Can I Hope Anyway? With Leeana Tankersley [Episode 171]

Hope Anyway Leeana Tankersley

GIVEAWAY ALERT: You can win the book Hope Anyway by this week’s podcast guest. Keep reading to find out how!

After almost fourteen years of marriage, Leeana Tankersley walked into a counseling appointment with her husband, fully prepared to fight for their marriage. But halfway through the appointment, Leeana came to realize that no amount of logic or emotion could stop the inevitable.

Overcome with numbness and disappointment, Leeana entered a new season that would reveal God’s remedy for her darkness: hope.

Today on the 4:13 Podcast, Leeana shares her story and shows you how to move from despair into a rediscovery of hope. She teaches how you can have hope that has nothing to do with happy endings.

(Now isn’t that the opposite of every fairy tale you’ve ever read?)

Leanna watched as her happy ending drifted further and further out of reach. But her story shows us that no matter how difficult your circumstances—or how low you feel—God can renew your hope.

Let me introduce Leanna, and then let’s dive into this hope-filled conversation…

Leeana is the author of six books, including Breathing Room, Brazen, Begin Again, and her latest, Hope Anyway. She holds English degrees from Liberty University and West Virginia University. Leeana’s writing has been featured in the Huffington Post and, and she’s a regular contributor to MOPS International as both a writer and a speaker. Leanna grew up a Southern California girl, but now she and her three kids live in Central Virginia.

I’m so grateful for Leanna’s honesty as she shares her story. And as she revisits this painful season in her life, she answers some tough questions, such as…

  • How can the lows we experience (grief, loss, darkness) renew our hope?
  • What is the difference between a “help me” hope and a “hard won” hope?
  • What does it look like to hope in mystery?
  • When is it okay to surrender and accept what I’ve been through?
  • How do I know when it’s time to let go of my situation and move forward?
  • Is it appropriate to seek counseling or the help of a professional?
  • Can I still hope even when things seem completely hopeless?

You see, we often attach hope to an outcome. But what if you don’t get that outcome? Are you left hopeless and incapable of moving forward?

Our disappointment reveals that our hope was misplaced, and we quickly discover the source of our hope was … well, hopeless!

But a biblical understanding of hope is more than wishing without any certainty. Biblical hope is detached from our desires and outcomes, and anchored in the only thing (or person) that is certain—God.

And when our hope is anchored in Him, we find there’s hope in every circumstance, every disappointment, every hardship. We find hope within the journey itself—in the process—which gives us the strength we need to endure it.

Isaiah 40:29-31 says:

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

So, walk on my friend, and anchor your hope in God. Your strength will be renewed and you will rise!

Because of God’s spirit in you, you can rise, and that’s why you can hope anyway. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

[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 Hope Anyway? With Leeana Tankersley [Episode 171]

Jennifer Rothschild: After almost 14 years of marriage, Leeana Tankersley walked into a counseling appointment with her husband, and she was fully prepared to fight for their marriage. Halfway through the appointment, though, she realized that no amount of logic or emotion could stop the inevitable. Overcome with numbness and disappointment, Leeana entered a new season that would reveal God's remedy for her darkness: hope. Today on the 4:13, author Leeana Tankersley will share her story and show you how to move from despair into a rediscovery of hope. My friend, you can have hope that has nothing to do with happy endings. So let's get this party started. It is time to hope anyway.

K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast -- so glad you're here -- where practical encouragement and Biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can truly do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Now, welcome your host and my buddy, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Welcome. We are glad you're here. That was K.C. Wright, my seeing eye guy. And our goal is just to help you be and do more than you even feel capable of as you, along with us, are living this 4:13 life. Based on the power of Christ in you, we can say, I can do all things. I can do whatever he's called me to do, I can be whoever he's called me to be, because it's not up to me, it is Christ's strength and power in me. And, y'all, we're busy around here these days because it is the best, the most wonderful time of the year.

K.C. Wright: We're spending Christmas again together.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know. Isn't it the best?

K.C. Wright: Aww.

Jennifer Rothschild: It is the best. And I don't even want to ask K.C., because it stresses me out if I ask him about Christmas, because he probably has 72 trees -- they're all themed and decorated -- and I have a little three-foot thing sitting on my counter right now because I can't get my act together yet. So we're not going to talk about that.

