The Power of The Mind: A Silent Battle – With Morgan Hart

Today on the Fit in Faith Podcast I’m giving you a sneak peek into the testimony of my dear friend, pastor and marketing guru, Morgan Hart. She shares her struggle with anxiety and how she overcame it. And it wasn’t by her own might, but it was by her release of control. From the outside looking in, you’d never suspect a children’s pastor with a beautiful family to be dealing with these raw, scary emotions. But that’s exactly why mental health has been referred to as a “silent battle”. Listen and learn from what happened in one of her darkest hours and how congruent our experiences were with fighting against our own selves on the mental battlefield.

Whether it’s anxiety or fear or doubt or self-criticism. Or perhaps a what if situation or broken heart that leaves your mind running in circles with confusion and worry. Whatever it is – IT is blocking you from living fully whole with a sound mind. And guess what?  We are promised exactly that…

Silent Battle
Graphic Designer discloses struggle.

You’ll hear tears alongside laughter. Jokes alongside truth bombs of reality. We are real people – looking to share real tangible advice into the WHO behind the HOW of our journeys.

We talk on every level of our mental, physical and spiritual beings and we hope somewhere in the midst of the stories, the silliness, the rawness, and the insight that you hear The Truth. We’re just two women, doing the best we can, to be the best versions of ourselves. And we are so excited to have you along for the ride to true health and happiness too.

With a goal of breaking the silent battle and claiming a sound mind.

Find Morgan on social at https://www.instagram.com/morganhartdesigns/

Use her creative mind at www.morganhartdesigns.com

Listen to the Podcast Here: https://fitinfaith.podbean.com/e/1-the-power-of-the-mind-a-silent-battle/

If you enjoyed this clip, this is just a taste of the type of authentic conversations and experiences we will share and dive deep within at the Retreat coming up in October in Sandbridge! You won’t want to miss the opportunity to unlock your wholeness – mind, body and soul! Plus, we all need some laugh til you cry convos and true rest! www.tamraandress.com

It would be a great honor to hear directly from you! If you’d tag me at @tamra.andress or @fitinfaith_podcast or even personally message me on Instagram – I would be thrilled to get to know you as a listener and friend!

Also, if you’re looking to have a guest speaker, podcaster, or coach at your next event – please contact me – https://tamraandress.com/contact/

As always – The Pleasure Is All Mine!

FULL SHOW NOTES:

Episode 1: The Power of The Mind: A Silent Battle – With Morgan Hart

Tamra: We are here today with the lovely Morgan Hart who I am blessed to call a pastor. As well as one of my friends. And her story line mesh with mine. In the last 3 years she has seen me on my face bawling. She has seen me what feels like on the top of a mountain, just so excited about things that got us doing in my life. And she’s also seen me on all the days in between. And I’ve just even say cry and we don’t have tissues. They don’t look good on the table. I love it, but I am, she’s just one of my dearest friends and it has done so in such a short period of time. 

And I just believe that that is all God’s hands-on in each of our individual lives. And while she’s such a blessing to me, I hope and know that I returned that as much as I can. She’s taught me about friendship and what the true depths of friendship mean. And I’ll share a little bit about the fact that I feel like most of my twenties in there before I felt like I had a lot of very vapid friendships. And I would have never realized that I just was walking through life doing what I was supposed to do.

And I think that’s part of it. I was living off of expectations and perfection and achievement-driven mindsets. And when I met Morgan, I was in none of those spaces because I had tears rolling down my face and was flat in front of an altar. And so that’s a fun story in and of itself. But the point of us coming together isn’t necessarily for me to just share. I brought her here with the purpose of you guys and a part of my journey and our journey together. I’m excited for her to share what that looks like. So welcome. I love you. I love you so much. I know it’s okay. And that’s the live part. People on the podcast won’t hear that. That’s very true. So I think we could open up and just like I said, true authentic conversation. It’s not intended to be scripted.

That’s why she’s crying. I didn’t know what I was gonna say. I probably played it in my head a couple of times, but it just is what it is. And so I hope that as you’re listening, you can sense that authenticity and vulnerability. And Morgan has quite the testimony, both, well not both in all mind, body and soul components. So just kinda share a little bit about yourself. Oh, Jesus. I know. It’s like boom. It’s like, where do you start? 

Morgan Hart: Do you start like growing up or do you start, let’s see. So I’ll take it back to a teenager. Is that far enough? I like that. Okay. so well, I’ll go further than that. I guess didn’t grow up in the church. Not just, not because we didn’t, my parents didn’t believe, we just didn’t know. So my dad grew up in church, but he was kind one of those that was forced to go to church. I didn’t really have an option. So when it came time for him to leave home, he left it back behind him and didn’t go to church and didn’t introduce us to church. And you know, my mom’s side of the family, Nope. Nobody was religious. Nobody knew who Jesus was. So when I was about 16, I started going to a youth group, got saved. So I had a relationship with Christ and then backed away and met my husband when I was 17 at a lovely place called bodies

Tamra: So it’s a lovely nightclub for those. Awesome established.

Morgan Hart: We met in Virginia Beach, Virginia down on the oceanfront. So we met there and dated and then broke up. And then about 20, I think I was 20 or 21, God brought us back together. We got married and within our first year, so he was raised in the church. Pentecostal church. Dad’s a pastor, granddad’s a pastor, uncles, pastors. Great-Grandpa. I mean on both sides of his family. Everybody seems to be a pastor for some reason. So he knew what church was and I got saved in a Pentecostal church when I was 16, so I knew the religion, I knew the denomination. So we got married. Our first year of marriage was extremely rough. I was a super jealous person. How he stayed with me. I don’t know. He must love me that much cause I put him through hell yeah.

A lot of accusing accusations and that comes from past relationships. Not being treated and not, you know, being cheated on and stuff like that when I was growing up, so blah, blah blah. We went to a church called Parkway Christian center and from the first time we walked in we knew that it was home and we were there for 15 years. That is where all three of my children got baptized. All three of my children got saved. Where pretty much I recommitted myself to Christ. We both became pastors. They’re both who came, ministers and ordained ministers as well through that church. And it was a really cool time, but also a very, when I look back on those 15 years with that church, we grew a lot, but we also went through hell. And I think sometimes the enemy will do that when you’re tracking towards what you’re supposed to go through. Absolutely.

You want me to share my testimony now? Do you want me to wait for that?

Tamra: Okay, then I’ll talk about that then. Yeah. So, so lead into, because you haven’t shared like since Parkway, that’s three years. That’s, well, we kind of met a year before her last or second to last year before leaving. So what are you doing now?

Morgan Hart: Oh, well what has been an, I planted a church with Tamra and her husband and they were our team and it’s called the session. The session, I know it’s a different name for a church, but that’s what we’re called.

Tamra: And we have been told in the past that a session makes some people think of only one thing. And I feel like I’m able to say that with all the CBD and this kind of looks. It’s not, which think it is. Okay. But actually, a very amazing woman’s Christine Kane, if you are familiar with people in ministry, she is a voice to millions. And she shared a one on one conversation that that’s what it reminded her of, but she kind of vibe with it. And so that gave us such affirmation. So this session we will link it and all those good things.

Morgan Hart: Yeah. It’s a cute little RQ. It’s a cool home church. We’re small and quaint, but that’s what we wanted. We don’t want numb huge numbers. You don’t want to be this huge mega-church. That’s not who we want to be. It’s just a home and tamarind. Gary’s home, Soon to be in our homes is really weird. That’s another part of it. Another [God moment for sure. Yeah. And we’re doing that. And then two months ago we got asked to be kind of like interim pastors for a local church and test speak to help them through a time that they’re going through. Not permanent pastors. Just kind of being there as my husband calls it, foster parents to this church that definitely needs some love. So we’re there right now too, which is great

Tamra: A lot of that, a lot of that, a lot of now I’m not saying that’s not great. No, it’s amazing. It’s just there’s, I know a lot going on, a lot of moving pieces and I think that’s a part of a lot of people’s lives. It’s what we’re used to. We get so used to being busy that the option to not be busy sounds really intriguing, but it never actually happened.

Morgan Hart: No, I couldn’t imagine not, not being able, especially with kids. Oh yeah.Yeah. We have three children though. 

Tamra: Yeah, they’re cute. They’re rookie. They’re 12, 10 and eight. So I think from that in the Business of life can get overwhelming. But that’s the whole reason that I was drawn into the concept of like mind, body and soul alignment and like really finding peace. I was reached recently reading the Rachel Hollis book girl, stop apologizing. And I have, I always talk about this, like the concept of alignment. It’s really just what I feel is part of my calling and my mission to help share for women. 

When I came into my own spirituality, I realized that that was the missing link of my entire life. And also the mental health. I had never really understood it. It wasn’t really talked about. I had never been facing to face with something depressing or like truly depressing or something that was on my own shoulders of a failure in many different ways.

I feel like I was failing as a mom. I felt like I was failing as a wife and a friend and a daughter. And so, so many components, especially in like my businesses as well as the CEO. And that’s kind of a part of my testimony, but in that, that’s what I was able to meet the Lord. And that’s also when the Lord brought me Morgan. And so I just really truly believe that in the S the alignment of all of those things and in the busy there are like tokens of just beauty and joy and we have to slow down enough and realize how to do that. In order to find it. Cause I could have easily treated her like I’ve treated any friend in the past. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m a horrible friend.

I was a good friend. I’ve got some girls to do are my best friends still from a long time ago. Back you up on here. Yeah. And I cherish them wholeheartedly, but I feel like they too would understand and even have something to share in regards to what our friendship has developed into versus what it was. And I truly believe that that’s a part of my heart change. So Morgan on the concepts of health and the mental health component, I would love for you to share a bit about what that journey has been like for you.

Morgan Hart: That’s a long, deep plant, deep one.So I’m never growing up, I never dealt with depression. I’ve never dealt with anxiety. I never dealt with anything. I grew up with a sister. She won’t care if I say this, but she deals with anxiety. And it’s just been kind of a part of who she is most of her life. She’s just dealt with it. And she’s been an advocate for it. She definitely speaks out about it and how true it really is because some people just think it’s not real. I was one of those people for a long time. When we were at Parkway about 10 years in, I’ll say 10 years in, maybe less than that. I got offered the children’s pastor position and literally a week after that I was driving down the street going to get my children and I felt this overwhelming sense of like, I don’t even know how to describe the feeling.

You almost have to feel it understand, but I didn’t know what was going on. Like I had like tunnel vision. My vision was just blurry. I couldn’t really see much. My heart was just pounding like insane. Like, well, you think you’re dying. I remember pulling over on the side of the road, like, okay, Morgan, get you together. Like this is in the car. No, I was going to get them. Yeah, they weren’t in the car. So I like pulled over and I remember exactly where I was. I was for people who are listening, you’ve run it, but it’s in Chesapeake and it was over in Greenbriar Mall. And I remember pulling into the parking lot and I was just like, I almost wanted it down nine one one. Cause I thought I was like having a heart attack. I didn’t know what it was.

I called myself down and I get to my friend, my friend’s house who had my girls. Her name is Katie Reese lover. And I remember pulling in our house and like telling her my symptoms and, and then experiencing it again and then freaking out and not knowing what was going on. And I knew all I wanted to do was get home. So I remember just throwing the kids in the car and getting to the house and then talking to my husband about these feelings I was having. I feel like I’m having a heart attack. Let’s go to the ER. So I remember my mom coming over and she took the kids. 

So we went to the ER and that was like my first of like 10 trips to the ER with a month. They couldn’t find anything. And then I remember the last time just to kind of make me feel better. They let me stay overnight and I did like an EKG and then where they do the ultrasound on your heart, all that kind of stuff to figure out blood work and the stress test where you had to run on the treadmill. And at that time I was not in shape. So that was probably interesting to watch.

Morgan Hart: And so I remember the day I was laying in the hospital bed and it was like six o’clock in the morning and I had been up all night doing all these tests and the doctor comes in and he’s like, Morgan, there is nothing wrong with you physically. He said, your heart is perfect. There’s nothing like, we can’t find anything wrong. And I’m like, well, what the hell is wrong with me? And he’s like, you’re having anxiety. Like, he’s like, wow, that is exactly what’s you’re having. 

You’re having panic attacks. And I was like, what is that? I didn’t even know what they were. I mean, we’re at dealt with my sister having anxiety, but I never really saw her have like a panic attack, which I know she’s had him before. And I’m like, what in the world? And so I remember he’s like, make an appointment with your normal doctor.

Morgan Hart: So be in the Navy and Navy wife. You have to go see a primary care manager. You can’t even go see like an actual person I really needed to talk to without recommendations. So I remember walking into her office and she was immediately asking me all these questions. Do you feel happy? Do you feel sad? And most of it was sad and I didn’t realize it until I was answering those questions. I don’t know. 

Oh crap, I’m really not happy right now. And she just shoved some anti-depressant in my face, like didn’t even want to get to know what was wrong with me, what problems I had. And I remember going home and I’m like, I don’t even want to take, I never felt like I was supposed to take medicine for some reason. And so I remember going home, I took one and it made me feel really funky. Like I did not like the way I felt and I flushed the rest down the toilet. I don’t even know if that’s like.

Tamra: That’s what I did. I flushed the rest.

Morgan Hart: New toilet. I was like, I’m not having, I’m not taking medicine. And so once I started kind of standing up a little bit, it’s almost like when the enemy to me came stronger. I started having anxiety about being by myself. And I remember one time my husband had to leave for work and I was literally on the floor holding onto his leg, crying hysterically for him not to leave cause I’m like, I cannot be by myself. Yeah. 

And then within like two months, I started having thoughts because I was like, there’s my kids, my husband, my family is better off cause I was in bed if I had got, I forgot to say that I didn’t get out of bed for about a month. I lost 30 pounds in a month. I looked like death warmed over, like I did not look good. And then finally I got to the point of like, well, why the hell do I need to, why do I need to live like this? I’d rather just be gone. Like, there’s no point. Like me, there’s no need for my kids to see me this way. I’m sorry, I get emotional. I need tissues.

Tamra: Clearly I need to add that to her.

Morgan Hart: You need to write that down and my tissues. And I remember the lowest part of that journey. So that lasted like three months of just having, I didn’t tell anybody. Nobody knew the thoughts that were going on in my head. I was still a children’s pastor at that point. I still went to church on Sundays. That was the only time I got out of bed. Nobody knew at church cause you being a pastor, I can’t show any weakness, which is total crap. Which I’m learning now that we’re just as normal people like everybody else. And then I remember the lowest of lows was when, and my husband uses it sometimes when he’s talking to money. He did it a few months ago when he first started preaching at TCC. Just talking about knowing who you are and knowing the people that you love.

And even my husband didn’t even know this stuff. Like I was so afraid to tell him because I’m like if he knows what’s going on inside of my head, is there going to lock me? Like they’re going to put you away. So the lowest point of that was, I remember my family was like in the den watching TV or they were the kitchen eating dinner. I can’t remember. But they were literally on the other side of the wall. And I was in the bathroom on my knees with a razor in my hand, like seconds from like just, and my family was in the other room. Like that just seems insane to me. When I look back on it, I’m like, how could you and then I remember like screaming out to God, like, this is it. Like if you are real, that was how I was.

Cause I was experiencing unbelief at that time cause I was like, why am I going through this if you are real, give me a set. Like give me a reason to put this razor down and I could literally feel this warmth. It’s so crazy when I say it, but this warmth around me. And I heard the words, I got you. Sorry. and I knew I was going to be okay and I dropped the razor and just cried. And I think I screamed for Anthony at that point. And he came in there and I don’t, I don’t think he never saw the razor cause he never knew about the razor until I gave the testimony one time. I don’t think, I don’t know why I never told him but and I remember that was the day that I truly like I was a pastor and I was a believer, but at that moment like I felt God more than I have ever felt my entire life.

And it took me, I’m not saying that was the day that I was completely healed cause I didn’t cause it still went on for months, even a year, technically three years later or six years later. And I took my first car trip by myself. Crazy cause you were afraid to be in the car. I was afraid to because of my first anxiety, the panic attack was while I was driving. And my girls like from high school know that I love to drive. Like that is my thing. And I used to drive to Florida. I used to drive out to Tennessee. 

So I love to drive and I love to ride by myself and like the enemy took that away from me. And so like six years, six years. And I’d finally took like a three-hour drive with my children. And I remember coming back to the session that night and I was like but that was like, so that’s six years later and I feel like I completely have stepped out on the other side. But yeah, it’s, it’s been an interesting journey. Journey.

Tamra: It’s wild that our minds are such a battlefield. Oh, totally. That we, we often fight ourselves. I mean, once you give yourself anything or the enemy passes it to you or a stranger or something that you see, our minds just have this crazy ability to just like work in supersonic speed, especially as women. We never shut it off. And when it’s anything negative, it just, it will you and to the point that it overtakes your body and that as the component of the mental and physical and connecting those two is, is insane to me because I too have experienced being in a place of utter fear. I didn’t, again, I didn’t, I still don’t really pinpoint them as anxiety attacks, but that’s exactly what they were. Yeah. Mine would happen in the middle of the night to the point I would be in bed and my entire body would be convulsing and Gary would just like, hold me, I was freezing or then hot.

And I was like, what’s the purpose? Why, why am I here? And that was three years ago. So that’s, you know, not that long ago. And this, it’s not in the ability of us by ourselves to get through moments like that. And why I think it’s so critical that we surround ourselves with people who are outpouring true love all the time. Because I could have easily turned in to all of the people that were, we’re providing support in the wrong ways at that time. And I remember, go ahead. I was gonna say it’s so easy to focus on then, not the future. Like 100%. All you focus on is like, why am I not, they’re gonna stay like this. Yeah. And I have, this was the same. I have two little babies and me always to this day and I said it, you know, in the pilot just saying like I know it was so purposed that I had them before all of that happened because I really believe I would have moved forward and however I decided I didn’t have a choice at that point or a concept really.

It just constantly went through my brain, my brain of what if I have friends who have walked through this. I have family members who have walked through this and it is petrifying and you feel no matter how many people are around you, you feel completely isolated who you are talking about, you know, being within a church community who is supposed to be like your family. You had been there for 10 years at this point. 

Even your husband, especially your children are all being shielded from what’s inside. And I think now after coming through that you do realize the importance of being upfront with your emotions, good, bad, ugly, whatever it is. The moment I’m able to release those to anybody. Or it could just be a feeling I’m feeling when I’m conversating with someone. I feel so much more free than I did for 29 years.

It’s crazy. It’s really insane. And I, and I used to think like, how could life get that bad? Like honestly. Yeah. Why? Cause I never understood so like the suicide, suicidal thoughts and all that kind of stuff. But now that, I mean, it’s totally real and I’ve been able to help so many people. I think, and you know, we always talk about like that there’s purpose even within the hard times of our lives. And it’s always hindsight is 20, 20 and you can comprehend it at that point. 

But I just like, I had my children, I feel like we now have so much empathy for people and I don’t believe you can truly walk into a pastoral role without having that UN divided empathy for people to know. And in, you just got the word the other day from Julian, from Jay’s mom saying like, never change your heart because the way that you feel for people, people like you just break into tears immediately when suddenly somebody says anything the third time that they’ve been spoken over me as I remember at awakening.

The Tori Marcel, who’s amazing, told me that he said, you know, you, you look at your heart as a weakness. You look at your kindness as a weakness and your softness as a weakness and you’ve been trying to build a way up so you’re not so soft and kind. And you know, your heart is not that way. He said, but God’s like, I may do that way. You’re made that way for our purpose. And sometimes it sucks being that way cause it’s like you feel stepped on and you and I feel, I feel people’s feelings a lot and it and sometimes it can, it can mess with me and I have to, now that I’m realizing that God has made me that way for a purpose, to be able to have that empathy for people. I’ve been able to not let it infiltrate info habits in my mind.

Yeah, I can totally hear that. Yeah. It’s like it, you feel it but then you’re able to help and release versus, I mean, I don’t know how counselors do it. I don’t either. No. Did the amount of information that I download on my therapist on a weekly basis for the last three years, which by the way, don’t judge therapy if you’ve never done it. Couples, individuals, whatever. I 1000% recommended. I think it should be a prerequisite if you’re a human and absolutely if you’re an American. It is, it’s been amazing. But when I think about all of the things that I told her in a given hour and then that she sees all those people and she’s so empathetic and sweet and kind and like, I don’t know how she releases it. I work in admin at an elementary school, private school.

And I feel like that’s counseling when these parents come in and they’re like telling me about how amazing their child is and they just need a safe place and a home for their kids. I’m like, yes, yes, we can do this for you. But I had the saying said recently and I will probably never forget it and most likely live by it was that not to change my heart, but to think in my skin. Yeah, and that really helped. Yeah. It really helped me just gain perspective in that area. Exactly. Because it, I get my heartbroken a lie, I get disappointed and you know, my husband is very keen on the concept and the discussion around expectations and how if you set expectations, they’re likely always not going to be met most, most often. And it’s just like assumption makes an asset of you and me.

It’s like expectation. I need to come up with something out of you and me because I’m going to be disappointed. After all, you’re not going to reach them. Just like I’m not going to reach my own expectations of myself. Something’s always going to go ride because I’m not in control. He is and my storyline isn’t his. Even though I’d really like to know I want the book, I want the pages right, and we all do, but we don’t know. And then when we’re hit with something hard and heartbreaking, we’re trying to figure it all out and I am number one in this and always trying to take control and like fix and maneuver and situate even out of love. But God sometimes just wants us to just throw up our hands and release it. And it basically sounds like in similar moments of our lives when we finally were just like, all right, I don’t have any more ability to control and I can’t possibly live like this anymore.

Yeah. What are you going to do for me? Honestly, if God was like, okay, here you go. Here’s the timeline of your life, what you’re going to go through if you do this, if you do this, we would bolt the other way 100% even things I’m going through right now, I’m like, I’m like, no, that’s not my life. No, that isn’t happening. No, that’s not true. I will tell you, and I can’t give away all of the details because it might be my next book for who knows, but it is, it’s a shit storm constantly with things going on in my family and it’s heartbreaking. And yet I have all these amazing things happening at the same time. So we live these symbiotic lives of social media versus what happens behind closed doors. And my heart is really been changed to shed light on that and to give people hope that, yeah, I smile a lot.

It’s actually not always a good thing. It’s a defense mechanism that I put on for other people so that they don’t see that. But I also cry and I’ve also been able to be so vulnerable with people who have come alongside me on this journey and who are willing to, they’re willing to take the razor and, and never ever let you have that thought again because they’re constantly in your presence, not physically, but mentally and emotionally and even spiritually. And I’m just grateful. I’m grateful to you that you were there. And my times even without really knowing everything that I was going through. And I think that’s something that says a lot about you and Anthony, that you guys were a constant, even when you weren’t expected to be and you didn’t need to be and you didn’t know anything, you just stayed. And I don’t know if you don’t have people in your life that haven’t stayed, look for them because they do exist.

You guys stayed with us. I know they literally stayed with us too by the way. They were in a transition move, move from their old church to what will now the old church. But the church leaving and stepping out in faith to plant their own and they just felt called to Virginia Beach. So they lived with us for a month. Yeah. And then finally interested and now we’re about to move into y’alls house while y’all move out. Those are the guidelines that like when you write it out, you’re like only God, only God. And when you write it all out, they all line-up. Like one thing has positioned for the next thing to happen. 100% it’s so crazy. 100% and during it you’re like, why is this happening? And it doesn’t make any sense. And then when you look back on it, it’s like it makes complete.

Friends, so be sure to invite them to, when’s the last time you had an all-girl sleepover? Remember, the rabbit room now space is limited, but I really truly can’t wait to see you there. It made me think like when you were talking before about like that mirror moment and I’ve actually personally had one myself and it wasn’t what I shared last week, but this was, I actually couldn’t brush my teeth in front of the mirror for a month. Wow. And so, and I didn’t time it, I wasn’t like, Oh, 30 days and counting. It was not, it was not something I wanted to do. But I couldn’t face myself. I remember the moment where I stopped doing it and I was looking in the mirror and I was just bawling, crying because I had no idea who I was. And I had so many things from the outside looking in that I, people would’ve been like, Oh my gosh, she’s so blessed.

She has, she deserves, I thought I deserved everything that I had. And when it came to the point of being like it being stripped from me or me choosing to let go of it, knowing that it wasn’t who I wanted to be, I couldn’t face myself because I had no idea who I was. And last night actually just having a conversation with some women from the core and telling them this and saying, you know, I remember my husband sitting across from me outside on our patio and saying, what are your passions? We had been together for four years, married at that point, seven years, almost eight years collective and I felt like I was having a conversation with a stranger, not only him being a stranger but myself and I could not tell you what my passions were that were a part of my purpose. There’s a difference of I like to go to the beach, I like to work out, I do all those things.

I like to eat, I like a lot of things, but what? What am I meant to do? And so just like I had to rid myself of stuff and actual tangible things everyone knows about Marie Kondo nowadays, I minimized through the minimalist Netflix show two and a half years ago. So to me, that was the first Marie condos and that’s two guys and I’m watching that show. We got rid of so much stuff, but simultaneously we had just broken down the walls of our home, which now hosts our church, which is now going to host the church continued as you guys move into that space. But I feel like so often the reason we’re limited in that mirror is that we’re, we have too many other filters in front of us. There are too many other things that I can look at and say I’m deserving of this.

I’m a type three. I have achieved since I was four years old. I remember doing it from gymnastics all the way into church settings. And feeling like, Oh, if I’m the lead worship leader. Yeah, that’s a funny story. I’ve never told Morgan. I used to be on the microphone for a young life and I can barely sing. So I won’t give you an example like Morgan did last week, but I thought, Oh, I’m deserving of this and I wanted the limelight and this experience as I’ve grown into a ministry.

I so much like I was so hesitant to put my name on my business card and I remember Morgan and I have like an all-out fight for a couple of weeks, she was like, it’s so good. This is what I want you to have. And I had a really, really hard time doing it to this day when I see it like, Oh gosh, I wish it was something else because it’s not about me anymore. And that’s where you come to the mirror when you know I’m not coming as Tamar Lee Andrus, I’m coming as a child of God and that’s where we’re deserving. So I hear from you. And I think that it’s so powerful for us to strip away the things that are limiting and blocking us from actually seeing who we are in the mirror.

Morgan Hart: And you talked about that Maria [inaudible] about how you release the stuff and we go through that stuff. I think where we stop and what’s even more dangerous sometimes is internal that we don’t do that. So the perspective that we have, cause as you talked about those masks, that perspective that other people have, whether we like it or not, whether it’s good or not is a mask because they don’t see what goes on behind that. I think about the wizard of Oz, like Dorothy and all of them saw this big powerful man and that’s what everybody knew him as. But when they didn’t see us behind the curtain, it was all smoking mirrors. He still had a position and authority and all this stuff, but he was actually working harder to maintain this facade of all this power when, if he could have just opened the door and said, this is who I am and yeah, I’m the wizard, but I have no real power that you would think.

And that’s okay. So many times we maintain this facade and we try to keep this thing up with smoke and mirrors. And what you do is just becoming empty curtains and lights and all this stuff. But there’s no depth to you. There’s nothing. And when you get to the end of you, like that’s where that as you empty more and more of your time and energy and all this stuff, when you get to the interview, you’re just exhausted and you have nothing else to give. That’s when you give up and in everything in your family and all that stuff. So you to find things that fill you up. And I think you talked about the working out and all that stuff. If you’re doing it too, for other people to see you have a nice body and if you’re look doing it for your beach bod, flip the script.

Don’t do it anymore. But if you’re doing it to make yourself healthy, to be a better mom, to be a better wife, then that’s what it’s about is finding your purpose behind all of this. And you know, I think that’s why marriage has failed so many times is because we lose our focus on the why behind it. You need that person as much as they need you. We live in a society today where it’s all individualistic. Don’t need anybody. You know what? I need somebody. I need my wife and I can’t mess this thing up because she makes me better. I’ve learned that. Does she do we argue sometimes? Sure that she challenged me and she makes me upset sometimes. Sure. Go riding with her and let her drive you around and she’ll, or actually, it’s worse when I’m driving and she’s on her phone and God, I love you, Morgan.

You’re listening. But man, that’s the little stuff that makes so much of the little stuff when those people contribute to us. Yeah. You know, one of the things when we come up with a session, we really tried to figure out what it was, but in the midst of all the questions and all that, the one thing that’s always stood is our kind of our mode, our motto or tagline. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to be better and love you when you’re not. That’s life. 

If you’re not doing that, if you don’t have people who constantly challenge you to be better. Not making you feel bad because you’re not talking down to you, not walking away when you slip and fall, but truly challenging. You just take a step when you can’t even crawl, but then loving you and you don’t, and nursing you back to health when you’re broken and picking you up. And maybe even taking that step with you walking back a couple of steps to pick you up to help you walk. So many times we surround ourselves with ambitious people and those are the people who aren’t even willing to come to help you up when they need to because their stuff’s in the way and they’re so focused on where they’re trying to go that they miss neglect you.

Tamra: That’s so true. It also makes me think about the fact of like like the challenge of making yourself a better person because oftentimes you can be stuck in a situation where they’re complacent. They like who you are. And this is something that’s really a part of my testimony is that they would rather me be who I was than who I’m becoming. And you have to release that because there are going to be people who are a part of certain seasons for a certain reason. Maybe they’re even in your family, but they would rather you just stay stuck and, and when you start to get healthy and when you start to make the decisions that, no, this isn’t the life I’m going to lead. This isn’t the who of who I am. 

And I’m definitely not being the who’s that I am that they don’t like it. So that, let’s talk about that video that you shared the other day. Trent, do you remember his last name? Blank. Oh, we’re going to share this video in conjunction with this podcast and this, this guy is just got, I don’t even know if he’s a pastor. I think he’s just a, I called it a ministry because he’s helping change lives, but he was talking into this very concept and you want to elaborate?

Morgan Hart: Yeah. It was effectively not everyone’s your friend. And I think this in the church, we can lose sight of that sometimes because we feel like we’re called to love everybody. And then when somebody lets us down or something, then it’s almost like a slight from God. Like, Oh, you’re not being a good enough Christian at that person that loves you. I know you struggled, in your family. Not being able to be like the voice to help them overcome some things in their life. And I think all of us have to realize that you’re not called to everybody. You’re called to love everybody, but you may not get that in return. And just that whole video really opened my eyes to the, in just a couple of things he said was sometimes the one you love, the ones you love the most will value you the least.

That was mind-boggling because it’s so true. We, we come up and it goes back to these titles and these things that we haven’t earned, but we wear it because that’s what society says we are and who we are. And that’s the people we look to validate us. And when you don’t receive validation from them, you’re invalidated. So true, and it’s scary. And that’s why you gotta be careful with who you surround yourself with. There are people, just like you said a while ago, that love you being trapped with them in their mess. People love a good pity party. If you don’t believe it, go look on Facebook. Go on Facebook tomorrow and just make up a situation that you’re going through. Everybody in their brother’s going to jump in there. Oh, I cannot believe he did that to you. Girl. This is more ladies on here.

So this day, girl, you cannot believe what he said to me last night before you knew. And that’s what happens in relationships all the time. You have a fight with your husband and you take it to work. You take it to school, you take it wherever, man, you ladies will jump up, own it. And before you know it, you are walking back into that house after work with just a Lotus stank and you’re just filled up with all these weapons and you’re ready to go back in there and you ain’t more no more worried about restoring that relationship. You’re worried about being right, being validated. No, I was the right person. I was right. Everybody told me, and we talked about that a little bit earlier today is so many times when we are trying to find restoration in broken marriages there’s healing individually that why for that husband goes and they get help in their areas of focus, which has to happen.

