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Restory Show

Last summer God birthed the concept of restory in me. I prayed a lot about what would be next, moving from "living uncaged" to learning about and encouraging others to embrace a brand new story. This resonated through me as I considered a podcast. I dreamed of having people on the podcast who shared jaw-dropping stories, who exemplified faithfulness, sacrifice, humbleness, along with a big heart for Jesus. I wanted to see turnaround stories, where God had intersected a life, and that life was no longer the same. So I prayed. And God answered. He brought people to me. He reminded me of others. Instead of fretting about what to say or who to invite, this podcasting process has become something entirely different. God has made it sweet and nearly effortless. I cannot wait to share with you all these amazing interviews. And today's? It'll change your life.
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Aug 7, 2017

My daughter Sophie and I are trying to memorize Philippians together. I thought I'd broaden the experience and invite YOU to do this as well. So today's bonus podcast is simply the entire NIV text of Philippians read by me. To memorize, listen to it over and over again until you can recite it verbatim. I don't know how long this will take. I'm about 4 verses in.

My prayer is that memorizing a significant chunk of Scripture will help give all of us insight not only into the Word of God, but into our lives as we study joy, sacrifice, contentment, and perseverance. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to join along!

Jul 31, 2017

I'm excited to share this extra special Restory Show bonus episode, full of last year's Restory Conference stories and hints at what's to come at the next Restory Conference September 16th. Be sure to listen to receive a special Restory Podcast discount code so you can attend the conference for less!

Click here to register for the conference:

I am SO looking forward to seeing how God RESTORIES your relationships at this much-prayed-for conference. Side note: please be praying for me as I prepare the messages for this conference. I've been experiencing a profound amount of spiritual attack all this year. Thank you.

Jun 26, 2017

Allen Arnold is a writer, speaker, storyteller and executive at Ransomed Heart Ministries out of Colorado Springs. His latest book is The Story of With. He used to work at Thomas Nelson fiction (which is where we've intersected a time or two).

How Our Stories Intersected

Allen and I met through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers conference). He received a lifetime achievement award from them a few years back because of his longevity in the publishing industry and his profound love of story. It's that love of story that really enhanced today's interview.

In this episode, Allen shares a painful, yet good story of hearing he was making quotas in his job, but he'd lost his team. This one meeting became the impetus for Allen to reconnect with who he was and who he wanted to be. Most profoundly, Allen is learning what it means to be a follower of Christ, a son of a loving God--and that those things matter more than accomplishing endless to-do lists.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Jun 19, 2017

Anastasia Hansel is a new friend. She's got an amazing amount of verve and passion. She's deeply involved in Global Women in Leadership, and she loves to raise money for amazing causes via bike riding and touring. She was married to the late Tim Hansel who authored one of my all time favorite books:

How Our Stories Intersected

Anastasia and I met at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference this year. There, I learned she grew up in the DRC (Congo), learned French fluently in Belgium, and later moved to the US. She has an amazing story! Currently, she's raising money for solar powered phone chargers through bike riding. Find out more about that here.

In this episode, Anastasia reminds us all that retirement is an illusion, and that we can constantly be living on the edge of adventure if we dare to. God is never finished with us, no matter how old and wise!

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Jun 12, 2017

Tosca Lee is an author, new-to-her farmgirl, and nearly-native Nebraskan who is one of the most amazing people I know. I adore her! Her recent novel is a sequel to Progeny, and it recently released.

How Our Stories Intersected

Tosca and I started our novel writing careers at the same time. We met at Book Expo America when our first novels released with the same publishing house. Hers. Mine. (Mine is free on Kindle right now). We met after she walked through a painful divorce, and I've had the privilege of hearing her story as she worked through it. We've also retreated together and shared stages as writers.

In this episode, Tosca shares about how she truly learned about God's grace and love through her new family--a husband and four kids. They have tangibly been the hands and feet of Jesus to her. What a revelation! What a beautiful story of wrestling and God's restoration.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

Jun 5, 2017

Chris Morris is a CPA and a writer, as well as a father and husband who lives in Arizona. He's written a book for writers and creatives about how to deal with the finances of an artistic career.

How Our Stories Intersected

Chris and I met at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference this Spring. We immediately became friends as he shared a bit about his family (they have a special needs child). So I expected him to share that story when I interviewed him. But I was surprised to hear another story I didn't yet know about him. He's had to come to grips with chronic illness, and the acceptance of that has not been easy.

In this episode, Chris shares the nuances of what it's like to be diagnosed with something chronic, and the walking out of that diagnosis that has very real implications for his day to day life. His story is honest and fresh, and has zero Christian cliches in it.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
May 29, 2017

Today I'm so excited to welcome new friend Trieste Vaillancourt to the Restory Show. She's a writer, editorial director, and Louie Award winner (for greeting cards) who currently works at Dayspring.  She is a worship leader, and I've had the privilege of singing beside her! Recently married, she lives with her new husband in Colorado.

How Our Stories Intersected

Trieste and I met years ago at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and then reunited this year and had an instant connection. She basically just wooed me over with her own stories of how much she loves Jesus. It's so infectious, and I know you'll enjoy getting to know her. Side note is that she and I are going to run a marathon together next Spring. YES I AM AFRAID. YES I WELCOME YOUR PRAYERS!

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
May 22, 2017

Chrystal Hurst is a mother of five, and she has an incredible story. She's a speaker and writer who also happens to be the daughter of prolific pastor Tony Evans. She also has a podcast called Chrystal's Chronicles. Her latest book is releasing this summer, and it looks to be amazing:

How Our Stories Intersected

Chrystal and I met the first time when I interviewed her for today's episode. I can tell you this: we are sisters in the way we adore the Bible and long to see people walk closely with Jesus. We both had interesting intersections in our stories and similar passions.

In this episode, Chrystal shares her own story of a surprise pregnancy and single motherhood. She encourages us all that our stories aren't over, even when we may think they are. 

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
May 15, 2017

Candice Curry is an author and mom who has an extremely interesting and poignant story about her growing up years. Her father was a con man. And tomorrow, her book releases!

How Our Stories Intersected

Candice and I share a publisher (Baker), and we now share similar stories about our pasts--not that our fathers are the same, but that we both struggled beneath the weight of enigmatic fathers. In her case, her father was a con man.

In this episode, Candice talks about her growing up years, what life was like when the FBI knocked on your door, the kinds of boundaries she had to make with her con man father, and the great relationship she has today with her mom. She shares about meeting her heavenly Father for the first time. I know you'll be touched by her words!

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
May 8, 2017

Heather MacFadyen is a mommy of four boys, wife of one, who learned a difficult lesson about the difference between being a child-centered mom and a God-centered mom. She has a super helpful site called God-Centered Mom as well as a podcast of the same name.

How Our Stories Intersected

Heather and I met at a couple bloggers conferences a few years ago. I so appreciate her honesty and her heart. You'll see why when you listen to her touching, poignant (and oh so fresh) story today.

In this episode, Heather talks about a very recent loss (and the loss she's still working through). She has learned the power of letting go of control, and in that surrender is finding new peace and joy. That's my hope for you as you listen to today's episode.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
May 1, 2017

Rob Fairbanks is a pastor on staff at Immanuel Church in Spokane. He is passionate about creating a diverse congregation, and he has a story of burnout, feeling uncentered, and ultimately finding his joy and passion in local church ministry.

How Our Stories Intersected

We met when we were on staff as missionaries with what was then called Christian Associates International (now Communitas). We met over a meal in Lisbon, Portugal, and began a long distance friendship then.

In this episode, Rob shares about his own stress and burnout, being in a job that left him ungrounded, and in the air 180+ days a year. He speaks of the importance of community, and how having others around him helped him make the leap to planting another church. He purposefully is pursuing racial reconciliation in the inner city of Spokane, WA.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Apr 24, 2017

Jeanette Hanscome is an author and friend who has an amazing story. She's legally blind, and she's walked through some rough things the past few years. One of those trials is reflected in her book, Suddenly Single Mom:

How Our Stories Intersected

Jeanette and I met at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference a few years ago when I took her picture. (It's a side hobby of mine, photography). Since then, we've built upon our friendship. I really love Jeanette's heart, particularly as she's gone through some difficult and stressful situations.

In this episode, Jeanette shares about her surprise-to-her divorce, moving back home, and all the incredible lessons God taught her along the way. Saying goodby to the old you in order to anticipate the new you is a strong theme.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

ANNOUNCING A GIVEAWAY

Click here for a possibility to win her book Suddenly Single Mom. I hope you win!

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Apr 17, 2017

Hope Harris is someone I met years ago at a conference. She was speaking (sharing her testimony) right before I went on stage to speak. My daughter Sophie was with me, and we both had the privilege of talking more and becoming friends. Hope and I are both from the Northwest, and we both currently live in the Dallas area, which allows us to continue our friendship. She also spoke at the Restory Conference last September.