K.C. Wright: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: But you showed up. And Valerie, my assistant who helps so much with the podcast, by the way, she says, "K.C., I love your new" -- and I'm not going to say what it is. Because you got something sitting on your face right now.

K.C. Wright: I do.

Jennifer Rothschild: I'm wondering if this is a new Christmas present. Tell us what's on your face.

K.C. Wright: Well, I've got some rocking, cool new glasses.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, you do.

K.C. Wright: Uh-huh.

Jennifer Rothschild: Describe them for our friends.

K.C. Wright: They are -- well, they're Nike. They say "Just Do It" on the side. But they're crystal-clear framed.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, that's fun.

K.C. Wright: Well, that's kind of the style right now. My daughter, she was in the Vision Clinic with me, and I was showing frames to her and she was given the thumbs up and the thumbs down, and the clear frames got the thumbs up from me and Ellie.

Jennifer Rothschild: Good.

K.C. Wright: But this is interesting. Can I tell you?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, yeah, yeah. What?

K.C. Wright: Okay. So I'm in with the eye doctor and he's got that light shining in my eye so he can see the back of my eyeball. And this is what you hear in the silence, in the darkness of the room. He says, "Oh, my word. Well, I'll probably never see another one of these in my lifetime."

Jennifer Rothschild: What?

K.C. Wright: Well, that's a little, "What? What's going on there?" And he goes, "Let me check your left eye and see if you're a real freak."

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, my gosh. Okay, what in the world?

K.C. Wright: This eye doctor, by the way, he should have his own podcast. He's quite the character.

Jennifer Rothschild: It sounds like it.

K.C. Wright: He's an older gentleman and he's a hoot. Anyway, he goes to my left eye and he goes, "No, not there. Just your right eye." And I'm like, "Okay, what's going on?" And he begins to tell me that one out of every 10,000 people have a straight line across their eyeball, and I am one of them. He said, "If anyone ever tells you that you're not special, I'm here to tell you you're special.

Jennifer Rothschild: At least 50% special.

K.C. Wright: So he printed off this form, he goes, "Here's some literature."

Jennifer Rothschild: But it doesn't affect your sight?

K.C. Wright: Not at all, no.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's just like an anomaly that you were born with, like you have an equator line across your retina?

K.C. Wright: There you go. Perfect example.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow, K.C.

K.C. Wright: But this is what I got to kick out. When he gave me the literature to take home with, it's not only one of every 10,000 humans have this little thing, the line across the eyeball, but also Cocker Spaniels.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, my gosh.

K.C. Wright: Me and a dog, we've got this eye deal going on.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, I knew you were special, but it must be ruff. Ha, ha. Do you get it, it must be ruff?

K.C. Wright: Oh, that's so --

Jennifer Rothschild: It was stupid. Sorry.

K.C. Wright: That's good.

Jennifer Rothschild: It was stupid.

K.C. Wright: But, you know, I've done contacts for so long, and so I'm rocking these glasses. It's just easier.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's a good look on you.

K.C. Wright: Well...

Jennifer Rothschild: And if you're far enough away, you don't even know you're wearing them. It just blends right in. It's like the best of both worlds.

K.C. Wright: That's right. So I'm going to try to rock these out for Christmas, though. I mean, now that I've got frames, I can hang some ornaments on the side.

Jennifer Rothschild: Dude, just do it.

K.C. Wright: Leeana Tankersley is the author of six books, including "Breathing Room," "Brazen," "Begin Again," and her latest, "Hope Anyway." She holds English degrees from Liberty University and West Virginia University. Leeana's writings have been featured on media outlets such as The Huffington Post,, and she is a regular contributor to MOPS International as both writer and speaker. Shout out to all the MOPS moms, by the way. I can't tell you how much I love MOPS. They help a lot of people. Anyway, Leeana grew up a Southern California girl. Now she and her three kids live in Central Virginia. So 4:13ers, enjoy this insightful and inspiring conversation between Leeana and Jennifer.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, Leeana, let's start with this. You were married for 14 years when you walked into a counseling appointment with your husband, and you were totally prepared to fight for your marriage. All right, take us there and tell us what happened.

