Jenna overcomes depression
|“How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts. My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow ahs found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young-Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will be praising You. Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage…For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalm 84:1-5, 10, NKJV
“And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7, NLT
Jenna felt better the next morning. She now looked forward to mornings-this one especially. This was Jenna’s first Sunday singing with the praise band. That was the first thing that was on her mind when she woke up and ate some breakfast.
But she did not know what to wear. She opened the door to her closet and sifted through everything in there. Summer was gradually becoming fall, and with the changing of seasons, Jenna never knew what to wear. Either it would be too heavy to wear, or the colors of the outfit would be too light.
She found her dark floral wrap-around skirt and short-sleeved off-white knit shirt. She brushed her teeth, styled her hair, and headed out the door.
She met up with everyone in the band once she got there. Dylan made a comment to her about how he was looking forward to a great message from Pastor Dean.
The band set up and rehearsed for a while before the service was to start. Jenna had a lot of nervous energy and was glad to have this time as a way to calm her down and allow her to get focused on her purpose for being here.
While she was practicing with the band, she saw Angie walk into the sanctuary. She was almost dancing to the music. Jenna had come to like her very much made sure to see Angie after she finished with this rehearsal.
The band took a break for about thirty minutes before the service. Jenna walked up to Angie, who was saying hello, hugging, and making small talk with several people who were already there before she noticed Jenna.
“Jenna, I had a strong feeling you were going to be here today. You have found your niche being in the praise band. I have something I’d like to tell you about if you have a moment.”
“I sure do. What is it, Angie?”
“I have some information of a job opening that you may be interested in.”
Jenna was surprised. She knew that she had to restart the job search. She hoped that whatever Angie had would be something she could do.
Angie gave her a piece of paper where she had written down the job description. “A local clinic needs a patient account representative in their business office.” Below that was her phone number.
“Thank you, Angie.” Jenna studied the job description a little bit more. “This sounds like something I would like to do.”
“My pleasure, sweetheart. That’s my phone number there at the bottom. You may call me anytime.”
Then Jenna took a pen and paper from her purse and gave Angie her phone number. “You can, too, Angie.” The two women hugged each other.
During the time Jenna and Angie were talking, the sanctuary was getting crowded, lots of commotion going on in preparation for the service. The lights and the screens that had the words to the songs lit up the sanctuary. Martin was softly playing something on his piano to lure everyone in and get everyone in the right frame of mind. It almost seemed overwhelming to Jenna.
When the time came for her to be on the stage with everyone else, it seemed like everything just seemed to fall into place. More than in the past few days, she felt the power of the words that were coming from her lips.
“For my soul longs and even faints for You…Better is one day in your courts…than thousands elsewhere…”
Jenna never perceived being in church this way-being among a big body of believers, and God’s love being so deep and profound that a young woman like Jenna could be hungry for more of Him. Up until recently, she saw going to church as an obligation, something that she had to do once every Sunday, the rest of the week doing anything she pleased. Now, she sees it as something she chooses to do to become a better person.
They sung the chorus quite a number of times. Normally, Jenna would get really bored after signing it a few times. But this time, she felt like she needed to sing it until she herself knew the meaning of it. She did not have to look too closely to see that Angie was really feeling the music, too. She found it rather interesting that she likes music that much, too.
Martin smoothly transitioned the music to start “Breathe”. By this time, Jenna lost herself in God’s presence and the beauty of the music.
“I’m desperate for You…I’m lost without You…”
Jenna wondered what her life would be like if she was able to go to church every day. Being in this very church, she could sense God’s presence. Jenna thought there must be a lot of things that go on behind the scenes and during the week to make it that way. However it was done, Jenna was thankful to God for leading her here.
The way Jenna felt when she walked off the platform at karaoke paled in comparison to when she walked off the stage after the band finished singing. She was shouting and cheering like everyone else as she made her way to her seat, next to Angie. She knew she had at least one thing in common with many of the people here-longing and hunger for more of God.
