February 16, 2015
A CBMW Longform article with a look at the life and testimony of Jasmine Baucham Holmes, daughter of Dr. Voddie Baucham.
College is a rite of passage for many people. It’s a season of freedom for students to redefine who they are and what they believe. It is usually a season of little restriction and little input from parents. Most college students eat ramen noodles at least once and live a non-stop, sleep deprived life during semesters. But for Jasmine Baucham Holmes, her sleepless nights were not because of neglected book reviews or biology exams, but because of crying newborns as she helped her mom take care of her seven younger siblings.
In the years leading up to her high school graduation, Jasmine’s spiritual life sprouted. She began to understand what true repentance and sanctification looked like for a Christian. As her fellowship with the Lord deepened, she knew that staying home after graduation would help her to continue to grow in her faith and keep her near her parents, which is not a usual desire in many college students, but what she wanted. So when she graduated at 16 years-old, leaving home to attend college didn’t appeal to her. Instead, she enrolled in online courses to pursue an English degree and worked for her father, Voddie Baucham, a popular pastor and author of several books, including Family Driven Faith, What He Must Be, and several others. Jasmine continued to fit herself into a family unit, and the Lord used her season of faithfulness in the home to prepare her for future ministry.
When she began taking online college courses, she continued to read and benefit from ministries like CBMW, a resource that provided in-depth answers to her questions about what faithfulness in her role as an unmarried woman looked like both in the church and the home.
“It was helpful for me to see what kind of values and virtues the Lord prized in his daughters,” she said. “Because even if I didn’t have a husband, having a heart that was submissive to God’s will in my life, having a heart that was submissive to the authority that he had placed over me, having a spirit that was quiet and confident in him — those were things I was not living out with a husband, but they were things that had huge ramifications for my life every day.”
Jasmine’s writing career began in high school through her blog, Joyfully at Home. She wrote to encourage other young women as she shared her experience living at home during and after high school. To pay for college, her dad encouraged her to publish her blog as a book. Unexpectedly, Vision Forum Inc. published Jasmine’s 245 page book, Joyfully at Home: A Book for Young Ladies on Vision and Hope in 2010. Joyfully at Home recounts Jasmine’s story, emphasizing the roles of family and the home in building a pivotal foundation for ministry and growth. She finished college online at Thomas Edison State College with an English degree and began master’s work.
After undergraduate graduation, she continued to work for her father, and began to interact with and write for The Reformed African American Network (RAAN), a resource dedicated to collecting and producing reformed materials, dealing with theology, life and culture. This is where she met Phillip Holmes, her husband. At first, she was uninterested in getting to know Phillip until they began working together more often. During this season, her parents often reminded her that relationships ultimately cannot fulfill the human heart’s desires. “The value of a young man or the value of the relationship doesn’t lie in his ability or the relationship’s ability to fulfill you. The value in it lies in its ability to bring you closer to Christ,” she said, noting this as her parent’s constant advice and encouragement. Soon after they began working together, Phillip and Jasmine began dating, and were married earlier in 2014.
In addition to writing for RAAN, Jasmine wrote often for singles on various blogs and websites. Singleness is often ignored or downplayed in churches, she said, which is why she focused much of her writing toward singles, to hopefully encourage them to continue living faithfully in a way that honors God and in a way they enjoy. Singleness is difficult, which is something married people forget, noting that she doesn’t want to forget what the Lord taught her in her single years.
Talking about singleness in the church, she said that “Things are always more simple than they seem but never quite as simple as we make them out to be. Finding that balance is what I’m passionate about.” She also desires to inform singles better about the realities of marriage because it is often assumed that marriage fixes things and makes life easier, especially if a person is “raised well.” “People think that if a girl is raised the right way, that marriage will be this seamless transition. … it doesn’t matter that kind of home you’ve grown up in or what kind of experience you’ve had before marriage. Sin is going to rear its ugly head once you become one.” And, she emphasized that only the gospel can fill in the holes that sin leaves in people’s lives.
“Marriage doesn’t fix you,” she said. “And that’s where the gospel comes in. Singles don’t get this message. It [marriage] is just another form of growth.”
As a new wife, Jasmine says she is experiencing this firsthand. As she strives for faithfulness in yet another new season, she enjoys watching the Lord continue to redeem and sanctify all his children through ordinary and not so ordinary means, like marriage, singleness and even staying at home for college.
RuthAnne Irvin is a product of God’s rich, saving grace. She is a student, aspiring writer, member of Auburndale Baptist Church. Follow her on Twitter @RuthAnneIrvin.
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