Jenna Robinson: Saved at the Edge of the Cliff
By Rich Santoro with Tim Branson
The 700 Club
Jenna Robinson worked as a waitress to support herself and her two young daughters.
As a divorced mom who had already made some bad choices in her young life, she thought her chance for love and remarriage was pretty slim.
"I was still thinking, 'You know, how can I find somebody who makes me feel good, makes me feel wonderful, and attractive?' You know, all that stuff young women go through," Jenna admits.
Soon, she started dating a cook she met at work.
"He wasn’t real vocal. I would say, 'I love you.' He wouldn’t really say it back."
Still, Jenna stuck with him and got pregnant for the third time. They married, but her new husband kept more than his love a secret.
"I would find these baggies with a little white powder at the bottom, and I didn’t know what they were or where they were coming from. I had asked a friend of mine and she had told me, 'Those are drugs, that’s heroin.' And I realized real quickly that that was where all our money was going. So I was still pregnant when he hit me the first time. The abuse continued after the baby was born. When he broke my nose I realized, 'This is going nowhere fast.'"
Jenna sent her daughters from her first marriage to live with their father for a while. Later, he urged Jenna to sign what she thought were “insurance documents.”
"He told me it was just for health insurance, but I found out later that it wasn’t. When I signed it then, I signed off custody of my daughters," she says.
Jenna, her husband, and their little boy Jimmy were kicked out of their apartment. They moved into Jenna’s in-laws’ house.
"I would be sleeping on the floor. Sometimes I’d sleep in my car because there was just no room in the house because he had a very large family," she recalls.
Jenna really didn’t have anyone to turn to. She drove her truck to the edge of a cliff.
"I wondered how fast I'd have to drive down this road and not walk away from it. It was at that moment I just kind of heard this sound, 'Stop.' God reached out and stopped me from contemplating driving over that cliff."
Jenna knew she had to get away from the abuse, so she divorced her husband and joined the Army.
"They give you clothes to wear, they give you food to eat, and they give you a place to sleep while you go through training, and you can bring your son to live with you wherever you’re stationed," she says.
Jenna met Tom in the Army and married for the third time.
Although Tom wasn’t a Christian, he was open to learning more about God.
"I told my husband when we were in Wal-Mart that I wanted to buy a Bible. I got to the gospel of John, and I read it and I thought, 'I want to know Jesus this way, too.'"
The couple went to church together for the first time on Easter Sunday.
"The pastor preached on the book of Nehemiah and how God guided Nehemiah in rebuilding the temple wall. Then he challenged the congregation."
The pastor asked, "
How are you going to build your wall back up after it’s been destroyed?"
"I thought, 'You know, my life had just been garbage. I haven’t had direction in my life for years, and here I had a new marriage, a new family. I want new direction. I want the Lord to build the wall of the altar in my life.'"
When the pastor gave an altar call, Jenna responded.
"By this time, I was bawling. I was crying so hard I couldn’t even see. I couldn’t even stay in my seat. I just jumped up."
Tom was right behind her. Together, they prayed to receive salvation.
"The bottom line for me is always the resurrection. He got up. He conquered death. For me, his conquering death meant that I could conquer the death that was my past," she believes.
Jenna, Tom, and her teenage son, Jimmy now know what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ.
"I’m perfect in every way in his eyes. And I am going to turn around and see everyone else with the love and compassion and grace that Christ sees them."
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