There has to be personal healing. But at that moment, you can’t bring two corrected beings back and try to coexist in a marriage that’s still broken. You’ve got to have somebody that’s invested in you, but there has to be somebody that invest in y’all. Absolutely. And you come together saying, okay, we’re fixed, but now our marriage is still broke. They’ve still broken pieces to what we’ve always known, the way we’ve always talked to each other, the way we’ve communicated to our kids in front of our kids, all of those things and saying, we’ve got to fix those together. I can’t fix them individually. I can say what I’m going to do, but it is a two-sided event, so you have to come together and say, where have we been messing this thing up? And it’s friendships too. And there were friendships that they were friends that are just stuck where they’re at and they’re okay with it.

And when you try to get better, you try to better yourself. Now they start comparing their selves to you and Oh, Tamar is just trying to be better than me. I knew who you were and they will continually try to tell you who you were and where you’ve come from. Don’t tell me who you are right now. I know where you are, I know what you’ve done. But if you have forgiven yourself, those people can’t hold you to that anymore if the people you’ve wronged. I think that’s something we miss too is the people you’ve wronged. You may need to go apologies to them, but there are so many people that make you aware of these titles and they had no stake in it at all other than being a third party that witnessed it. And then that becomes the definition of you. If I’ve wronged somebody, I need to go to that person and receive forgiveness. But at that moment we walk away from it. I don’t care what you think. If you saw that event it’s the same way with God the things that we’ve done in our past. Once you get forgiveness from him, if he’s forgiving you, then that’s it. You won’t have to wear that stuff.

Tamra: And that’s where like the validation component comes as we live in a society that we feel the need to be validated, whether it’s from our spouse, whether it’s from our friends, whether it’s from our family, but only one validates. And that’s the only space in place and heart that you need validation from. And while you shouldn’t stand saying, Oh, I can do all of these things. When you are validated by God and you are walking out who you are supposed to be and who he intended for you to be, you’re walking out in love. And therefore all you can do is act and be in love. And just like you said, I don’t, I shouldn’t have to daily have to go back to remind. I love you. Just so you know. I love you. Just so you know, I love you. Hey, just in case you forgot, I love you.

We just have to be love and not always have to say it. Cause some people aren’t receiving your words and while they may not also be receiving your actions, they see it. And that’s all that, you know, as a person, I try to do on a daily basis regardless of what, who I’ve wronged or things that I’ve done in the past. But not wearing, again, not wearing titles because I could mask a bunch of titles on my name tag and some I proudly own and some I’d sadly and shamefully own. But that’s a part of my testimony. It’s not a part of who I am, right?

Morgan Hart: Expectations a big one. Anytime we do something for someone else, there’s always an expectation that’s connected to it. And when we don’t get that expectation in return, it makes us question, well, why did I even do it in the first place? I think that’s the, you know, the Bible talks about not returning void. I think when we give love to somebody, it doesn’t say that that’s going to be returned from that person, but we’re giving out of a heart that I know that I’m going to receive something because it’s been, it’s been positive. 

I mean, it’s been promised to me. I just preached the sermon series on the importance of sewing. I think so many times in the church, especially, we, focus on reaping. We’re promised to re I think yes, are promised to read, but we are called to. So because the Bible talks about it, whatever you sow, you will reap. So we go around this life expecting someone to love us, but we’re not sewing love. If there’s no love in your marriage, it’s because you’re not planning it. Look at your relationships. Look internally, if you don’t love yourself,

Tamra: Just going there like it’s all about self-love because that is where the overflow comes.

Morgan Hart: Yes. And it’s not self-love just to get what you think you deserve. It is self-love because God made you that way. God made you different. I just had a little girl that comes to the session. She said she went to church the other morning and somebody called her stupid. Or you’re at all the time with kids. Especially though, because kids care can be really hard to be different because there’s an expectation that everybody’s going to look like the same act, the same. 

And why is that? Because parents are all dressing them the same and there’s an expectation when the one stands out and does something different. God forbid you’re the parents that let your kid color their hair or wear something. Oh my gosh. Then you stand out and you stand to be different and suddenly you start wearing these labels that even as a child they put on you.

So the self-love is loving who you’ve been made to be loving the way you visualize things, the way you think about stuff. If I’m an over-thinker to a fault, I’ll spend 45 minutes standing in the deodorant aisle. Why can’t they just have two options? Maybe just one. And I’m like, Ooh, I like this scent, but I’ve bored this one three times in a row now is it going to lose its ability to keep their wife crazy? I do. It’s bad. Like I’ll go, I’m, I have the heart to give. There are so many times I’ve walked into a store and I’m like, Ooh, I want to get Morgan something. So I go look at it and like, then I started doing risk versus award. Well, what if she doesn’t like it? Eh, I don’t know if I want to waste the money when I could just ask her what she wants or take her to get something and then I just walk out of the store that getting or something and then she’d like, you just don’t ever think of him as that girl. You don’t know how much I think about you. I just don’t see the reward because I’m too busy overthinking what I think you deserve. But it’s, that’s life.

