On the other side of conflict with God...

Written by Jenna Brown

We've all been there... in a situation where the conflict feels overwhelmingly too close for comfort.

This thought has me wrecked this morning...

"On the other side of conflict is intimacy"

Have you ever been in the middle of an argument with your spouse, significant other, or just someone in general.. where things are SO heated, and for that split second (which could last days...) you are wondering why you ever got yourself into this relationship? For those 10 seconds, you outta there. you're trying to run and never be in this situation again? 

But have you ever stayed and pushed through?

Did you see their perspective?

Did you eventually see their heart?

Did you experience intimacy in that relationship afterward?



Because you see another part of them. You see another angle of their heart or their brokenness that draws you to compassion. You gain perspective. You fight through the conflict and the desire to run to the hills, and intimacy is established.


Recently, I have been wrestling with different aspects of God's character. Things, I just cannot understand. Ive been angry, Ive been hurt and confused, and I've been disappointed. Honestly, I've been doing a ton of projecting the brokenness I experienced in my life onto the Father heart of God. Because we, as humans project the brokenness we have experienced from PEOPLE onto the heart of GOD. Why? Because people are supposed to be image bearers of God. He has given the ability to show us who he is. He's given that over even more specifically to mothers and fathers to show his heart, to show his character.. and we know that the enemy has come to steal kill and destroy that for Many of us...

This morning, as I sat in my prayer closet, I turned on a song, and part of the intro to the song she said... "You cannot have intimacy without conflict". and it hit me.

So many spaces in my life I have walked into intense conflict with God.

I wrestle on the daily sometimes with deep concepts, spiritual truths, and the effects of what I believe. I think through systems, and brokenness, and institutional mess, and its... suffocating sometimes.

And as I sat in one of those spaces this morning, God reminded me.. he gave me a very specific picture.

When I am running, and I want to quit, I have this moment where my body catches up to what its doing, when it gets achy and tired, and then where my mind starts saying "you can just quit, you can just start walking, its okay.. you got here, you ran, its fine to just slow down a bit"... and then I hear the Lord say "Push through...".

And I will. Ill push through. If on the treadmill, ill crank up that baby to a sprint, and I'll laugh in the face of the enemy. If on pavement Ill make my destination point further and run harder. 



I'll feel the "runner's high" ... which side note, im not telling you to go be addicted to runners high... But it feels amazing. To feel like you want to give up... and in the face of it, run harder than you've ever ran before. Breakthrough is in that.


So in conflict my friend

Whether its with your friend, your family member, your spouse or significant other, or with God.

Push through.


FEAR is going to tell you that its unsafe there.

Fear will tell you that you may ruin the relationship for ever. FEAR will tell you that you may lose yourself there in the midst of the conflict. That you may lose your faith. 

Trust me,

I see this often as I work so closely with familial relationships and the heavy amount of dysfunction within the family unit. The reason why people wont press in, wont get counsel, wont get out.. is always because of Fear. They are afraid that they wont make it through. They are afraid of the pain, of the darkness.


Oh friends,

If only we weren't afraid of conflict.

On the other side of conflict, there is intimacy.

To be honest... with your relationships in your life.. there is a possibility that it could end in separation, in divorce even, in the break of a friendship.

BUT with God... if you are wrestling with the God of the universe... take heart friend.

"even when we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself."

That is the truth.

If you're faithless, he'll remain faithful. He can't not. If he stopped being faithful to you, he would deny himself, and wouldn't be God.


So for you friend, the one who wont even go into a space of asking a question of God because you are afraid that you are dumb or misunderstood, or lacking. Just do it. Jesus invites us into places of conflict within ourselves.. so that GOD himself can resolve his true character within us.

He is in the process of restoring all things back to himself.

The Father invites us into the places of conflict within us, because he knows that there is intimacy on the other side. 

Part of my covenant with God... is that I will enter into the places that he leads. After all, he is lord of my life. If he leads me into places of testing, if he leads me into places of discipline, if he leads me into places of hardship... I choose to trust him. I enter into the conflicting parts of me that he is all about resolving and restoring back to his heart and original intent for me. Why?

Because I have tasted, and seen the intimacy before.

I know he is good.

I know he is worth it.

The runners high, has nothing on the spiritual intimacy that is established with God as I continue to say yes and run deeper and faster into his arms and heart. I AM NOT AFRAID that God is going to let me down. I AM NOT AFRAID that he wont show up, he ALWAYS does. I AM NOT AFRAID of my questions, they are nothing that he hasn't already resolved within himself. 


DO not let fear absolve you from entering into a space of conflict.

