Moment of raw honesty. Hope you hear my heart.

One of my biggest desires is for the church not to have a Christian Celebrity mentality.  Because of social media and television, it's easy to see people with hundreds of thousands of followers and put them on a pedestal. There comes a line that is crossed between honoring a man of God and idolizing them. 

I was so privileged to help my grandparents, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, for 3 years, behind the scenes.

I cooked, I cleaned, I ran to the grocery store, I did RANDOM things. Oh..I have crazy stories. But it was truly one of the BIGGEST honors of my life. It's where I learned what ministry was about: not to be served. But to serve.

It's where I stopped thinking that ministry equals a microphone, but to understand it looks more like a broom. (In the process of writing my next book "I asked for a mic, but God gave me a broom: why servanthood is greater than fame" )

I was called to help. I was called to serve.

However, in that time, there were many times the voice of my grandfather was bigger than the voice of God.

I remember the Lord saying to me, "Jenny you are quicker to obey the voice of your grandfather's than you are to obey mine." 

It was a wake up call to me to begin seeing life as being a GOD-pleaser and not a MAN-pleaser. 

Honor= ABSOLUTELY. It's our call. 

To make the voice of man bigger than the voice of God in our lives?= God forbid. 

I believe that if your pursuit is to please God, not man, then honoring the men you are assigned to help will be a direct result, because God's ultimate way is honor. 

People have said to me, "I want to do this, but I don't come from a ministry family so it's harder for me." 

Yeah, but should it be? If God is the one who has called you, isn't HE the one who will provide?  

Your earthly family name doesn't direct your calling or provision for your life. It's the Heavenly Father who is your Provision. 

 I admit, growing up in a well-known family, It's true many doors have opened because of an earthly name. However, many doors that I assumed would open as I got older never opened and I see it as the Grace of God. 

He moved me away from my family, my comfort zone, into an unknown place and began opening doors that I knew were because I was in HIS family and not my natural family. 

The doors that open and close solely because of my earthly family name, I don't want it.  Yes there are doors that God opens using that name, but I must never give the credit to my earthly name. It's GOD. 

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. Ephesians 3:14-15

PLEASE hear me out. I LOVE being in my earthly family. It's one of the biggest honors.  But a mistake is made when an earthly family name outweighs the family name we've received from God. 

Having an earthly name will NEVER measure up to your Heavenly lineage. As honored as I am to be in this family, being a child of GOD FAR FAR FAR outweighs it.  

That's why you can look at someone who is "well-known" as a brother or sister in Christ and not an idol. That's why you can look at someone who would be a "least of these" and see them as your equal. As your brother. As your sister. 

The blood of Jesus Christ, bringing us in as family, has leveled the playing field, my friends. 

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female, (No-namers or big names) For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 (Emphasis added)

I don't want to live my life riding on my earthly name.  Honestly, God has never let it be like that for me and for that I am grateful.

Name dropping never got me very far growing up either thanks to my mother. The result of the question 'Do you know who I am?' didn't get me favor...it got me a spankin'. 

But I think it's time to begin to see the body of Christ as our family. 

This Kingdom life is a set-the-table-big, invite-EVERYONE-over, open-up-the-doors, family kind of life. 

That's the heart of the Father. To bring us all in and to call us one. 

Growing up Copeland has its own identity attached to it and It no doubt has its easy days and its hard days...However it's growing up Christ's that I find who I really am and it's that name that I cling my life and identity to. 

I hope this blog encourages you to go for whatever it is God has assigned you to do, no matter your family name, upbringing or past, whether the best or the worst. 

May your confidence be found in being in the family of God.  

For the Kingdom. 

Your sister,

J.

How I was healed from Hepatitis C & how I learned that Medicine is not the enemy of God. part 3 (final)

If you haven't read part one and two of this testimony, you can read them here:

part one

part two

 When I say I got ready, that was in every sense of the word. I was about to go to battle. I had to pick up my weapons to fight. I knew spiritually, if I was going to go through this treatment, I was believing to go through it with NO side effects. I wrote out my healing scriptures BEFORE I went to battle. I meditated on the Word of God BEFORE I began treatment. I was in training. I have a notebook where I wrote out things my prayer friends spoke over me (I wrote about that in the second part of this testimony.) During treatment, all of these scriptures would speak life to me on days when I needed it.   

I got ready physically. I was about to go through a treatment that would in the natural lower my white blood cell count, cause extreme fatigue and throw my body in a loop. I was determined to go into it healthy and come out of it even stronger. I set out to work out, eat extremely healthy, no sugar. Honestly, the sugar one lasted about a week. Oh well. I really enjoyed that fro-yo. I didn’t even consider going off coffee just in case you’re wondering. I had found some research that said it actually is very beneficial to those going through treatment. I also heard that it caused more side effects, but I liked the first option better, besides I was believing for no side-effects.  And I definitely drank coffee like it was going out of business.