Leeana Tankersley: Yeah. So in 2017, my husband came home from a year-long deployment and told me that he was pursuing a divorce. And I'm not going to say that our marriage was perfect --- anyone that's married or been married knows that marriage is messy at times -- but this definitely caught me off guard and I just didn't ever think that this would be our reality. And so then there was about a week and a half after that initial conversation and then we walked into the counseling appointment that you're speaking of and we sat down with a counselor. And, of course, in that time between the initial conversation or counseling appointment, I had come up with every conceivable strategy, airtight, foolproof argument for why we needed to stay married. And it became very obvious very quickly in that conversation that this was not a collaborative let's-see-where-this-goes conversation, that the decision had been made, and that we were there to have this third party, this counselor, help us kind of figure out what our next steps were.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's devastating, Leeana. It's just devastating. Because like you said, you went in prepared for one outcome and you discovered there would be another. So, I mean, how do you -- you've got a book called "Hope Anyway." And often we attach hope to an outcome. You didn't get the outcome that you expected.

Leeana Tankersley: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: And I'm sure that was just the beginning that created so many aftershocks that you're still dealing with. So tell me about what hope felt like in that moment and then for the months to come.

Leeana Tankersley: Yeah. Well, the book "Hope Anyway" comes out of this season of my life and what it's been like to have to let go of something I didn't want to let go of, something that I felt like I had a really firm grasp on. And right after that counseling appointment, I walked to my car -- and devastating is the right word, Jennifer. Like, I remember just -- the counselor even asking me how I was doing, and that was the word I used. "I'm devastated. I'm devastated." And if you've ever gone through something that really did devastate you, you know, like you just -- where am I supposed to put my next step? Like, what is the next piece of ground I'm supposed to step on? And I remember walking to my car, sitting in my car right after that, and I couldn't quite drive yet. And I was just sitting there and I felt like -- I know that God said to me in that moment, "Leeana, you have to let him go." And my hope in that moment, and my hope since, is that really, really difficult things can happen to us, and things we didn't expect, things we're not prepared for, things we don't know how to deal with, and I have hope in the reality that I was never alone. You know, I was never alone and God was there with me in the front seat of my car. And I remember turning my hands over and -- in this kind of moment of symbolic surrender. And so, yeah, I think when we attach hope to an outcome, that is the kind of hope that I would kind of describe as, like, help-me hope, like, oh, my gosh, I hope we get to go on vacation or I hope the Chargers win the Super Bowl or, you know, I hope that I don't get sick or -- and I guess that's kind of what we've always attached to the idea of hope, that it's about kind of wishing for an outcome to happen.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Leeana Tankersley: And then you go through a season in your life where -- exactly what you said, Jennifer, you don't get the outcome. You don't get the outcome that you're really invested in. And I don't believe that living a life of cynicism or hopelessness is the answer, and so I started exploring how do we hold on to hope when -- and how is hope holding on to us when we go through the unthinkable. And so, yeah, I think one of the first realizations was that I -- this wasn't happening to me because I had been forgotten or overlooked or abandoned. God was right there. And so what I needed to do, instead of investing, you know, in an outcome, is I needed to begin investing in a process of healing and restoration and listening to God's voice. And so hope for me became this realization that no matter how difficult a circumstance is -- I say in the book, you know, we can get the crap whacked out of us, and there's something inside of us that's like -- it wants to still rise. It believes that the circumstances will not have the last word on who we are. And I felt this inside of me. You know, I felt like as undone as I am, I'm not alone, and there's something in me that wants to get back up and that will get back up. And so that's what I write about in the book. And, yeah, I think investing in the process of rebuilding my life, there's hope in that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I love that you said that. In fact, that's what I was going to pick up on, that you weren't -- even at the initial stages, you had the wisdom to know not to invest so much completely into the disappointment, but to invest into the process. And you're speaking of a real deeper hope. So I'm curious, have you seen some tangible ways -- because we're going to get real practical in a minute. But I'd like to begin with that end of the story for those who are listening or needing this hope. How has hope healed you?

Leeana Tankersley: Yeah. I think it's just -- I've realized that hope is about detaching from outcomes and realizing that there's true gifts in the process. And so it's kind of bad news. I think we want to nurture this hope that will deliver this perfect life to us, and it doesn't. But I have hope in what's come around me as a result of this tragedy, and that is my faith has grown, my sense of God being very near to me has grown, my trust in myself. I think sometimes we believe we just can't survive hard things and we have this, like, dysmorphia about ourselves. And then we go through hard things and we realize, I can make hard decisions and I can step into healing and I can go through a grief process and realize, oh, my gosh, I'm someone that I can actually begin to trust. And then we also -- you know, there's hope in our relationships. People came around me and were like, We see you and we know you feel just, like, so reduced. But we also see this, like, creative meaning in your circumstances, that you're becoming wiser and stronger and more loving and more open and this isn't a waste. There's this gorgeous -- I'll tell you, this has a huge place of hope for me in my life. And I share this in the first chapter of the book. And it's a quote from the writer Barbara Brown Taylor. And she writes this: "New life starts in the dark. Whether it's a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, new life starts in the dark.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.