Whether thats with another individual, or within your marriage, or within your relationship with God.

on the other side of conflict, if we run through it, if we persevere... we will have breakthrough.

We will go farther than we went the last time.

We will be proud of our results....

But ultimately, we will be intimate.

Dear friend. The original intent of God for his creation was intimacy with him. The work that Jesus did on the cross, when he came to destroy the works of the enemy, and restore all that which was lost, was to restore us back to the Father heart of God. TO RECONCILE us back to the heart of the Father, and his heart of intention for our lives. 

The things that hold us back from that?

Fear that God is another name for evil.

A misunderstanding of his Father's heart for us.

A lack of faith to walk through the conflict.

An unbelief that we project onto God from the hurt and wounds others have given us on earth.


Lets just sit for a moment.

Lets just cast those away.

And lets stop pushing away the conflict.

Stop filling our lives with distraction.

Stop avoiding the conflicting questions within our spirit.

Lets go into them.

And when we go in.

Let's invite God into them...

Let's ask God to show us who he really is.


He will show up.

He will establish intimacy.

He loves showing up for his kids.

He LOVES revealing his heart and his nature of who he is.


Lets be a generation that is INTIMATE with our Father, that isn't afraid to run to him instead of run away from him.. or even run at all. LETS RUN hard, and deep and fast into that love. and know that on the other side of conflict.. there is INTIMACY like we've never tasted yet.

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Hanging on the edge? Go ahead... jump off!

Written by Jenna Brown

I got to hang out with a bunch of amazing foster and adoptive parents last night, and a whole bunch of people who are interested.


It's pretty much my fave... 

Heres why,


In the book of James (in the Bible) we are called as believers to look after the orphan and the widow, and remember them in their time of distress. We are told that THIS is pure and spotless religion.

For some that means supporting the foster and adoptive families....

and for many that means, 

Jumping over the edge into the straight up world of foster and adoption care.

(yes it is kind of another world...)


I was so encouraged sitting with this group of people, with their real stories, their real questions, and it just truly blew me away.

God is moving his sons and daughters to action.

He is. 

And I GET a front row seat.


So much of what we do at The Nest is create the space, create the culture, create the environment for the spirit of God to move. 

So much of what we do is facilitate that movement, that space, that growth, and encourage it by fanning that flame into straight up fire and passion.


Friend, if you are on the fence about foster care and or adoption can I fan that flame a little bit?


Here's the thing....

It wont be easy.

No, I am not just saying that.. like seriously it will not be easy.

You will be ruined for normal.

Like... forever.

And thats amazing.


Its scary, I know. 

but its scarier to say no to Jesus when he is prompting you.


Many people who start organizations/ ministries will tell you that they believe that God was putting their ministry they are called to on the hearts of many others that said "no", before they were the ones who said "yes".

We automatically think "oh of course that has to be me" because we are the one that is chosen for the task.

Which is true, in part.


But what is also true, is that if you say "no". God WILL find someone else.

His heart is more dedicated to the orphans of summit county than yours will EVER be.

His heart is more dedicated to the reunification of family than any social workers.

His heart is more concerned about the child in the orphanage in Russia than yours is, I promise.


This summer, our friends and some of our family went to the AZUSA NOW CLEVELAND event at the Q arena. 

At this two day event we saw hundreds of people come to Jesus, we saw hundreds of people healed from physical ailments in their bodies, and we saw and experienced the POWER OF GOD. I mean there are things, that I Just cant tell you through a blog friend (ask me in person).  

It was the birth place of something that will carry on through Akron and this nation to revive the body of Christ.

I had a moment, while I was there of profound impact.

A moment that marked me.

I remember looking up at the stage at these INCREDIBLE men and women of God and was overwhelmed. I was humbled. I was marked. I was changed.

I had this moment of realization that men and women have been praying into, have been speaking over, have been believing for revival for Akron and God's people here WAY LONGER THAN I HAVE EVEN BEEN ALIVE.

I had this second part of this revelation, where I realized that GOD WAS GOING TO DO WHAT HE WANTED TO DO... and I GOT TO DECIDE IF I WANTED TO DO IT WITH HIM OR NOT.

It was a profound wave that was just so "other than" me, or any other person there.

IT was truly a move of God and there was this moment, where I was just like.. God is going to do this. He is going to restore his people and revive his church and bring his kingdom on to earth. 


And then that second part came up for me in question form.


Do I want to be a part of it?

It was so peaceful. 

Peaceful to realize that God would do it with or without me.

It took the burden off of me, and instead, simply handed me an invitation...

He wasn't holding me down forcing me to agree to his ways and plans and run a ministry until I die. He was just inviting me into something that was SO much bigger than me. A movement of saints that were on mission to awaken the church, restore his bride, and make his name known throughout the earth.

It was an awesome experience sure, 

but ultimately it was an invitation.

Into the army of Christ.

Into the body of something way bigger than myself.



And this, my friends is a lot of what I think is missing in the world of foster and adoptive care.

It can either become its own niche where its almost like a prideful jaunt that if you are fostering than you "really get the gospel" or .. it can become very very lonely and isolated.

Neither of those do I see the Jesus insinuating when he asks us if we want to be fishers of men.


Its an invitation to ways that are like his.

Its an invitation to a front row seat of knowing our Fathers heart.

Its an invitation to suffering that looks a lot like his.

Its an invitation to sacrifice.

Its an invitation to the Kingdom of God.

Its an invitation ultimately to what we were made for.



My friends,

God will continue to care for the orphan, WITH or WITHOUT you. You aren't the main player in this space. Jesus is.


How incredible would it be if you said yes?

How hard it would be, yes. But HOW INCREDIBLE would it be to get a front row seat to the Father's heart in this way?

Regardless, of what it means to answer the call to love the orphan for you,

I just want to encourage you.

God loves orphans with or without you.

You simply GET TO be a part of his heart with him.



“There are no unwanted children. Just unfound families.” -Anonymous
My LOVE is about YOU, not me.

Written by Jenna Brown

Love is a weird topic. Mainly because its so twisted in our society.

Our culture is obsessed with PASSION and LUST and yet we define those two <--- as love.

Young people get married because they "fell in love"

People separate because they "fell out of love"


The truth is, if you trust the Bible, and God as your standard for what love is, 

"Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not SELF SEEKING. It Keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects. Always trusts. Always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Cor. 13

So the reality is.. you've most likely heard that at every wedding, ever.

You probably know that verse even if you've never opened a Bible.

But yet, that love, seems like a fairytale to many.


Here's why.


Our society tells us that LOVING someone, means that you are infatuated with them and you FEEL passion for them all the time. Sexually, physically, emotionally. Its a passion pursuit. 

Not too long ago I was watching a "Chick flick" and I realized what the narrators of this movie were doing to me. They were trying to trick my mind into loving the "other man". The one who "actually loved" her. The one who was better looking. The one who had waited around for her.

Not the one she was married to, and had vowed her life to.

The passion... right? Their cute love story that has existed forever... its CLASSIC.


Hi friends, thats not love.

Emotional attachments to those who we should've severed relationship with before getting married to our now spouse, lingering throughout our marriage... is not LOVE.


Because love isn't self seeking.



Love is not something you can fall "in and out" of. It's not a feeling or an emotion, its a choice. Its a choice. Sure, you may have feelings that follow that love choice, but its not primarily a feeling, and then a choice. Its the opposite.

Look back at those verses with me.

LOVE IS PATIENT. Patience is an action that you choose to embrace a position towards a person when you want to RUN, or HIDE, or SMACK them.

LOVE IS KIND. Kindness requires us to act.

LOVE DOES NOT BOAST. Its not obsessed with itself.

LOVE IS NOT PROUD. Pride is the concern of yourself over another. So therefore, you aren't thinking about YOU.

LOVE IS NOT RUDE. Uhm, self explanatory.

LOVE KEEPS NO RECORDS OF WRONGS. ..... again, it has no record of all the wrong things that your SIG other has done ;)






    There it is.

Love always perseveres.


What is perseverance?

Webster tells me that perseverance is this:

PERSEVERANCE: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.



Do you know that you cannot persevere in ANYTHING without faith?

Even if you don't believe in God... you don't even know how much it requires faith to go throughout your day. Its alarming and awe-some when you think about it.

You do not wonder every day you wake up if you are going to make it to the end of the day. It requires faith to believe that you will. Thats why you plan for your evening, your bed time, and the next day. You have faith that you will live.

You don't run a marathon wondering if you are going to make it to the end. It takes perseverance and training, and FAITH that you are going to make it. You don't finish something you never believe you could finish in the first place.

You don't sit in a chair and wonder if its going to hold you up. You just sit down, and TRUST that it will.

Perseverance takes faith.

It takes perseverance to LOVE in a marriage.

IT TAKES FAITH to believe you can finish this life in tact in your marriage & thriving.




Oh friends, This is the part that It gets awkward.



