Dirty Details: A Marriage Healed – With Karissa Sprinkle

If you haven’t already heard me talk about, post about, or share about the She Speaks Conference…now’s your chance to hear it through the words of another horses mouth! Not that I’m calling the beautiful Karrissa Sprinkle a horse…though I love horses…ok I’ll stop rambling and get to the juicy stuff.

This conference isn’t just about writing or speaking. It’s about community. It’s about women relating on deep levels. Cutting directly past the…how do I say this is a nice Christianly manner…the honky tonk…and going right for the heart.

We all have a story. We all have a testimony. We all have a right to share. And frankly we ALL have a declaration to share, not just the 800 women that were in the room and the tens of thousands of women who streamed the conference to their churches or homes. Your story carries weight, worth, and purpose. It’s different than any other persons and it is enough to create impact in the kingdom….

Are you bold enough to share?

Y’all this is more than ministry – this is life – and as you know – life is hard and very imperfect. Even when church is involved. Karissa shares about infertility, marriage, friendships, guilt in motherhood, grief, love, and loss.

Her ability to empower boldness is done in such elegance. I admire her strength and grace. Since our time on the live podcast together, Karissa and her husband have come out with the truth in their marriage…what happened and all of the details in between.

Marriage

This may cause discomfort. This may cause triggers. This may cause worry. But ultimately the goal is to cause ACTION and RELEASE. Tune in to the uncovering of her story – then pop over to her blog for more nitty gritty details.

Connect with her here:

Personal:

https://www.facebook.com/karissa.sprinkle

Business:

https://www.facebook.com/karissasprinkleblog/

http://www.karissasprinkle.com/

FULL SHOW NOTES:

Dirty Details with Karissa Sprinkle

Tamra:

So I’m so excited to introduce you guys to Karissa. We’ve known each other for a year, but really only via social media. We met at the conference last year briefly, and you meet so many people and it’s like, what’s your story? You dive deep so fast, so you connect with people in a different way. And I was talking about this yesterday about how important revelation is that I forget people’s names all the time. I’m horrible at names. And so I remember people based on my experience with them and if somebody shares something deep with me, I usually like, Oh, this is that.

And whether it’s a really great thing or it’s something they shared with me in confidentiality, I’m able to pray over that person in such a different way. I’m able to just be with them more because it’s deeper than just, Hey, I’m from Indiana. How about, Oh you have family there? Cool. And then that’s it. So I’m excited for people to hear portions of your story. Why are you here? What does “She speaks” mean to you? And just all the things, tell me all the things.

Karissa:

Ok, my goodness. So many things. Do I look at you?

Tamra:

Either way, wherever you feel called. If you feel like you need to talk to them because I know… That’s great.

Karissa:

Well, I came last year because I just felt like God had started conjuring up this passion to write about hardship and hard things and uncomfortable things. And life’s been just really, really crazy. So back way up we got married, my husband and I got married 10 years ago. And it was maybe, I don’t know, few years in we decided we wanted to start having kids and it just didn’t go at all how we thought. So we found out we both had issues. It was going to take a long time. So we ended up going through several years and lots of procedures, IUI’s that didn’t work. So we were just on the rise of something that was so painful, so it was a very long drawn out thing. But we ended up doing four rounds of IVF and after four rounds of IVF and a miscarriage, I finally got pregnant.

So I now have a two and a half-year-old daughter. She’s almost three. But during the infertility season, my husband was on staff at our church. He was in the ministry creative arts director. He would teach, sometimes do music. But fertility was really, really rough. Ministry was really, really rough. So I’m going to be sharing on the blog actually a few weeks just kind of how our marriage started to crumble as a result of everything that went on. So infertility was rough. Our marriage just totally fell apart and my insecurities blew up, my self-esteem plummeted. There were just so many things going on at once. And I think the biggest thing that I’ve realized is that this is like all of us. I think it’s so weird.

Tamra:

Yes, that’s part of the sisterhood.

Karissa:

Yes, this is all of us. And so I think my passion and my heart for writing and what I share is to sort of unify everyone in our pain cause it’s everywhere.

Tamra:

And marriages, that’s what we were talking is that there’s this umbrella of like, Oh marriage issues and there are so many different pockets that fall under neat that. But the heart, the emotion is all the same. So that’s the part that if we can connect there, we can create this bond and understanding of like, let me not just love you, let me support your marriage. And it is so imperative for us to not have people who advocate for us individually but who advocate for us as husband and wife. Because under our covenant we are one and yet so often we’re pulled in these separate directions by the world and that was never God’s intent. Like he’s like you leave in cleave, from your family for a reason and you’re supposed to be together in everything that you do thereafter.

And of course, we have our separate passions and our separate pursuits and things like that. But it’s easy, especially in the hardship of something like that so deep like infertility for you to lose yourself. For you to lose like “Why are we together?” “What are we fighting for?” “Why is she crazy?” Because she wants a baby, like what’s going on. But speak to like how the infertility journey for you has attacked your femininity, about being a woman or your body image.

