Spill the Beans LIVE with Angela Thomas Pharr and Meredith Andrews at Fresh Grounded Faith Hattiesburg, MS [Episode 232]

Spill Beans Live Hattiesburg Mississippi Kelly Minter Meredith Andrews

We are coming to you LIVE from a Fresh Grounded Faith event in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and we’re spilling some beans with author Angela Thomas Pharr and singer-songwriter Meredith Andrews.

Angela talks about being a single mom of five kids and what it was like for her new husband to become an instant dad. She also gives her best advice for single moms, and sister, it’s not what you may think. You’re going to love it!

Meredith shares her songwriting technique and how to know if you’re living out God’s purpose for your life, particularly if you feel like you should be doing something else.

And finally, I’ll share how I craft and memorize teaching messages. Plus, Angela and Meredith chime in to help me explain how you can endure when you feel stuck in a deep place of deep hurt.

Oh, my friends, this is really good stuff. So pull up your chair to the bistro table, and let’s spill some beans.

Meet Meredith

Meredith Andrews grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, where she started singing when she was only six years old. She attended Liberty University, and following graduation, she became a worship leader at the 12,000-member Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. She gained a national platform as a recording artist with Word Records. In 2011, Meredith won two Dove Awards for As Long As It Takes. Meredith is married to Jacob and they have three adorable children: Maverick, Remington, and Frankie.

Meet Angela

Angela Thomas Pharr is the best-selling author of numerous books including Do You Think I’m Beautiful and My Single Mom Life. She is a gifted teacher and storyteller, speaking to thousands of people each year. Angela teaches and transparently shares life experiences that draw her and others into a deeper passion for knowing God. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Dallas Theological Seminary. Angela has filmed and written four video studies with Lifeway including When Wallflowers Dance. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Scott.

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Spill the Beans LIVE with Angela Thomas Pharr and Meredith Andrews at Fresh Grounded Faith Hattiesburg, MS [Episode 232]

Jennifer Rothschild: Hey, this is Jennifer. I want you to meet somebody. She's my precious girl that I sponsor through Compassion International. She's a little girl from Ecuador, who has no dad, but she has a Heavenly Father who is meeting her every need.

If you're like me, you can feel overwhelmed with all the needs of the world. COVID-19 has affected all of us, but it has devastated those who already live in poverty. We can't do everything, but we can do one thing, and that's what Compassion International allows us to do. It's a one-on-one relationship with a child who needs you, and it releases children from poverty in Jesus' name. So go to 413podcast.com/Compassion to meet my precious girl from Ecuador. And while you're there, I invite you, I challenge you, and I encourage you to sponsor a child along with me. That's 413podcast.com/Compassion. And now it's time for some practical encouragement and some biblical wisdom on the 4:13.

We are coming to you live from a Fresh Grounded Faith in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and we are spilling some beans with Author Angela Thomas-Pharr and singer-songwriter Meredith Andrews. Angela is going to talk about being a single mom of five kids and what it was like for her new husband to become an instant dad. She also gives her best advice for single moms, and it's not what you may think. Meredith is going to share her songwriting technique and how to know if you are living out God's purpose for your life.

And then finally, I'm going to tell you how I craft and memorize teaching messages. Plus, I'll spill the beans about the shade of my lipstick and how to endure when you feel stuck. Oh, my friends, this is all the stuff we need to know. So pull up your chair for the bistro table and let's spill some beans.

K.C. Wright: Welcome, 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, welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, hey, our friends. That was K.C. Wright, my seeing eye guy, and I'm Jennifer. And my goal, along with K.C., is to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life of Philippians 4:13. There's a lot we deal with in life, but there is nothing more powerful than our God, and it is Christ in you who empowers you, enables you, and equips you to be and to do.

K.C. Wright: Come on. Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: So there's your encouragement for the day.

But we are heading to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, together, because this was from a Fresh Grounded Faith event. And if you don't know what those are, Fresh Grounded Faith are my conferences that I do all around the country. We call them kingdom- minded conferences. And it's just a bunch of women gathering together for Bible teaching, connecting with God's Word and with each other. It's a refreshing experience. And if you want to learn more, you can go to freshgroundedfaith.com, or you can go straight to our show notes where you'll find a lot of other good things at 413podcast.com/232.