We live in a culture that IS OBSESSED WITH TELLING YOU THAT LOVE IS ABOUT YOU. That marriage is about YOUR fulfillment, and the minute that it stops.. to bounce. We live in a culture that is obsessed with fast food, fast emotional fulfillment, and the feeling of our bellies and lives full and comfortable.

The hard thing is, I know many of us know a lot more about marriage and love NOW that we are in the thick of it, than we did getting into it. Which is where the question pops up of... "I see that it was passion that got me here, and passion has run out. I am stuck, and I hate it... what do I do?"

Trust me friends, I know there is about a BILLION scenarios that you have been through that I could never solve or identify in one blog post, so please hear my heart. 




If you believe in Jesus, you are a new creation. You are complete in him alone. Marriage? It's not a requirement, and its not necessary. Its awesome, and hard, and unique to each scenario. BUT it doesn't make you complete. THE ONLY person that can ever "Complete" you is Jesus. 

I could never say my husband completes me, because does that mean my single friend over there, or single mom friend.. is not whole?


What has happened in our marriage since I stopped looking to Brandon to FULFILL me, to AFFIRM me, to MAKE me feel SECURE... but relied on Jesus instead, has been the most freeing thing in the world.

Technically If I actually believe I have everything I need in Jesus, I don't need Brandon.

He could leave me tomorrow, and that would SUCK and I WOULD HATE IT, but I would make it.

Because I don't need him.

I still want him

But if I am complete without him, and in Jesus, I HAVE to move from that space in my marriage.


Here is the best life lesson I have ever learned, in every single possible scenario.


Choice is what messed it all up in the beginning when Adam and Eve CHOSE to eat the fruit and disobey. (love you guys too)

CHOICE is what I did when I gave my life to Jesus

I CHOSE to marry Brandon.

I CHOSE to trust him

I CHOOSE to sacrifice for him.

For every single time I am out of whack, wanting to be served, wanting to be fulfilled, wanting to be secure in him instead of Jesus... I start to get anxious. I start to get upset, and needy. I start to get irritated at the smallest thing. I FORGET that I am complete in Christ alone, and that I can move from a place in WHOLE-NESS in life.

When you feel out of control. DONT LET IT TAKE OVER YOU.

Take a step back, and re-choose.


Remember that you have a choice.

Sure, you can choose to leave, and in some scenarios, we all know, its necessary.

But You can also choose to stay. 

You can also choose to remain soft hearted and not bitter.

You can choose to forgive

You can choose to love even when he doesn't deserve it.

You can choose and choose, and re- choose again, over and over again until you die.

THATS what should be read at marriage ceremonies ^ hahaha.


And even more so... I CHOOSE to love him.

I get it. Things are messy. Life is hard. Its not a shoe in that you feel like your spouse even deserves respect and love right now.

But love isn't self seeking.

Im not saying love stays in an abusive relationship (side note)

But I am saying that love prefers the other above itself.


Hi friends.

I don't know if you know this, but the enemy is your enemy.

Not your spouse.

Not your ex.

Not your boyfriend.

The enemy- SATAN and his gang.

They give their entire existence to making sure humanity doesn't see who they actually are created to be. Because if we do, this whole shebang is over, and they are done for.

Angels weren't created in the image of God, HUMANS were.

Satan wasn't created in the image of God, HUMANS were.

Jesus became one of us, was denied and rebuked, and disowned by us, to reconcile us back to who we actually are.


HUMBLY serving in order to bring us back to who we actually are.


Thats love.

Thats not self seeking.

Thats perseverance.


Do you have that in you?

That will to fight for this marriage?

Do you want it?


It starts with receiving it first.. the kind of love that is undeserving, and unexplainable. It starts with the restoring of YOU in that quiet space with the Lord. It starts with receiving love first. THEN you will be in a position to give it away without expecting anything in return.

Dear brothers and sisters,

let us LOVE one another.


Let us not be passionate towards one another, because passion will fade.

Let us be LOVING, sacrificing, edifying, encouraging, and preferring each other above ourselves.



"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:14

From Now On.. You will Fish for People

Written by Jenna Brown

Have you guys ever read Luke 5:1-11, where Jesus calls his first disciples?

I had read when Jesus called his first disciples in Matthew & Mark ... where it simply states that they left their nets and followed Jesus.

Then.. I read it in Luke.