 So the time came to begin treatment. Here’s what the treatment consisted of:

They call it triple therapy, because I had to take three medicines.

1.     Sovaldi (the new FDA approved medicine)- take 1 in the morning

2.     Ribavarin – take 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening

3.     Interferon- 1 Shot once a week. Interferon is the one that usually has horrible side effects such as flu symptoms. Not everyone who goes through treatment has to do this. Certain geno-types of the virus do. The doctors said I had geno-type 1a, which was the hardest to treat, so I had to have this medicine.

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2014 at 8:00 in the morning, I got my communion elements, my Bible and my medicine and got ready to begin this journey.

 The day I began treatment. Communion Elements, Bible and Medicine.

 

They say to take the interferon shot on the same day every week and to give yourself 2 days to recover from it each week. The flu-like symptoms rush in right after the shot and it takes about 2 days to really be able to get up after that.

I chose Tuesday, since I traveled mostly on the weekends. Actually, it was probably the worst time to do a treatment that people said would pretty much be a “forced” vacation. My book, ABBA, was coming out during treatment, along with traveling for ministry and book opportunities. This looked like the worst time to do something like this, but I knew it had to be done.

God’s timing is perfect. The timing that I found out, just “randomly” after a blood test. The timing of the new treatment. The timing of getting this cleared out of my system. No more dumb thoughts like  “You’ll pass this on to your future children.”  “Your liver won’t last you long.”

Shut up devil.

You’re done.

The blood of Jesus is in my bloodstream. The whole, merciful blood of Jesus.

So every day I took this medicine, 7 AM and 8 PM on the dot. Every Tuesday I took the interferon shot. And friends, every day I saw miracles.

NOT ONCE did I take the shot on Tuesday and it take me out for the day. There were days I forgot I was even on this treatment.

But then there were days where I was constantly reminded. I was walking through, believing for NO side effects and I can honestly say the only things I faced was some fatigue (Had to take a nap about once a day…I am NOT a nap person. But sleep is good, right?) and a few days where I threw up. But even in those days, I had my prayer friends. Even in the days where I was faithless, guess what…God was faithful.

            My prayer friends constantly stood in the gap for me in prayer. When I wasn’t feeling very full of faith, they stood in faith for me. I didn’t always, every day have an overwhelming faith in God. But every day God showed me His GRACE. I also whole-heartedly believe it was the Scriptures I stored up in my heart BEFORE treatment that sustained me DURING. I remember something my aunt has said, “Store up the Word in your heart when you don’t need it, and it will come out of your mouth when you do.”

            God showed up in so many ways, many surprising and unexpected. Two people that I know of, I was able to share my journey with them. One a wife, the other a daughter of someone who had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C. Both situations, they were unable to go through treatment because of the harsh side effects of the old treatment. But now, without interferon it was doable.

One person I know began the treatment and is currently walking through treatment, holding on to the promises of God.

A virus that was in his system for years and years, can be cleared with the power of God and the tools that have been revealed.

I’m so grateful God had crossed our paths with each other. I was able to share His testimony and faithfulness.

Another cool testimony. Girls, you’re gonna love this one. One side effect was hair loss. Interferon is a form of chemotherapy. It is used for cancer patients in large doses, much larger than treatment for hepatitis C. But in Hep C treatment, many people’s hair thins out. They cut their hair to make sure it’s not stringy and patchy.

Oh, also it is suggested that you don’t color your hair. Well…Even at 27, let’s just say I have come to the point in life where it would probably be a good idea to color my hair. I mean, Gray is beautiful…and if you want to rock it, then rock it well! But…I’d like to stay a brunette..like, forever.

I colored my hair about twice, didn’t cut my hair and believing to not have any hair loss.

This was a big thing to believe for. It’s probably the most common side effect on interferon.

Friends. My hair did not thin AT ALL.  In fact, it actually got thicker.

This next part I’m about to tell you is the absolute truth. And it is AMAZING.

Even without treatment, you lose about 100 strands of hair a day. It’s the natural process of things.

Near the end of treatment, I was washing my hair and seriously, no joke…NOT ONE hair came out of my head. NONE! I pulled my fingers through my hair to see if any would come out…It was amazing.

The next time I washed my hair, only one strand came out.

What?!

This doesn’t even happen in the natural.

It doesn’t make sense.

I believe it was God saying, “I have you.” He was showing me that it truly was beyond natural.

 

Every blood test I took (So many…) I took it expecting the virus to be GONE. My liver enzymes normal and liver function perfect.