But I will give you a heads-up. All right? In just a couple weeks, February 24, we will be in Jackson, Mississippi. That's where Fresh Grounded Faith will be. And I've got some Southern women sipping their sweet tea right now who are close to Jackson. Listen, girls, you need to come see us because Lysa TerKeurst will be with me --

K.C. Wright: What?

Jennifer Rothschild: -- at Fresh Grounded Faith Jackson.

K.C. Wright: Oh, man.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, so go to those show notes at 413podcast.com slash -- whatever I said. What, 234? I can't remember. You can't either.

K.C. Wright: It's 232.

Jennifer Rothschild: 232. Thank you.

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Or you can go to freshgroundedfaith.com.

But today you are going to love pulling up a chair to the Bistro 'cause it's going to give you a great taste of Fresh Grounded Faith and you're going to hear some good stuff from Angela and Meredith.

K.C. Wright: (Singing) I'm going to Jackson. I'm going to get there soon. I'm sorry. You know me. Everything's a song.

Jennifer Rothschild: Everything's a song.

K.C. Wright: All right, let me introduce these ladies.

Meredith grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, where she started singing when she was only six years old. She attended Liberty University, and following graduation she became a worship leader at the 12,000-member Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. She gained a national platform as a recording artist with Word Records, and in 2011 she won two Dove awards for "As Long As It Takes." Meredith is married to Jacob, and they have three adorable children --

Jennifer Rothschild: Adorable.

K.C. Wright: -- adorable --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

K.C. Wright: -- Maverick, Remington, and Little Frankie.

Jennifer Rothschild: She's so cute.

K.C. Wright: Angela Thomas-Pharr is the best-selling author of numerous books, including "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?" and "My Single Mom Life." She's a gifted teacher, storyteller, speaking to thousands each year. Angela teaches and transparently shares life experiences that draw her and others into a deeper passion of knowing God. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Dallas Theological Seminary. Angela has filmed and written four video studies with LifeWay, including "When Wallflowers Dance." She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Scott.

All right, I'm ready.

Jennifer Rothschild: I'm ready.

K.C. Wright: Let's spill the beans.

Jennifer Rothschild: Spill the beans.

K.C. Wright: Here we go.

Meredith Andrews: Jennifer, this first question is for you. It says, "Thanks. You are amazing. What color lipstick do you wear?"

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Ooh, it changed my life.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, right? Okay, I got to tell you this.

Meredith Andrews: Show them where you put it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, it's in my storage units. It's down here in my desk. I have my cane in here. Earlier in the message I had my phone in there too. But I have my lipstick. I know it's Clinique. I've worn the same color --

Meredith Andrews: Let me look at it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Who has the best eyes? Meredith?

Meredith Andrews: She's got glasses, so she can probably see it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Shy. 37 is Shy.

Jennifer Rothschild: S-h-y?

Angela Thomas-Pharr: S-h-y.

Jennifer Rothschild: Which I'm not. My lips are not. Okay, yeah, it's Clinique, and I love it --

Angela Thomas-Pharr: It's beautiful.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- and it stays on.

Meredith Andrews: It is so pretty.

Okay, next question. "Do you ever bring K.C. to your Fresh Grounded Faith conferences?"

Jennifer Rothschild: K.C. is my seeing eye guy on the 4:13 Podcast. And when we do one in our hometown, in Springfield, Missouri, K.C. is a part of it. Otherwise, no. I bring my main guy. Not my seeing, my main guy, my boyfriend, Phil. But, yeah, I -- I wish K.C. could come to these things. That's why you have to come to us on the 4:13 Podcast.

Meredith Andrews: Awesome.

Angela, how did your husband adapt to being an instant father to four?

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Well, that's a great perceptive question, because we didn't have to adjust at all. He said he had always wanted a family, and, ooh, he got a family. What fun, he got a family. But I didn't -- I thought, well, he doesn't -- how could he know about teenagers and preschoolers or pre-teens? Pre-teens. I keep saying preschool, but they act the same.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, they do. It's not a big difference some days.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: But Scott's heart was ready. And he had been a big brother in the Big Brother/Little Brother program for 27 years. And in that program, you commit to spend four or five hours a week with your little brother. And so he had taken these little eight, nine, ten-year-olds. And he would always let them invite a friend to whatever they did. So for 27 years he had been hanging out with little kids and God just made him ready.