Holy Spirit LOVES to remind us of who our Father actually is, and how the kingdom of God actually operates. CHECK THIS OUT:

Heres the break down : *but read it yourselves at the end of this post*

1) Jesus tells Simon to put down the nets (Simon is a fisherman)
2) Simon (who is the professional fisherman might I add) tells Jesus that they have been out all night and haven't caught a thing (justifying his doubt)
3) Simon listens to Jesus anyway and throws the nets in the water
4) They caught so many fish that their nets began to break (BTW this was their livelihood at the time, and they had just caught MORE than enough for their financial needs). 
5) Peter falls at Jesus' feet and recognizes his sin in his doubt from earlier
6) Everyone is "astonished" watching this miracle



have you ever read it like that before?

While raising support, even starting a non profit... okay lets be honest here. Most of the things that Brandon and I have done in our lives following Jesus have been stepping out into the water of faith and trusting the word of the Lord that he's given us.

We didn't have money to raise teenage boys, and God always provided.

We didn't have money to start a non profit, buy a building, continue on this ministry... and we've been here for 4 years now.

Somehow, this was different though. Brandon stepping fully into The Nest, without any cushion of finance coming in for our family, or from The Nest at all.. has been scary at times. Im not just a young adult single woman galavanting around the world and can come home if I don't raise enough funds. We have kids. We have to feed them. We have an entire ministry we are trying to build.

Oftentimes the rational voice in my head will say "This is not wise." "You need to do "x,y,z" first." "You need to save for a year before he leaves his job... " and often times we're counseled by many to do the same. 

Im not saying any of those things were wrong, or are even wrong for others. 

But I know what it's like to listen to God, and what its like to disobey. I want to catch men. I Have to keep obeying the word of The Lord. When he says drop the nets. YOU DROP THE NETS.


But you know what part throws me the most about this whole thing?


The fact that The Father provided this INCREDIBLE amount of fish through Jesus, and the amount of MONEY that would be for them. For their livelihood.. and FOR THEIR UPCOMING MINISTRY. He did this incredible miracle... and then they leave it on the shore.

I don't know what happened with the fish, but Im assuming that people took it and sold it to make a profit? We cant be sure.

But, I can imagine in my humanity, I would say something like this:

"Wait, Jesus shouldn't we go sell all of this fish to provide for us along the way for our ministry?" 

"Look at all that you just caught for us, this would surely cover a years worth of ministry for us!"


"Thanks for calling me and providing this time, now let me tell YOU how to provide next time."


JESUS showed what he was capable of, when he called his first disciples. He showed them that HE was provider, but that he requires us to drop our tie, our security, our hope in anything other than him to follow him. Even when it seems "wise".

Its Lordship.

Is he the Lord of my life or Not? Do I believe that He called me or don't I? 

It's all fun and games until The Lord tells you to DROP EVERYTHING and follow him.

I am learning that more in this season of life than ever. 

I know why God continually brings this nugget of wisdom up to remind me over and over again, which just shows how great of a Father he is , that what is wise to the world, and even the church sometimes, may not be the way that HE is orchestrating it to be. This is why I have to know HIS voice, and the way he is calling US, and go off of that. NOT the way that he has called others. (same goes for you by the way).

If there is an anthem of our lives, it may be that right there ^. haha.


All I know, as I sit in awe after only ONE WEEK of reaching out to supporters of ours to help meet our needs financially... we received EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY. and then more for this month.

THANK YOU JESUS. you're incredible! You've shown me how many fish you can catch!

Thank you friends and family, and co-workers for the Lord with us.


BUT HERES where it all ties in for me...

Do you know what happened right away?

I immediately wanted to hoard my fish, to save, to maybe not pay a certain bill or two, or not give extravagantly, so that we could have a cushion for the next month..

Do you see how our hearts are wicked within us?


Our Heart continually says...

I see you've done this

But what if you don't do it again?


27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do.png


I'm both reminded and comforted. Im also certain that this passage is in there for me (JK.. kind of) to remind me that The Father provides how he sees fit, and Jesus calls me to come with him in following the ways of the kingdom of God.

Jesus never sounds like a hoarder, wondering if his Father will feed him. He never holds on to anything knowing that his Father has provided everything he needs . He is ALWAYS generous. "For God so loved the world he GAVE his only son" LOVE leads us to giving... How much more does our Father in heaven love us, and is willing and wanting to GIVE to those who do his work here on earth?

Like I always say (and have harder time believing at times) My Father has deep pockets, If we work for him, why wouldn't he take care of us?

Money and Ministry is weird. Honestly, its hard. Ive been in the weirdness for the past couple years, observing and close with many non profits and ministry peeps, churches, and missionaries. I look forward to sharing more of what God has taught me in the freedom that Jesus is radically producing in me by saying

"Don't be afraid.

From now on you will fish for people."



Luke 5:1-11

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

5 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”[a] 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.