She was about to feel even more satisfied when Pastor Dean continued teaching from the book of John. She found the teaching a little too hard to comprehend at first. As he progressed, he pointed out that God chose Jenna first, before she could give any thought to choosing Him. Maybe God knew how Jenna really was, and He really was there all along, being patient with her and she went through life. She now had some idea of what Dylan was talking about before church about Pastor Dean.
Jenna could now see hope coming her way-and that hope was in God.
“Keep on asking and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks receives; everyone who seeks, finds; and the door is opened to everyone who knocks.” Matthew 7:7, 8, NLT
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9, NKJV
Jenna studied the slip of paper that Angie had given her that had the job opening. She hated to be rejected from another job-but she also hated being at TJ Maxx. What was different about this time, Jenna tried to convince herself, is that she does not rejection control her anymore.
She had a few hours this morning to give this office a call. A very decided professional female voice answered on the other end of the phone. “Bonham Billing Services. May I help you?”
“Hi. My name is Jenna Rollins. I am calling you concerning the job opening you have for the patient account representative.”
“Please stop by our office and fill out an application.”
“I will do that as soon as I can.” As soon as she hung up the phone, she thought it best if she got dressed and went to this place and actually apply for the job.
She felt like this was the job that she was going to get. She was hoping there would be something from her closet that would be suitable for her to wear. After a few minutes of searching, she found some navy blue pants and a shirt that had various colors of stripes of blue.
As expected, this office was downtown. She had no problem finding it. The way that she finds anything downtown is to go from Charles Street. For a moment, she thought that this would be just another place where she would go to fill out just another application, which would be one among many others. In the time it took her to park her car and find her way to this office, she no longer thought any of that. She now had a sense of peace about her being here.
She made sure to show her confidence on her face before she walked through the door. The receptionist handed her clipboard that had an application on it. Jenna sat down on one of the leather chairs in their lobby.
After about twenty minutes, she completed the entire application. She handed it back to the receptionist and walked out the door. She had this feeling that she would hear from them soon. There was something about the atmosphere in the office that made her feel that something good and favorable was going to come.
When Jenna got to work later that morning, the significance working at TJ Maxx seemed less relevant than it did the other day. She tried really hard to show interest in what she was doing. All she could think about was getting that job and working somewhere that she liked.
She just had to call Angie when she got home from work to thank her for letting her know about the job and that she applied for it today.
“That’s wonderful, Jenna. I found out about the job through a friend of a friend who works there. She likes working there so much.”
“I think that’s why I had a great feeling about it, too, Angie.”
“Jenna, what are you doing on Thursday evenings?”
“It depends. Since I work in retail-but maybe not for much longer-I always have crazy hours during the week.”
“I like how you phrased that, Jenna. You have to believe in yourself more than you have been.” Jenna almost wanted to think that she and Martin were family, because they both complimented her in almost the exact same way. “I wanted to invite you to a Bible study that some of the women have at the church.”
Jenna was so hungry for more, she jumped at the chance to go to this. “Yes, I would love to go, Angie!”
Lately, it seemed like everything was falling into place for Jenna. She found a church to call her home, friends from that church who love her like family, a family of believers whom she could make beautiful music with, and hope for a better job.
“The winter cold is coming
And the fire will soon be burning…
I am asking will you save a place for me
To rest beside your heart
And feel I'm free
Now what good does feeling strong do
When I am here without you?” Excerpts from “Treat Me Well”, Heart, 1977
Once again, Jenna had another Tuesday evening that enabled her to go to rehearsal. Her singing the solo was a little less than two weeks away, and she had a feeling that Martin was going to challenge her some more.
She saw Dylan come in shortly before seven. He seemed to always arrive there at the very last minute, making him in a frenzy to get his guitar tuned. He managed to say a little hello to Jenna and make some small talk with her. She seemed to find him rather interesting after all. Every time she crossed paths with him, he seemed like he had something nice and sincere to say to her.
