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Dawn Jewell

My earthly father adored me as a child—he took me on cheesecake dates and carried me on his shoulders on the beach. So, when my parents separated at age 10, I lost the dad I knew as he spiraled mentally downhill and left an empty hole in my heart. My mom, an MK from Japan, dragged me to church for the first time since my Jewish father had avoided it. There I was a misfit—the other kids in Sunday School spouted all the right answers. 

One night my uncle prayed that I’d know my heavenly Father’s love and closeness since my dad was absent. That prayer stuck. But in high school I focused on filling my emptiness with achievements. The more I strove for accolades, the greater my heart’s vacuum. At 16 I finally surrendered to the Lord, hoping I could trust Him. Since then I’ve been learning to relinquish self-control and listen to Abba’s gentle whispers. 

I met my husband, Matt, through Rez two decades ago, where we have discovered enduring community and are raising our two kids. Previously I served as communications manager at MAI, an international ministry that equips Christian writers and publishing staff. I love telling the stories of God’s transforming power in the global church.