Spill the Beans LIVE with Kelly Minter at Fresh Grounded Faith Melbourne, FL [Episode 248]

Spill Beans Melbourne Florida Kelly Minter Michael O'Brien

Pack your bags! You’re coming with me to Melbourne, Florida for a Fresh Grounded Faith conference where this episode was recorded LIVE! Kelly Minter, Michael O’Brien, and I sat around the bistro table answering questions from the audience, and wow, did they have some great questions!

We talk about how to manage your expectations, what to do when you feel God is far away, and how to deal with doubt. Kelly also shares why she isn’t married, and I answered several interesting questions about my blindness.

It was some really good stuff, and now, you get to join us! Pull your chair up to the bistro, and let’s spill the beans.

Meet Kelly

Kelly Minter is an author, Bible teacher, and podcaster. Her most recent Bible study is called Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy. Kelly speaks to audiences around the country and also works closely with Justice & Mercy International in the Amazon jungles of Brazil. Kelly is the host of the Cultivate podcast and a frequent guest at Fresh Grounded Faith. When she’s not writing, traveling, or speaking, she enjoys time in her garden, cooking, and being an auntie to her adorable nieces and nephews in Nashville, Tennessee.

Meet Michael

Michael O’Brien spent years as the lead singer for Newsong and has been an important part of Fresh Grounded Faith events for over a decade. His concerts range from an upbeat message of praise to sharing his heart about his own failures and his past, including a powerful testimony about how the gospel changed everything for him. Michael has had several number one hits and has produced six CDs including his most recent project release, Crown Him. He lives with his wife, Heidi, on a farm with their fainting goats in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Spill the Beans LIVE with Kelly Minter at Fresh Grounded Faith Melbourne, FL [Episode 248]

Kelly Minter: So, yeah, we had an extra shot, and now we are about to spill some beans. And, Jennifer, don't make me spill all my beans. Okay? I just want us to be able to have a little bit of control up here. And we've got Michael as well, so this is awesome. Are you guys ready?

Jennifer Rothschild: Pack your bags, 413ers. You are going to Florida with me and Kelly Minter. We are in Melbourne, Florida, at a Fresh Grounded Faith and we are spilling some beans. We talk about how to manage our expectations, what to do when you feel God is far away. Kelly even talks about why she's not married. We talk about how to deal with doubt, and I even answered lots of questions that were very interesting about my blindness. This was some really good stuff. So pull up your chair to the bistro table and let's spill the beans.

K.C. Wright: Welcome, welcome to the 4:13 Podcast. We're so glad you're here. This is where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom come together to set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Now, welcome your host -- don't you love her? Here's Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I sure do love you guys and you, K.C.

K.C. Wright: Aw.

Jennifer Rothschild: Thank you so much for being here today, my friends. We're glad you're here. I'm Jennifer, just to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life. And it is two friends, one topic, zero stress, though that actually doesn't apply here. Well, I mean, the zero stress applies, but we got lots more than two friends. Because this was captured live in Melbourne, Florida, though K.C. wishes it were Melbourne, Australia --

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- with 1,000 friends. This was a large group of amazing women.

K.C. Wright: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: And I just have to tell you what happened in Melbourne. Okay. This was just a very stressful weekend for me. Okay. So we always fly on Thursdays, because the event starts on Friday night, and I've had too many flying nightmares. So we always get in Thursday night. Well, we get literally on the plane Thursday afternoon and I start to feel bad.

K.C. Wright: Uh-oh.

Jennifer Rothschild: By the time I get off the plane that night, like, my joints are aching, I have a headache, fever. I did not feel good. I get in bed, of course, and I can tell I'm sick, like this is a thing. So I determine I'm going to stay in bed until, like, you know, 3:00 on Friday, I'll get up -- because I had to be at the church -- I had to leave it at, like, 4:00 for a meet and greet and sound check and all that stuff.

K.C. Wright: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Well, as I am in bed at this hotel, then the stomach flu part starts, so I'm up for the bathroom. I was sick.

K.C. Wright: Oh, no.

Jennifer Rothschild: I mean, it was bad. Okay. But I had gotten some anti-nausea medicine, things were under control, my fever was gone. I just felt terrible, but it was doable.

Okay, so I get up at 3:00, I'm taking a shower. I get out of the shower, I'm feeling like, okay, I can do this, I can do this. Do all my skin care, you know, which for some of us, the older we get, it's like seven layers of stuff. And so anyway -- but when I am about to speak, when I'm going to be on stage, I always do this skin tightener under my eyes, on my chin. And it's this really cool stuff, K.C.

K.C. Wright: Really?

Jennifer Rothschild: I mean, it works. It's expensive, but it works. And so you put it under your eyes, you put it under your chin. And I think I put on way too much, because I was probably overcompensating because of how loose everything else was inside my body. So anyway -- but the thing about the skin tightener is it kind of has this chalky finish. Okay? So, like, your skin is very tight, it looks good, but it's kind of this chalky finish, which is no big deal because you put makeup on it, over it.

Okay. I leave the bathroom, go to my suitcase. And I go to pull out my makeup, you know, put on my makeup, and I can't find it. And so I'm digging deeply; I can't find it. I'm starting to throw out jeans and yoga pants and socks, and where's my makeup? I can't find it anywhere. I'm starting to panic.

K.C. Wright: Oh, no.

Jennifer Rothschild: So our office is downstairs in our home. So I call my office and I say to Gretchen, who's working that day, "Hey, can you run up to my bathroom and tell me, is there a black quilted makeup bag on my sink?" She runs upstairs and she goes, "Oh, no, I hope not." I'm like, "Me too." And it was there.

K.C. Wright: Oh, no.

Jennifer Rothschild: I had no makeup. Okay. So I am about to go on stage.

K.C. Wright: Oh, you sure are.

Jennifer Rothschild: I have no makeup.

K.C. Wright: You don't feel good.

Jennifer Rothschild: None. I don't feel good. And I look like somebody has put a death plaster mask on my face because of all the white skin tightener. And I got to leave in 30 minutes.

K.C. Wright: Oh, no.

Jennifer Rothschild: I'm like, "Phil, we got to go get makeup." So we go to Walgreens. We rush into Walgreens. I've got 20 minutes at this point. And I didn't even remember I didn't feel good at this point because of adrenaline, right?

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: And so walk in, this lady named Rose says, "Can I help you?" I'm like, "Yes. I need everything. Like, I left all my makeup and I've got to be somewhere in 30 minutes and I got to have makeup on." She goes, "Okay. Well, what color?" Okay. And so, by the way, friends, if you don't know this, if you're new, I'm blind. So I've got this cane. So I'm blind, Phil's a professor, and Rose has never met me before. She can't tell what color my skin tone is because it's covered with white skin tightener --

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- trying to find me foundation. I'm like, "Mascara, I need mascara. I need blush." "What color blush do you like?" I said, "I don't even care. You just try to figure it out." Anyway, on and on and on. Within ten minutes, I had full makeup --

K.C. Wright: Come on.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- I'm leaving the place. And Rose is so sweet. She goes, "So why are you here?" I said, "Well, I'm here for a conference." "Oh." And then she said, "Well, why did you come to Florida for a conference?" as she's checking me out. I said, "Because I'm the speaker." And she said, "Oh," like, "Oh, my gosh."

K.C. Wright: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: Anyway, I walk out with my Walgreens makeup. I get in the car, Phil's speeding to the church. It's like I threw all the makeup up in the air hoping it would land in the right places on my face. But I showed up with decent makeup on --

K.C. Wright: Yes, you did.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- covered all the white skin tightener, spoke that whole weekend. I mean, it was crazy. So if you hear somebody referring to my makeup, that's it.

K.C. Wright: Because you, of course -- I love that about you, you totally tell everybody.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, I told everybody. I told everybody the whole story. I didn't tell them about the stomach flu part.

K.C. Wright: What I love about this is the -- Jennifer, you will not be defeated and you will not quit.

Jennifer Rothschild: No, ma'am.

K.C. Wright: And you're always like, hey, if there's a problem, there's a solution.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.

K.C. Wright: Now, I would never go to Walgreens for makeup. That's the part of this story where I'm confused.