How Our Stories Intersected

We met at a conference and have remained friends since then.

In this episode, Hope shares her story of trauma--watching her mom be murdered, walking through trauma in the foster system, becoming a gay activist, and eventually meeting Jesus. The first part of the recording is what she shared from the stage at the Restory Conference, and then we talk together about the ins and outs of her story.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Apr 10, 2017

Lea Ann Garfias is someone I met at my favorite restaurant in town. (We share how it all came about in the episode). She's written a memoir/self help book that I had the privilege of reading. She is honest, and she has a good story (a hard story with healing infused).

How Our Stories Intersected

As I mentioned, we met at a restaurant, quite unexpectedly. And we've become friends. I've so enjoyed getting to know her, watching her publish her first book, and seeing her family navigate the beginning of the foster-to-adopt journey.

In this episode, Lea Ann shares about her upbringing (strict, legalistic, abusive) and how she made her way toward health and back to Jesus. There's a lot in this episode that I know will minister to many of you.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Apr 3, 2017

Dr. Sandra Glahn is a dear friend who is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, an author, and a mom and a wife. She writes killer fiction (there are killers involved AND doctors), infertility resources, and Bible studies. In fact, my favorite Bible study of all time is this one:

How Our Stories Intersected

We met in the best possible way: at a church potluck. She's been a dear friend and a mentor who has walked alongside me through this crazy publishing world, but more than that, she's been a real friend. When we lived in France, she, Gary and their daughter Alexandra came to visit us. It was certainly a highlight. One of the things I love about her is her deep, constant empathy. Another thing I appreciate about her is her humility.

In this episode, Dr. Glahn shares about her own journey of infertility, seminary, and walking into the calling God had for her. She helps us understand the plight of women around the world, and she challenges us to think broader about the church. I so appreciate her scholarship and kindness.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Mar 27, 2017

Jed Ostoich is an editor (his twitter handle is @thejeditor!) and writer who lives in the Dallas area. He's a husband and father, and he attended Dallas Theological Seminary.

How Our Stories Intersected

Jed and I met through my daughter Sophie. They are coworkers at Right Now Media.

In this episode, Jed talks openly about growing up poor, yet strong in faith. But eventually a time came when the overwhelming bills he had to pay (with no money) threatened to shake him to his core. For anyone who's battled provision and fear, you'll be blessed by this story.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Mar 20, 2017

Anna LeBaron is a woman with an amazing story. We met at a writers conference a few years ago before she started writing this book, The Polygamist's Daughter. I've had the privilege of reading and endorsing this book, and I'm also thankful for my friend Leslie Wilson's wordcrafting in this page-turning book.

How Our Stories Intersected

Since that meeting at the writer's conference, Anna has become a friend. She recently started a new business helping authors launch their books and was invaluable on my launch team for Worth Living. She's a firecracker with a stunning, crazy story!

In this episode, Anna shares about her upbringing in a polygamist cult. Her father was Ervil LeBaron, and you can read about his criminal history here. Her story is full of anguish, poverty, and crazy middle-of-the-night moves and brushes with the law. But ultimately, her story is one of hope and redemption, which is why I knew I wanted her on this show!

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Mar 13, 2017

Laura McClellan is a lawyer and an amazing podcaster at The Productive Woman. (Be sure to check it out). She's also a novelist, a mom and a wife who has an amazing story of survival.

How Our Stories Intersected

Laura and I met at our writers group (I think? Or maybe our paths crossed in a different way? But I know it had to do with writing). She's a novelist in addition to being a lawyer and a successful podcaster. She's the one who helped me believe I could podcast with guests, walking me through Call Recorder for SKYPE. Beyond that, though, Laura is smart and thoughtful. I had no idea she had such a stressful/amazing story!

In this episode, Laura talks openly about her upbringing, what propelled her into the foster care system, and how gratitude marks her life today.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Mar 6, 2017

Vonda Vestal is a dear, dear friend of mine who is a teacher and a speaker. In fact, she spoke at the Restory Conference last year, making a huge impact with her story. (She's blurry in this photo because that girl can PREACH, and she moves while she talks!)

How Our Stories Intersected

Vonda and I met because our friend Brandon (her husband) told us he met someone special, and we were so excited to meet her. So we've known her and Brandon since before they were married. They also came on a mission trip with us to Montreal, and I had the privilege of seeing her minister to others. She is a gem. I will never forget when we were singing worship songs in French because it was the first time she'd heard worship music in another language. She was so moved, moved to tears.

That's a strong indication of her heart. I fully believe Vonda will be sharing her story more and more as the years move on. Would you pray for her that God would release her to speak?

In today's podcast, Vonda speaks openly about racism, what it's like to be a racially mixed marriage, and her deep love for Jesus. I know you'll be blessed beyond belief.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Feb 27, 2017

Thomas Umstattd is a dear friend of mine who runs Author Media, works for a media company, and wrote this book:

How Our Stories Intersected

Thomas and I met at a writers conference, where he was teaching writers about social media. We became good friends, and eventually he formed our mastermind group. He crowdfunded and write Courtship in Crisis, and that's the topic of conversation you'll hear today. Thomas is smart, articulate, and friendly, and I'm so glad you'll get to meet him.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Feb 20, 2017

Rachel Anne Ridge is an author and artist who loves her family and enjoys life. She wrote a beautiful animal memoir called FLASH. Isn't Flash cute? Yes, he lives with her (outside, on their farm).

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How Our Stories Intersected

We're not even sure how we met, but we're both authors in the greater Dallas Fort Worth area. She has attended our writers group. She's articulate, generous, and gracious. I can't wait for you to meet her!

In this episode, Rachel shares about something we can all relate to--job loss and stress. Her creative business (that she and her husband did together), suffered greatly in the crash of 2008. She shares her story of walking through that difficult time. And, yes, Flash makes an appearance.

[You don't have to live scared during financial heartache. Hear @RachelAnneRidge's story on the #RestoryShow."]

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Feb 13, 2017

This week I'm sharing a very vulnerable story--the time I visited the place where I was raped at five years old. This pilgrimage happened right after Christmas last year, and this is the first time I'm publicly talking about it. (I shared a bit in writing with my email subscribers. If you're interested in becoming a subscriber to get exclusive content, click here). I wanted to start season three off with a bit more of myself (and, yeah, it's a lot of myself). But it's also about Jesus, what He does, how He heals, what He creates from trauma.

How Our Stories Intersected

Alas, I've continually intersected with myself. So this episode is more about how I chose to face one of the most difficult stories of my life.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

Here are some pictures from my visit. They'll all make sense once you listen to the story.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Jan 30, 2017

Aaron Graham is the pastor of The District Church in Washington D.C. He's got some amazing stories to tell today on the Restory Show, and I can't wait for you to hear them. He lives in DC with his wife and two children.

How Our Stories Intersected

Aaron and I met through our church. The District Church has been one of our partner churches. I had the opportunity to interview Aaron for one of our publications, and I was struck by how radical and on fire he was. He's passionate, too, about foster care and has been a part of DC127.  According to their ministry, "No child should grow up without a loving home. There are around 1,300 children in DC foster care, and hundreds of children within this waiting to be adopted. DC127 is reversing the wait list by recruiting and supporting foster and adoptive families."

In this episode, Aaron talks about some crazy things that happened to him as a missionary kid in Liberia and Kuwait. He hopes to spend a time of sabbatical revisiting some of the places he's been, alongside his wife and children.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
Jan 23, 2017

Anna Smit is one of the authors I met in Geneva last year at the writers intensive. She has a heart to see others set free because she has her own story of emancipation.

Below is a picture of her, her daughter, and her mom not too long before her mom died. Anna had the privilege and the trauma of caring for her mom before she lost her battle with cancer, and the experience profoundly affected her.

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How Our Stories Intersected

As I mentioned, Anna and I met in Geneva, and I was immediately impressed by her deep connection to Jesus. He oozed from her, actually. She had a long period of being away from the Lord, but some painful circumstances brought her back.

PTSD is not something to trifle with. Trauma has a way of infiltrating our lives, and Anna was no different. However, God chose to intersect her story in beautiful ways. I prayer her reawakening inspires you today.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

A Note from Anna

Anna asked that I add this portion, which I was happy to do. She has some deep insight into healing and God's nearness. I pray her words bless you.

...

Recently, I went back and listened to the recorded prophecy spoken over me that I shared of in my interview. I thought the man had told me I had to cling to God in the coming storms. Turns out he never said that: in fact the opposite- that God would be with me. I couldn't understand how I had misheard him...until God showed me the power of listening to thoughts that are not of Him. I must have heard the word "storms" and frozen- choosing to listen to my accuser's lies that began to pour into my head, rather than the rest of the encouraging prophecy.