“Good evening to the best praise band I have ever worked with!” Jenna knew, without even looking, that it was Martin. “We have a lot of work to do tonight. The singing of the old school songs is just two weeks away and will be here before we know it. We need to make every effort we can to do this right. Amen to that!”
Everybody cheered and shouted and made some joyful noises with their respective instruments, especially Caleb, who beat on his drums some. For a moment, Jenna zeroed her attention on him. A young guy though he was, he seemed to show his passion for God through drums. She knew that somewhere in the Bible, there was something about praising Him with cymbals.
Martin continued in his instruction. “Let’s start with Jenna.”
Her attention was now totally on Martin.
“I would like for you to try something. Let’s do the first few lines with just you singing, no music at all. Then the rest of you, band and the rest of the singers, will join in after her.”
Jenna hoped she would not blow it! But she now knew better than to tell Martin that she could not do it. While preparing to sing the song, she pictured in her mind the congregation the morning she would sing this. After a few long, deep breaths, she started to sing the song.
“I have decided
I’m gonna live like a believer,
Turn by back on the deceiver,
I’m gonna live what I believe…”
She sang it so well. Her heart was beating fast, her face as red as a beet. The rest of the band gave a thunderous sound, with the assistance of Caleb playing his drums, and it seemed like there was an explosion of praise to God! She continued to sing the song and made sure to do what Martin had told her to do with the latter part of the song, including the ending.
Amazement was written all over Martin’s face, and he was cheering and shouting when she finished the song. “Jenna, that was great!”
She had a talent that she admitted should no longer be behind closed doors but used in church. She was unleashing it just a little bit more tonight. But how much more she would two Sundays from now!
Dylan once again approached her after practice. “I don’t know what you went through or what you are going through now, but there is something about you singing that seems to liberate you.”
She considered him rather intelligent, with his way of words. “Thank you.” She said, no longer sounding guarded. Those were rather deep words coming from someone she still barely knew.
“Can you stay around a little bit longer so we can talk some?”
“I’m sorry, Dylan,” she stammered. “I have to go home now.” Jenna was even more so under the impression that Dylan was pursuing her. Though she knew that that is the way it should be when seeking a relationship, she felt scared of and longing for a new relationship at the same time. She fidgeted with her keys as if she was in a hurry to leave but tried not to act like she was nervous.
“That’s alright, Jenna. We’ll see each other around here in some way some other time. Have a great evening.”
“Thank you, Dylan.” Jenna replied softly and meaningfully.
In all this time that she wanted to have a man, the very moment for her to have one was there. Though Jenna still longed for that, she had too many other things on her plate. Maybe this was meant to be this way. She would seek God wholeheartedly, know for sure what kind of job she wanted and stick with that, and uncover her love for music and reap the benefits of it. Jenna felt like God was allowing her and Dylan to cross paths, and during this time, God would continue to do the great works in Jenna, while Dylan would wait patiently for her.
Jenna had another later work day. She spent the morning at home, especially the first few minutes after getting out of bed reading the Bible. She has read some from both Psalms and John but did not know what other book she would read this morning.
Jenna was really getting into this quiet time was getting really good when the phone rang. She wondered who would call this early in the day. She picked it up and answered it after two complete rings.
A young woman said, “I would like to speak with Jenna Rollins, please.”
“This is Jenna.” Her heart was beating fast. She had a feeling it was someone from the billing office she had been to the other day to fill out an application.
“I’m from Bonham Billing Services and would like to set you up for an interview.”
“That sounds great.” She set it up for early tomorrow morning. When she hung up the phone, she was all of a sudden excited. She knew for sure something great was going to come out of this.
A few hours later, she walked into work. She knew that before too long, she would not have to come here, that she would be in a better job. She knew that the job would be at this billing office. She tried really hard not to tell Tracy. She knew that Jenna wanted to find better work and any moment, she would hand in her notice.