My Story

This is a short trailer that shares our Nomination Process that started off with Karen’s story.

We were both headed on a path towards ordained ministry. It seemed appropriate for me to become a full time pastor, in this, the church where I was raised. Hadn’t this been what I’d been planning and studying for my entire life? What else would God want me to do?

The pieces were all coming together- until, of course, it all fell apart.

In September, my husband Ben and I had individual and combined psychological evaluations as part of our path to ministry. We were congratulated by the counselor on our emotional health as both individuals and a married couple.

In October Ben preached a sermon on total surrender at church.

Over Thanksgiving we visited Ben’s home town. What began as a great weekend ended up tragic when a traumatic childhood memory started an intense, rapid downward spiral in Ben. It broke him.

By Christmas, despite his attempts at avoidance, it was clear that Ben was not himself.

In January he declared to me that everything he thought he had known about God and life was completely wrong. That included our marriage and future, and that broke me.

At this exact time, my paid church position was ending due to funding, but the church would allow us to continue living in the home and use the laptop and phone, with the condition that we would together be moving towards ordination.

Ben broke the news to me, to my absolute shock, the day after our anniversary, and just days after my position ended. Since he still had a job, he took our one car. So in a nutshell, I quite unexpectedly lost my house, my car, my laptop, my phone, my husband and my future all in one week.

There where days where it literally hurt to breathe. There were whole months without income. There were years without gainful employment. The only thing I could really hold onto were the promises of God, in Scripture. So I searched them out and clung to them for dear life. God was all I had. God was enough.

It is hard to describe, or even understand, just how God even enabled us to survive, let alone rebuild, amidst a pretty shattered life. But God parted the Red Sea more than once, and our needs were always met. And God restored everything that was lost, everything and then some.

A car accident that by all logic should have left my daughter and me dead ended in just a couple of small bumps and bruises between us, and the beginnings of a better, strong marriage (and family) with Ben.

In seeking out a counselor to help us navigate through the mess that had just happened, we found an incredible church family. As we have healed and grown within this loving community, we have found a better fit for us, in both a place of worship and an outlet for our call to ministry.

My current career is far from what I would have ever expected, but I am happy and fulfilled. I am also moving forwards towards my dreams. Not all of our questions are answered, nor are all problems solved. But in the breaking God made room for a renovation, from the inside out. And we now can approach challenges from a perspective of health and peace.

At the time of “the great break” I wanted to move as far away as possible. But God planted me in this place and moved my heart instead. There is nowhere else I would rather be than right here, in the center of God’s will.

Click on book below to order

Karen has Nominated (N) or Introduced (I) the following, plus (S- person shared their story):

  1. Dr. Joseph Capps (N)

My Advice

Seek God, always. Trust God, always. Believe God, always. And when you forget, God will forgive. Scripture is a centering force that helps us focus our minds in the right direction, and it's full of people with problems just like ours. There is no mistake, no sin, that can even begin to outweigh God's grace.

My business card

Karen Pennington

Christian Ministry- Author, Speaker, Podcast Host

For one thing, almost everything I offer is for free. I am just trying to get an important message out. I help people to discover wonder, adventure and grace in every single day.

My typical customer

Anyone who desires to have a deeper relationship with God and discover the adventure of everyday living as it connects with the stories and messages of God's Word, the Bible.

Contact me

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Olevra Treadway says:

Hello woman of God. Thank you very much for sharing your story house and have a strong like to share at a later time of course right now I live in Arizona Phoenix and your story is really inspiring to me I’m going to a lot right now. I fibroids more back, my teeth are all infected, I have Stage 1 Breast Cancer, and I’m homeless and live with my oldest daughter. I have to move out oh come oh yeah I’m going to lighten I lost everything is well back in 2009 so I understand I will keep you in prayer. I don’t have any finances right now as I’m not working. Yeah I lost 😡 so much as well and feel like JOB in the Bible. I also feel that God chose me to preach the gospel and to spread the word Omni Vangelis minister anointed skillful intercessory prayer warrior but all the things I’m battling going through how much lessons every day take it one day one step at a time and breathe ones with all the time blessings to you and your family I’ll hear from you soon bye🙇🏽‍♀️❤️💪🙌🏽

This is beautiful witness. I am so sorry for everything you have to go through, but I also see and believe how God can use you mightily even in this mosy vulnerabls state. It took awhile for me to be grateful for even the hardest trials, because God used them to bring unspeakable blessings.

Zachary Powell says:

Karen, this was such an inspiring story! I loved every bit of it and I think it was very humbling to hear about how calm and faithful you stayed during that whole process. I think God always rewards us in some way when we’re graceful and we give our all to him. That’s something you and your family definitely did through the battles!

Thanks so much for this encouragement. I confess that I was not always calm during these worst of times, but nor was I ever alone. God is so good.

Jim Barber says:

Great message and testimony to our God and His plan and His love for us.

Thanks Jim. I am amazed at how God can take our worst and turn it into God’s best for us.

Lisa Uhrik says:

What an inspiring story — thank you for sharing this. God breaks us, strips us, allows us to become naked so that He can put us in his sacred fires and forge something strong, beautiful and very useful for His kingdom and purposes… thank you for sharing your story — looking forward to your book! Dave and I have walked that path of a sort too and marvel, looking back, at all God’s done. If our whole country can look for this kind of transformation through dissonance we will help America Become and grow up from the teenage nation we are into the kind of adult nation that we’ve always wanted to be. (I’d love to send you one of my books as I read yours… and I’d love to know more about you!)

Thank you for the encouragement and for that wonderful imagery about sacred fire and being forged by God. You are a wordsmith, I can tell. I would be open to us connecting and chatting more through social media, if you would like.

Terry Black says:

Thank you for your Heart Story. You are an amazing Young Lady. May your Story touch thousands of Lives. I appreciate You and your Fight. May Jesus always be with you and Bless You.

Thank you for your encouragement, and your blessing.

What a powerful testimony. I can’t imagine that week of loss you experienced. How intense. Thankfully you loved God. Congrats on the writing of your book – what a remarkable way for God to use your story. I love that he still uses messy stories to reach out to other messy people. Thanks for sharing! Darci

Thanks for your encouragement, Darcy. It is both humbling and uplifting to know that God can use us, mess and all.

Karen you are an amazing woman of God, a faithful wife, and wonderful mother. It has been such a priviledge to know you for so many years, and to see how far you have come! I love you and Ben like family. I am so very thankful you guys are part of my life!

We feel the same about you and your angel voiced wife. What a blessing to be able to reconnect. And what an inspiration your own story will continue to be.

Desiree says:

Thank you for sharing your story, Karen. Praying as you continue to move forward in marriage and ministry.

Thank you Desiree. I am always greatful for prayers.