Jennifer Rothschild: He prepared him.

Meredith Andrews: That's so awesome.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Of course, he does still ask sometimes if the marriage license -- I think it's valid, you know. He said, "You think they filed that?" I'm like, "Look, you're stuck."

Meredith Andrews: Okay. This is a question for me. It says, "What is your songwriting process like?" Well, it looks different. It's not the same every time. I would say that when I first started writing songs, I was writing only by myself, because that's all I knew to do. And I was just basically -- I would write journal entries and then I would put music to them. That was when I first started. I mean, my first song, I was 12 years old, it had six verses and no chorus. I guess I thought I was a modern-day hymn writer, you know? But you got to start somewhere, and that's how you grow.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's right.

Meredith Andrews: But when I was in college, I started writing with other people. And by the time -- well, my first album is actually -- my first album on my record label is actually the only album that I have out that has three songs that I wrote by myself. The rest are co-writes. And then from then on, everything else is a co-write. Because I so enjoy the collaboration process. I so enjoy getting to be in the room with other people and hearing their story and what they're walking through and...

So usually now what it looks like is I schedule a co-write with people that I love to write with, people that I know, people that I don't know. And we sit down in a room and we just get to know each other, and we talk about life and what's going on in life and what God's saying and what God's doing. And it's crazy how a song comes out of that more often than not.

Jennifer Rothschild: Do you go into it with a -- I'm feeling like I want to write a song about such and such?

Meredith Andrews: Sometimes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay.

Meredith Andrews: But, yeah, there will be certain writes where I go in and I just say, "This has really been on my heart," or -- even just from listening to you guys talk -- Jacob has written a full-blown song today just from listening to y'all. He won't let me hear it yet. I think he's still working on it. But, like, he's a songwriter-songwriter. I'm not as -- he is, like, truly creative.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, he's a technician too.

Meredith Andrews: Yes, absolutely. But I get inspired by messages too, by hearing other people relay their stories or talk about what God has said or the way that they interpret Scripture, and walking us through that. So a lot of times I will go in with an idea and say what if we -- and for me, a lot of times it's just a phrase, or it's a thought, or this overarching idea. Every now and again it will be --

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Do you have a little book and you're like, gotta put that --

Meredith Andrews: Yeah.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Like a songwriting book?

Meredith Andrews: Well, I have notes in my phone. I have notes in my phone. I'll just type out, like, sentences or like a --

Angela Thomas-Pharr: More like a play book?

Meredith Andrews: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.

Meredith Andrews: That's kind of -- I mean, I could go on and on, but that's just kind of the gist of how songwriting happens.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's inspiring.

Meredith Andrews: Yes. But I do love writing with other people. It's really fun.

Okay. Jennifer, how do you memorize everything you say?

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I -- out of necessity, by the way. You know, you've heard the old saying necessity is the mother of invention. And it is. I spend a lot of time -- I get a global thought first. I make sure I really totally understand the global concept that I'm going to communicate before I start memorizing. I don't just memorize for the sake of memorizing.

So once I'm really secure that I understand the global understanding of what I want to communicate, then I will actually create visuals. Which is strange for a blind woman. But I create visuals for remembering and memorizing. Which I learned later, Cicero did the same thing. I mean, it's like a thing.

And when it comes to specifically teaching, I will create a ladder. So I have a ladder that I create in my own mind. Usually it has three rungs, because I'm usually only doing about three points. And underneath the first rung of the ladder, I know what I'm going to share as the opening, and I usually tuck under there the opening Scripture, the thesis thought for me. Like this morning you may have noticed I said, you know "Live faithful." And I said, "What is faithfulness?" It's long obedience. So I literally have this path that has the words "long obedience in the same direction." So you might have noticed when I say the phrase, I literally will do "loooong obedience," because I'm following the path I'm seeing in my head.

And then the first rung will be the first point, you know, that God repairs broken things. And then on top of that, I put a broken balloon. And then in the middle of that, I put Ezekiel looking at some bones and a broken wall. And then I end it with Trip holding Legos in my mind's eye. And so all those things trigger me to go to the next thing, and so that's how I do that.