Leeana Tankersley: Right? And I think that that is -- I lived through that. I can tell you from experience that that's true, that when we're in the dark, we don't -- you know, like, somebody turn a light on. But it's there that our wings are growing, it's there that we're transforming, and it's there that we feel the presence of those that love us. And so, yeah, that's my way of saying that that's where the hope is, that new life does start in the dark.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, that's beautiful. And, you know, Leeana, it reminds me of your chapter titles. Because they're interesting to me because I love how counterintuitive they are. You talk about hope and grief. Hope in the dark, hope in loss. These aren't places that we think of having hope within that and hoping through it, it's just hoping to get out of it really.

Leeana Tankersley: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So what is it about that, those kind of losses? Those lows. Let's just put it that way. What is it about the lows that can actually renew our hope?

Leeana Tankersley: Yeah. It's a great question. And it is counterintuitive, and it's nothing that any of us want to live through, right? Like, we want our own expansion and our own transformation to be delivered to us through ease. And what I realize, it just doesn't happen. I talked at the beginning about help-me hope. And I think what God is developing in us is hard-won hope, this realization that we can believe in ourselves, in our people, in God, even when -- and especially when the hard thing happens. Yeah, these chapter titles are, like you said, like, hope in the wilderness. I don't want to go into the wilderness. I don't want to go through the tunnel of grief. I don't want any of these things. But then what happens when we do? We need that -- because it's going to happen inevitably to all of us, right? Something's going to happen in our lives that we just can't make sense of or we didn't see coming and there we are. And, you know, they say the opposite of hope is not despair. Despair still has -- despair still cares. Despair has feeling and despair is on line. The opposite of hope is apathy. And so apathy to me is when we go through hard things and all we do is numb. We just numb, numb, numb because we don't want to participate in the transformation. And so I find that it's the hard things that are -- we see them as purely reductive, it's just a bad thing. But you talk to people that have been through hard things and you see something in their eye, you know. And it's like they would have never wished to have gone through it, but something has arrived in them as a result that is immutable. And I find that so beautiful. I think about as I was writing this book, kind of celebrating this kind of force inside myself, this hope force inside myself. The pandemic started and I saw in other people these doors shutting. No, no, no, no. And people got innovative. Not everyone. But I watched people get innovative and creative and figure out how they were going to make things work, even when it wasn't what they expected or wanted, and I was inspired by that, you know --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Leeana Tankersley: -- that sense that hope can live and breathe -- right? -- even in the most difficult, unexpected things.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, you know, you describe -- I like the contrast between the help-me hope and the hard-won hope. Because when you think about something that's hard won takes work. I mean, you think of a sculptor just constantly working so hard on that stone. That will remain. What he has carved or what she has created, that is going to remain because it's hard won. It's just not a quick overnight. And so I think that gives people hope when they're in the grief, in the loss, because they know that -- like you just beautifully described, something wonderful can be happening within it. But one of the chapter titles you use, that I really liked, was this "Hope In Mystery." Okay? Because most people, they like A plus B equals C. All right? So lots of people feel very uncomfortable with mystery. So what does it look like for us to hope in mystery?