Jennifer Rothschild: Now, here's why I went to Walgreens. They have absolutely everything you need --

K.C. Wright: Really?

Jennifer Rothschild: -- you can get in and out fast. Now, it's not department store makeup, but a lot of it is still very good quality. Dude, I spent $71 in ten minutes --

K.C. Wright: Oh, I'm sure of that.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- on my face.

K.C. Wright: But I go there for cough drops and Mucinex.

Jennifer Rothschild: No, I go there for my Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, and now I found a blush I like.

K.C. Wright: Who knew?

Jennifer Rothschild: Who knew? Rose from Walgreens, she knew.

So we were also, by the way, there at Melbourne Fresh Grounded with Michael O'Brien, and so you're going to hear him ask the first question. So let's introduce these guys.

K.C. Wright: Well, I don't really need to. But just in case you don't know these great people, let me give you some quick intros to Kelly and Michael real quick.

Kelly Minter is an author, Bible teacher, and host of the Cultivate podcast. She's one of our favorite guests on The 4:13, and also one of our favorite guests at Fresh Grounded Faith. She lives in NashVegas, Tennessee.

Then there's Michael O'Brien. He's the former lead singer of New Song and has led worship at Fresh Grounded Faith events for over a decade. He's an amazing singer-songwriter who has had several number one hits you've heard on Christian radio, and has produced six CDs. He lives in Nashville also.

So are you ready? Let's gather together because you're about to hear some good, good laughter and some encouragement for your soul. Let's spill some beans together.

Michael O'Brien: All right, Jennifer, this first one's for you. When did your children first learn that you were blind, and have they ever played pranks on you? I hope not.

Jennifer Rothschild: No, I will address that. They -- it's real sweet. Of course, blindness is very abstract for a little person. And so I remember even when Clayton was about three, and I was constantly saying, "Mommy can't see that. Put it in my hands," you know. It was -- he became very alert to just -- not understanding it necessarily, but acting accordingly. So he would put things in my hands for me to feel. I remember one time reading a book with him, he was looking at a book, and he put my hand on the page. It was sweet. But it was about three or four years old when they really started to clue in.

One thing that was so sweet is how intuitive it is, like when -- I remember specifically Connor being a baby in the high chair. And when I would go to feed him, I would literally put the spoon in front of him and he would come toward it. But when Phil would feed him, Phil would put his spoon in the baby food jar and start to bring it, and Connor would just sit there like bring it on. So it's like they just knew. They just knew.

Michael O'Brien: That's awesome.

Jennifer Rothschild: But playing pranks. So no, they haven't. And I'm just going to say something very honestly to everyone. Don't play pranks on a blind person. It's not kind. It's not funny. I remember one time I was walking with Connor -- he was probably second grade or third grade -- and there was an adult woman in our neighborhood, and as we were walking, I find out later, this adult woman is saying to him, "Shh, shh, shh." And then we get up close and she jumps out in front of me and thinks that's funny. Well, I was particularly ticked off as a mom, like, don't do that to my child, put him in a position, like, which adult do I honor here when you're about to scare my mom and I know it? You know what I mean?

So I guess I would just say to the family of God, it's really not funny, so don't act like it's funny and let's be kind to each other. And the same applies to everything. Like, we don't need to play pranks on each other. It's just not kind. So there you go. Just saying it.

Michael O'Brien: Amen.

Kelly Minter: There we go.

Michael O'Brien: All right, Kelly. How do you do life well as a single woman of God?

Kelly Minter: One person's excited about this. I don't know -- I mean, how do I do life well as a single woman of God, you know.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, you do do it well.

Kelly Minter: Well, thank you.

Jennifer Rothschild: Whatever that looks like, you do it well.

Kelly Minter: Yeah, I mean, I guess I feel like we're all called to do life well -- right? -- no matter what we are in. But I know what you're asking, and so I will answer that. So it's not always easy. I mean, just be really honest here, I mean, there's some big things that I'm not doing. Right? Okay? There's some big things out there that is not part of my life. And so that's just one of those commitments to Scripture.