And then Scripture memory, I memorize between the punctuations. I memorize phrases between punctuations and I just listen to them over and over and over and over and over and over and repeat them. That's about it.

Meredith Andrews: That's so amazing. That's about it. Oh, my goodness.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: It's a lot.

Meredith Andrews: It's so incredible. Jennifer. You're a genius.

Jennifer Rothschild: No, I don't know if I'm genius. Like I said, it's necessary. We become what we need to be.

Meredith Andrews: Sure. And it's the Holy Spirit through you too.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yes.

Meredith Andrews: That's so evident. That's so evident, the Holy Spirit speaking through you when you speak. And it's amazing. My kids are amazed by you. They're just in awe.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I'm personally amazed by Frankie. And both your boys are so kind and gentlemen, by the way. When Frankie sang today, that was beautiful, Meredith.

Meredith Andrews: Well, thank you.

Jennifer Rothschild: It really was.

Meredith Andrews: Praise God. Thank you.

All right. This question says, "How can you endure when you feel stuck in a deep place of deep hurt?"

Jennifer Rothschild: We've talked a lot about endurance this weekend. I thought that was an interesting theme from all three of us. So let's be practical. Meredith, how do you endure? Angela, how do you endure?

Angela Thomas-Pharr: I know that some people need to sit with their pain and process, think, write, and that is a little bit a part of it for me. But the way I'm put together, that can begin to feel like it's choking me, like -- yeah. And so I have learned to go outside --

Meredith Andrews: Yeah.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: -- and pick up sticks -- I've never had time for gardening or all that kind of thing before. I called them frivolous flowers. But what I found out is that God restores me moving shovels of dirt or pulling weeds. And if I just pull two or three, there's something about the way God ministers to me in nature and in the outdoors and in the wind, and it takes my mind off sitting in that pain. And a lot of times the Holy Spirit gives a clarity and he gives, like a lift. And what Meredith sang about in that last song, what you talked about is that lift to see above it. And I try to picture myself, am I standing underneath this with it just weighing on me or, Lord, will you help me get to the rock that's a little higher so I can see over this.

Meredith Andrews: Yeah.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: And that for me is a perspective changer. I mean, there are a million ways staying -- I mean, God has healed me and is healing me, but he didn't do that when I was alone in my room sucking my thumb. That was grieving. And it is right and natural and it is exactly on par for what God has wired us to do when we are hurt and we're in pain, we're traumatized. But my healing has come in community with people who just -- not one of them had the answer, but they stood beside me in my pain and helped me walk to that place where God wanted to carry me to.

I remember one day calling my friend -- and she lives in Texas -- and I was just talking about my pain and how awful and -- you know when you go on, and he done, and she done, all that stuff you do. And she didn't know what to say, but she said exactly the right thing. She said, "I hate the devil." And I'm like, "I hate him too." And that's all I needed, was somebody to hate the devil with me.

Meredith Andrews: Yeah. Yeah.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: The body and the mind, sometimes we tend to go to an alone place. If you can force yourself out of that.

Meredith Andrews: Yes. I really like what you --

Jennifer Rothschild: God will make physicality of what you're describing --

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- because I think that's a -- I think that's a game changer.

What about you, Meredith?

Meredith Andrews: Yeah, I agree. I absolutely concur with all of that.

I can think back to times in my life where it was one of those days where it's like I really don't want to get out of bed. There's no point. There's no point. I don't have the energy; I don't have the motivation. I'm hurting too much to get out of bed in this situation. How do I put one foot in front of the other in this situation? How do I choose to believe that God is not finished with me, that he's going to actually turn this pain around and use it for good? Because the enemy wants to keep us isolated. He wants to keep us in that place of feeling stuck. But God is always -- he's wanting to move us from glory to glory. He is our glory and the lifter of our head. And so if we can just see him as such and remember that we are a daughter. I am a daughter. Okay, so start there. As a daughter of the Most High God, what does that mean for me? What does that look like for me? How do I act as a daughter of the King? And start there and just see where God takes you. Maybe just go for a walk and just be like, "I'm a daughter. I'm a daughter."

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Meredith Andrews: And God has a purpose. He doesn't cause our pain. He is not the catalyst or the cause of our pain. But he takes what the enemy meant for evil and he uses it for good. And I just -- this is the thing that I could, like -- I believe this for you, whoever you are, that God -- he has a way through this where you will look back and you will say, I didn't see how I could get out of this deep, dark place, but God. But look what God did. And he wants to bring you out.