Karissa:

Wow. And I was in a weird place too where I’m literally in my friend circle. Everyone was just having babies on accident, on their first try. My closest two best friends were just having babies like crazy. And so I think I just felt left out of this club and there are so many things about parents and motherhood and motherhood is wonderful. And now that I’m on the other side of it, it is wonderful and to be celebrated and I celebrate it whole-heartedly. But when you’re not a part of it, you really feel like you’re just out of this club and there’s no way to get into it. It’s so out of control, you just can’t make it happen. And so yeah, I felt like I’ve struggled with depression during that time cause it is like desiring to be a mother is such a core part of many of us, not for everyone but for many of us. And so it really felt like I was missing something by not being able to do that.

Tamra:

So like the mental attack there. And then I know the physical attack because you’re taking like what shots hormones? All the things with that.

Karissa:

Yes! My weight was going all over the place, my emotions were going all over the place and you’re trying to like have a healthy marriage and do the rest of your life really healthy. But I think one of the biggest things that I would describe about infertility is that you’re constantly grieving someone who you’ve never met. And it’s such hidden grief. People don’t see it. You know, if your mom dies, people are like, “Oh my word, I’m so sorry. I’ll bring you food”. We’ll have a funeral we’ll do all this. But if you’re grieving a baby you’ve never got to meet, It’s so hidden. And so you’re just walking around with this constant sorrow and it’s hard to explain to people.

Tamra:

And there are babies everywhere (10:35 cross-talking) so you’re constantly triggered by all of it. Wow, that’s really hard. I had a girlfriend who recently has inspired me that has gone into like the young living oils. And the reason she did that was because of infertility and it was like she, you know, I won’t tell her testimony but I’ll tag her here. Brittany’s amazing, but to see like what people do in that grief and you can handle it so many different ways, right? Both negatively and positively and God wants to use all the things that pass through his fingers as good and he will.

But it’s a matter of releasing that for him versus taking ownership of the fact that like, that’s part of your identity. It’s not a part of your identity. God never claimed you as an infertile being. That’s not his intent. And yet, I know and understand that some people do have medical things of why they can’t get pregnant and there’s a purpose behind that too. But I know from the heart of his creation of woman, that’s not his plan.

Karissa:

It’s so true. And I think that reminded me of something. I’m going to post a blog very soon about the transition from infertility to motherhood, it was really, really tricky. And so that identity of that label of feeling infertile, if you’ve known it for so many years, it was weird. When I had a baby, it was like not real because I still felt infertile. And then I would go and hang out with all these other moms and we were just talking mom stuff and I’m like, I literally for a while was like, I don’t feel like I belong here. And then you kind of have this survivor’s guilt of like I’m betraying all of my infertile community that I went through the trenches with. So it was a weird thing to learn how to release that and let it go and fully embrace motherhood to say, now I am a mother, I was also infertile. But neither of those are who I really am.

Tamra:

Right. And I mean that’s a whole identity piece in and of itself and like the labels that we carry and the titles that we hold. And having to shed those and just own the fact that we’re daughters of the King as our priority title. And so this weekend we go through and we pass out like hundreds of business cards. Right? And I had a really hard time creating my business card last year, not because of the marketing, like the concept thing. I’m really good at marketing things and my girlfriend, designed fanatic. But she wanted to put my face on the card and I was so against it. I was like having gut problems, like literally gut problems with it. I felt so much anxiety about it. And she’s like, Tamra, you are a part of your brand. Like without you, the brand doesn’t exist. I’m like, yeah, but like it feels conceded. It feels arrogant. It feels like it’s about me. And that’s not what my heart is about.

Karissa:

It’s so weird.

Tamra:

It’s so hard. And she basically was like, I’m making them, this is beautiful. This is it we’re done with it. So pass out all these business cards. So this year, prior to the conference, I’m like, I really want new business cards. And I really don’t want my face on it. Even a year later, even knowing that as the brand and I are synonymous and it’s not a conceit. It’s all about God. But I’m still sort of on it, so I’ll show it to you afterward. But I realize that that is so important for us to recognize and to be confident in the fact that yes, you’re a daughter and she’s a daughter and she’s a daughter. But what happens on these business cards is that you put a label to someone and I don’t like it. I really have a hard time with it. And so like, how do you say this? I’m a blogger. Cool.

Karissa:

Yea I hate that.

Tamra:

Like there are a million bloggers. Why do I want to be another blogger? Or even like I’m an author or I’m an aspiring author or all of these little taglines that make up who we are. And I understand it as a part of our identity, but it’s not the identity. So do you pass out a business card, daughter of the King? I mean what do you do? It’s a worldly battle, but I still haven’t figured it out. I have like three things under my name for that reason because I cannot commit to like… I am not one thing. I don’t even have that I’m a mom. I’m like, no, I don’t like it. I am multi-passionate. And that is okay.

Karissa:

We’re complex beings who are children of God, but we can do all these things and it’s great.