Tamra: It is. But I feel like the concept of everything from where we started when we could talk for hours about all of these things is that like the self-love component of your entire being, not just your physical being, but your mental being and spiritual being comes with identifying who you are, releasing who you are not or who you were. And then as you have access to, you know, what God has given you, that it doesn’t become excess. Right. That’s literally the nutshell of everything we just talked about. And I, I’m just, I’m thankful that I have you as a mentor and a friend. You, I remember the moment I stood across from you, it was an out of body experience. I had just read this book and I was interested in potentially joining this year-long burn 24, seven programs. And I was like, yeah, I don’t think I’m going to do it.

And you just said, why? And I remember just standing there and like staring at you and like, Oh my gosh, he really wants me to answer this question and I can think of a thousand reasons. And I knew that none of them had validity, that none of them were the true why. I was afraid of what I would uncover. I was afraid, of investing in something, not knowing what I was going to get in return. And so I did it mainly because you were my big brother at the time and I’m like, dang it, he’s expecting me to do this. I did it. Well, I did it so well and it became like a turning point for me and yeah, and set me on the journey of, you know, becoming a pastor myself. But again, not wanting to claim that title just because I’m so intrigued by people and like wanting to share from my own testimony. So I thank you for being an example to me and just being here today and I know that it won’t be the last cause people are going to be eager to hear more of your heart.

Morgan Hart: It’s just been amazing to see your growth. I’m going to finish with that. I’m the exclamation point on this fit and faith because like you said I saw the broken. That’s the first time I met you. That’s, that was the first snapshot. When we met you and Gary was this brokenness. And now to see that there are still fragments there. That’s what’s amazing is God doesn’t take this and make it beautiful and restore everything. What he takes are these broken pieces that you took and that you feel invalidating that can never be used again. 

And he slowly begins to reposition them and put things in places that you didn’t think even belonged there. And before you know it, you’re broken. This is beautiful because he has this greater perspective of who you are. So yes, you don’t have to wear that title pastor, but there are women on the other end of this podcast and even men, I think that may never call you that, but that’s what you’re doing.

You’re pastoring, you have the heart to care for people, to shepherd them, to usher them through life, to help them not have to make the same mistakes you did. I think that’s, that’s the legacy you’re leaving out. That’s the tie. That’s what legacy is. Legacy is me preparing you so you don’t have to fight the same battles I fought again. It’s so you can walk out of my shoulders and be better than I am. That’s what all of our purposes should be for our kids, for everybody that comes after us. 

So I think that’s the purpose of this fit and faith podcast is you’re going to have voices in here for health, for spiritual, physical, all of those things. And it’s so that you don’t have to relearn lessons. The hard lessons that we had to learn. Again, when you embrace your identity and who you’ve been, and then you just get these weapons from all these people, you’re ready to walk out and just fight some major battles.

Like I always think about this. I’m going to go super Bible on you for a minute. David, when he had to fight Goliath-like he walked into this camp and saw who was the King at the time and his whole big bad army, they had all these weapons, the swords and all this armor and all that stuff. And they could not win this battle. They’d won so many battles. But this was the one thing they couldn’t do. And then saw when he meets David Davis, like, I’ll go fight him. 

And they, I was like, okay, well you need to wear this armor. You need to pick this sorta. Here’s how you swing it. And he’s like showing him how to fight the way he fought. And David’s like, Nah man, this ain’t even comfortable. Let me go get a couple of stones. I’m gonna go pick up my stones. That has way more meaning if you think about it. And what he had learned to fight within a field with his sheep, he’d killed a bear. He killed a lion.

So what you’re fighting right now, these small battles you’re fighting on the other end of this podcast, on the other end of this camera, hold onto those weapons. Don’t tell. Don’t let somebody invalidate your small weapon cause you’re learning to fight a battle that they can’t fight. You’re learning to fight a battle. They’re not called to fight. You have a purpose in your inner being. You were made individually with a purpose. God did not make a bunch of robots. He made you for a purpose. And it is his desire. Nothing more than to propel you into it and to give you

Things along the way that are going to challenge you and grow you and sometimes hurt. But when you hit your pinnacle and you hit your moment, you will be prepared. And man cannot tell you that you are not. Titles will not tell you that you are. It’s the moment you walk in. You know that a shadow of a doubt. I’ve been called for this moment and I’m just going to kill it.

Tamra: So good. So, so good. I do agree with all of it. I can’t think I can say any more amens over here. I’m just like, you can’t see me on the podcast. So like, yes, it’s so good. So I hope that you pulled some incredible nuggets from today. I’m excited to have Anthony on again in the future. If you want to connect with him, you can do so on Instagram at a dot. Heart seven, five, seven. And also if you want to in-person come, if you’re in Hampton roads, we would love to have you come out to our home for the session. You can follow us on social media and you’ll get the address. You can also go out to the Greenbrier community church where he and his wife are pastoring currently. Beyond that, it was great. I love you. Thank you.

Morgan Hart: Love that. Come see us. Come hang out with us. If you don’t have a church if you don’t have a village,

Tamra: Yeah, if you don’t have a tribe, a family,

Morgan Hart: We have two opportunities. If you need church, Greenbrier, community, church, we’d love for you to come to hang out with us on Sundays. I’m as weird and goofy on stage as I am not, that’s just who I am. I am. I don’t, I went cammo today. I am a shoe guy to a fault. So, but I do kick my red shoes a lot. If you need a village though, and you want something a little different than what church has been the session, we just sit around and we talk and we ask questions. And it’s a group of people who there’s no judgment until you get to a place where you’re open to it. When you’re like, man, I need to be held accountable in this.

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