Episode #16. The Power of Seeking God in Your Stories. Kristi Lowe

Quick Links
From Today's Episode

Kristi Lowe, host of the Even If Podcast, joins Kelly Hall as the two share stories of being transformed by the presence of the Lord. Although the stories range from light-hearted to profound, each one highlights the faithfulness of God to speak to our deepest needs and our greatest fears. We pray that as you hear these stories, God will open your heart to how deeply you are loved by the One who is weaving all our stories together.

Today's Verses
  • Proverbs 3:5,6
  • John 18-20
Additional Resources
  1. The Power of Seeking God in Your Stories. Kristi Lowe

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Unshakable Hope Podcast, where real life intersects redeeming love. I’m Kelly Hall, and this is where we wrestle through faith questions, such as, How do I trust God’s heart when His ways and delays are breaking mine? How can I believe God is good when life doesn’t seem good? My prayer is that God would renew our hope in these conversations, and that each of us would experience the very real power of His presence and love.

Welcome to all of you.

I am so excited to have Kristi Lowe with me today. She’s a new friend I met at a conference and we discovered we had so much in common. First of all, being from Texas listening to her talk is so much fun for me. I just feel like I’m being welcomed home. And then we also have Texas Tech in common and I graduated from the same physical therapy school her husband went to so all those were some fun connections.

But I really love her podcast. It’s called, Even If. I’m going to let her tell [00:01:00] you about that in a moment, but before she talks about herself, I just want to explain that we’re going to do something a little different today. The two of us are going to answer three questions and I’ll tell you what those are in just a minute.

So Kristi, why don’t you start by telling us about yourself and how this podcast came to be?

Kristi: Ooh. Well, that’s a, that’s a story, but first, thank you so much. I’m so glad to be here with your listener family today and just excited for what the Lord holds for us. And, just looking forward to diving in and getting to know you better.

I loved how we got to meet and how the Lord connected us, but yeah, you said it. I have a podcast called Even If, and started it right about a year ago and it came from a season, a very dark season of my life where I realized that I had to decide if I was going to trust God, no matter what, was I going to trust him in the hard stuff when I said that I trusted him in the easy stuff, but was I really going [00:02:00] to trust him no matter what happened and no matter what the outcome was.

And so that is where that was birthed. And then the name of it came from that Mercy Me song that was released in 2017 called Even If. Oh my gosh, that song just, it was such a deep anthem to me during that time. And so when it came to naming the podcast, I was like, Lord, that was where you got me, you got me through that even if I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be. And so that’s where that came from.

I’m a wife and a mama. I’ve got two kids, But one has flown the nest and the other one is a junior in high school. And like you said, my husband and I live here in Lubbock, Texas, and we are proud Red Raiders.

We are both alumni of Texas Tech. And that’s one of the things where Kelly and I were so, we had an instant connection and I love that. We love living here. It’s a great place to live. It’s just been a great place to raise our family. So [00:03:00]

Kelly: that’s awesome. Well, so what we’re doing today, and I even emailed Kristi and said, Hey, if you think this is too weird, we won’t do it, but what do you think?

Kristi: And so I think, oh, I love this because I would much…So my podcast has a lot of interviews on it as well. And I love whenever it’s back and forth because I don’t want to just be the only one talking. I want to, I want you to talk too. So I’m so excited about today. So you, dive in and tell us, tell the listeners what we’re doing today.

Kelly: Absolutely. All right. So I love stories. That’s always been my thing. Even as a women’s ministry director, I’m always trying to pull people’s stories into the spotlight so that people can see that God is a right here, right now God who is absolutely powerfully working in each of our lives. And so today we are going to answer three questions.

The first one is a funny story that happened in our lives, and then we’re going to explain the God lesson that came out of it. Secondly, we’ll both share an “even if” [00:04:00] story, a time when we surrendered to the Lord when the outcome was uncertain or scary. And then third, we’re going to talk about a Bible story that really resonates with us and just calls us deeper into God’s heart.

So I think it will be really fun. So Kristi, do you mind if we start with you and you just tell us your funny story?

Kristi: Okay. So, when, I read that, I was like, Oh my gosh, have, you ever just like that your mind just immediately goes where you want it. Okay. Well, I think I was probably six or seven.

