(Jessica Coaker) #1

Hello Everyone!

I’m from Richmond, VA. I am a happily married mom of 3, I am in the process of God shifting my attention to knew things and also has me reflecting on my past. I grew up in a family business and worked there some through my young years. Since college, I have been a music teacher, sold for various multi-level marketing companies, an in home day care provider, and my last job has been in Real Estate.
However, God has been shifting me to focus on my family. My kids ( my son (4) was diagnosed with Tourret’s and Sensory processing disorder, my youngest daughter (7) has been struggling with some mental health and learning issues. My oldest daughter is in gifted education and just getting into middle school and all that comes with it! ), my mom ( my dad passed away and she has fallen 3 times and broke 5 bones. 2 requiring surgery), my mother-in-law ( ovarian cancer), my sister-in-law ( breast and neuroendocrine cancer), my own siblings ( relationship struggles due to family business and grief) and I could go on. It’s been a bumpy ride for the last 5 years and especially hard the last 2 years.

I keep finding myself in a season of curiosity and needing to know more. Perhaps grief has played a roll with that. I want to make sure that I understand exactly what it means to be a Christian. Most of my husbands family are non-believers, so I feel a particular urgency to learn things so I can share with them too. Especially with the medical history we have going on. I want to be able to answer tough questions that non- believers ask me, I want to be able to answer my kids questions, I want to answer my own and I want a closer relationship to Jesus. I find myself searching online for answers and ending up in the dark places of the internet with all of the world saying all of the research is against us. I do not believe that. I am hoping for access to information I can read and learn and share with the world around me.

I have an agnostic FB friend. She posted a very long post on easter of all of the things that bother her about the bible and why she can’t believe it. She says she thinks it is dangerous to believe the Bible as literal and the Bible is out of date.She says a ton of other things too.

I am trying hard to help, so I hope to ask her questions here and get some answers. Specifically , How can we prove the Bible without using the Bible. She grew up in the church and was very disheartened by several stories. Abraham being told to kill his son is the one she keeps harping on. And also Jonah. But I would very much like to know the scientific evidence that supports the Bible as well. I want to be able to speak confidently and giver her resources not talking points.

I have also had some amazing experiences that I know were from God and then others where I wonder if I am just seeing what I want to see. And also, I want to make sure my thoughts and experiences match up with the word of God and are actually from God. I am desperately trying to figure out what is next for me. What is God preparing me for? I’ve been writing music and poetry, and I am also writing what I think will end up a book or something. It’s mostly about what I have learned from loss, but also about God showing up in big ways for me when I thought things were hopeless.

At this point I am not sure how I will contribute to this forum. Although I have spent my whole life in church, I realize I have so much I don’t know and understand. My pastors have been great, but I hope to have more access to answers so I don’t bombard them as I learn. I hope to grow and contribute more in the future, but this is where I am today.
I am excited to be here and learn.

(Brittany Bowman) #2

Welcome to Connect, Jessica. :blush: Your testimony warms my heart- what a beautiful reflection of Christ’s promise to be faithful. Looking forward to hearing more of your questions! This thought is especially powerful, and I think it encompasses the very purpose of Connect.

I want to be able to answer tough questions that non- believers ask me, I want to be able to answer my kids questions, I want to answer my own and I want a closer relationship to Jesus.

(Jessica Coaker) #3

Thank you so very much Brittany! I have edited it about a billion times, worried I was saying too much. but oh well. lol

(Keldon Scott) #4

Welcome aboard @Jessica_Coaker. So glad you have joined connect. It was a blessing to read your intro. You definitely have a lot on your plate and a loving heart. I think that this site will be awesome for you. Ask away. But, I would highly encourage you to consider the RZIM Academy. It is an online training course in apologetics.The core module is so refreshingly solid and foundational. I wish every church taught these foundations along with the biblical anecdotes. And, given what you have gone through over the last 5 years taking the elective “Why Suffering” would also be very foundational for you. It might also contribute to your writing and music. God-bless your journey. Stay connected.

(Melvin Greene) #5

Welcome to Connect, @Jessica_Coaker!

What a wonderful introduction! It is a pleasure to know you, and what a beautiful family you have! This is a great place for you to be. We ask questions and learn from each other, and hold each other up in prayer. Please do not concern yourself with what you can contribute here. You have wisdom and experience to share and I know we can learn from you as well as you learning from us. I look forward to interacting with you as you become involved with the Connect community. I also echo what @Keldon_Scott said about the RZIM Academy. The Core Module is a wonderful course to help get you started. I pray you will be richly blessed as you become involved.

(Sieglinde) #6

What a beautiful family! And thank you for your heartfelt, honest introduction.

(Donna Gremillion) #7

Welcome, Jessica! You will surely find lots of information on this site! I’ve been enjoying the posts immensely!