• Tamra Andress

The Most Beautiful Disaster with Hope Carpenter

Hope Carpenter is our amazing guest today. She went through infidelity, which left her without a home and feeling alone. She was broken and void, and God asked her what she wanted. Just like most of us, she just wanted to be fixed. She wanted out from under the shame. God did that for her and He can do it for you, too. I pray that this interview and her book will transform your life from the inside out.


All about her book, The Most Beautiful Disaster

The importance of honesty and transparency

It's hard work to be free, but often we are just lazy

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About Hope:

Hope Carpenter, along with her husband Ron, Pastor Redemption Church. Redemption started in Greenville, South Carolina from 1991 until 2018 and grew to an international ministry. Redemption relocated its headquarters to San Jose, California in 2018. Ron and Hope have three grown children and five grandchildren. Hope holds an Associate of Arts degree in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education. She has authored two books, The Little Pink Book, and just released her second book, The Most Beautiful Disaster, on May 4, 2021.

When Hope is not helping her husband lead Redemption and spending time with her grands she travels to Pakistan, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Mexico and wherever the Lord sends her to do missions work under the umbrella of Hope for the Nations. Hope’s heart and passion is seeing people’s lives changed and transformed so that they can be everything God has created them to be.

Where to Find Hope:

Buy here book, The Most Beautiful Disaster, here:

Show Notes: The Most Beautiful Disaster

Okay. So you know that part of the notebook, when he asked her, what do you want? Like, what do you really want? He's holding her face and they're standing in the rain and it's like the most pivotal part of the movie. This is no different to every scenario before a miracle occurs. It's no different than hope carpenters experience.

Infidelity after brokenness, after pain, staking experiences that left her completely. Yeah. Avoid God said, what do you want? And she answered, I want to be fixed. How many of you want to be fixed? You want that ailment. You want that struggle. You want that hidden secret to go away. You want the shame to be removed?

This podcast is intended to obliterate shame. It's intended to take back the win and it's intended to activate you into the fight of your life that ultimately glorifies God, if you have never met hope carpenter, you're about to meet not just her, but the God within her. I pray that her book, the most beautiful disaster and this podcast connected together, transform your life from the inside out.

Hope that you get to meet Jesus and the way her and I did so intimately. And I pray that it changes every part of your life for the better he did it for her. She did it for me. And we are both partnering in the fact that he will do it for you too. We pray ultimate blessings over your day and your time as you listen to this incredible podcast.

And I thank you. Thank you for being here. I thank you for showing up, not just for yourself, for everyone you're connected to and ultimately for the kingdom, you guys let's get fit and faith it's time right now. Say yes.

This is your God wink. The moment that heaven says for such a time as this it's time to own your joy, prioritize your health, discover your wealth and exude your wholeness. It's time to become truly fit. However, this isn't a fitness podcast though. I'm a retired personal trainer and nutritionist, this isn't business jargon or tips and tricks to landing your successful passion project though.

That's totally why I'm a business coach. This isn't a quick fix health detox ploy though. I'm all for therapy and I love whole foods. I do have a Yolo side sweet tooth though. This isn't confusing religious banter though. I'm an ordained minister, still figuring out the many things and facets and faces of Jesus.

It's really none of that. So I'm wondering if you're wondering what is this? Well, this is an opportunity to join me alongside other big dreamers. Native movers and lifestyle shakers, as we explore and share our messy comeback stories and discoveries with each of you fellow passionate seekers, the fit and faith movement was birthed through my own trial and error discovery of mind, body, and soul alignment, and to be totally transparent, my own entrepreneurial crash and burn experiences.

I've learned firsthand that being fit. Isn't about our physique at all. It's not about our qualifying abilities or titles. It's not about our potential. It's truly about our God gifted passions, meeting our purpose. You are one step away from achieving your idea, your dream, your calling, your purpose, whatever you want to call it.

And I want to be there for the moment that you say yes, in freedom, clarity, and confidence that you are living fully fit and who and whose you were made to be welcome to the fit and faith podcast with me, Tamra and dress, there is no better time than now. Yeah.

You guys, this feels so surreal.

this is so fun. You guys, this is real life, right? This is what's so amazing. And we were just saying this offline in our quote, unquote green room of the fit and faith podcast, how the world is really small and, uh, we could have an offline conversation or coffee or dinner, or a whole day of just shopping and girl time, because there's so much to unpack in this conversation.

And so I hope that you will just pull up whatever is cozy to you. Um, drive, be on the beach and go on a walk or whatever it is to just dive into, um, the most beautiful disaster. What a name? Um, this is hope carpenter and I am so honored to have you here. Hope. Thank you. Thanks for having me. This is awesome.

And I loved your intro. That was so cool. Isn't it fun? I am so grateful to my creative designer. She does all things. I give her the canvas and she goes, boom, I love it. It's really nice. So you guys, if you don't know hope carpenter, which you should, but if you don't, you're about to get to know her very well.

She is the co-founder as the intro said to the redemption church, it is a mega church in Greenville, South Carolina, and also has satellite locations in San Jose, uh, Raleigh, North Carolina, Dominican Republic, and it is co Passard with Ron carpenter, who is her amazing husband. And I am grateful to know them both.

I am grateful to have been served by their ministry. Uh, both in-person in Greenville. I've got a funny story for that one also. Um, it's a good thing. It's kind of hilarious though. Um, and then also just in their ministry, in the work that they do on a consistent basis and specifically, and why I'm so excited, uh, based in.

Uh, individual intimate and roll story and the way that you have, um, just honored God through the whole process. And so I thank you, um, for being here to share with us today, uh, her recent book, the most beautiful disaster, and we're going to dive into all things, hope run and, uh, this specific journey, which is ultimately to glorify his name.

That's right.

It has been a journey. And the crazy thing is a lot of people wonder about this is like having a journey that is so public, right? You have 20,000 people on a given Sunday, come through your ministry space. And that alone is hard not to mention the pressures of just looking at yourself in the mirror.

Right. Um, so talk us through, I don't even know where you went. No, I'll have been through mounds and mounds of therapy. Listen, I love therapy therapy has just become my crack cocaine actually, because it is so healthy. You know, one of the things that I really am fighting for right now through all of my healing journey is just the mental health awareness.

Just the ability to take the mask off and say, you know what? I'm struggling. I'm not good. Uh, I've got hidden sin. I am faking. I have been in this miserable marriage. I don't know who I am and I've got to talk to somebody. Um, you know, we all struggle and I think that the church has done a terrible job. A terrible job at allowing people, to be honest, to allowing people to be real.

And it's not an indictment against your righteousness or your, even your holiness, because holiness is a pursuit. It's an upward call. It is not something you attain immediately when you accept Jesus as your savior, you know, our, that we're three part being we're body, soul spirit. And when we come to Jesus and get saved, accept him as the Lord of our life, believe that he died rose again, the only thing that changed is our spirit came right.

The same. So true. Our bodies, the same right. Memories are the same. Our experiences are the same. Oh, that's so true. And people are expecting you now you're a Christian robot. So everything is perfect right now. Not the only thing that changed is it definitely came a lot. So then the Bible tells us that it is a process of becoming like Jesus.

It is an upward call, um, that we are being transformed. We, we are transformed in our spirit, but our soul, our mind, our will, our emotions, our intellect is being transformed and it will not be completely transformed until we see G. And our body good Lord, help us. Nothing can help that thing till we get to see Jesus do the best we can.

We can run, we can walk, we can eat, right. We can put the sugar down, but it is still a dying body. So it will be transformed. So it's transformed or soul is being transformed in our body will be transformed one day. So good. You know, so we feel all this pressure. We feel all this pressure in the church and especially in leadership that, you know, we're supposed to pose.

Perfect. And we're supposed to, uh, let everybody think that we are this hyper spiritual person who never struggles and that's just not. Yeah. I mean, that's the bottom line. That's a lot. Yeah. Well, and that's the Sunday church, right? That's the Sunday church mentality. It's like, let's check this box, put on your pretty dress.

We just fought in the car and be quiet when you go in, put on your happy face, dry your eyes. Right. And that's how I was raised. And I think a lot of people were, and so I loved there was a component of your book, um, and the, in the beginning chapters, and it was talking about the mask that we wear. And at some point, um, from whether it's childhood adolescence, adulthood into your marriage, whatever it is, you can't really decipher.

Is this actually me? Or is this the mask or is this societal expectations? And, and I love that understanding. Yeah. You've just played that role so long and you've become what you needed to become to fit in, to not get in trouble, to make people happy. Um, and, but you're miserable on the inside. You're just, you know, all of us, I believe every human, whether you're a drug addict, um, a stripper, a doctor, a lawyer where, whatever, where are you ever, you find yourself a stay at home.

Mom. We all have this innate desire that God put in us to be loved, to love and to be loved and to live a good life and to be happy. I believe we all want that, but the problem is the pursuit of it. Uh, we, we go to all these different places, all these Wells and all these shopping trips and these vacations and excursions and people, places and things.

And, you know, someone who's seven tells us only Jesus can satisfy the longings in our soul and he knew we would have these longer. You know, our emotional needs to be filled, but he tells, he tells us, he says, oh, only I can feel that void, but you know, like knock, knock anybody home. And it's like, we don't hear it.

Don't get it. Don't believe it. So we think the next pocket book will make us feel better or the next girl's trip will make us feel better. Or if we could just live in that one house, in that one neighborhood, you know, it feels so validated and important and we get there and it's not enough. And it's just like that, that hole in the bottom of our bucket.

And, and then that's where we just start messing up. We just start drowning and, and we get lost in it. And. And, you know, it's just the, it's just simply coming back to the basics. Being honest. I'm not perfect. I don't like you. Uh, honey, I'm just saying it in our mind, then go in, get help and get, get, get a different perspective.

Talk to a pastor, talk to a counselor. You know, I know what I'm 52 years old, nobody talked about this when I was coming up in church and I was brought up in a holiness church. Well, first I was in Southern Baptist and then 12 years old, we went to the holiness church and you know, our whole, the whole preaching and thought there was you come to the alter and everything is taken care of at the alter.

And if it's not, something's wrong with you and I've seen the Lord do. Amazing miraculous things that the altar I've seen people delivered. I've seen, uh, marriages restored. I've seen drug addicts oh. To the altar, as a drug addict can get up and they never had a craving. Again, I've seen mighty miracles, but the majority of things that have to do with her emotional man, our soul Lish, man, our won'ts, our cravings, our desires, our thought patterns, the way we think about ourself, what we were told when we were younger, you know, you'll never be good enough.

You'll always be like your dad. Those things really in truly affect us. And it takes a lot of work to come out of that thinking takes a lot of work to even identify those lies that we've taken to be the truth. And, and, and then we start operating out of those lies that are true to us now. Uh, and most people are not willing to work.

You know, we, we just think, well, I'll get to it later. Or, you know, just my 30 minutes in the morning is enough. And, uh, even if we do that once a week, you know, I'm on Netflix and Instagram and Facebook, and we wonder why our likes a mess. Right? Well, there's so many deposit opportunities at this point, right.

We can get a fulfillment, a quick fix if you will, if we're looking at it from drugs, you're looking at it from alcohol. If you looking at it from sex, if you're looking at it from social media, endorphins, I mean, there are so many things, food simply, right? And it's like, so supersonic and you're expecting it to happen.

Have you watched, um, the social dilemma? Did you watch that? Right? And it's like, we're puppets right? Based on consumerism, based on marketing. Um, and also based on our fleshly desires and we're not willing to put them to the side to side, to actually keen back into that, that actual innate identity, the actual innate identity before we were born.