Okay. And we go to Disney on ice. Where my family bought us tickets to Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. It was back when, I don’t even think Reunion Arena still like, I don’t think you still go there anymore, but it, so that just tells y’all how old I am. Okay. But that’s beside the point. But we go to Disney on ice, you know, it’s all the princesses and it’s this, you know, like [00:05:00] magical time.

And I was still at the age where, like, I could still believe that Cinderella coming in the carriage across the ice. Might have actually been Cinderella, you know, like I was that age. Okay, that’s sweet. I love that age now It’s the sweetest thing as an adult looking at it, but that’s how old I was Okay and I remember seeing Cinderella’s carriage come across and Cinderella is in her pumpkin shaped carriage and They’re heading straight for like where me and my mom and dad my brother.

We were all sitting and all of a sudden there’s people like coming up that are from this, like from Disney on ice. Okay. And they’re walking up and they stop like a row in front of us. And they start motioning kids to go down and get in the carriage, right, right. I was, I was like, Oh my gosh, I’m fixing to be with Cinderella.[00:06:00]

So they get these kids, they go and then they turn to walk off and I didn’t get to go. I know. Right. It was so sad. If y’all could see Kelly’s face, she’s like, Oh, but it was so, I was so bummed. I mean, and I know it’s, it’s funny to me now because I’m like, okay, this was really not that big of a deal, but, like I realized, like, I think that that was probably one of my first encounters with just deep disappointment that I didn’t get to go down and get in Cinderella’s carriage and ride on the ice. I mean, you know, I think as, as humans, we’re all going to have disappointments in our life. We’re all going to have those moments where we think it’s about to go one way and then life goes a different way.

Um, and right? and I, so as I’m watching them, you know, get to ride around on the ice and then they come back and they sit down in the seats in front of us. It was so painful. Y’all, it was so painful, but [00:07:00] I, I had to decide in that moment and, and not, it probably wasn’t even cognizant then, but I can see it as much now.

I had to decide, was I going to let that one disappointment ruin this incredible experience, or was I going to find the joy from getting to be there in the first place? Does that make sense?

Kelly: Yeah. That’s beautiful. I mean, well, I will actually say my heart just breaks for your little six-year-old tender heart.

Kristi: Oh, but at the same time, I mean, it was like in, in my mind, it’s funny because it was, that was such a big moment to me as a kid, but I don’t think it matters what age we are. We’re, I mean. We get our hearts broken. We get our, you know, there’s, those things are going to happen, but it was just probably one of the first times where I saw disappointment and I had to decide what I was going to do with it.

Okay, now you have to tell me your story and I hope it’s funnier than mine.

Kelly: Oh, [00:08:00] I love that story. But, I will just tell you my story. So this is a story that people have heard before, if they’ve heard me speak, but God’s just been taking me deeper into the application.

So my story is when a long time ago, our kids were little and we were traveling across the country. We were stationed in Utah at the time, and we were going to travel to Missouri to visit some friends, just 12-hour drive. So we packed up our kids and as was usual, we left at the crack of noon. So I called my friend and said, Oh dear, we won’t be there till midnight. I’m so sorry.

And she said, no big deal. We’ll leave the door unlocked. You just come on in, you know where to go. And I said, great. So we drove all day, all night. And then in the middle of the night, Lee wakes me up and said, Hey, we’re almost there, I need directions to their house. Well, at our last stop, I had left my direction in my purse and my purse was in the back of the van and this was before GPS. So I said, Oh, it’s no big deal. I remember exactly how to get there. I’ve been there [00:09:00] so many times. So I directed my husband beautifully through the streets, through the neighborhoods and right to their house.

We pulled in the driveway. All four of the kids get out with their backpacks, sleeping bags, pillows, and they’re little. And they, we all walk through the unlocked front door and we, my husband says, Oh, did they get a new dog? And I said, no, I don’t think so. And we went down into the basement and then I flipped on the light to the guest room and I realized it was piled high with clothes, the bed was.

And I thought, well, that’s so weird. This looks like a junk room. And then I turned on the bathroom light and it was kind of the same thing, like a bed, baths and body. store exploded in there and I sat there so confused thinking this isn’t like my friend at all. She has the gift of hospitality. I would have expected a little welcome note and a chocolate on my pillow.

And it slowly dawns on my sleep deprived brain that our little family of six is standing in a stranger’s [00:10:00] basement in the middle of the night. And so I turned, I know. It was, it was pretty horrifying. Yeah, so I knelt down and I had, you know, three of our girls are deaf and they didn’t have their hearing aids or cochlear implants on at that moment.