You know, you were saying, Michael, earlier that your wife loves God's Word, and I was thinking what does it mean -- I don't know why. The way you said it, it just made -- I thought, what does it mean to love God's Word? And I think to love it is to first know it, right? So you can't love something that you don't know. But then it's to act on it, it's to revere it. And so to be single as a believer in Jesus Christ, as a Christ follower, means a lot of things that are very, very different from what is completely acceptable and natural and normal in our world. Right? I mean, it's just -- that is -- so it's very different. And as a result, that's a sacrifice. But it's also a blessing. Because I have to say that any time we are obedient to the Lord, a lot of times that obedience does require sacrifice, but it also is full of blessing.

And so that's one thing that I think a lot of times -- I never feel like a very good poster child for singleness, because I don't -- it's not a terrible life. You know what I mean? I feel like I should have this off -- like, oh, it's so hard. And I really am so thankful that I've got my brother and his wife and their kids. And I have dear, dear friends, very dear friends and a wonderful community. That doesn't mean that there aren't those times where it's not hard, but it's -- again a little bit alluding to what you talked about, Jennifer, is there is that probably a constant very -- I'm just very aware at how much I need the Lord --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Kelly Minter: -- for just kind of everything.

You know, I did a house renovation last year. And I hate that stuff. Like, that's where I wish I just was like -- had a husband that would handle stuff. But then there are people that are like, "Well, I have a husband and he doesn't handle that stuff," so -- you know.

So I don't know -- to say to do it well is just by the grace of God. And I don't do it perfectly by any stretch, but by the grace of God to be obedient and honoring with the life that you have, and then just enjoy the blessings that he brings as well.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's good. Super good, Kelly. Super good.

Michael O'Brien: I will add that I am really good at getting people on the phone and having them come over and fix those things. I'm excellent on the phone.

All right, so this is everybody. Do you have any words of wisdom in how to get our expectations in line with the reality of what Jesus has for us to try to avoid broken expectations?

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, let me think about that. I think -- I mentioned last night raising our expectations to the level of grace. And I said that intentionally because -- like, I know somebody who always had this saying -- which sounds so plausible -- "Well, if you expect nothing, then you never get disappointed." Right? But that's not realistic to have low expectations or no expectations in life, because there are certain things that are just reasonable and right. Yet at the same time, even when we have reasonable and right expectations, if they are still not aligned with grace, they can become wrong.

Because none of us are perfect, including us. Life's not going to turn out how we expect. And so I think -- when I say raising your expectations to the level of grace, what that means for me is I determine -- like Paul said, it is by grace that I am what I am. So this is just it. And I'm going to give it my best shot, and my -- I even say to our ministry team, we have excellence as a standard, but not perfection. And sometimes we get them confused. So raising our expectation to the level of grace is recognizing that we are fallen, we're all giving our best. Most of the time, not always. But even when we're not giving our best, we can still expect grace. And so, yeah, that's kind of where I'm at with it.

Michael O'Brien: I would say, too, one of the most misquoted Scriptures, I think, in the Word is Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Michael O'Brien: The context is, as Paul has already said, I've learned to be content with very little and I've learned to be content with much. So whatever the Lord decides. And I think what happens is when we don't get what we want and we start that complaining thing, then we're basically saying God is not good, when we know that God is good all the time. So it's not like he's trying to hold something from you. And so I think that's why that Scripture, you know, when you know it in context, it can minister to the heart. Because wherever you're placed in life, whether you're single or you're married -- when you're married, troubles will come. The Bible says you're going to have trouble in marriage, right? But to be content and to know that God is always working through those things, so...

Jennifer Rothschild: That's a really good answer.

Kelly Minter: I don't think I have anything particularly to add. I think that you guys summed it up.

Jennifer Rothschild: Summed it up.

Kelly Minter: Yeah.

Michael O'Brien: All right, question for any of you. What are some ideas that have worked for you when you are feeling far away or disconnected from God?

Kelly Minter: I felt like you had a really good answer for that, Jennifer, back a few months ago.

Jennifer Rothschild: Of course, I would not remember it.

Kelly Minter: Yeah. Do you want me to prompt you?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, go ahead.