When I began treatment, my viral load (Amount of virus in my system) was 2,000,000 copies. It sounds like a crazy high number, but it is about Med-High amount. My liver enzymes (AST + ALT) from what I remember in the 70’s-100’s range. The normal is 0-40 or so.

Before I began treatment, I received a sonogram (wasn’t pregnant…) to check my liver condition.

Having the virus in my body for 25 years, I got the amazing report that my liver had little to no damage.  Many people’s livers fail before 10-20 years.

God protected my body, even when I was unaware of the virus. It’s His grace.

During my week 4 blood test, I got the call:

“There is no more hepatitis C virus in your system. It is undetected. And your liver enzymes are 10 and 14.”

PRAISE GOD!

Guys, if you can imagine it…I fell  on my face and wept, giving Glory to God. 

That’s the key.

When I found out my blood was virus-free, I didn’t yell out,

“Glory to Sovaldi! Glory to medicine!”

No.

The medicine did not get the Glory for my healing. God did.

The medicine was not my healer, only a tool God used.

I continued treatment to completion and so many more miracles and testimonies took place and they continue to. My friends rejoiced and stood with me, and God showed off His Glory.

I just had my 3 month post treatment appointment July 8th. It’s at this appointment that you take, yet another, blood test and they check to see if the virus is still Undetected.  If the virus isn’t in your system at three months after treatment, the Doctors consider you “cured,”

AKA HEALED.

It was so awesome to hear when the nurse called and said,

“Good news. You’re cured!”

She told me something I already knew, but it’s just fun when doctors confirm the word of God to you.

Friends, my God is so faithful. 1 Peter 2:24 says that Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins and our sicknesses. Healing is for you. It is the children’s bread, and you are a child of God.

Whatever process God’s healing comes, it is from HIM which Healing comes. He is the one who gets the Glory.

Don’t disregard what He has put in your life: friendships, prayer partners and tools for health and wholeness.  Be brave to share your prayer requests. And shout your testimony from the rooftops.

Thank you for rejoicing with me.

I know God is faithful and I will live my life to proclaim that truth.

For the Kingdom,

Jenny 

 

How I was healed from Hepatitis C & how I learned that Medicine is not the enemy of God. part 2

 

If you haven't read the first part of this testimony, You can read it here.           

 One of the greatest blessings of the journey I walked through? People. God sent people.

I saw people in a new way.

Growing up as a PK (Pastor’s Kid or Preacher’s Kid) transparency and weakness wasn’t something that I really allowed to come around or be shown in my life. If you are a PK then I think you know exactly what I mean. 

We need to be an example!

We aren’t the ones that should be receiving prayer. Our job is to GIVE prayer!

Right?

Wrong.

Everyone has their own battles, whether you think they do or not, because everybody goes through life. Nobody is exempt from battles. But what I learned, mostly in this past season, is that we were never called to go to battle alone.

And my errant thinking, never wanting to ask people for prayer, began to be removed and God began to show me the gift of friendship in a way I never knew.

Because guess what…WE NEED PRAYER! WE NEED HELP! I’m sure you already knew this, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded. We’re all in this together. When we don’t allow people to stand in agreement with us in prayer, we are disregarding a GIFT FROM GOD. Prayer partners are from God.

Asking for prayer does not show your weakness, it is a proof of your strength. It’s a brave thing to ask someone, “Will you stand with me on this?” It is GODLY to ask for prayer. It is GODLY to stand with others and have others stand with you.


I don’t know why it took me so long to humble myself and not fight the battle alone, but I sure am glad I did.

I called a few of my close friends, people I knew who would speak the Word over me.  I didn’t call everybody. People who are called to fight with you are the only ones you want standing with you. I have the greatest, deepest, sweetest friendships, purified and tempered in the things we are standing for, knit together with strong ties of love. 

When I found out I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, I had a choice to make: should I go through treatment or not? The old treatment for Hepatitis C was about 70 something percent effective, 48 weeks long and the side effects were TERRIBLE. It was like having the flu all the time.  There was a new treatment called Sovaldi on the horizon, that would cut the treatment to 12 weeks, and some people did not have to use interferon (The medicine that brought nasty side effects).  They just had to wait for it to be approved.  About 8-9 months later on December 8, 2013 the FDA approved Sovaldi.

            Even though this treatment seemed less intense than the old one, I still had to pray and ask God what He wanted me to do. We shouldn’t just do something because it looks easy. We should do something because God led us to. He knows things behind-the-scenes. If He tells us to do something that looks really hard, we have to remember He knows. It’s probably not as hard as it looks, and we’ll have Grace to walk through it with strength.