We were his, we're still his today, but we're thinking that we belong to and we're being okay with being puppeteered to every other thing in society. And so I love, I love that analogy that you're saying, and I think it's so important that people realize that those deposits are exactly what is drawing us off course from him.

And it's all day, every day. So the alignment zone, where we come into fulfillment, we just pulled our kids and we have three kids and, uh, they weren't easy kids, you know, cause they're Ron's children. So they get all that. Um, but no, that's a lie. Read my book. You'll see where they got right in chapter one,

I always told them growing up when they would, you know, well, mama, why can't I, or I want to serve the Lord or I love Jesus, but I can't help. I did blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I'm like, okay, here's your life. Just look at it as a scale. And so here's the world. And here's the things of God, what are you putting?

Which side is heavier? You know, that they're like, why do I keep doing what I'm doing? I'll show you, look at what all, what you're feeding yourself. Is it things of the world? Is it secular music? Is it all your bad friends? Is it blah, you know, all that? Or is it, are you spending time with the Lord? Are you, are you in the word?

Are you in prayer? Are you in church? Are you really seeking God, whatever you so to what the Bible says is what's going to win. Always is what's going to win. And you know, I, I use this analogy and I tell it everywhere I go, because it is me. I can say that I hate these FAS all day long. I can sneak that. I hate the cellulite on my thighs all day long, but if I'm not willing to get up and go to the gym and push my plate back and not eat those amazing crinkly, French fries.

You know, I can say that I hate it all day long, but I really don't hate my thoughts. I love my French fries more than I hate my thoughts. So, you know, we're not willing to put in the hard work and to be free. That's what we're talking about. That's what this book is about. You know, letting God get in there, dig in there, use all our junk, use all our mistakes and come out free, come out, clean, being real, you know, until we're really willing to put in the work.

Um, we're going to live that miserable life and it's not the life. God called us to John 10, 10. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. Not that you will. He's when he finished the work on the cross and he sat down and he said it is finished.

His job in our life is done, but now it's our job to continually pursue the upward call and to become more like Jesus. He said, there's this abundant life that I have called you to, but you have got to do the work and we're just, I'm lazy. Yeah. Very desk, quick stuff. We want instant grits. We want everything quick, but if you've ever had good grants, like I'll have to talk about grit, fear.

You'll not ever want instant grits again.

I love that. And I think that you're so right, especially in the component of knowing that instantaneous satisfaction and yet at the same exact time I've learned in my spirit experience with God, my relational experience, my intimacy with him, that he actually will fulfill in the same exact way if you're pursuing him wholeheartedly.

Right. And those miracles that you're talking about at the feet of the alter, um, it is instantaneous and at the same exact time, our ability to fall in line, right, or to pursue, or to run that race that good and faithful servant every day, the phrase ology always say is always better. Yeah, we're not, we're not reaching a perfection zone here on her thinking to be like Jesus Christ, like 1000%, but he doesn't say that you're going to be Christ.

No, not at all. And so it's, it's being willing. And this is where I think our stories collide so beautifully is it's being willing to wave the white flag and being willing to say one, I need help. Yeah. And two messed up big and three, I surrender, I surrender it all to you. In spite of myself, specifically for your name to get the glory here, I need you.

And that's when he, miraculously instantaneously comes in to control the life that we so desperately hold on to control is a part of your life. Yeah, it's really so simple. It's really just surrendering. You know, are all control freaks. We really are. We want to control everything. And we think our way is the best way all the time.

And even with our relationship with God, you know, we just, we, we reason out we rationale. We I'll be okay, I'll get to this next week, you know, but it, it, but it's not, it is just a trap and a trick of the enemy. It's got to be as consistent as brushing our teeth. You know, that's something you just don't miss because you know, the importance of it in, in, it's got to be consistent as getting our rest.

It is that vital to our life is our time with the Lord. And if we don't have it, uh, you'll end up in a hot mess. And I did. And because I worked in the mill a street, but I worked for the Lord and I was so broken. But I did not know where to go or how to fix it. The message is so many as the works, because stuck in the works, because we're taught to use your gifts and talents for the church.

Right. And how many pastors I see, or how many volunteers I see who ended up getting completely burnt because they're not actually visibly being seen in their soul or spirit man on the outside, they're fulfilling a role and they're doing good works, but that means their mass cast to be on it. Every given moment.

You're the door holder. You can't be a sloppy mess right now. Get your act together. So talk, talk to us it's through like that, that public surrender that it had to occur with you that, that didn't have to, again, this is back to the. Right. And you had a choice in this experience and this, this surrender.

And so I'd love to hear about that side of it as well. Absolutely. Well, the, the good, the, the golden line and all this is that even in my worst day, I love that. Uh, I knew as a young girl that God had had his put his hand on me, I knew that God had called me to ministry. Um, I remember at 15 years old, my mom, she would drag me to all these women's conferences, these Christian believers, United meetings.

And, but I remember being there and I would see these women preaching and what it would do to my heart. And I remember sitting there thinking I'm going to do that one day. That's what I want to do. I want to speak and watch people's lives be impacted and changed and feel like I feel right now. And so threw out.

Yeah. Even my journey, um, of just coming to the bottom of me. Uh, I love them. And I remember even in our worst days, you know, when, when I was going through what I was going through and, and I'll get to that, Ron would run, would look at me and say, what is wrong with you? And I'd say, you know what? I don't know.

I said, I, and I really did it acid, but I know two things. I know that I love Jesus. And I know that I love you. And that may not make sense right now because we were really struggling and going through it. So in 2004, I woke up that morning one morning and I said, I can't live like this anymore. I had quickly I'll go back.

I have, I was raised in a very strict, very strict Christian home and they me. Well, they really did, but they were very strict. They were, uh, you know, if it makes you grant, it must be sin. You couldn't do anything. I couldn't go to the sock cops. I couldn't go to friend's house. I couldn't do anything fun.

Couldn't choose to wear the bathing suit I wanted to wear, it had to be approved. You know, I couldn't date who I wanted to date. It had to be approved. And I mean, just the Rangs the rains, the rains, like I was two years old until I left the house, you know? And I've learned now after much counseling that everybody has to go through, what's called individuation where, you know, 12, 13, 14, 15 years old, you start making your own choices.

You know, you burn your fingers on the stove, so to speak. And even if it's wrong, you know? Yeah. You said sock cops, that's funny. Right? Um, Man-days have changed. Right. Uh, I love it. It's so true though. And that's like this really beautiful parallel because there are surely things that I can think of my nieces and my children who will be thinking about the parallel to what's a sock up to what's happening now, right?

Yeah. But anyway, um, I wasn't allowed to do any of that. And so, uh, I've learned that, you know, you, you will do that sometime in your life and in the world calls it a midlife crisis, you know, when people start acting out, but it's really those people who never got that. Amazing opportunity at the correct time.

And they start doing it later in life. When they do, like, I did just blow up on the inside and said, I cannot live like this anymore. You know, my, my anxiety is going out the roof and why then it makes you feel crazy because you look at your life in the natural and you're like, this is a good life. Why am I so miserable?

Why do I have so much anxiety? What, why am I wanting to choke you today? You know, when you're a good husband, why you know you in the night, you know, and, and I should. Um, so I started in 2004, I was 35 years old and I just started making some really bad choices. Like I should have made it 12, 13, 14, and it took me down a road about nine years of just bad choices.

I wasn't faithful to my husband, never planned that nobody wakes up one day and says, man, I just think I'm going to blow up my family or, you know, I want to hurt my, my husband's so bad. The one that I actually love. But when you start opening yourself up to those things, the enemy will come to you and say, oh, you deserve this.

You know, he'll start lying to you and making you think this is the route you're supposed to be on. So it was a journey I'm telling you nine years horrible. And I'm still leading. I'm still in public. I'm still pastoring a church. I'm still a mom. I'm still a wife. I mean, can you imagine the turmoil in my mind as if I wasn't anxiety ridden enough?

Aye that put on it, the double life and me really loving Jesus and loving my husband. So in 2013, I came to him and I said, I can't live like this anymore. I came clean, told him everything. And, um, you know, I expected him just to wrap his arms around me and we're going to get through this, but he said, hope I can't live like this anymore.

He said, you know, I've got a worldwide ministry to Stewart. We've got children, something drawn with you. You've got to get help. You need to pack your stuff and leave. Wow. That was on a public stage that was on a worldwide ministry. And I'm telling you, it was the most devastating, humiliating. Thing, but I knew, you know, I knew I was wrong.

I knew I could not even stand up and say, but, but, but, but, you know, so I packed my stuff and I left and you know, that was the saddest day for me because I remember going up the interstate and I was scrolling through my own thinking, who can I call? Where can I go? And, you know, I didn't have one person to call because everybody in our life we employed, you know, or worked for us or were under us in ministry.

And of course they were going to be on Ron's side. I was wrong. So who's going to open their doors to me. And it I'm telling you, it was that's where the book came from the most beautiful disaster because to the world. It was the most horrible thing to the, to our family, to our kids, to Ron, to me, to, to the church, it was the most horrible thing.

But to me, that right there was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me because I was reduced to nothing. I was reduced to nothing but Jesus. I had no more excuses. I was pinned up against a wall and I had a choice. I was at a crossroads and I had, you know, I could have left. I tell people I could have left and went to Miami and sold margaritas on the beach, but that makes you grit.

And so therefore it's a sin. I'm gonna lose that. But you know, I said, you know what? I am going. I have nowhere to go. I was fired. I was taken off all the church documents as founder and. I mean, everything we'd ever worked for, because at that point, Ron was not willing to reconcile our marriage. And that's a whole nother story.

We'll talk about later, you know, the miracle that God did there. But, um, yeah, I think that that conversation is identity, right. Identity that you had built for so long, the titles, the labels, the perception of Ugh, gone, and I've dealt with this. So I like everything that you're saying. I'm like, oh yeah, it was it's so good.

Mine was a quarter life crisis. That's what I call it. But it happened soon and I'm so grateful for that. But I think that the labels, the end of me, like you said, and there's an amazing book by Kyle Idleman, that was a part of my journey and understand. Where was I and why was I having such, um, longing for more?

And it was because I was stripped of the things that I thought were relevant or important or satisfaction. And in fact, it's that place of nowhere land that place where you've got no, where else to go, that God shows up in such an easy way to, to rescue us. He does. And he did, it was not quick. It was not easy.

It was the most horrible thing that I've ever been through in my life. Um, I remember just grabbing things out of my closet and. And I, I had like this mid mix-match stuff. I had like six pair of pants and four or five shirts and a couple of pair of shoes and brought some that just one foot and nothing matched and, you know, just grabbed what I could, I didn't know if I would be back.

I didn't know. You know, I had no idea what was going to happen to me. And I grabbed my wedding album and I grabbed one picture album of my children. It was just the loneliness, darkest time that I had ever, ever experienced. You go from all of this, you know, a housekeeper, uh, you know, I'm driving a range Rover and I got Louis Vuitton luggage in the back and it means nothing.

It still doesn't know I'm driving the doodle bug. There you go. And that's the thing. It represents the unmasked version of you. So none of that other stuff that has a label map. Because it's just, what brings you joy and what gets you from point a to point B to do his work? Oh gosh. Quick commercial break.

I know I hate these things too, but it's so critical that you grow your business for God's sake. And I mean, that pun intended with all the love in my heart to get you from a place of ideation to activation, stop dreaming, start doing stand ups, start saying yes to the call that God has on your life. We are going to be joining in Lexington, Kentucky with none other than the beautiful rise and grind community with Glenn Lundy, who will be co-hosting this incredible conference.

This is the second annual. And he has taken me under his wing to be able to share the stage to motivate and inspire. And I cannot wait to see you there November 5th through the seventh. If you want to come in for the VIP experience or two doesn't want to come along for VIP, that's all access passes to the speakers and the artists, and you will be able to dine with us in the.

Rooms with your own special bathrooms. So of course, come one day, two day, three day passes available as well. And we can not wait as good. And I say to hug your neck, see you there. So tell me through, because this is something I walked through and I know this is a differentiation in our story, right? You actually went to, uh, a center that helped helped in this process because there was nowhere else to go.

You're like, well, I guess I should check myself in. Well, I remember waking up from night sweats and shakes and my husband wrapping his arm around me when he didn't have to. And I remember Googling and sitting at my, my counter, my breakfast bar and being like, where do I go? What's wrong with me? How do I not an alcoholic though?

I like alcohol. I am not an addict. I don't think. Or maybe I am. Um, I don't know where to go anywhere. That seemed like a rehabilitation center for women. Didn't fit. Right. And so I'm grateful. I'm grateful that I couldn't Google it because I then, then I was surrendered to God. Like there has to be. And yet I also know the power of mental health and the, in that therapy piece and the surrounding of people who are like hearted and like-minded to raise you up.

So talk us through that part. So, um, I remembered this ministry place that we used to send the other crazy people to, uh, all the other broken people, you know, the, the broken people. Yeah. Yeah. The pointing finger and we're all broken and native say, oh, so true. Um, it's called living waters ministry in North Carolina.

And in, it's not like a rehab, it's not a facility. It it's, it's a ho it's a home. They live there and they have retreats every weekend. Different retreats called healing, the heart and Esther retreat, a marriage retreat, and they've given their whole life for healing. And so I said, I'm going to call them.

So I called and I told them what had happened in a very short synopsis. And I said, I just need somewhere to sleep. Can I come? I said, I don't want any ministry. I just want your help. Don't talk to me. And they did, they opened their arms. They made me dinner, made me breakfast, but the next morning she came in, she she's this little short woman and she had her little sweater and she took it and she, she said, well, are we ready to get busy?

And I'm like, really? It hit me upside the head. I was like, you know, am I really going to commit. To this, because I felt it, it was like so imminent that this is the beginning of forever, but it's going to be hard and it's going to be awful. And I said, yes. And she said, okay, give me your keys. Give me your phone, give me your computer.

They took my phone and they smashed it into a million pieces. They took my keys. I was not allowed to go anywhere. I'm 44 years old. And w that's what I was talking about earlier, when most people aren't willing to do the hard work, you know, most people are willing to say, I'm a grown woman. You know, the whole, I can do whatever I want to do.

You can't tell me what to do. But I was stripped to nothing and our rods send a security person up to get the car, took the car away. I had no ability to go anywhere. I had to ask permission, somebody to take me to a CVS for anything I needed. My roots eventually had grown out to nothing. I mean, to just the original brown color, my acrylic grew off.

I mean, nothing. I had nothing, but I got to work. I started getting to work. Can you think of every, uh, miracle almost in the Bible? And the question that Jesus asked before the miracle happens is do you want to get, well, do you want to be healed? Do you want to walk? Do you want to see? And it took there yes.

Before the miracle ever set in. Right. And so it's that desire. We have to want it. And I have so many people in my life who I can bear witness to that they don't know. No, and everything is taken from them and they're still sitting there controlling something. I'm not sure what more than they want them to know.

Thank you for that easy analogy. Right. And so you wanted it and I wanted it and I, and I've also on the contrary, seen so many people who want it. And so talk us through like, what happened next? I'm so curious. Uh, so we got work, we just started digging. We started digging. Um, you know, she didn't even really talk about like the, the unfaithfulness.

She didn't really talk about, you know, the living a double life. She, because there's always a why, you know, here we are a super religious people in the church. We want to point the out the fruit. We want to point out, you know, what people have done. W, but there's always a Y. Um, so it's not about, you know, what you did, it's that there's always a bad fruit, then there's a root, so we've gotta dig to the root.

So we started digging to the root. So she went all the way back to childhood, and most people laugh about therapy about that. They're like, oh, but they always want to go to your childhood. But the truth is, you know, every we're so impressionable, our brain is forming our, our, our emotional tank is forming.

Everything is forming. So it's everything that, that we think feel or do has come from our brain. And one of the most, the hugest aha moments for me in therapy was in going through healing, was to realize, I mean, I knew it that I didn't know it, that my brain is. It's not a machine like this pewter I'm looking into my brain is in Oregon.

Just like my heart, just like my liver, like my intestines. And just like everything that I put in my body, everything that I do to myself, um, even stress affects our body, our heart. It affects our in, um, intestines, everything that is put into us into our brain affects our brain and what does our brain control, how we think and how we feel and how we react.

So she went all the way back to childhood and the way I was raised and what I did, and didn't get as a child. And I wrote a whole book, a whole chapter in the book about the emotional needs we're supposed to get in children. And, and if we did or didn't get it, how that makes us go into adulthood with longings, we remember because only Jesus can satisfy, satisfy the longings of our soul.

And what is our soul? It's our emotional. Yep. So if we have longings, that means we didn't get something because our parents are put in our life to fill those voids because they are representatives of Jesus and God in our life at an early age. So we did such a good job in that chapter, by the way, because I think it not only does it convict me to be a better mom, but it also convicts me in the perspective of my own mom and then her own mom and the generational passes thereafter.

Has, and I think this is a fear that a lot of people have is I don't want to go back to my roots because I don't want to shame my parents all to honor our father and mother. And the more that I dig, the more that I learned about myself and not just myself, but the generations before me, the more awareness I have of where I am today, I have really hard conversations with my parents.

And I tell about that in the book that I was raised so strict that, you know, you don't talk back. You don't, you know, you Hmm. Are you, boom. If you talk back and you know, you honor your mom and dad and, and. Uh, so I was afraid to have these conversations, but I, I would sit down with them. The Bible says, speak the truth in love.

You know, it's not screaming and hollering. And why did you literally speaking the truth in love? So we, I would ask them, mom and dad, we gotta sit down and you know, the more books I would read, the more revelation I got, the more things that would come up in, in our sessions. I would say, I got to talk to you again, you know, did this happen?

Uh, did dad do this sometime in your marriage? Did you, do you know what happened with your upbringing and man, the things that I learned from how they were raised. Here's why they did what they did because they did that healing.

Thank God. Right. And thank God that we are in the becoming process. Thank God that they weren't perfect. Cause that'd be a lot of expectation for us to live on, but it's also a higher calling, right. We have to be better. We have to be better for our children. You have to be better for the generations to come.

And when we talk about generational bondage, this is what we're talking about. This is why we're talking about it because we've seen it play out in our own life, what that can actually do. And the destruction that the enemy is at works within. And so many different bull marriages being a priority and, and identity being the second priority, if not the first based on how things are going in the church now.

And so, um, I th I just think that it's so important for us to realize that the, the therapy stigma is, is such a lie. It's an, it's a new tactic. I need a personal trainer. No different than I need, you know, the, the manicurist actually, that's probably not a great analogy, but you get what I'm saying. So in, in parallel to that lightheartedness, like, we also need just like, we need a doctor to fix when something's wrong with our body, the mind, the brain being an organ, it needs nurturing, it needs rehabilitation and reconfiguring of what had been transpiring at this point for 44 years.

That's a lot of reconfiguring, right? Yeah. I had, I had slipped into patterns over the years of just things like responding when I felt pressed, um, uh, lying because growing up the only way not to get that terrible punishment was totally. So when I would feel threatened or I would be just dumb stuff. I mean, just really dumb stuff.

Like Ron would say you got a hundred dollars to go to the grocery store. And when I get home, he'd say, how much did you spend? And I'd say 85. When I really spent 108, he wasn't going to slap me over $108 over the budget. You know, he just wanted to know to be able to budget our money, but rough felt that pressure.

And I felt that anxiety in my brain had gone, had taught me over time, repetition that this is how you respond. It's habitual. It's second. It's second nature. You're not even thinking about the fact that you're lying, but those little white lies when you're, when you're, you're you'll habitually do it.

Eventually the bigger lies become less important and it didn't feel big because just habitual. You're so right. But yeah, so it took a while and thank God that our brain is malleable. I mean, it, it, it can be shaped and reshaped and formed. Thank you Jesus, for that. Thank you, father God, for that, making our brain that way, that no matter what we've gone through and no matter how it has affected us, Lord, that you made us to where we can, we can change our brain.

We can change our mind. We can change our thinking. We can change there's hope today for people who are listening, you are not a lost cause you are not hopeless. God made you so miraculously that yes, it's going to take work, but you can change anything. It's that renewing all the time, but it also comes by the action and the choice.

You have to want it, like we've said at the beginning, and then you have to act upon it. I think sometimes people will get stuck in the, in the desire and someone that I named Danelle Delgado, who speaks into my life as well from a coaching perspective, she says that she thinks the most addictive drug in all of the world is hopium.

So it parallels very well. I knew I had it and she says, everybody just sits and they hope, I hope this happens. I hope I can be healed. I hope I can make a million dollars. I hope I can make a great impact. I hope my, this, that nobody, most people don't act they don't do so because they're not willing to surrender.

Yeah, because we're really all about driving the nice ride. And if we have the keys in our hand, then we know where we're going. So that surrender and that becoming process that you're doing, even as you're sitting there, like in that malleable state, right. He is the Potter. We are the clay. He's willing to work with us.

He's never going to leave the wheel. He's never going to leave us. And so knowing that you're in this place, everything is stripped from you. At this point, you have no interaction with your family or your church, family, your husband, and you're just sitting there like, wow, Being worked on. Right. And, and it's this, knowing that in that surrender, you still might lead with nothing.

Yeah, I had yet. I had no hope that my marriage what's going to be restored. I had no hope that God would ever use me again. I had nothing, you know, my husband met with lawyers several days after I left and announced to the church that we were divorcing and that he had no desire to reconcile telling you.

I've seen God do miracle after miracle after miracle. And I remember praying just sitting there one day and I said, God, if you never, if I don't get my husband. If I, if, if I have to see my kids, you know, every other week, oh, that was horrible. I just had our, we just had our first grandbaby. And then when I got there, I found out my son and his wife was pregnant with their second kid and, oh, it was just killing me, devastating me and all the milestone moments I missed with my first grandson.

And then our oldest son was in a graduating high school. And it was just, I just felt like, so such a loser, so horrible. And I remember saying to the Lord, I said, God, if he never gave me my family and marriage back, God, if I never hold a Mike again, if I never even get to minister for you, God, I just want you to fix me.

I need you to fix me. And he did. But then he gave me all the good stuff back to

in my marriage and it's better than ever. I mean, I had to go through everything. I've gone through to have what we have today, as far as our love and our health and, you know, just our communication and being able to be open and honest. And man, it's so good. It's so miraculous. Yes, it is. Right. And it's, it's this knowing that everyone has access to it because you're not exclusive to the kingdom of God, right?

Like we love you. I love you. I think your ministry is amazing. Your Enron are our superstars in my book, but it's the knowing that every single one that created that he shapes every single day is, is willing and purposed for the same exact gift for the same exact exchange of what you thought was good enough for the group.

What you felt was anxious for the release. And, and I think the biggest thing for me is as one of the words you use is that communication. Yeah. And I think that's where we, I wasn't taught well enough when I was young, communicate my emotions. How do I communicate my mind desires? How do I communicate my needs both from a parental perspective?

Sure. We talked a lot about that. That even says my siblings, even to my friends, everything was like, I don't, I think I'm supposed to be quiet about that. And I don't think I was supposed to talk about that

in my home. I remember after being for mandated, we, after being reprimanded sometimes for hours. Right. And that's where the little white lies start. So you don't have to sit in that chair across from daddy is, um, I was silenced first off, so I had a hard time with my voice, but then we were expected to go and give him a.

And then you can go up to go to bed and, oh, I always felt so wrong, so frustrating. And I was always like, I don't want to hug you just, like you said, I want to put the pillow over your face. So your then your, then your body is now inaction against its will and you just feel conflicted. And that's one example of bajillions.

Right. And so the communication part, not just with our spouse, which is fundamentally critical for your home. Um, but for your, with yourself, how do you feel, why are you acting this way? What is w what is the purpose of that? And then taking all of those things and putting them first and foremost in parallel to your communication with God.

Yeah. And my mom who is here listening right now and an amazing woman of God, um, newly in her faith, which is just beautiful to witness. Um, she had a friend recently asked her, like, how do you pray. Like w what does that even mean? I've never pray. I can't pray. I don't know how everybody is. So flower, everything is so picture perfect.

And she said, you just talk. It was such a wise, simple concept. You just share from the depths of your soul one, he already knows it. But what if you got to do that with your spouse freely every single day? What have you got to do that with your children? The trust that would be instilled the longevity of relationship based on communication and communication is based on intimacy.

It's so interesting. It is. It's so freeing. I'm like, oh wow. I can actually share and release. Cause like you said, if you don't release there then becomes a suppression that then it becomes an action. You have to act eventually the stress has to be removed. What we're presented with on a consistent basis is those quick wins to satiation.

Yeah. Well that's why the word were tells us. Don't let the sun go down on your wrath because if the sun goes down and you haven't dealt with it, it gets into your heart and then it becomes. Part of your life. It becomes your reality. So it's, I tell people it's just talking and communication quickly is like going out to your yard and you see this one weed that just sprouted up.

If you get it right, then you just take your little fingers and poop. It's up. It's gone. It's out. Yeah, and it doesn't have to be like hard, right. It doesn't be like, can we sit down later to talk about that things you said it doesn't have to be like that and be like, you just said this and did you mean it this way rather than the immediate pounce, right?

It's like, this is how I felt when you said that, just so you know, and you're like, oh my gosh, that's not what I meant at all. Or that's not my intention at all. Oftentimes I believe people are good natured. Their intention is, is good. And yet it doesn't mean that they can communicate well because they likely weren't taught either.

And so I think that that is such a key, fundamental piece to every single thing that we do. Um, it's what we're doing right now, right. To allow other people into the secret places of our soul and our testimonies. And so you're, you are in this little woman's house in this amazing ministry, living waters ministry, and what happens next in, in obviously the spoiler alert, we know we're together.

We know that you guys are leading a worldwide ministry. Um, and then this book, when was the book. Oh, wow. I knew when I was at living waters, once we had reconciled, we started, I'll just have to tell you that little part of the story. It's just such an amazing story, but I knew after we'd reconcile, I knew God was birthing.

I've got to get this out because, um, the first scripture that God gave me was Genesis 50, 20. It's the Joseph story. You know, where they were coming. They were starving. They needed food, but Joseph was in charge and he sees him coming. And most preachers and people say what the devil meant for evil. And it's not that at all.

He looked at his brothers and he said, what you meant for evil? He said, God meant for good, you know, for his glory, comma and the salvation of many. So God spoke to me and he said, hope what you're going through really isn't even about you. I was like, well, gee, thanks Scott.

As you know, because you're beating the life out of me. Um, he said, but no, it's about the people you're going to help. So I knew that God would require a lot of humiliation on my part and a lot of courage on my part to be able to not just get healed, but get healed and then tell the story to help bring other people out of darkness, into light.

And you know, most people don't write books about their failures. They write books about their triumphs and how amazing they are and what they've learned. And they're an expert on the story, but on the subject that I knew that God was going to make. Share it, because I knew what he had done in my life.

And I knew that I had the tools I had the pathway, you know, there is a path he says, he leads us in a path of righteousness for his namesake. And I knew that God had given me a path. So I knew. So I was like, you know, let's just wait. And it's been nine years. Um, since we went through what we went through, but we have a lot of work to do.

We had a lot of healing to do, and I was not going to ride it until Ron gave me the goal. And so he really encouraged me about three years ago to go ahead and start writing and then it just came out. That is so incredible. And I remember when you took the stage so gracefully, like about, it was about four-ish years ago when I came down to your all's church, when you guys were still in Greenville and I'm hearing your story actually, through the grapevine, at that point at the leadership conference, you guys were hosting, you didn't talk about that.

You were just being you, right. And the newness and the redemption and all of the, all of the glory that he and favor that he had grace on your life. And someone through the grapevine was like, Hey, did you hear this part of her testimony? And it sort of felt like gossip, right? Like somebody reading your mail and then like, Hey, sliding it across the table this right.

Then at the same exact time, it was exactly what I needed. It was the hope I needed to say you're made for great. Wow. And what you have done in the past. It doesn't define you that God has more in store for you. And that you get to say yes to all of your dreams, all those little girl dreams that hope had, I'm going to do this day.

God, I know that this is a part of what what's to come and you, you trusted him in that and he fail. You know, now the platform is there and it's not about, you know, it's about him. Like you said, nobody, nobody waves that surrender flag. That's super sweaty, probably got blood on the midst of it. You might've wiped yourself.

Times the sweat, tears, all the things, the makeup's off, right. It's not comfortable, but it is. When, you know, he's doing it, you see all the things he's doing little by little by little, and this miracle happened, then this miracle you're like, okay,

we just see and start moving so powerfully in your life. Oh, my gosh, this isn't fake. This is for real. For real, you just love crawling back up on that water wheel alter again. I thought she was already redeemed, right? You don't want to cry. It's not how this thing works. I always tell people that I come to these conversations and to every day of my life.

And in that state of surrender my hands wide open for a desired conviction. And like, what do you have to teach me today? God, like, what is that, that, that message or that conviction that can then alter the course of my becoming that alters that beautiful disaster into something more beautiful. And, and I ha I haven't actually figured out what that is for this conversation, because I feel so attuned to what the spirit has done in both of our lives and that redemption factor.

But I would love for you to speak into the person who might. In an open heart state that is, is yearning for their own conviction. If they haven't already received it in this conversation, but more so is, is yearning for that redemption for the beautiful part of what they might feel is still a disaster.

I just know that, you know, if you're listening and, and I know you are because you're a human and I know that we all want to be loved and we all want to be good and we all want to be amazing and we all want to be fulfilled. You know, we all want to do the thing that we're created to do. We just don't know how, but I want to tell you if you don't fight.

Then you don't win. You have got to somehow muster up the, the fight back in you to get up and say, you know, yeah. I have fallen 87 times and I, I am 48 years old and it looks like a hot mess. You, you got to get back up again. You've got to do it because if you don't fight, then you don't win. If you don't continue to pursue, if you don't continue to read, if you don't continue to go to church, when you feel fake, if you don't continue to lift your hands, you're going you're, you're not gonna make it.

And I would encourage you also to do something different. If you've come to this point in your life. You're 40 years old. You're 44, 48, 56, even 35. And it's just still this endless cycle of failure. You need to probably do something. Because, you know, the definition of insanity is, you know, you keep doing the same thing, but you expect in a different result, you got to change it up.

You've got to, maybe you're going to the wrong church. Maybe you're going to a church where they won't allow you to be honest. And, and it's the picture. Perfect little, uh, you know, uh, what'd you call it little white upper-class people going to church all the same church and you know, everybody peers have it.

All right. And, uh, you know, maybe you need a different church. Maybe you need a counselor. Maybe you need to move. You know, you need to ask God, God, what I'm stuck in this rutting. God, I'm willing to do the hard work I'm willing to, to, to give it all up and do whatever you ask me to do. But the bottom line is if you don't fight, you don't win.

I could have laid there in 2013 at that ministry. And I could have just drowned in my sorrow. It was awful. It was horrible. Um, I can't even explain to you, Bishop Jakes told me a couple of years ago, he said, hope what you've done. He said, it's just, he said, most people in your position wouldn't have done.

He said, because falling apart publicly, what the damage that does to you emotionally, he said on top of what you'd already been through, he said just the falling apart publicly is just a lot to come back from. And I mean, I really could, I could have laid there and in my misery and God, and just said, okay, whatever and went on my way, but I was.

Because I knew that God had a better plan for me, God, the life that he had called me to, and not just because it's ministry it's because he died for me. You may not be called a ministry, but he died for you. He, he purchased you. He bought you with a very high price because he thought you were worth that you are worth that.

So you got to get up and you got to muster up enough strength to be willing to fight so that you can say the plan and purpose of God come, come through in your life. That is so powerful. And as you're talking, I was thinking how we're on this fit in faith podcast. And I talk about fit being around all components of self, right?

That mind, that body, that soul, but it ultimately comes down to the fact that in order to be fit in order to fight, you have to act. Yeah. And, and that's the action of our faith. It's the believing before we're healed that he will do it because he's done it a thousand times before. He'll do it again. He'll do it again and again and again.

And if he did it for her and he did it for me and he did it for him, he'll do it for you too. Absolutely. And that's, that's the belief without seeing right. Faith is, is not seeing what will happen. It's the knowing and believing what will be. Hope you are a treasure, and I am honored to have you as a mentor and a sister, and, um, uh, honor to watch you take stage the way that you do, because you let God precede you into every place.

And so I pray that your ministry just continues to blossom that the people that you get to impact around the globe, um, primarily around the globe, because the nations need to hear his goodness and see his miracles and you and Ron are a miracle. Um, and so thank you. Thank you for, for doing it publicly.

Thank you. Thank you for having me so that I could tell it so that I could encourage somebody else. You guys got to get the most beautiful disaster. It is her new book. It is incredible. I'm listening to it on audible because I love her Southern Twain. I got to have grit. Somebody on here who's likes that they've never had grits.

I'm like, oh Lord, I got to take you to home. And anywhere on social media, you'll find her and her husband's ministry and just get in touch with her. She is a good human and I'm grateful to know her. Thank you. Oh, thank you so much. God bless you. You too.

Hey, y'all it's me again. I hope in today's episode, you sent an ignite to an Ember within you, something mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually moving that creates and sustains a fire within your journey. Before you go let solidify the flame. I'd love for you to take a step right now and declaring your takeaway by snapping a pick of the episode.

You tuned it to share your sparked moment and tag me at bitten faith underscore podcast, or me personally at Tamra dot and dress on instant. I hope that I can keep you accountable and also share you with the greater community of the Fitbit podcast listeners. We're totally in this together. Community over competition is the motto, right?

I'd also be incredibly grateful. If you took an extra second to leave a review on iTunes or your podcast listening app, I'd love to feature your thought in the next episode and give you and your passion project, a big shout out. You know, I'm a writer. So I love words and I can't wait to read what you have.

I'm ready to fuel the blame with you together. And until next time, blessings over your joy, how well and wholeness tune in next time.

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