Jackie's Journey "Where Do You Keep Your BUT?"

In the Princess Parable Series Princess Hope is the oldest of the five princesses and carries the responsibility of setting a good example and leading the way for her four younger sisters who are watching and learning from her.  She experiences first-hand what it takes to “count the cost” when she sees her grandmother’s priceless ring in a store window in the village. She has to get it back…but how…and at what cost?

Meet Princess Hope

Meet Princess Hope

How many of us understand what it means 

to “count the cost” 

for someone or something 

that is so important 

that we will not hesitate to boldly step up to the plate?

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Before leaving for the shores of Panama I was cognizant of the cost it might take to leave the U.S. and live in a foreign country.  But it was not until Christina, my first daughter, was born that I became acutely aware of the expanse of what it might actually demand.  I was leaving my homeland with my parents first and only, two-year-old grandchild. After arriving in Panama, it would take us two days by three different means of transportation to land on the muddy banks of the river Pucuro.  It would include living in an “off the grid” bark-walled house with no running water, no electricity and an outhouse that screamed “unfriendly”. 

 Would the cost be too great?

 Our jungle house was located in an extremely dense and remote area of the jungle. There was malaria and T.B.  There would be hairy eight-legged creatures, not to mention venomous insects and reptiles of every kind the imagination could conjure up and worse!  We would be called to cook, eat and drink unidentifiable “chicha’s”, mammals, reptiles and even rodents!  It would be on the Colombian border where drug runners passed through our village routinely.  My neighbors would speak a different language and have a strange culture.  There would be no privacy, no hospital, no urgent care facility, no contact with the outside world, except for an often-unreliable two-way radio!  On top of that, on our first trek in, I would have two little girls.  Christina had just turned three and our second daughter was a tiny three-month-old nursing baby on my lap…

This is an aerial veiw of our house with the tin roof in the foreground

This is an aerial veiw of our house with the tin roof in the foreground

 I would be the first to admit that life brings serious unknowns, struggles, doubts, fears, and temptations from the enemy, even if you have “counted the cost” in all the light you have.

 On one of the many rainy days in the rainforest, I began to share my heart and woes with a seasoned missionary who was listening intently.  To every comment of comfort, she gave me, I responded,BUT you don’t understand; I know GOD says that BUT what about…?”

 When I paused to catch my breath, she asked me if, “I thought God’s grace was sufficient enough for me for today?”   

 What!???… I’m a missionary living in the jungle…I could hardly say “No”!  Of course, I answered, “Yes!” 

 She followed up with, “Then… would His Grace be sufficient for tomorrow?!” 

 She had firmly and graciously admonished me to keep my BUT on the appropriate side of the word GODNOT, “Ok,GOD, BUT…” (we always have a good excuse for not trusting Him); rather, this is my situation, BUT GOD is more than sufficient and faithful.  He has proven Himself over and over again, when I keep my BUT on the right side of God.

 Is living for God, demonstrating genuine Christianity

and claiming Christ as Lord and Master of my life

for His glory… too much?

 If I can trust Him for today; then, I can trust Him for tomorrow!

 A wise woman counts the cost… 

 Princess Hope’s recapturing a stolen ring and me moving into a dense jungle do not, on the surface, seem comparable; yet, the point is ,what do we treasure enough to pay the ultimate price to achieve?  What is important enough for us to “count the cost” and plunge into whatever sacrifice it takes to see it accomplished?

 There was no call to the jungle; BUT GOD did call us to respond to the need in that jungle…to open up a work among an unreached group of people who had yet to hear His Name spoken, even once, or to hear the news of His wonderful redeeming message.

 “The house of the righteous contains great treasure”! (Pro. 15:6)


Moms…your house is full of eternal treasure…

treasure that will spend eternity somewhere.

 When all is said and done and we have reached the end of this life…what will be said of us?  Did we choose the most important?  Did we succeed in our calling?  Did we “count the cost” for what was on His heart in His perfect will for us or did we do our own thing and hope for the best?  

 How does the fruit of your commitment look so far?  

We only pass this way once!


It WILL be worth it all…!


~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights.