Once upon a time, Serenity Jean was well on her way to building her own little media empire, after 15 years of faking her way through life and riding opportunities she’d done nothing yet to deserve. In late 2010, her secret double life of addiction, depression, and self-destruction brought it all crashing down around her, and the only option left was God. He got His hands on her through a program of spiritual recovery, and He brought an old friend, Jeff, back into her life at a time when they were both dying to themselves and trying to come to terms with God. Instead of asking her out on a date, Jeff asked Serenity to do the one thing she’d feared her entire adult life: go back to church.
Fast forward about six months, and Serenity was inviting Jeff to a small group in a Wesleyan pastor’s basement, which was the last place on earth either of them would’ve ever expected to find themselves. When they didn’t catch fire there, they found out “church people” were just as in need of salvation as they were.
The two of them accepted Christ into their lives before they knew what it would mean for them. Before long, they were getting baptized, becoming church members, and leading small groups together. In early 2012, Serenity casually mentioned to Jeff that she was thinking about maybe going to seminary school someday. He was supposed to laugh, but instead, he encouraged her to talk to their pastors about it. The next spring, convinced she was crazy, Serenity began a degree in biblical studies through Indiana Wesleyan University. In January of 2014, Jeff and Serenity were married at GracePoint Wesleyan Church in Brookings, South Dakota, standing on the same platform where they were baptized together just a couple of years before.
Jeff and Serenity walked into marriage together knowing they were following the Spirit’s call into ministry down a path they couldn’t even see or imagine at that point. Serenity completed her biblical studies degree in the fall of 2015 and went on to work toward completion of requirements for ordination in The Wesleyan Church. Today, Serenity serves bi-vocationally in the community of Brookings. She and Jeff are still walking step by step, one day at a time, doing their best to offer lives well lived for the glory of God’s kingdom. And she is still the first to point out the irony of being named after the Serenity Prayer.
Wonderfully Made ~ Psalm 139:14
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