And so I knelt down and I just said, We’re in the wrong house. Go as fast as you can, but be quiet. And so they all raced up the stairs. We all went out the door and then we got in the car and I very quietly closed the van door and we backed out of that driveway as fast as we could. And we didn’t turn our car lights on until we were in the street.

And then we drove three houses a little further down and, and then we pulled into an identical looking driveway, same house, same floor plan, different dog. And I am so horrified, it’s a funny story looking back, but at the time it could have been a really bad story.

And just said, I am so grateful. God [00:11:00] protected us. Please don’t ever tell your neighbors. And I don’t think they ever did. And so we drove past that house later and they were outside playing basketball and I thought, you have no idea what went down in your house last night.

Kristi: I can’t believe their front door was open. It was another house. The front door was open. Same floor plan. Oh my gosh, Kelly. That’s hilarious.

Kelly: I know. Right. I mean, I finally managed to get over the embarrassment of it all. And it took years actually, but there really was a God application out of all that. So years later, I was praying. God, I want to hear your voice more clearly and more often.

And he immediately brought to mind that story and an image of my husband standing in that basement with me saying, I don’t think this is their house. I vaguely remembered he’d said that, but I guess I just ignored him because I’d been there more than he had, so I was convinced I was right.

But I just sensed [00:12:00] God telling me, sometimes that’s how it is when I’m speaking to you and oh gosh, it was just a really convicting moment. I realized that’s true. I’m praying to hear God’s voice more clearly, but in a lot of situations, I just push through and I’m busy and I’m so convinced I have all the right answers.

I don’t make space to hear him and it reminds me of Proverbs 3, 5, and 6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him. And you know, in the moments of your day, acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. And so I feel like God has even been talking to me recently more about this and just the power of being curious of just slowing down and asking him questions.

And, when I do that, it postures my heart to hear God’s voice. And so now I’m just trying to slow down and say, God, what do you want to say about this? What do you want me to know? But yeah, it’s an absolutely [00:13:00] crazy story.

Kristi: That is awesome and hilarious and I’m glad that you’re okay. Let’s just be real here. I’m just glad that y’all are okay.

Kelly: No kidding.

Kristi: Wow. Wow. Wow.

Kelly: Yeah. It wouldn’t be a funny story if it hadn’t turned out well. God protected us.

Kristi: No. Well, and I’m really glad you had a funny story to lighten the mood because man, I came in with like, like Disney depression there. So, you know, Hey.

Kelly: No. That was a good story. Okay. So now it’s time for the second one. So the even if moment, this will be a time when we surrendered when we didn’t know the outcome. So how do we trust God in those places?

Kristi: Yeah. Well, and you know, it’s funny, I alluded to it at the beginning with the, “even if” the Mercy Me song that song, whenever it first came out, when I was, I was sitting at a stoplight. Okay. And some things had happened in my life in about the past nine to 12 months before [00:14:00] that. Okay. And I had found myself just in a really hard place.

Have you ever just been in that just a season where it was just a really dark place? And I had come to an impasse with someone I loved deeply, we, we had just come to a place where we couldn’t figure out a way to move forward. And I, loved them. They loved me. It wasn’t a matter of not loving people.

You know, it wasn’t a matter of forgiveness. It was just, we had come to this place where there were some really big things at stake but we couldn’t figure out how to move forward.

And if you’ve ever been in a place where you don’t know how to move forward with someone that can really leave you with a lot of questions, sometimes it can leave you with a hard feeling in your heart because even when we love people, sometimes people are the best and the worst things about this life, right?

And I had found myself in a really hard place and I had [00:15:00] been growing increasingly angry at that person. And I’m just confessing that to you because I think whenever we pretend that we’re not struggling with other people or we pretend that we don’t have dynamics that are hard, we’re liars and fools because, you know, we, we all have struggles.

Well, I’d found myself just increasingly angry at them and I’m sitting at the stoplight at, you may know this place, 82nd and slide. And I know that place, you know, that place. Okay. So I’m sitting at that stoplight one night and I can’t, we can’t figure out how we’re going to move forward in this situation.

And I’m being deliberately vague about some of the details because the details don’t matter. The, the problem was my heart. And this song comes on the radio. And I’m sitting there listening to the song and he says, “I know you’re able, and I know you can, you can save through the fire with your mighty [00:16:00] hand. But even if you don’t, my hope is in you alone.”

And for some reason, as the words to that song just continued to pour out, I began to think about this person. And God began to show me, as I was sitting there, I swear that stoplight had to have been eight minutes long. It wasn’t, but it happened that quickly and, and yet he somehow slowed time down for me to, to capture it. Where he began to show me that he could make this all okay.

He could do anything he wanted. He could solve it. He could fix it. But for whatever reason, he had said, I need you to walk through the season with this person. And I,  there were no guarantees on how this was gonna turn out. There were no guarantees that it was all gonna be okay [00:17:00] and it wasn’t for lack of love.

I wanna make that very clear. I loved this person so, so, so very much and still do. Um, in that moment, I’m sitting there at that stoplight and I had to decide was I gonna really trust Him even if things between myself and that person weren’t okay? Did I really trust him with that person’s life and some of the decisions that they were making that were breaking my heart, truly breaking my heart?

Did I trust him with that person? And then furthermore, was I willing to look at them through His eyes? And that was probably one of the most eye-opening moments for me was because he began to shift and show me how much he loved them. And that if it was [00:18:00] grieving me, could I even possibly begin to imagine how much it would be grieving His heart for His child too?

And you know, it was there that I had to begin to learn that people, as hard as it can be to do life with people, they’re always worth it. It’s always worth it to do life with people, even if it’s hard, but also, that we have to learn how to look at people through his eyes and not just our own flesh. We’ve got to be able to start to shift our view from just what we can see from our side of this to what he sees whenever he looks at a situation or what he sees whenever he looks at us and when I started that, when that, that was one of my light bulb moments, you know, I think we have those light bulb moments in our life where I went, okay, even, even if I can’t, I can’t [00:19:00] control it.

I can’t figure, I cannot do anything other than continue to love this person and pray for this person. I know you can do whatever you want. I trust you. But when I started looking at that person through his eyes, My whole vision, my whole life shifted because my heart began to grieve as a father would grieve.

Does that make sense?

Kelly: Yeah. We don’t know what we don’t know.

Kristi: We don’t. I have that written down on my dry erase board right there, right now. I kid you not. You don’t know what you don’t know. Isn’t that the truth?

Kelly: It is. We evaluate stories in one way and yes, like that story I just shared when God opens our eyes to see it His way, it’ll just blow us away. I mean, he is up to so much more than we can even imagine.

Kristi: Yes. And it’s never just what sometimes I think [00:20:00] we get caught in our struggles and we think that our problem. It has nothing to do with other people. And sometimes the things you’re walking through are because there’s other stories being written.

He’s the great tapestry weaver and he’s the one that that weaving, it’s so intricate and it’s so complicated. And so, yeah, I think sometimes we get in our little narcissistic bubbles. Sorry, friends. We do.

Kelly: Yeah. I think about that scripture a lot where it says God’s thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. That’s why I want to hear God’s voice over my own. He is all knowing, he’s gone before me. He sees the whole picture. He knows me, and everybody I love, better than we know ourselves.

Kristi: Totally. I know he’s so that’s what makes him God. Like, I don’t want to serve a God that can’t handle that complexity that can’t handle that… [00:21:00] All of the nuances of all of our stories. That’s the mind-blowing thing about it, is he loves us all in all of our stories are being written for the glory of him, but they’re all woven together.

And that’s why I think that’s why both of us have such a heart for them. Tell me yours. I want to know yours. I want to know where you had to submit. Tell it. You talk sista.

Kelly: Okay. Well, I have a whole bunch of them but I am just going to focus on this one. So it was this moment when I was pregnant with twins, twins don’t run in our family. And we had two little kids. They were four and not quite two. So were going to have 4 children under the age of 5 by the time the twins were born and our oldest daughter is profoundly deaf and had some special needs as well, sensory processing disorder and some learning disabilities.

And, we, we didn’t know if these twins were going to be deaf or hearing and God had spoken to me [00:22:00] initially, you know, I had surrendered the whole thing. I had been teaching Bible study. I prepared the lesson on God is our Adonai. He is sovereign. Not one detail of our life escapes his notice.

We can trust him to carry out his plans. You know, I had this great big picture of God’s sovereignty and love and authority. And so that was the day I found out I was pregnant again, just a few months before my husband had surgery to make us permanent with only two children. And so, um, oh my gosh, yes, it was a big shock. Very big shock.

Then months later, we moved again with the military. So months later, I finally went to the doctor, found out it was twins. Uh, we’re in San Antonio. I’m teaching Bible study and it suddenly occurred to me. It was really because of some things people had said that it was very, very, very possible that we would have 2 more profoundly deaf children and man, my flesh and my mama bear’s heart [00:23:00] just really pushed back at that. And so I wrestled with the Lord for a long time. I can see it so vividly, of standing up in my living room. I had just returned home from Bible study and I just started trying to wrestle it out with God and convince him that surely that’s not what he wanted to do.

And so I actually at one point grabbed my Bible and I marched him through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation I reminded him of every faithful miraculous thing I could think of and

Kristi: You…wait a minute. Hold on. You marched God through the Bible. I’m just going to stop and interject that. Okay. Carry on. Carry on

Kelly: Yes. So it was foolish, but, um, I was just trying to wrestle it out and I knew God was okay with that. And so when I was done, I said, So you’re faithful. You’re a miraculous God. You’re all powerful. So why in the world would you want to allow these little babies to be deaf and, I could not let go of it. I couldn’t trust him. It was not a [00:24:00] surrendered moment. It was a little bit ugly. But the next day, I just love this about God.

He knows how to speak to us in a way we can hear him. And he speaks to our deepest need. And so the next day in the mail, a Christian newsletter came with a verse on it. And I knew the moment I read it, this was God’s message to my heart. So it’s John 14, 27, and it says, peace I leave with you. I don’t give to you as the world gives. My peace I give to you. Don’t let your hearts be troubled and don’t be afraid. And at that moment I realized. Yeah, that’s that’s my issue. I’m afraid I am so afraid. Wow. And God in his mercy pointed that out to me.

You’re just afraid of what’s going to happen. You’re afraid I’m not going to be big enough. You’re imagining a future without me in it. And he just covered my heart with peace. So of course he didn’t tell me how things would turn out, but I [00:25:00] actually, I actually felt peace as if I could just rest in him and trust that he could be in charge of the outcome.

After the twins were born they were two weeks old and we discovered they both are profoundly deaf. That was a really difficult day, so my other “even if” moment came that day when I came home and I thought, this is absolutely impossible. I, this is impossible. God, I can’t do this.

But the way I process pain is I have to talk about it with people that, you know, yeah, that, you know, when you’re talking about something that’s super, super painful, you don’t want to talk to the other people that it impacts that same way.

I just went into the room and thought, I can’t call my parents about this yet because it’s just too painful. So what can I do? How can I talk about this? And I decided I’d call my Bible study friends.

And so the first person I called, I just said, we got the test today, the twins are deaf. And she [00:26:00] immediately responded with, well, they can’t be deaf because the Bible says if you pray and you really believe, then God will give you exactly what you asked for. And so I thought, Oh, this dear friend is having a faith crisis right in the middle of mine. And, um,

Kristi:  Oh, this is great.

Kelly But in God’s perfect provision, I heard words coming out of my mouth in response to her that came directly from the mouth of God. They hadn’t been in my mind first. And I said, You don’t need to worry about this. God’s got us. He is sovereign. Not one detail of this escaped his notice.

He is going to work in and through this situation and bring glory to his name. We’re going to see his faithfulness up close and personal, we’re going to be very blessed. God’s got us.. Don’t you worry about a thing?

And I stopped talking and I was absolutely stunned that I had said that. And I was most stunned by the fact that I actually [00:27:00] believed it in that moment.

Kristi: Your heart held that, oh friend. Well, and it’s interesting, I had heard you say that whenever you were talking about your, when you were breaking and entering earlier, you know, um, you’re breaking and entering story, which is hilarious, by the way, I heard you had said that you had three kids that were deaf.

And I was like, Yeah. I didn’t know this. I, I did, I, I was today years old whenever I learned this about you, but what you had to walk through to learn how to handle having three deaf people in your home. And yet God had said, I am with you, even if this doesn’t look like you thought it was going to look, I am so here with you.

I’m already there. Yes.

Kelly: I love that you said that because actually Kristi, you know, we’re walking through a hard time now, but going back and revisiting that particular story and rehearsing what God spoke to me, [00:28:00] it was such a sweet moment for me. Yes, that is all still true. God, you are still with me in that same way.

You’re still at work. And it really encouraged my heart again. I love that

Kristi:  I think that’s why it’s important for us to remember because remembering his faithfulness is it infuses us in a way that we don’t get if we don’t take the time. And what’s interesting is there was a moment where I was pregnant with my daughter and I was scared to death to be pregnant with a girl.

Okay. We had not found out. I know. Okay. So we’re pregnant. And I was like, God, I need this to be a boy. I need this to be a boy. Um, and we didn’t, we were, we weren’t going to find out until she was born. And I remember going, I don’t think I can be, I am not, I, Kristi Lowe do not need to be a mom. to a daughter.

I don’t know what to do with girls. I am kind of, I’m rough around [00:29:00] the edges and I’m sarcastic. And I, I love Jesus, but I’m also kind of snarky sometimes. And I mean, like I, I was scared to death to have to walk that out. And I remember one night We were driving home, John’s mom had cancer and we would go see them, they lived about four hours away and we would drive back and one night I’m driving home, real pregnant, probably six or seven months pregnant and he’s asleep in the passenger side and I’m telling God all about this.

I’m telling him how I can’t do it. Like I don’t, I was like, God, I need this to be a boy. I can’t, I can’t do this. And, you know, I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, but clear as he could possibly say it, I hear him say to me, I will make this the most beautiful relationship if you’ll just trust me.

And I mean, I, I had chills. I still, I will still, [00:30:00] anytime I go back to that story and remember it,, my lack of, of trust in myself, can I do this? Can I be a mom to a daughter? He just took it. And he said, I’ll make this beautiful. If you’ll trust me. And I knew then I was having a girl, let’s just be real.

What’s funny is I told my husband about what had happened whenever he woke up and he was like, well, it looks like we’re having a girl. And I say that I thought we were having a girl. I’ll be honest. There was a moment I was like, do you think, I mean, like, are you sure

Kelly: but like, that was a big spoiler alert. Right. Right.

Kristi: So, so from that point, we pretty much knew like we were having a girl, and I have carried that she’s 19, nearly 20 now. And. Has our relationship always been easy? No, because we’re mothers and daughters and mothers and daughters are just hard sometimes.

But do you know how many times I have gone back to that [00:31:00] moment in that car outside of Idaloo, Texas, and I can hear him saying, I will make this beautiful if you trust me. , so like when you talked about remembering, I needed to remember, I needed to remember that too. We’ve, we all need to keep remembering these things in these places where God has just intersected our lives.

Kelly: Yes. Oh, I love that. I just absolutely love it when God speaks to us so clearly. I just love that he’s willing to do that. Don’t you?

Kristi: Oh, that’s what makes him, that’s what makes him so faithful. That’s what makes him real to me. It’s because I could never, I can’t see him. I can’t prove him, but you can’t tell me that, that he didn’t love me so much.

He took my deepest fear and spoke directly into it.

Kelly: Yes. And oh my goodness. Yes. Right. That’s, that’s [00:32:00] what he does so often. He takes our greatest fear and he speaks directly into it.

But okay, we’re just going to move on to the last portion.

The question that has to do with the Bible story that God reminds you of and calls you forward or deeper into him.

Kristi: Hmm. Okay. How about this? How about you go first? This time?

I wanna hear your story first.

Kelly: Okay.

So here is one of my favorite stories. Because it shows me something about God that I need to remember a lot. So it’s in John 18. It’s the only gospel that records this particular part of Jesus arrest. And it’s when, so he just finished that beautiful prayer in the garden where he says, Your will, not mine.

It’s this beautiful moment of surrender. And then he comes out and Jesus is there with all of the, soldiers and the religious leaders and their weapons. And , he says, who do you want? And they say, Jesus of Nazareth. And he says, I am, I am. He is what our Bibles read. And they, the Bible says in John that [00:33:00] they drew back and fell down to the ground.

I just absolutely love that moment because to me, it’s just another place in scripture that makes it very clear that Jesus did not have his life taken from him. He willingly laid it down. And I think it was just a really cool moment where God pulled back the veil between heaven and earth and allowed just a glimpse of Jesus glory to be seen and experienced.

And I always think, his glory could not be contained. And we see some of that being released, at the crucifixion, when it became dark and there was an earthquake and dead people who were believers came to life and the temple curtain was torn, top to bottom. And so I thought, Oh, my goodness. What if in that moment, what really happened is that when they drew back, they didn’t fall backwards. What if they fell forward? What if they actually bowed before the king of the universe in that moment?