And everything Angela said. Grief has its place, and it's necessary. I think especially for us women in the south, we want to just be like, "No, we're fine. It's fine. We're fine," and then we deal with it in secret. But that's not how we're meant to. We are meant to bring it to, confess our sins, confess our stuff to one another, not isolate, and really just get to this place where, okay, I'm going to have the season of grief, I'm going to deal with my disappointment. God is actually going to sit with me in it and then he's going to say, "All right, baby girl, let's go."

Jennifer Rothschild: It's time.

Meredith Andrews: It's time to move forward.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: I want to jump in. One more thing. If you can do something for somebody else, it will help you.

Meredith Andrews: Yeah.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: And the Lord has taught me this, not because I actually thought of doing something for somebody else. But I remember going to the grocery store one day, and I was just -- because I had to feed people. You know, I'm going in, not because I'm wanting -- I'm in pain. I'm just hurrying. And then an older lady needed me to help her do something. I didn't -- she's like, "Honey, could you help me" -- something. And then I ended up helping her get out to her car and put her groceries in the car. Well, y'all, I was better.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: The Lord will -- it's -- we'll get to heaven, and I hope that we get the joy of understanding some of how we got made like this. But he made you to be comforted when you're giving -- when you're just helping somebody else, it gives you a comfort. Anyway...

Meredith Andrews: That's so good.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I think it's good. I love that you both in so many ways said similar things. And I think it's the wisdom asking -- well, first of all, knowing endurance is hard. So sometimes we think if something's hard, then it's wrong. No, endurance is hard. It's not supposed to be easy. That's what it's called endurance.

But you do have to guard yourself, as both of you wisely stated, against staying in the indulgent part of your pain too long. Because if you indulge too long, you will not endure. You become totally self-absorbed, and that's when you don't endure.

Meredith Andrews: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: But putting one step in front of the other. I am a real believer in the physicality of this process. Because sometimes, like I said earlier, you got to make your stubborn soul move, and sometimes you got to let your body help that process along, so...

Meredith Andrews: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: I do that. I walk on my treadmill, because I can't go outside, which can just exacerbate my feelings of frustration.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Sure.

Jennifer Rothschild: But I will literally get on the treadmill and walk. And I will blast songs about heaven in my earbuds and just remember this ain't all it is.

Meredith Andrews: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: This ain't all it is.

Meredith Andrews: That's so good. Heavenly perspective.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, like you quote.

Meredith Andrews: And just remembering, I'm not a victim; I'm victorious.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Meredith Andrews: Because the enemy wants to get us sucked into that victim mentality. But understanding our position and our daughtership, I am not a victim; I am victorious. This may have happened to me, but God gets the final say.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, he does.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: And if you're feeling like that, I would also encourage you not to look at your social media.

Meredith Andrews: Yeah, agree.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Meredith Andrews: Just take some time off.

Jennifer Rothschild: The Book, not the Facebook.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Watch the Andy Griffith show or something.

Jennifer Rothschild: True, though. Happy.

Meredith Andrews: That's true. So true.

All right. Angela, what is your advice to a recent single mom?

Angela Thomas-Pharr: So, in the same vein, some of my best advice was something I finally learned to do, was take a Tylenol PM after you get the kids in bed. And if there's a doctor here that disagrees with that, I'm so sorry.

But what I figured out was that the devil couldn't have me in the morning. I'm getting the kids ready, day's crazy and I'm doing the day. I pick the kids up at school, it's all I can do to get them fed and get them in the bed. Hallelujah, amen. And if the devil was going to get me, it was going to be between about 9:00 and 11:00. Because it was too early to go to bed, I'm too tired to do anything really constructive. And the depth of that loneliness is so great. And when I realized I am just a human being like any other human being, and right here -- if I was going to do something stupid, it'd be between 9:00 and 11:00. Like, that's when people start watching things they don't have any business watching, and that's when you, "Well, I'll talk to that old freak show," because you don't have anybody else to talk to, or you -- like, I realize --

Jennifer Rothschild: That is brilliant.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: -- that I could be stupid.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: I could really make a bad choice most of the time between 9:00 and 11:00. I mean, you got to figure out what it is for you. Yours might be completely different. But I decided it would be better for me to be asleep during those hours, because the devil couldn't have me in the morning.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's so practical.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: And so I would take those Tylenol PM for about four or five years, and I'm like, "Listen, y'all, I got nothing to stay up for." Nobody. My neighbor across the street called -- she told me one morning, she goes, "Yeah, we looked out the window, and your house is just dark at 9:00." And she's like, "I guess you took a Tylenol PM." I'm like, "I am over here with all my integrity. Fighting for it. Fighting for it."