What has helped me understand how this could of happened is something from your book Live Uncaged...

In it you share of a conference where you were asked to write down on a piece of paper what one thing you so badly wanted to leave behind at the altar and pick up one of the pieces of papers lying at the altar (all different Scriptures). I found it such an amazing idea and could see how wonderfully freeing and healing it was for you, so I did it myself, but asked God to give me a verse (He ended up giving 4 because I wasn't satisfied with just one ). What a powerful eye-opener. Because once again it showed me how powerful these little foxes (lies of the enemy) are!!!

The first verse (every knee shall bow) had me in tears and filled me with lies that told me I struggled with this thing (my need/desire to always be right) because I didn't want God to come first. But because I know God is good and true I asked Him to give me more verses for wisdom. It wasn't till the final verse (Blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled) that I understood what God was showing me. It wasn't that I didn't want God to come first, it was that I was listening to the wrong voices in my head- the second Scripture He revealed was John 10:5 "But they will never follow a stranger; in fact they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." And the third was: John 6:2 "and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick."

These voices tell me that everything is my fault and that what I do makes others suffer. But that if I can show others that I am "right" (good) then I can counter the internal shame. I have to prove my worthiness to them by proving my actions or ideas as "right" (good).

This is especially prevalent in parenting. Like on Monday- we have banned television and I-pad for a week because it has been affecting Emily's ability to fall asleep at night (her mind is not at rest), but of course Emily was not happy. My response was to internalize her temper tantrum and tears as my fault. I saw myself as causing her pain and I tried to prevent the shame I felt by explaining why our decision to ban was right. So, when of course that only exacerbated things it made me angry. And I couldn't understand why I was feeling SO angry and at the same time filled with such grief because really I could rationalize her response as being completely normal for a six-year old!! But I desperately needed to be right.

I now see why: I was hearing- "see, it's all your fault Anna. She's upset and angry and it's all because of you. See, you are a terrible parent. She wouldn't be this upset if you parented her better." And then I countered this false guilt and shame with questions to turn the guilt away from myself to Emily: "why doesn't she understand me, why doesn't she see me, why doesn't she accept me?" And that fueled the grief and anger in me and my impatient and argumentative responses to Emily.

The little foxes (Pharisees ) were the voices of false guilt trying to stop me from putting safe boundaries around my child (no I-pad or TV for a week). And I listened to them, rather than God's loving voice, who would have been encouraging me, comforting me and affirming me as a Mommy, not shaming or guilt-tripping me.

See, I realize I still feel responsible for not protecting my brother. So, when others suffer in front of me (and especially because of something I've said and done- even if it was a good thing to say/do) I still hear that same voice of blame. "It's all your fault. You should have done something different." I see their emotions as something I'm responsible for (their anger or grief). And if I can prove I was right, I can prove I am not to blame for their emotions and worthy of love. But you see, if I listened to God's affirming and loving voice I'd be able to counter the shaming, guilt-tripping voices and place a safe boundary around my thought world: a wall that stops me from shouldering others' emotions. I'd be carrying a light yoke, rather than a heavy one. And this light yoke would allow me to feel loved and show love.

The End

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Jan 16, 2017

Chris McGregor is the husband of Restory Show guest Yanci McGregor. Together they have planted City Church in Montreal, Canada. He has a passion to see his native country know Jesus Christ. After a stint at Dallas Seminary (the same time my husband was there), he worked alongside Yanci at Fellowship Church. Later, they felt strongly called to minister in Canada, particularly French-speaking Montreal. They have two boys who play hockey, and they're enduring (with joy!) the Canadian winter.

How Our Stories Intersected

Chris and I met through our church. We partnered with City Church as it was planted. Every year, Lake Pointe hosted a gathering of all their partnership churches around the nation, which is where Chris and I first connected. Then, Patrick took several teams to City Church, and I had the privilege of coming twice.

In this episode, Chris talks about a dark time in his marriage, and the way God brought them through what seemed like the ending of their really great relationship. He gives good advice for those walking through any dark relationship struggle. And through it all, you see his profound fidelity to the gospel.

As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It's my sincere hope that you'll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.

The End

  • If this episode has literally knocked your socks off (sorry if your feet are now cold), would you please consider telling your friends and enemies and pets?
  • And leaving a review will help get the restory show in many more earbuds. Thanks in advance!
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