Isn’t that cool?[00:34:00]

Kristi: Yes.

Kelly: Even though we don’t know, but we do know that they were impacted by God’s power in a way that really didn’t make sense. And obviously they didn’t take time to ponder it. I wonder sometimes if later. Any of them actually thought about what happened and came to know Jesus. Maybe the guy whose ear was cut off and Jesus restored the ear, you know,

Kristi: right. I always love, that’s always one of my favorite parts to read, cause you always go through it like during Advent season and reading it and whenever he puts it back on and I’m just like, wow, like just that.

Glimpse of his power just, oh,

Kelly: yeah,  And that is what really speaks to me that no matter what happens, that with all of our enormous needs in our family, our girls. , all three of my girls also got Lyme disease and two of them have walked out of it.

I know it’s such a hard, hard [00:35:00] story, but one of my daughters is still in bed and hasn’t been able to live outside of our house.

Hasn’t been able to work for many years, but right now we are seeing God move in ways that don’t make sense and she’s starting to get better even without additional treatment. So what’s happening? I know it’s like the God of the universe. Jesus, the author of life, is breathing life into a place that has been dead figuratively speaking for quite a long time, but he’s just breathing new life and health into her poor battered body.

But I think. God, you’re immensely powerful and intensely personal and I can run to you with all my needs. That is such a great, great comfort. I can surrender all of my needs into the hands of the One who holds all things in his hands. So that’s my big comfort from that just [00:36:00] really cool passage in scripture.

Kristi: Wow. Wow. I, you know, I, I think it’s interesting whenever you get to, anytime you get to sit with somebody like this , I’ve gotten to know more of your heart just listening to your vulnerability and your honesty and we need so much more of that in this world.

You know, and I just thank you for being honest. Thank you for your vulnerability and just to say, this is a real struggle. This is a really hard place to walk through. And yet I, I can still sense that you were just completely trusting him with it, even in the difficult, even if the difficultness of it doesn’t make it any less difficult.

Kelly: Right, right. Well, let’s hear your story. Kristi

Kristi: Well, which one, man,  but it’s funny that you talked about the night that Jesus was arrested was because, you know, [00:37:00] I laughingly say that Peter is my spirit animal.

If we had to like pick who of the disciples, like who I’m Peter, okay, I’m the, okay, I’m the big bold claims. I’m the loud mouth. I’m the girl who says things. And then I’m like, Oh yeah, I would never deny you Jesus. And Jesus is like. Yeah, you will. You’re going to do it three times and not only three times, you’re going to do it three times before the rooster crows.

And one of my favorite stories in the Bible is how not only did Peter do exactly what he said, he denies him three times. You see Peter leave that the third time right before the rooster crows, and he denies Christ. And it says that he goes away weeping. He went, it wrecked him. And I don’t know if it’s that I have been that person in my life.

I mean, we are bold in our faith and we talk about [00:38:00] Jesus and, you know, you and I both have a podcast, but your listeners may be, you know, working a nine to five job that they get to speak into other people’s lives about, about Christ. Well, anytime we do that, I think. Me, I go back to all the times where I’ve failed him and like, like what Peter did that night.

And Peter was like, I’ll never deny you, Lord. You know, I want to say that I want to be the girl that says, I’ll never deny you, Lord. I’ll never, I’m never gonna da,da,da it at a, well, anytime you say never, first of all, please don’t ever say never, never say never, but he goes away and he’s just, he weeps. And. We, he doesn’t know, remember in that moment, you know, we know on the other side of this, that three days later he’s coming back.

Yeah. Peter, Peter didn’t have that. Peter didn’t know how the story was going to unfold. And the [00:39:00] last thing that Peter knows is that Jesus told him he was going to deny him and then he did, and he doesn’t think he’s ever going to see him again. I mean, really? Right. And,

Kelly: right. Yeah.

Kristi: We have the luxury of knowing that he did return. He is alive. He did come back those three days later, but what is probably the most beautiful to me is. On the beach where after the resurrection, Jesus, they’re out fishing one night. And Jesus appears to them on the beach and it wrecks me because man, it gets me because there’s this moment where Peter realizes that’s Jesus. And he jumps out of the boat, which is totally like, I’m like, this is me.