Jennifer Rothschild: I think that's so practical. I love that advice. And then you're also rested and you can do the day the next morning.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Well, just cut that -- if you got sin hours, cut them out.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Cut them out. You don't need to be awake for that.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love it. Awesome.

Meredith Andrews: Okay, anything else?

Angela Thomas-Pharr: No. That's good enough.

Meredith Andrews: Great. Good. Okay.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: That'll get you going.

Meredith Andrews: All right. Perfect.

Okay. This question's for all of us. It says, "How do I have a right estimate of myself, and not think too low myself, when I long to be all that I'm just -- when I long to be all that I'm just not? I often dream of being a musician, singing and playing piano and worshiping, or being a speaker to encourage and motivate others, to write a book that touches lives. I want to change and inspire others. I want to have and know a talent. I often feel like there is something inside, but won't come out. How do I accept that I'm just not any of these? I don't believe I" -- help me. "I covet. I'm just sad." Oh, yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: She doesn't believe she covets, she's just sad.

Meredith Andrews: Yes. "I'm just sad from time to time in the waiting, hoping to be more than just what I am currently, but at the same time trust in him and not put him or myself in a box. I don't want to have those feelings or" -- sorry -- "or thoughts that I'm not much, but I do. How do I let go and let God?"

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, sister girl, I would ask you this question. Have you ever heard of Mordecai Ham? If you have, I don't want you to say anything. But just think about that. Now, has anybody in here heard of Mordecai Ham? Don't say who he is, but just say yes if you have. Okay. Only a few of you, though, right? The majority have not. And Mordecai Ham could have easily had a -- you know, not a right estimate of himself, because he could have thought, I don't know how I'm being used by God, I don't know if anybody's going to know my name in 100 years. Am I really having any significant effect?

But if I asked everyone in this room, "Have you heard of Billy Graham?" what would you say? Mordecai Ham was the one who preached the Gospel. Billy Graham heard Mordecai's voice preaching the Gospel, and Billy Graham received Christ, and the world has been different ever since.

And so I would say to you, my sister, having a right estimate of yourself is having a reasonable view of your life. Am I living in obedience? Am I saying yes to every opportunity God gives me? Am I doing what he's called me to do, whether it's on a platform or whether it's in the grocery store? That's having a right estimate of yourself. Not looking at yourself too highly and associating your identity with what you have accomplished; not looking at yourself too lowly and saying, therefore, because I have accomplished nothing, I am nothing. We have a right estimate of ourselves, we base our sense of self on our obedience and on God's value that he places on us, whether anybody ever knows our name or not.

What Angela and Meredith and I do up here is not a reflection of women who are more greatly blessed or capable than you are. It's just the calling God gave us. But it's not any more significant than the calling that you live out in your ordinary life, whether anyone ever hears you lead worship or whether you never write a book. So rightly esteem yourself based on how God esteems you, and couple that with your sense of faithfulness toward him, not on if anybody ever knows your name.

Meredith Andrews: So good, Jennifer.

You know, and those -- I think maybe it's easy to look at people on a platform and just go, wow, it must have just fallen into their laps. I think we can all say -- and you've heard a lot of our stories -- it's cost us something. Not because God's cruel, but because in order to endure, in order to have a story to tell, in order to have a message to sing about, you have to walk through the trenches and you have to be willing to say -- and I have no self-righteousness in saying this at all. It's like, Lord -- there are days when I'm like, "God, why did you ask this of me? I don't know that I can take it. I don't know that I can handle it." And yet God always comes through and he shows himself strong and he shows himself faithful.