Kelly Minter: I can give you mine, too, but I -- no, when you were just talking about the dark time that you were in, and just some of the books that you were reading and stuff, I thought that was really helpful. It's helpful for me.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well -- so I went through a season where I really did struggle with depression. And I couldn't even read Scripture. I mean, I wanted to, but, like, I just had this inner dismantling. And the Lord -- I said -- even though I was struggling with my belief, I remember saying to him, "Would you just give me somebody smarter than me that I can just trust," you know, just to help me kind of --anyway, that's how the Lord led me to C. S. Lewis.

And I remember reading those books, and it did bring me to a place of recognition of, okay, if he's got an IQ twice mine, and he can believe, then I can. And it was funny how the Lord did use that to draw me back to belief.

But I will say this. The nature of that question is -- I remember hearing the word "feel" in it. And sometimes we don't feel all the right ways we want to feel, but that doesn't mean that the right realities don't still exist. So when we feel like God is not near, it doesn't mean he's absent. I mean, dude, I can tell you that with blindness. I'm right here. I could feel -- if I'd just let my feelings take over, I could feel totally alone at this table because I don't see either of them. That is not reality. And so there is a remarkable need, I am convinced, for us to constantly align ourselves with our truth rather than our feelings. Let our feelings obey truth, not the other way around.

Kelly Minter: That's good.

Jennifer Rothschild: But what were you thinking?

Kelly Minter: The ebbs and flows are -- I'm glad you pulled out that word "feel," because our feelings do ebb and flow. So I think just on a practical level, if we're feeling like -- if we feel far away from the Lord, we should do a little inventory. Like you talked about, the four legs of the table. So, like, is something really off emotionally, spiritually, physically, whatever that needs to look like, and so assess. But if you feel like, no, you know what, I'm obedient, I'm doing what I feel like I'm supposed to be doing, I'm just -- this is a really hard time, my -- what I like to do is just keep it simple and go do -- if you can, go do what ministers to you.

So when I am having those days or those seasons, that might mean I go and I take a walk, or I get out in my garden, or I go do the Trader Joe's aisle at the holidays, you know, or whatever. Or I clean something out of my -- just whatever it is that ministers to your soul. I put on a message of someone that I really love listening to, or I put on music. It doesn't even have to be Christian music. Just something that just lightens your soul, and then just practicing the presence of the Lord with you in that. And sometimes that's helpful for me.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's very practical.

How about you, Michael?

Michael O'Brien: Well, I'm just going to defer to my wife because she is --

Jennifer Rothschild: Smarter than you?

Michael O'Brien: No. She's bipolar. So, boom, ups, manics, low, low. And I remember when she was going through biblical therapy, she's like, you know, you don't want to go and start reading Lamentations when you're in a pit.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Michael O'Brien: And so she was having a difficult time just feeling close to God. And she was going back to the things like -- just simple children things, Jesus loves me, this I know. And then she was having a hard time with even believing that, and the counselor looked at her and said, "That's okay, I believe for you." "I believe for you." And was trying to just encourage her that your feelings are not always going to line up because you can get -- well, women can be very emotional -- so can men, but not as much as women, but -- no offense, ladies. But the reality is that, and you have to keep on -- and I guess my response to even this is a lot of times as men, I have to go -- for me, it's the Word. If I don't go to the Word every day and I'm not meditating on it, then how in the world am I going to be able to love my wife as Christ loved the Church, and having cleansed her, washing her in the water with the Word? I have to have a love for her -- well, Christ first, but then for her to love her in that way.

So a lot of times, you know, when you are married, that's one of the advantages, that you have somebody loving you that way. However, you know, there -- you're single because God has you single right now. And praise God for that. And so it's inspiring to me to even hear that. Because I've been in situations where somebody was single -- and I'm not naming names or anything -- but she was a very mean person about her singleness. So it is amazing to me to meet people who are fulfilled and have struggles, but -- so anyway, just encouraging you.

Kelly Minter: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Michael O'Brien: Yeah. All right. So this is to me. This is funny. This is so funny. This is to me. Okay. Did I say that already? Okay. What name brand of drum machine or effects does Michael use as a backup when playing keyboard?