I’m this. I would totally be Peter, but like he jumps out of the boat and he’s like, y’all, y’all get yourselves to shore. Y’all get those fish. I gotta, I gotta get to Jesus. [00:40:00] And he gets to that shore as fast as he possibly can. And to me, that, that moment on the beach later in scripture toward the end of John, where Jesus restores Peter and he says, Peter, do you love me?

And if you love me, feed my sheep. If you love me, feed my lambs. If you love me. And he does it three times and we all, you know, we don’t have to go into the significance of all of that, but he loved him enough. That before he ascended to heaven, he made sure he and Peter were okay. He made sure Peter knew, you’re okay. I forgive you. I knew you were going to do it. I told you you were going to deny me.

I told you this is what was going to happen. Whenever I see Peter restored in that way, and I’m not giving anybody a license to sin here. I’m not trying to, you know, I’m not going down that path by any [00:41:00] stretch, but we’re gonna, we’re gonna do, we’re gonna fall short.

Anytime our heart is not in line with the Lord. We’re denying him and that moment where he loved Peter so deeply and met him right there and said, let’s, let’s get this straight. I am a jacked up enough human. I am broken and messy. I needed to see him love Peter.

And so for all your listeners who are a hot mess express like me, we need to know, I’m not kidding. We need to know. I love that. He, he loves us enough that he forgives us. He restores us. We, we can’t do anything to fall outside of his grace and As soon as we really, I mean, and as soon as you catch a glimpse of him, get your buns to shore, jumped out of that boat and get your buns to shore.

So, [00:42:00] you know, I can’t imagine the first time that he saw Jesus. And how awkward that might have felt like, there’s this thing between us, like, you know, I kind of said, I wouldn’t deny you and you told me what, and then I did, and I can’t imagine how that dynamic might have felt inside Peter and just knowing how the Lord took that time and that John, who was one of my favorites, by the way, some of the funny things, , if you haven’t ever read John for context John is kind of funny, he’s kind of petty. He’ll talk about how he ran faster than other people. He’s real funny.

But then in that moment of love, he loved Peter enough to record his friend’s restoration. And I thought that was, I think it’s so, I just think it’s beautiful on multiple levels, but one of them just being that the Lord loved him enough to do it and to record that in scripture. It’s one of my favorites.

Kelly: Yeah. I love that. The way the Lord [00:43:00] just speaks to those broken places when we feel bad about ourselves, we can’t seem to figure out the next step. And he just loves on us.

Kristi: Absolutely. And it’s so true. I mean, , that’s probably where grace, , gets me. Like, I just think, I’m so messy, Lord. I am such a hot mess and yet you still restore me. You still love me.

Kelly: Thank you for joining me for story hour.

Kristi: I have loved joining you for story hour. I hope your listeners just, you know, if you don’t know Kelly in the wild, as I like to say, Kelly is a delight and what a gift. You are just a gift. I can, I am so, I’m just thankful. I got to be part of your listener family today and I hope they’re encouraged and just reminded of how, how lucky we are to serve a God who’s big enough to hold all, all of it. He holds all of it, all of it.

Kelly: And I just want to encourage the listeners to, to check out the Even If podcast, I love it. You [00:44:00] will fall in love with Kristi. It’s really a lot of fun. She has a lot of content and you’ve been going a year.

You’re on your year anniversary, right?

Kristi: Yes. I, I turned, we turned one, uh, the first week of October. So yeah. Great. Exciting. I know. I know.

Kelly: One more thing I want to mention is I, I’ve just been thinking about a friend of mine who said, I didn’t even know I had a story or that I was worthy of a story until Jesus came into my life and people started asking me to tell my stories. And that was the first time I realized that I was worthy enough to have a story and it helped her receive the truth that she is deeply, deeply loved by God.

So I just want to encourage everyone to spend some time in the next few weeks, just thinking about your stories, maybe answering these three questions that I asked today.

And as you remember and rehearse some of the stories in your life, I [00:45:00] think you’re going to be surprised how it deepens your perception of who God is and you see his goodness and faithfulness up close and personal in ways you hadn’t before. So have your own story hour with some friends, a family, or just with you and God. It’s one of my favorite things to do with the Lord. Have a great day, Kristi. Thank you

Thanks for listening to the Unshakable Hope Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe and leave a review. To continue the conversation and for free resources, be sure to visit me at kellyhall. org. Thanks so much.

Subscribe to the Podcast
  • Apple
  • Spotify
  • Android
  • Email
  • RSS