And when I was 17 years old, I went to a Rebecca St. James concert and I said, "God, I think I'm supposed to do something like this." It's, like, burning inside of me. And the Lord said, "Meredith, be faithful where I've placed you." And at the time I was leading worship for our youth group, and sometimes on Sunday mornings in our 80-member church. And my life is a testimony of just learning how to be faithful to God as he has been faithful to me. And I haven't always gotten it right. I have not always gotten it right. But he has always been faithful and he has always been merciful to me.

And I think for anybody who has a dream or a desire in your heart, God put it there. And he will outdream you any day. So continue to press into him. Continue to let him make you who you're meant to be. Because your identity isn't tied to what you do. I am a worshipper. I'm not a worship leader; I am a worshipper. But all of us are. You know, he just -- I have a different way that it looks, I guess, for my life, or a different calling on my life. But each of you has a call on your life, and neither one is more or less significant than the other. And it's all about us just going, "God, who do you say that I am? What is the assignment that you have on my life?" Because it's easy to look and see, oh, it's supposed to look like this. No. What has God called you to pioneer? What has God called you to strategize for? What has he called you to lean into, the audience that he's put in front of you? It could just be your kids right now, you know?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Meredith Andrews: And I could keep going on that. But just to be faithful in these places, in these spaces, and then the Lord will open the doors.

Jennifer Rothschild: He does.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Okay, I got to jump in. If God is prompting your heart and you've got that thing, you're like, "I want to do what you do," I'm like, "Girl, come on. We need you. The world needs you."

And when I came home from college, I started working with the youth group at my little United Methodist Church. And there were three kids there when I first started. I didn't know what -- I just said to them what they said back at FCA in college. And so that ran out after about a year. But I was so thirsty for more, I went to my parents and said, "I think I'm supposed to go to seminary." They're like, "What in the world?" And then I -- they said, "Where do you think you want to go?" I'm like, "I don't know. But this man writes these books and on the back it says he went to Dallas Theological Seminary." His name was Chuck Swindoll. So that's where I went, to Dallas Theological Seminary, because I thought they would teach you to teach the Bible like that. Turns out he had a gift.

I got to Dallas Theological Seminary and it was some of the best years of my whole entire life. Because if God is calling you, can I encourage you to get training.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. Be a good steward.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Like, learn how to write and -- like, every -- you can do it right from the safety of your bedroom right now online. There's so many great classes. If God is calling you to be a Bible teacher, learn the Bible.

Meredith Andrews: Yeah.

Angela Thomas-Pharr: Like, don't be coming up here telling no jinky-jank in Jesus' name, you know. How to rightly divide this Word that the Lord -- and keep learning how to do that. So if God is calling you, then you -- like, let's go. Let's go. Don't waste his time wondering if he is. If there's something inside of you go, "I could do better than that," then get up and go.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love it. I love it.

Meredith Andrews: So good. Well, that is such a good word. And that's kind of all we have time for.

K.C. Wright: This is why I love Fresh Grounded Faith. So real, so practical, so honest, and so encouraging. I know the women in my life, they come back changed and rearranged for the glory of God --

Jennifer Rothschild: Rearranged.

K.C. Wright: -- after a Fresh Grounded Faith.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that too. It's true. And you need to come join us at one near you. As I mentioned before our conversation, you need to find the tour dates at freshgroundedfaith.com or at the show notes at 413podcast.com/232.

K.C. Wright: Yep. And don't miss the chance to connect with God's Word and connect with other women at a Fresh Grounded Faith.

And you can get Angela's book and Bible studies, plus purchase or download Meredith Andrews' music. We will have all the things, all the links to Angela and Meredith at, you guessed it, the show notes at -- let's say it together -- 413podcast.com/232. That's 413podcast.com/232. Good job. All right?

Thanks for hanging out with us here at the 4:13. Our lives truly get better when you show up. And until next week, we love you, and we mean it. And remember, whatever you face, however you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you supernatural strength. I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.

Jennifer Rothschild: That was some good stuff today.

K.C. Wright: Good.

Jennifer Rothschild: By the way, have you ever seen Meredith Andrew sing? She's, like, this teeny-weeny little body with this ginormous voice.

K.C. Wright: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: I mean, she's a tiny little package with a giant gift, that's what I'm saying.

K.C. Wright: There's some dynamite in there.

Jennifer Rothschild: There is.


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