Leeana Tankersley: Yeah. And in that chapter, I'm talking about walking through a field on Christmas morning with my dog -- who was being crazy, of course, as dogs -- as my dog is -- and there was a huge cloak of, like, a foggy mist across this pasture. And I could hear cows mooing, but I couldn't see them. And I could hear chickens, but I couldn't see them. And I felt like God was whispering to me as I was walking. And it was a hard time. It was the first time I was -- it was a holiday and I didn't have my kids and they were with their dad. And I was just out walking to kind of try to -- yeah, just walk into and through some of the hard feelings of that. And there was just this cloak of fog. And I felt like God was saying to me, "Look. Look. Look again. Look up. Look again." And every -- and it was odd. It was odd. Like honestly, it was kind of other worldly, you know. And every time I looked up, that fog was shifting and something new was coming into view. And at the point at the end of my walk, there was all of a sudden this whole field of horses that came into view, that I didn't even know were there when I started the walk because I couldn't hear them and I couldn't see them. And all of these things appear, this gorgeous stone wall, kind of like a fencing off this pasture, this beautiful stone wall, these gorgeous trees, things I could not see from my vantage point. And it was such a metaphor to me that when we're in the dark, when we're in the fog, it's just -- you know, those times are so messy, those messy middles of our lives, and it's like, I can't see the next place to set my foot. I don't know what's going on. And it was just a beautiful metaphor that often there's a lot of things going on that we can't see, and we have to keep looking and looking and watching for the thing to arrive that we can't control, we can't manipulate, we can't fix. So I kind of think faith and mystery go hand in hand, you know.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Leeana Tankersley: So when I feel like I'm in that really messy middle, like, I don't know what to do next, I think about that big posture and realize, like, yeah, there's always a lot of things going on behind the scenes, that are mysterious, that we can't always see.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, but you can trust the process. And what you did, you didn't stand there and grow roots and wait till everything was revealed. You kept walking.

Leeana Tankersley: Yeah. Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's a beautiful picture of what we do. That's hope. Because hope is an action word.

Leeana Tankersley: Yes. Yeah, it's so good.

Jennifer Rothschild: I think of a woman right now who's listening to you, and she's walked through something really hard, she can identify. And she's clung to hope. Okay? But how can she know when and if it's okay just to accept who she is and what she's been through, just to kind of let it go? How does she know when that's okay?

Leeana Tankersley: You know, the only way we know about surrender and letting go is, I think, through the voice of God. And sometimes I refer to the voice of God in the book as the Voice of Love, because Love is walking with that woman. Undoubtedly I know it. Love is sitting beside her, Love is -- when she's reduced and on the ground, Love is right there. Love is always reaching a hand toward us. And so what I think we all have to do, and especially when we're in these times that are just -- we don't know, you know -- is we have to -- I think our tendency is to speed up and do and drown out these, like, questions and hard feelings. And so I want to offer something that I think is probably a little bit counterintuitive, or something we don't really want to do, and that is to slow it down and to -- you know, I've been spending -- even this last week, spending a lot of time on my back patio. Just waking up first thing in the morning, taking my coffee out there, even ten minutes, even five minutes, and writing at the top of my paper in my journal, "God, what do you want to say to me today?"

Jennifer Rothschild: That's good.

Leeana Tankersley: And if we can -- it seems like, oh, that's not going to do anything, that's just, you know, whatever. It's just something to check off a box. But sometimes we need things to arrive that are outside of us. Right? And so we've got to sit and make space for that. And for this woman, she needs some assurance. She needs that Voice of Love to come to her and say, "You can let go. You can open your hands. It's okay," or, "You need to hold on. You need to keep fighting." Right? Sometimes we need to hold on for all we're worth. And so I would just -- there's no one-size-fits-all answer for any of this except for, I believe, to slow down and put your listening ears on and say, "Okay, God, I'm ready." If there's something that you -- if there's a nudge, if there's a next step. And God doesn't ever -- in my experience-- and this is really bad news -- he doesn't deliver the whole plan to our inbox, you know.

Jennifer Rothschild: No, he doesn't.

Leeana Tankersley: Right? And it's like oooo. It drives me nuts. Like, I'm sitting here asking for a plan, and often it's just the very next half inch, you know. Like, open your hands or breathe or remember that you're loved. Yeah, I would just say to that woman, she needs to do her best to slow it down a little bit and to listen.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, that way she can hear from the Lord. And, you know, sometimes -- I was just thinking as you described that, Leeana, you know, the verse in Psalm 23, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." And I was studying, you know, that, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me." It's not a passive Hebrew word that is used there. It's actually active. So it would be more better -- more better. It would be better represented as, "Your goodness and your mercy, they chase me down all the days of my life." And there is a woman who's -- God's goodness and his mercy is chasing her down. She just needs to slow down, like you describe, and get caught by it. That's a good word for her. So here's a hard question then. Let's say this lady who's listening, who's really resonating, she's okay, she gets it, the let-go thing, the acceptance department, she's got that. But how does she know when it's time to literally let go of a situation and leave a situation? And then what does she put her hope in when it's time to move forward?