            I don’t remember if this statement came out of my mouth, but it definitely was my mindset: I’m either going to go through treatment or believe God for healing. To me, it had to be either, or, and to be honest, I initially thought I would be a faith-failure if I decided to go through this treatment. In my mind, that would mean that I wasn’t believing God. It was one day talking to my mom, telling her these concerns when she said:

“Medicine came from God. It is not from the devil. Why would he do something to make anything better?”

Wow. It was that statement that made me realize that this doesn’t have to be “either” “or”….It can be “AND”.

I don’t have to either go through the treatment OR believe God.

I can go through this treatment AND believe God.

Pastor Casey Treat (He was healed of Hepatitis C a few years ago) gave me a scripture when I first found out that stayed with me every day:

He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and [a]he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.

Proverbs 18:5 AMP

Maybe you are facing something similar where medicine is concerned. I encourage you to hear from God. What is He leading you to do? Don’t just call something bad because someone told you it was bad. Not all medicine is what your body needs, but God knows that. That’s why it’s so important to get God’s wisdom on it. Nobody is looking at you as a faith-failure and even if they do, God doesn’t see you like that. Gather up the friends that are called to stand with you and follow God in faith.

That’s what I did. Once I realized I could walk through this treatment with God on my side, I called my prayer friends, I called my doctor, set up an appointment to begin treatment and got ready to fight. 

To read part 3, click here

How I was healed from Hepatitis C & how I learned that Medicine is not the enemy of God. part 1

I remember like it was yesterday, opening up the letter that read:

“We can’t accept your blood donation because we have found the Hepatitis C antibodies in your bloodstream.”

What? What the heck is Hepatitis C? Maybe they sent this to the wrong person.

Fear immediately rushed in and I begin to cry. My first step of action:

Call my mom.

“Mom, what does that mean?”

“Jenny, I don’t know what it means but I know what God’s Word says about it: By His stripes you were healed.”

I’m so thankful for a praying mother. I’m thankful the first person I called wasn’t someone who had no idea of the Goodness of God.

She spoke peace into my heart that day.

This is my story of how God healed me from Hepatitis C.  When I first starting talking about making this public, I had people that said, “Are you sure you want to do that? You know the stigma around it…people might get the wrong idea.”

You know, I’m willing to risk that. There’s no better thing to the enemy than to silence our testimonies due to embarrassment or pride. I’m convinced now more than ever that you receive Healing through Humility.

Friend, I’m willing to lay my heart out, tell my struggles, and inform you of victories if it would just help one person who has been diagnosed with this disease.  And I can not remain silent of the Goodness of God in my life.   

            So what is Hepatitis C? Hepatitis C is a virus in the bloodstream that attacks the liver. They call it the “silent killer” because people won’t know they have it until about 10-20 years down the road when their livers are failing.  Either they find out when they are in pain and it’s too late….or if they decide to randomly donate blood because of a blood drive at work (me. ). Hepatitis C is passed primarily through infected needles.  Oftentimes the source of it is because of infected tattoo needles or drugs.

            When I received this letter and yes…Googled it (Bad idea.) I learned the common sources of the virus. I haven’t done drugs and I don’t have a tattoo (I’m not against them..I even contemplated getting one. Here’s what I decided. If I’m 40 and still single…I’m getting a tattoo. Don’t ask why…I don’t know.)

            So I was still unaware of how I contracted the virus. I went to the doctor (better than Google) and they informed me that blood wasn’t checked for the Hepatitis C virus in blood transfusions before 1991.

    And then my mind went back to another story where God’s hand of Grace and protection was at work.

This story really begins 26 years ago, August 8, 1988. One of our family friends was taking me to daycare. At only 18 months old, I had just learned how to unbuckle my car seat. Barry J (the driver) turned around, telling me to get back in my seat. As he turned, so did the corner. The car went off the road and flipped, from what I heard, 7 times. Since I wasn’t in my car seat, I flew out of the window.

The only way it is possible I am even alive is miraculous.

I’ve heard of 18 YEAR OLDS being ejected from a car and dying on impact. I believe an angel placed me down that day. When the ambulance arrived, I was dead on Arrival. They immediately care-flighted me to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, TX. I have a special place in my heart for that hospital now. I even met one of the paramedics years later. I’m crying as I write this. Just thinking how grateful I am.

When I arrived at the hospital, they injected dye to see if I had any internal damage. I actually still have a small scar on my stomach from the procedure. (That’s not widely known…probably because I don’t bare my stomach that often…haha) I had brain trauma  and a broken femur.  They put me in a full body cast. It was quite the sight to see…a little baby in a huge cast. I’ll try to find a picture. Well, it was at the hospital that I received multiple blood transfusions.

The doctors didn’t think I’d make it and the Hepatitis C virus thought it would someday take my life… but here I am today to say that God is faithful. I will live and not die and declare the works of the Lord (Psalm 118:17).

To read part 2, click here.