Kelly Minter: That's somebody serious.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, 'cause you're --

Kelly Minter: This is a serious musician out there.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Michael O'Brien: So it's an iPad. And I have gone in and I've taken the keyboard out of it, out of the track. So they have these people that --

Kelly Minter: You can't do on your iPad, right? You have to engineer do that.

Michael O'Brien: No. You have to have a thing where you go in -- it's Appleton, I think is what -- that's not it. It's another name. But you go in and then you take what you don't want out of the track, and then you put it on your iPad and you hit the button. And that's my band.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, you do it very smoothly.

Michael O'Brien: That's my band.

Jennifer Rothschild: But let me just say this, because you are a one-man band. So -- I forgot what song it was this morning, but you were doing it and I was like -- when you were on the keyboard, I'm like, he sounds like Bruce Hornsby. Did you notice that?

Kelly Minter: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: You do several Bruce Hornsby licks. Which I'm just saying --

Michael O'Brien: Yeah, I do --

Jennifer Rothschild: -- that's quite the compliment.

Michael O'Brien: I do steal from people, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: But it's so good, Michael.

Michael O'Brien: Thank you.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I love it. I just love it. I couldn't be that coordinated up there, that's all I'm saying.

Michael O'Brien: I've just been doing, I guess, this a long time.

And then they ask also another musician question: What mic does he use?

Kelly Minter: The Shure?

Michael O'Brien: A Shure Beta. And by the way, if I sound good, it has nothing to do with me. It has to do with that sound guy back there.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Kelly Minter: There we go.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well done.

Michael O'Brien: All right. So this lady, whoever she is, she's got three questions for three different people. So, Kelly -- I'm just going to say them out loud -- why have you never married? Michael, why did you leave Newsong? Jennifer, do you think it would be harder to deal with having sight and then losing it, or never to have had sight at all?

Jennifer Rothschild: Kelly, you were first. Why have you never married?

Kelly Minter: Yeah, thanks, Jennifer. Jennifer's like, "I left this in there for you, I knew you could handle it." I was like, "Well, thank you." Well -- okay. So first of all, it's sort of like the question -- and I get it -- but like it's my choice. Like, it's fully 1,000 percent my choice, I have just decided I am not getting married. No. I have not met that one person that I have fallen in love with and wanted to spend the rest of my life with. So that's probably a pretty... I mean, I don't know if that's --

Jennifer Rothschild: That's the answer.

Kelly Minter: Is that -- do I need to do something else?

Jennifer Rothschild: No. If he's to be, he will come along and you will know.

Kelly Minter: Yes. Yes. So, yeah, that's it, that's the answer.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love it, 'cause it's --

Michael O'Brien: It's a great answer.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- the right answer.

Michael O'Brien: My answer is -- I kind of shared a little earlier. But I was on the road 250 days out of a year. And you can't have a spiritually healthy family when the man is gone, the father and the husband is gone that many days out of the year. And also I thought I was -- it's so weird how God will, like, give you a little carrot to dangle in front of you and then you start munching on that carrot before it actually even comes to pass. And I thought I had a record deal with Columbia Records, and then Warner Brothers, to do the love song record. And then after I left Newsong, which I thought was going to be how I was going to support, God just went hmm-mm and he took it away. And then it was like, okay, what am I doing here? And it was because God wanted me out of the group, and that's how he got me out. A false security of thinking that I was going to be in the secular world, which would have just been so stupid for me. So anyway, that's what happened.

Jennifer Rothschild: I'm grateful for us for what God did.

Michael O'Brien: Thank you.

Jennifer Rothschild: So grateful.

Michael O'Brien: Do you remember yours?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, I remember it enough. Would I -- which would be harder, having seen and then not seen and been born blind. I only know one thing. I know what I've experienced, and that was that I could see well until I was 15 and then I did not. So I would say that the best choice is the one I got. But I am mindful -- you know, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, "Tis better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all." I kind of think that's probably true about my sight. But I also believe that grace is -- God's grace is sufficient for all. So if it had been different, then I would probably give that as my first best answer.

Michael O'Brien: That's good. Yeah.

Kelly Minter: Yeah.

Michael O'Brien: Can I do that quick quote, Fanny Crosby?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Michael O'Brien: She was -- well, I guess she was born blind -- or one day and then she was blind. And somebody asked her about it and she said, "It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind my entire life, and I thank him for the dispensation. For if I had been given earthly sight, I may have been distracted by the beautiful things around me and not sung hymns to the praise of our God." She then says, "If I had a choice, I would choose to remain blind, for the first face that I will ever see when I die is Christ Jesus, my Lord." That's beautiful.

Kelly Minter: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: Beautiful.

Michael O'Brien: So, Jennifer, when you lost your sight, how did your parents help you through this difficult time? Mostly spiritually.

Jennifer Rothschild: How did my parents help me. Well, they -- if I -- gosh, I've never really articulated it. But I think they were very faith forward. Like, we didn't spend a lot of time mulling over our loss. It was much more about -- I mean, there was honest feelings and honest dealing with it, but it was more like, okay, so how do we do this next? What do we do next? How do we move forward?

And spiritually, I don't remember anyone ever sitting me down and having a conversation. Which I think is super important for us as parents to understand. I more observed them. I observed their faith, I observed their hope. I observed how they handled frustration, I observed -- and I think I just -- I didn't have all that in my emotional spiritual warehouse to draw from personally -- I was 15 -- so I copied them. You know, you've heard that saying it's super important what is caught, even more than what is taught? And I think I caught all the right things from the way they handled this spiritually, and it informed the way I responded spiritually.

Michael O'Brien: That's good.

Have there been -- Jennifer, have there been times you've had doubts in your faith?

Jennifer Rothschild: What Kelly had asked me about, that I alluded to a minute ago, was a time I had doubts in my faith. Let me rephrase that. I don't know that I had doubts in my faith. I think I had doubts in myself. Because when I look back at it and I'm able to really process it, I was really struggling with endogenous depression. Like, when menopause met blindness, none of my brain chemistry worked right. It was a bad scene. And I really did experience some chemical depression.

And during that time with this dismantling, yes, I doubted God. I ended up doubting the reality of Jesus. Then I knew, well, no, I'd read enough to know he was a historical figure. So then it was the deity of Christ I wasn't sure about, then it was God's mere existence. I mean, it was ridiculous. It was a dismantling. And I thought it was doubting my faith. But when I looked back, what it really was was doubting what I knew to be true. There's a difference. Because even I prayed like the prayer of the guy in the New Testament, "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief." I really did say that.

And so I think that doubt is a part of our processing, but I think sometimes we simplify it. That when I sat down on this chair, I never doubted it would hold me up. Right? And so I think that we just need to -- when it comes to doubt, we need to experience it and recognize that -- like, when I approached this chair, if I felt a little doubt, it would be probably more in my trust that the chair would hold me up, not that the chair would hold me up. See, there's a difference.

And so if you're experiencing doubt, I think it's okay to say, you know what, my doubt really is in my ability to trust right now more than it is what I really know to be true, which is God is real, he loves me, Jesus died for me, and I'm going to be okay.

K.C. Wright: That is the truth. God is real and he loves you. Everything that matters to you matters to him right now. Jesus died for you and you will be okay. Those were some sizzling beans you spilled today and I loved this conversation so much.

If you want to read a transcript of this, go to the Show Notes now at 413podcast.com/248. And while you're there, my friend, you'll find links to Michael O'Brien's music and Kelly's books and Bible studies, plus her music, too. The girl can sing and teach. Sounds like you.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Well, Kelly does it great.

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, our people. Find some people for you to spill the beans with, too, because we need each other. So until next week, remember that whatever you face and however you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.

K.C. Wright: And I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: And --

K.C. Wright: You can.

Jennifer Rothschild: That means you can too.

K.C. Wright: It's true.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, it is.

K.C. Wright: This broadcast was not brought to you by Walgreens.

Jennifer Rothschild: But it should have been.

K.C. Wright: But peradventure, they're listening and they would like to sponsor --

Jennifer Rothschild: Walgreens, thank you.

K.C. Wright: -- the 4:13 Podcast.

Jennifer Rothschild: Big shout-out to Rose in Melbourne, Florida.

K.C. Wright: Who knew Walgreens sold makeup? Not this guy.

Jennifer Rothschild: But now you know.

K.C. Wright: Okay.


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