In Jesus, we do not lose our true selves, but we become our true selves

As we close out the first month of the new year, we reflect on the inspirational message that was shared at our last program graduation. Board member Janis Petrini, Owner of Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids, shared with our guests that day that God knows every chapter to their story. He is in every small detail and has plans for each and every one one of them. This was her message to the graduates…

Janis Petrini

You and I are God's incredible story

“We are here today to celebrate how God writes great stories. You and I are His great story. He does not promise that all of the chapters will be easy. Every twist of the plot is for the best, every turn He writes into your story is right, every new character or unexpected event is a tool of His grace. Each new chapter advances His purpose. He does promise us however, that if we let Him write the story, He will make sense of all other chapters by the end. Today is a day to share with you that you are God’s incredible story!

As you prepare for your next chapter away from Mel Trotter Ministries I want to share with you some things to remember so you can be ready for whatever comes next - work, school, home, church or volunteering in your community or at MTM.

Be utterly dependent on God

Start each day knowing that you need God. Our very breath is from Him. He woke us up today. Let Him know you are desperate for Him. Pray for his help each moment, whether it is a moment of hardship or joy, pray to him. He is listening.

Have integrity

Be absolutely and rigorously honest and trustworthy at work or wherever you serve. Being on time is an example of integrity. Give 100% in everything that you do. Keep your word. Renew your mind with the word of God and His Holy Spirit or deceit will set in.

Develop your skills

What skills has God given you? Get good at those skills. He has given all of us unique gifts and talents and He has put us on earth to leverage those gifts and talents as gifts of love for others. God has given you the gift of these skills. Treasure those gifts and be a good steward of them. Use them for His kingdom and for the service of the organization that you serve.

Make an impact

Just as your community had an impact on you, help others have an impact that is life enhancing, life giving. Be positive and help others. Give your best and help be the example for others to follow.


We build relationships everywhere. Communication is key. Be a light. Be optimistic. Be a bridge builder. You don’t know someone else’s story but build relationships with others so they’ll share their story and you can share yours. God will use you mightily. Make sure that you expand your circle of support. You have a circle of support at MTM but make sure that you ask for help in the community or your church to keep you encouraged and strong.

Love one another

And the greatest of these is love.” Serve others. Help bear each other’s burdens. We are in the loving people business. 1 in 7 people don’t have a friend. Make sure you are a friend to those people.

Give thanks

Always be thankful to God for this life, your health and work. Be a thankful person at work or wherever you serve. Let your thankfulness to God overflow in a humble spirit of gratitude towards others. Be known as the hope-filled, humble, thankful friend at work.

Finally, remember that wherever you are, whatever you do, whoever you are with, do this unto Christ. You were created for something greater than yourself. You were formed for something awesome and magnificent. You were made in the image of God…This is your identity."

Let’s say this together: