Can I Find a Path Through Pain to Healing? With Ed and Lisa Young [Episode 294]

find path pain healing ed lisa young

GIVEAWAY ALERT: You can win the book A Path Through Pain by this week’s podcast guests. Keep reading to find out how!

Most of us spend our lives avoiding pain at every turn. So when we do experience it, it can send us into a tailspin. We might begin to question why God even allows it, how anything good can come from it, and if we really can trust Him in it.

Well, bestselling authors and pastors of Fellowship Church, Ed and Lisa Young, know the kind of pain most of us hope to never experience—the death of a child. And on today’s episode of the 4:13, they’ll share how they went from sorrow and anger to hope and healing.

This conversation is real, raw, and so incredibly relevant to where we all live because we’ve all experienced pain and loss. But their story will help you see that even in the darkest of places, God’s light still shines to show you a way through.

Meet Ed and Lisa

Ed Young is the founding pastor of Fellowship Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A New York Times bestselling author, Ed has written 17 books and is a frequent conference speaker known for creatively and boldly communicating the Bible and equipping people for the challenges of everyday life.

Lisa Young is a gifted speaker, teacher, and writer. She has co-authored several books with her husband, Ed, including their latest collaboration, A Path Through Pain. The Youngs have been married for over 40 years, have four children and six grandchildren, and live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Can I Find a Path Through Pain to Healing? With Ed and Lisa Young [Episode 294]

Lisa Young: There's such a loss of hope as a parent to think, what did I do wrong? How do I grieve? We're pastors, we're supposed to have it together. We need help at this moment. And you go to the pages of Scripture and Psalm 23 just says it, it says though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death. And that word out of all of Psalm 23 at that moment for us was everything. It was hope.

Jennifer Rothschild: Most of us spend our lives avoiding pain at every turn. So when we do experience it, it can send us into a tailspin. We can begin to question why God even allows it or why he doesn't stop it. And can we really trust him in it? Well, Ed and Lisa Young, bestselling authors and pastors of Fellowship Church, they know the kind of pain that we hope never to experience, the death of a child.

On today's episode, they are going to share how they went from sorrow and anger to hope and healing. It's real, it's raw, and it is so incredibly relevant to where we all live. They tackle regret, trust, grief, and they do it with incredible wisdom and lots of humor. So buckle up, buttercups, let's do this thing.

K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you and I up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Now, would you welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Hey, friends. That was K.C. Wright. Jennifer here. We're here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you're living the "I Can" life of Philippians 4:13. It is Christ's power in you that enables you and empowers you to be the person he created and do what he's created you to do. And that is some good news that some of you needed to hear today. And listen, you are in for such a treat, so here's the thing. K.C., you and me, no mindless chatter today.

K.C. Wright: Ooh.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right? You're going to have to save that for another episode.

K.C. Wright: I think that's why they listen sometimes.

Jennifer Rothschild: For our mindless chatter? We make them feel good about themselves. But here's why. Because I had such a lovely deep, rich, and interesting long conversation with Ed and Lisa and I didn't want to cut it in half and make it two episodes. So I want you to hear the whole thing. So here's the deal. At some point you might need to press pause, you know, and pick it back up later, depending on the length of the car line or how long your commute is. Or maybe, if you're like me, you like to clean and listen to podcasts. So you might get a lot of cleaning done while you listen to the whole thing. Okay? So don't leave until it is over because you need to hear every word. The end is so powerful.

So, K.C., let's introduce our friends.

K.C. Wright: Ed Young is the founding pastor of Fellowship Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A New York Times best-selling author, Ed has written 17 books and is a frequent conference speaker known for creativity and boldly communicating the Bible and equipping people for the challenges of everyday life. And the best thing he ever did was marry Lisa.

Jennifer Rothschild: Here, here. I agree.

K.C. Wright: Lisa Young is a gifted speaker, teacher, and writer. She has co-authored several books with her husband, Ed, including a New York Times bestseller. Their latest collaboration, which the Youngs and Jennifer are now talking about today, is titled "A Path Through Pain: How Faith Deepens and Joy Grows Through What You Would Never Choose." The Youngs have been married for over 40 years, have four children and six grandbabies, and live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Are you ready for this?

Jennifer Rothschild: We are ready.

K.C. Wright: Let's listen in.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, Ed and Lisa, we just introduced you guys, and I'm excited to have this conversation. And I'm also, to be honest with you, just a little uneasy starting with this, because we're going to start with something very hard, but it's so necessary. And I know that where there's hard, there's hope, so...

You've gone through every parent's worst nightmare, the loss of your precious daughter, LeeBeth. So we're going to start there. I would just be honored, we would be honored, if you would tell us about her and what happened.

Ed Young: Well, LeeBeth, of course, being our precious daughter, she really was an amazing person in so many different ways. She had the unique ability of being genuinely creative. But not only creative, which is -- it's great to be creative. In fact, we're all creative. But she had a huge measure of creativity. Also she had great wisdom and discernment. And with all of that, I would say just a great work ethic. So she's our oldest. Of course, we love her to death. And after kind of a toxic relationship, she began to binge drink. And we kind of knew a little bit, but not a lot, and she disguised it really, really well.

So she got into trouble one time and we took her to a rehab. And then she got out of the rehab, and several months later, because of just dealing with this relationship, it sort of went south. She started drinking again. She mixed that with Adderall.

Lisa was out of town the day she passed away. She was seeing her mom in South Carolina. I happened to be there, and I went over to her house and got her, brought her to our house. And that night while I was studying for a message, strangely enough about Abraham and Isaac -- I was in my office and she was asleep in the playroom just several steps away -- she literally passed away in our house. And the unique thing about it was I had just written the words in my journal, which was going to be the sermon, "Abraham laid his son on the altar." And right after -- right after I wrote those words, I heard a sound, it sounded unusual, and I went in there and she was pretty much gone. So that's kind of the story.

She was an employee of Fellowship Church, one of our superstar staff members, but she just really, really dealt with some anxiety, depression that spiraled down after this relational issue in her life.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. And, you know, Ed and Lisa, I mean, there's a lot of people listening right now who are feeling -- just physically even feeling the tension of this story because they can relate. Alcohol is a thing. And by the way, there's no shame in this story. We all struggle. It shows up in different ways.

Ed Young: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: And I'm curious, how old was LeeBeth when she did pass away?

Ed Young: She was 34 years old.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, God bless her. It's hard to love a child that long and to lose a child at that point. I can only imagine the process that this has been. And, you know, I wasn't planning to ask this, but I really feel compelled. I'm working on a book on Heaven right now, and I would love to hear what y'all's -- what is your view of Heaven? Has it changed since before LeeBeth passed away now to after she has passed away?

Ed Young: Well, I think we would both say it's totally revolutionized -- I guess that's a good word to use -- our views of eternity. Obviously Heaven, but also too it's given us a greater urgency to share the Good News of the Gospel to so many people.

Lisa Young: And I would say, Jennifer, it's real, it's -- I had heard about books and things about Heaven, and I can't really say that I read too many. I think more than anything -- which I will definitely read yours. But I look to Scripture to kind of see the truth text behind what we should imagine. You hear words like -- and, I don't know, none of us really know. But I hear words about, oh, if -- I'll tell you an example. My father passed away in 1997. And he was such a handyman and he could just fix anything, build anything. And so whenever I'm fixing something, I'm like, oh, Daddy's looking down from Heaven and he's so happy because I just fixed something.

And in reality, I now think that the glory of God is so magnificent, it would be a shame for them to be looking down on me because of so much that they have to see in Heaven. And I don't know that that's accurate, but it's given me great comfort in my worship time publicly at Fellowship Church, or privately, to think about LeeBeth being before the Throne, and all of our loved ones being before the Throne of God and in the most ultimate perfect worship ever. And ironically, as I worship, I am basking in the glory of God, but there is a hint of her presence right beside me because we're doing the same thing.

Jennifer Rothschild: Because you're fellowshipping before the Throne.

Lisa Young: Right, right, right.

Ed Young: That's right. That's right.

Lisa Young: I don't know that it gives us a clearer picture of what Heaven is, but it does give us a greater desire to let people know that this is where they need to go.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that. And it just shows how God is even redeeming this incredible pain in both of your lives. And in your book, you write that when it comes to pain, through it is the only way. And so lots of times we want to avoid it, get over it, ignore it, whatever. Through it is not usually what we desire. So tell us what you mean by that. Why is that the only way?

Lisa Young: Well, through it is a word of hope. And so often -- I remember when LeeBeth first passed away. I went to my therapist and I -- who happened to be LeeBeth's therapist. I started going to LeeBeth's therapist. And this was a complicated situation. I mean, death is tragic, and especially an out-of-order death.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Lisa Young: But the tragedy of alcohol and of her not being able to overcome this area of her life of addiction. And even in the throes of all of the other great things that -- the talents that she had, this was just that thing.

And for people -- when I talked to my therapist, I said, "Where's the manual for how to do this? Where is the manual for grief and loss and pain?" And she said, "There's not one other than God's Word." And she said, "But I would challenge you to articulate and maybe write one." And so that's why we wrote this book, is for every listener.

Pain is the great equalizer in life. Everyone goes through pain. And this book is filled with not just our story, but other stories of pain, examples of lots of different types of pain. But the fact that you have the hope of going through. Sure, there's days where you feel like you're stopped and maybe bogged down a bit like your feet are in cement, but God has the ability through the Holy Spirit to give you that gentle nudge to keep you going, and that's the hope of through.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, it is the hope of through. And as you reference Psalm 23, there is an end to that valley, and then you sit at the table, and then you notice the goodness and mercy in your dwelling in the house of the Lord.

Lisa Young: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's a beautiful difficult transition. And for both of you -- you know, I think about this -- like, Ed, you're a pastor, clearly, and Lisa, you've taught Scripture, and you've trusted God your whole lives. And so in the face of this very personal loss, I'm very curious, like, how did you trust him when he allowed this to happen to you personally? And then just when you think about it -- you know, a lot of people would say, Well, see, this is why I can't trust God, because he allows bad things to happen to us. So talk to us about that process.

Ed Young: Well, I've learned that God is good. And God is good when good things happen, God is good when bad things happen. And goodness is who God is. It's intrinsically woven into the very fabric and framework of his personality. He doesn't have to do good to be good; he is good. So I've experienced that in a deep way after LeeBeth's passing.

And, you know, from a guy's perspective, even a pastor or a husband, father, whatever, I think you sometimes have these thoughts -- I did, I know, when our kids were younger -- these horrible thoughts sometimes like what would happen if something tragic occurred in my family? What would happen if my wife passed away? What would happen if one of the kids died? And I remember thinking early on, Jennifer, I don't know if I could go on. I remember thinking would I turn my back on my calling? Would I go off the deep end? I sincerely had those thoughts. And when this happened -- and it's a mysterious thing about the mercy and grace of God. When this happened, God surrounded Lisa and I and our family with his supernatural grasp upon our lives.

So have we had anger and are we angry sometimes? Yes. Do we have doubts sometimes? Yes. Do we have questions sometimes? Yes. So there's this track of sorrow that we're still on, yet there's another freeway, if you will, of joy, of peace, of, again, mercy that God has given us as we're going through this. And as a pastor, too, I know people have looked at us and they probably have concluded, well, they preach the Gospel, they've talked about how good God is, man, what's going to --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, what's going to happen now?

Ed Young: Yeah, what's going to happen now? So I would just encourage people, God grace is sufficient, it's big enough no matter -- I'm a walking, talking example of it. So is Lisa. So is our family. No matter what happens, God will give you the strength and the tenacity and the love to get through it. That's what I would say.

So again, we live in a fallen world, bad things will happen. They happen to good people, they happen to bad people, and good things also happen to bad people and good things happen to good people as well.

Lisa Young: If I could just interject there as well, because this is a huge topic. People like to blame God --

Ed Young: Oh, yeah.

Lisa Young: -- for the bad things that happen in the world. And I don't know so much -- maybe blame is not the right word. But they run from him or give that as a great excuse to not have a relationship with him.

Ed Young: So true.

Lisa Young: And it's the very opposite. We have been so betrayed by the evil of the world. It's not God. And thankfully, Ed and I became Christ followers when we were young -- we were children -- and we never really had a big rebellion time. But even if you're a Christ follower and you have had ups and downs in your walk with life -- and we've had ups and downs, but we've been faithful. And when I say faithful, I'm going to just give the -- it's like Christianity 101, the basics.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay.

Lisa Young: It's like we have, you know, leaned into the Bible, read the Scripture. Ed encouraged me at an early age -- because he's an artist and a writer -- to journal. So we've journaled. And these have been patterns in our lives. We've been a part of the local church. My family was a part of a local church. Our family, of course, is a part of a local church. We're pastors, we have to be. No. Really, we get to be.

And so throughout our lives -- and I'm 62, almost 63 years old, so -- I became a Christ follower at the age of nine. So over that span of life, I've just seen God work in little ways, in big ways, things that I didn't think were important but now I see are important. And that's everything from just being faithful, studying His Word daily, journaling, being faithful in the church, being generous in our stewardship. And I call those, if you will, faith deposits. And when LeeBeth died, I needed that bank account of faith. I needed to be able to draw upon it because at that moment in time I was questioning. I was thinking, oh, my gosh, why would this happen to us?

Ed Young: Yeah, a major withdrawal from the account.

Lisa Young: But yet that account of faithfulness -- and I'm not patting myself on the back, I'm just saying that's what is available for Christ followers. And if there's someone listening and you're not a Christ follower or you're doubting the presence of God in the most painful situation, I think about it this way. It's going to be with God or without God. And I -- oh, I desperately need God. I desperately need him. I can't do it on my own.

Jennifer Rothschild: Gosh, that's so powerful, y'all. And, Lisa, it's interesting you said that, because I happen to be blind and I get questioned often about, you know, are you angry with God or why aren't you angry with God? And I have concluded -- well, I have several reasons, which I don't need to share now. I believe he's good and he's worthy of my praise, not my anger. But I have also said in a very practical way, I can do blindness with God, but there is no way on earth I could do blindness without him.

And so what you're saying is you got two choices here, and we can either resist the only source of true comfort and hope we have by being angry at him or we can invite him into the pain.

Lisa Young: Exactly.

Jennifer Rothschild: And that's what y'all have done. You've invited him in, and it's made all the difference. And, yes, that faith -- I mean, you've been training your whole lives, both of you, for tragedy, you know. That's not why you did it, but that's how God equipped you through his grace.

Ed Young: A friend of mine, the day after LeeBeth passed away, was talking to me, and he said something -- and I'm sure you've heard this before. Maybe you have, maybe you haven't. But he said -- he goes, "Ed, don't doubt in the darkness what you've learned in the light." And it's so easy during those tough times to lob all of these questions God's way and, you know, to turn your back on him. And that's where, as Lisa just said so poignantly, we have to just withdraw and live on those faith deposits.

But I will tell you this -- and again, I would trade it all to have LeeBeth back.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, sure.

Ed Young: But when we went before our church and told them the raw and the real behind all of this, we just did it because that's kind of how we roll and everything. And I cannot thank our church enough for how they have supported us and loved us and prayed with us and for us. And that shows the importance of the body of Christ, the local church. And I would just stress to everyone listening, if you're not a part of a local church, become a part. Because everybody has, you know, all these cells, like 30 trillion cells in our bodies, and cells are not -- they don't do life alone. Cells need to be with other cells. And the same is true with the body of Christ. So that's been huge.

It's really galvanized our church, I would definitely say that. And people have heard about this situation, and they've really -- again, it's a supernatural thing -- come to Fellowship Church in droves. And again, I would rather have LeeBeth back right now than, you know, have the growth and all the stuff that we're experiencing, but that definitely has happened.

Also to what Lisa was talking about regarding pain, I -- before this, I was like, you know -- someone would have a painful situation, lose a loved one, whatever, I mean, yeah, I'll pray for you. But now it is on a whole 'nother level when someone shares about pain. Because usually people are just one or two questions away from revealing their pain. And if you ask the right people the right questions, it's amazing what the Holy Spirit will do as he works and as people share their pain. And then there's that connection and then there's that opportunity so often to share the Gospel with people because of the pain that you're going through.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, that's how God can use it. I think it's -- C.S. Lewis has said it's a megaphone that God uses, pain is, to wake up a deaf world.

Speaking of pain, I did read something interesting that you both did that I'm very curious about. You did a pain audit. Okay, so tell us what a pain audit is and then what you learned from it.

Lisa Young: Ed and I had intended to write a book on marriage. We typically -- the books that we've written have been on marriage and family and relationships. So we were talking about this, and I had just read a statistic about the things that can occur in a marriage that lead to divorce. And I think there were maybe ten, and we had hit seven of them. And so I was like, oh, my gosh, Ed, we're a walking talking miracle. We've been married for 42 years and counting. And I'm like, we've survived some of the hardest things. So that's what led to a pain inventory. And I challenge people, go in your journal and just start even at your childhood. Actually, if we go outside of just the ones we've experienced in our marriage, each of us personally have experienced things. And what it does -- if you'll just write those down and list it, you will see the faithfulness of God --

Ed Young: That's right.

Lisa Young: -- throughout each one of them that you weren't fully even aware of. And I started with just our marriage. And Ed and I got married at a very young age. That's something that writers will say, or a psychologist, or experts will say is difficult in marriage. We got married when we were 21, which now that seems super, super young.

Jennifer Rothschild: Babies, yeah.

Ed Young: But it's also good, though. You know, you're kind of young and dumb.

Lisa Young: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, you grow up together the rest of the way.

Ed Young: That's right.

Lisa Young: But then we had our daughter LeeBeth, but we experienced infertility. After she was born, we had what was called secondary infertility, and that's one of them.

We had our son by just the miracle of science and just -- God blessed us. But then we found out when he was two months old that he had a genetic disease, that he started his own gene with this. It wasn't something that we passed down. And it's called neurofibromatosis, which is a -- where tumors form on nerve endings in your body, and the physical attributes can look like elephant man's disease. Well, that's a whammy. And, you know, you have this bouncing baby boy miracle and, wow, God, really? So that was another one, having a child with challenges.

Then we had multiples. We had twins. God thought, wow, I've got a sense of humor, let's give them twins. And so twin girls. Which multiples can create marriage issues and difficulties.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yeah.

Lisa Young: And in the middle of that, we moved from our location in Houston to Dallas to start Fellowship Church. We were new in what you would call a new business, so to speak, a new endeavor.

Ed Young: Yeah. And what's so funny, back then, Jennifer, you didn't hear about church starts that much. I mean, now, of course, we have starting a church, starting a church, and there's this whole genre of how to start a church. I mean, I didn't know up from down. We didn't know at all the risk. So that was exactly --

Lisa Young: Yeah, there was loneliness --

Ed Young: Oh, yeah, all that.

Lisa Young: -- and things like that.

And then one of our twin daughters during high school just really struggled with self-esteem. And she went through an eating disorder and that was dramatic. And just -- goodness, just one thing after another. And then dealing with LeeBeth, that was about an eight-year situation that we walked with her, and ups and downs and highs and lows where she was doing really well, where she was thriving, and then, of course, just the end when she bottomed out and her life ended, her heart failed, and that was it.

And so Ed and I definitely have walked through pain. And that's why it was important for us to include other stories of pain, because, again, pain is the great equalizer. Everybody has their own level of pain that they're going through. But I would challenge you, write it down and see the hand of God in it all.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Because for every pain -- when you are a Christ follower, for every pain, you are going to see faithfulness. And the thing that I think is going to be so beautiful someday when we all get to Heaven, we don't even know the half of what God has done. We don't even know half of the faithfulness on our behalf that he's displayed --

Ed Young: Isn't that true?

Jennifer Rothschild: -- you know? We really don't.

Ed Young: Amen.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's just the grace of God.

But we talked about these hard things that come with loss and, Ed, you kind of mentioned something about empathy. So I would be curious, what are some of the benefits that you all have detected from this loss and the pain that you've gone through? What are some of those?

Ed Young: Well, kind of playing off just what you said, it has opened doors for Lisa and I both. But for me -- I can talk about myself personally -- to share Christ with people that I would have never ever, ever had the opportunity to share with. It -- I don't know. It just kind of puts you in a place of great vulnerability. And when there's that vulnerability, it's like the Holy Spirit uses that to talk and to cut through the smoke and mirrors so often that we throw up and you can get right to the issue. So I would definitely say that.

I would say that it's given both of us a greater urgency in our lives. I think it has given us also a deeper sense of taking risks, which is a good thing, risks, you know, for the glory of God.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, yeah.

Ed Young: I mean, we only have this one life, and when you see it -- I mean, LeeBeth in essence died in my arms. When you see that, how fragile it is, I think the urgency of that, I would say, has given us great Godfidence -- I made that word up --

Jennifer Rothschild: I like that word.

Ed Young: -- to know that -- again, that we can face anything with the Lord. Those are some -- I don't know if that answered the question.

Jennifer Rothschild: No, that answered it beautifully. And it's practical too. And it's part of the redemption.

What about you, Lisa?

Lisa Young: Yeah. I would add to that that Ed and I had a lot of "why" moments like, why did this happen? Why couldn't she overcome? We would meet people who had gone through recovery and now their testimony is just so beautiful, redemption and all of that, and we would ask the question, why wasn't that LeeBeth's story?

But there comes a point where if you stay in the "why," it's not safe. It's not a healthy place to be. If you're stuck in, "Why me?" "Why, God, did you do this?" "Why did you allow this?" "What" -- you have to shift -- and we talk about this in the book -- to the what, from the why to the what. What now? What now, God, are you going to do? You don't waste situations. You don't waste pain. What are you going to do now?

And first and foremost, I believe he softened our hearts, my heart, he changed some priorities. And not to be boastful, but to sound boastful, I guess I will. I felt like I was really living this Christian life well, and yet God showed me so much after she passed away. And I think about Job, how Job was a man who lived an upright life and he goes through all of this loss and pain and hardship. And at the very end of the Book of Job, he recognizes that he did not really know God and who the full -- we'll never know the full capacity of God. But he didn't really grasp the nature of the one who created the earth, who set the stars in place, who put orbit into -- the earth into orbit. All of those things that we know about God, but do we really deeply know? And I would say that is something that changed in my life, and it's going to continue to change because I've got a million miles to go. But I would echo everything that Ed said as well.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I think it's also a beautiful legacy that LeeBeth left without even realizing she was doing it. And I think sometimes a mom or a dad who's listening right now who's lost a child, they need to know that that child's legacy did not end with their last heartbeat, that they are still being remembered and their life is being used, just like it's being used in ministries and in your relationships today.

And I read something too -- and actually, this question, I think, is for you, Ed, in particular. Because I read that you were exercising in your garage and you saw a box labeled "LeeBeth's China." So tell us what you found in that box and how it affected you.

Ed Young: Yeah, I was exercising in our garage. This is kind of funny. To me it is. But the garage was -- we designed it -- I did -- for a weight room, but more and more Lisa started putting her stuff in there.

Jennifer Rothschild: Hey, that's how it is. How long have you been married? Come on.

Ed Young: Then I found myself in a little, you know, 5-foot by 6-foot area exercising, so -- no. Anyway, I --

Jennifer Rothschild: And all the women said "Amen."

Ed Young: I had just looked at a box -- I was working -- I was doing tricep extensions, I remember. And I looked at this box and it said "LeeBeth" on it, and I'm like, "Wow." So I got kind of teary while I was doing this exercise. And that's something else about grief. Sometimes I can talk about LeeBeth and I don't show any visible sadness. Other times, it could be just a scent, a song, a word, a picture, and then you're, like, in a pile. That's something that I've learned about grief.

Anyway, I saw this box while I was working out and it said "LeeBeth" on it and -- it said "LeeBeth's China." So I opened it and there was a watercolor I had done for her, and I'd sent it to her while she was in rehab. And it was a picture of a boat in rough seas that I'd painted. And on the name of the boat -- which big boats have, you know, names usually on the stern -- I had just painted the word "Grace" on there. And that was kind of a riveting moment on so many different levels, because it is about grace. God has given us grace. He gives us grace. And the grace is -- when the seas are calm, when they're rough, when you're in a hurricane, God grace keeps us afloat.

So that was just one thing that I'll never forget during this time of recovery. And I guess Lisa and I will still be dealing -- in fact, I know we will. We will deal with grief for the rest of our days. It's like a wound that -- you know, it heals, but it's still sensitive to the touch.

Jennifer Rothschild: Of course. Yeah.

Lisa Young: And, Jennifer -- Ed doesn't even know this, but this week I made a commitment to go through all of the boxes that we had in storage of LeeBeth's. We had some furniture, some of her clothes. And this is just because some dear friends packed her house for us and allowed us not to have to do that right off the bat. And so I went through a box yesterday and I found the painting that Ed had done -- it's the original -- and it was -- I guess it got shifted. And I found it and the note that he had written to her just encouraging her to feel the grace of God. Because she definitely experienced a lot of shame. She didn't want to disappoint God and she didn't want to disappoint us as a family. And she had that sense about her, but with addiction -- and many of your listeners will know this firsthand -- there is an out-of-controlness -- if that's a word -- that addicts have. And I wanted to fix it for her, Ed wanted to fix it for her, but that is a long and hard road that each addict has to face.

And I even found her AA book. It was very emotional for me -- and of course -- the notes she had written in it, all of that, because she was making the effort. And if you're a parent of an addict, your tendency might be to blame yourself, to continue in that "why" mode. Why, God? I don't understand. I felt like I did things right. Or maybe you have shame yourself. But God's going to meet you where you are, and just reach your hand out and in your mind just grab the hand of God, because Jesus' nail-scarred hand is available. And that's the very picture of grace, that he took our sins. And whether it's addiction, anything, it doesn't matter, he puts it in his nail-scarred hands.

Ed Young: And, Lisa, what you said too -- I just thought about this -- it is tempting -- because I've done it -- to swim laps in the pool of regret when you have something tragic happen. Would have, should have, could have, that whole deal.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, yeah.

Ed Young: And you swim and swim and swim. I like that picture, though. Jesus' hand is extended, the nail-scarred hand, and he wants to take us out of the pool. It's not that we don't -- we're human, we're going to have the times where we jump back in the pool a little bit. But if we could just jump out of the pool, crawl out of the pool, and look around and go, okay, man, there are things that I would like to redo, but I can't, but, Jesus, what do you have for me now? And I believe Jesus wants us to see now not only the pool, but the whole surrounding, the whole landscape of what we can do and be for his glory using, obviously, what's occurred in our lives.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow. That's such a good picture, Ed, too, because -- yeah, you're accomplishing nothing by swimming laps in the pool of regret --

Ed Young: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- you really are, except you're just getting fatigued. So what a beautiful picture both of you just gave of what that rescue is. And, you know, there's parents listening too. It may not be addiction, but just other things they regret. That's such a beautiful picture.

And the last thing I want to say -- because I'm about to get to our last question. But that was such a poignant and difficult picture of the painting of the boat with "Grace" on it. And that song Amazing Grace came to my mind, those last few lines, "Tis grace that brought us safe this far, and grace will bring us home." And I got to trust the grace of God for LeeBeth, that that's what happened, his grace just brought her home. And I think we can find such beautiful comfort in the character of God.

In fact, I know this whole conversation is very comforting to so many people right now, but we're going to get to our last question. And, of course, as I already did, I'm highly recommending your book because I just see it as such a great companion on this path of healing and wholeness.

So you've made it very clear -- in this conversation it's been clear, but in your book it's very clear, we can't avoid pain. It's just part of a fallen world. Okay. And so your book is called "A Path Through Pain." All right. So what would you tell the person who's listening right now, and he or she is in just such deep pain, and they just are so numb or disoriented by the pain that they don't know where to turn? Can you give us a first step on this path through pain? What's just the first step? And you can give us the first three, because I know y'all are pastors, you can't stop with just one.

Ed Young: Yeah. Well, I would say that it's about an anchor. One time as a kid, I tried to make an anchor myself, and it was a miserable experiment. It didn't work. Because I'm a big fisherman. Yet now I've fished for so many years, I see the importance of an anchor. And the Bible talks about our faith, it talks about Jesus being our anchor. In fact, the picture of an anchor is the oldest -- or it's the first picture or symbol of Christianity. And a friend of mine who's a captain told me, he goes, "Ed, the harder it blows" -- talking about an anchor -- "the deeper it goes."

So I would challenge everyone to just go, hey, Jesus is my anchor. And how do you do that? You simply agree with God about your condition. God, I'm a sinner. I agree with you. That's what confession is. I turn from my sins. I believe to the best of my ability that you, God, sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins, to rise again, and right now I ask you, Jesus, to come into my life. I get rid of all of these other things that I've been trying to use, these homemade devices that aren't really true anchors, and I give my life to you, the True Anchor. And I would just give people -- I would tell people, and I'm going to tell people now, that no matter how hard the wind blows, the deeper the anchor goes. And the anchor is Jesus.

Lisa Young: We all will have winds. I like to refer, especially in Texas --

Ed Young: Yeah, rogue winds.

Lisa Young: -- with the big hair, you know, we all have wind-blown hair, and that's just a part of life. Pain is a part of life.

Ed Young: Yes.

Lisa Young: But that anchor is everything. Because the storms are going to come, but be prepared with an anchor. And that has become a symbol for Ed and I of hope. It is the symbol of going through, and it's just the symbol of God is always with us and provides.

Jennifer Rothschild: The harder the wind blows, the deeper that anchor goes. Did you hear that? I love that phrase. The harder the wind blows, the deeper that anchor goes. Jesus is that anchor for you, and he will hold you and never ever let you go.

K.C. Wright: You know, I was so moved by this conversation, and I know you were too. You need this book. Or maybe you know somebody who does because of what they are going through. Several people came to my mind. Get it for them, get it for you, get it for everybody. Everybody will need it eventually if they don't need it right now. So go to the Show Notes at

And breaking news, we're giving one away. So you can find a link on the Show Notes to Jennifer's Instagram, so you can enter to win, or you can go straight to Jennifer's Instagram right now @jennrothschild to enter to win.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's right. And we hope you do win.

Remember, our dear people, no matter what it is that you're facing or how you are feeling, you can find a path through pain because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.

K.C. Wright: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.

K.C. Wright: We love you.

Jennifer Rothschild: We sure do.

K.C. Wright: See you next week.

Jennifer Rothschild: Uh-huh.


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