Leeana Tankersley: Yeah. I think a lot of times we find ourselves in all kinds of situations where we're being asked to abandon ourselves in order to stay in. Whether that's a marriage or a work relationship or a friendship, we are being asked over and over again to abandon ourselves in order to keep the peace. And that's always a sign that it's time to let go and to move along. And, you know, love is hard -- we all know that -- and it's sacrificial. But love does not ask us to annihilate ourselves or to abandon ourselves. And so that's the first step for me, is if this woman is feeling like she cannot be a person, a whole person, then she needs to consider, okay, I've got to be there for myself and I need to potentially open my hands.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Well, God will give the wisdom. He will absolutely give the wisdom.

Leeana Tankersley: Yeah. And, you know, sometimes we need the help of -- often we need the help of professionals, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yes. Yes.

Leeana Tankersley: I have at times through this entire process worked with a counselor, worked with the spiritual director. I think also when we're -- it's very confusing to make sense of all these huge feelings, and especially if we're grieving. Grief is a dark tunnel and it moves us along, but it's hard to trust ourselves, it's hard to make sense. And so I have also relied -- as much as I have learned to begin to trust myself again, I've also relied on the wisdom and experience of professionals. And I would highly encourage any woman who's out there, who is just feeling more confused than she has clarity, get an expert to come alongside you and help you and bring your honest questions. You know, that's what a trained professional is there for. And there's no shame in reaching out and saying, "This is a little bit beyond me and I need some help."

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. There's no shame, like you said. That's brave. That is brave.

Leeana Tankersley: I agree.

Jennifer Rothschild: And there is strength in that kind of humility. I love that. That's a good word. I think everybody needs counseling, no matter --

Leeana Tankersley: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: No matter how things are going, I just think we all need a little counseling.

Leeana Tankersley: I think it's really true. And to your point, it doesn't have to be a devastation that brings us into a counseling office, though sometimes it is. But I do think that we can just get a little muddled. And there were times where I would have an intuition about something, and yet I didn't know if I could trust that intuition. Or, "Am I reading this correctly?" or, "This is what I think I should do next." And just having a really wise and trained sounding board, even someone that can just ask you really good questions back. "What do you want?"

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Leeana Tankersley: You know, that's a really powerful question for someone to ask.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's a hard one sometimes.

Leeana Tankersley: Yes. Yeah, we can all benefit from that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I want to repeat one phrase you used, because I think it's such a good marker. If you feel more clarity than confusion. And that's a good marker.

Leeana Tankersley: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, Leeana, here is your last question.

Leeana Tankersley: Okay.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right. Why can't a listener right now, no matter what she's going through, why can she hope anyway?

Leeana Tankersley: I believe that on the day you were created, God placed something in your soul that was in God's image. I believe that there's no circumstance, there is nothing in this world that can crush the image of God inside of you. And so you can go through the most unthinkable thing and you still carry inside of you the image of the Divine. I also know that God is always reaching towards you, there is always grace available, and there is always an opportunity to begin again, and circumstances cannot rob you of these truths. So you can go through --you can, like we said, get the crap whacked out of you, and I promise you, with work and cooperation with the Spirit, you can rise. I promise you that. And to me, that is the reason why we hope anyway.

K.C. Wright: Agree 100 percent. You can have the crud knocked out of you and you can still rise. Because of God's Spirit in you, you can rise. And that is why you can hope anyway. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. I mean, her story really does show us that no matter how low you feel, God can reach down and he can pull you up and he can renew your hope.

K.C. Wright: I want to just read the Word over you right now as we end. Isaiah 40:29-31 says this: "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint." Don't you love the Word?

Jennifer Rothschild: I literally was just listening and just feeling it wash over me. And I hope that's what you experienced too. Because as you hope in the Lord, sisters and brothers, your strength will rise and your hope will be renewed. And so remember that no matter what you face, no matter how you feel, 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: You really can. Every time I do hear that Scripture, that plays in my head.

Jennifer Rothschild: What?

K.C. Wright: Did you ever know that you're my hero? You're everything I need. I can fly higher than an eagle --

Jennifer Rothschild: Sing it, Bette, sing it. 'Cause you are the wind --

Jennifer and K.C.: -- beneath my wings.

Jennifer Rothschild: That was beautiful. Oh, I'm sure they loved that ending.


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