Tamra:

And it’s okay. I think for a long time I struggled with I am multi-passionate and I am starting all these little…I did every MLM, Okay. I was an MLM fanatics of like “this is the thing”. “This is what’s gonna work.” And my husband’s like, again, like, you’re going to do this again. How long are you going to stick with this one? And he wasn’t like questioning me, he was always supporting me. And he would always usually get or do alongside whatever I did, but I’m sure inside he’s like, Oh, sweet…

Karissa:

Here we go again. I’m out. I did a couple. Yea

Tamra:

I was like, let’s see. And I don’t bash any of them. They’re amazing. People make their entire careers out of it.

Karissa:

And some people do really well.

Tamra:

Yes, and it’s amazing and they are passionate. I think the missing link for me was that I wasn’t ever passionate enough. It was just something that I was like, Oh, I like this, this is cool, let’s see where it goes with it. But I don’t like sales. So yeah, it’s so many weird things.

Karissa:

I don’t either. I think once I discovered, Oh really what I want to do is unite people and hope people see that there is freedom and healing as possible. And so once I learned that I can do that through writing. And then last year at “She speaks”, they just basically affirmed all of that and I’m like, yes, do it. I think it was like, Oh man, all these light bulbs going off. So that is like the most fulfilling thing to me I think is to speak hope into other women. (16:43 inaudible)

Tamra:

And I think that’s like the why right? Like they’re like declare you’re why. Comprehend the why. So again, on the MLM thing, like if somebody has a ‘why’ that is greater than, I want you to buy an essential oil. You’re ‘why’ is huge behind it. That’s where the success drives from. That’s where the freedom drives from, in what they’re doing. And so here we are, you’ve established your why and now it’s okay, let’s keep walking into that and unveiling to other people what that why is. And also not worrying about what they think while you do it.

Karissa:

Yeah, that’s hard too.

Tamra:

Right? Cause I know the debt of what an author who is writing about their story and trying to reveal how you have access to this healing as well. Mine would be wholeness or freedom, it’s so vulnerable. And I definitely dealt with an image about like what is she thinking why are they talking about me? What did they say behind my back for a really, really long time? Even like within family dynamics and having to come to the realization that it doesn’t matter.

Karissa:

Yeah. Goodness. No Kidding.

Tamra:

It’s so hard. So how do you personally walk through that?

Karissa:

I feel like I do have to keep coming back to what did he say? What does he tell me to do? Cause it is true like we’ve lost relationships and I’ve gotten people’s opinions and it just gets really messy in here really quickly. And I think that’s where I have to keep coming back to what did he say? What did he do in my life and what did he tell me to do about it? This is it. And so I feel like if I just keep coming back to that and having people in my life who see that same vision and calling over me and they keep speaking it too, or I’ll run to them. I mean I texted my best friend last night, and it’s like… Being at this conference with a million other women who are amazing at what they do is so empowering and I feel so insecure.

And it was like hitting me last night. I was like, Okay. You feel really like, you know? I’m just like, okay, this is where my insecurity buttons are going to get pushed. And again I think she just reminded me that, yeah, this is your story, this is what you’re doing, this is where you fit in and what God has asked you to do and you have to stay on that. My husband is on the same thing. So having people to reiterate that, who are all for what they see in you is so important. Yeah.

Tamra:

I wonder because I know a lot of people and I coach women through declaring their passion and purpose, making those align and then actively putting them into action in their life is… We talk about calling and vision and purpose and these are really big words and to a lot of people when you know it, it’s simple. Like this is my calling, this is what I’m called to do. How did you discover like this is what I’m called to do, like unwrap that for somebody who is struggling with vision or calling or purpose.

Karissa:

Yeah, man. So coming to this conference last year was huge. And I know there’s not a conference for everything everyone wants to do. But getting with like-minded people, I think like my husband, my closest friends, my family, they’re very different from me in a lot of ways. And so I feel like the oddball sometimes with wanting to share my life. So I think being with like-minded people kind of brought in this new element of like, Oh this is good, this is healthy for you to want to do this and it’s needed and you’re created this way because this is needed.

Tamra:

Right, right. And there are people who, we were talking about introverts versus extroverts at dinner last night with a bunch of extroverts. And it’s so silly and like I have children and my husband who would stand on the other side. And so like how does that work? And understanding the value in the fact that they don’t want to share, but also knowing the importance of the fact to share and like creating that again, balance and like what does that look like? God didn’t create us the exact same with such purpose. He didn’t create the pastor to be evangelical, he didn’t create the apostles to be the pastor. Right. You have to be all of the things, not individually but having a community that’s driving that is so important. I remember coming and being like, Oh and then that comparison motive, I’m not crazy. Holy cow! There’s a lot of other people in the community, oh thank you, Jesus. And feeling such relief. Knowing that all these other women are pursuing something similar.

So that is really good sound advice. Get in a community, find like-minded people. And you say that there’s not a conference or a retreat for all of these people. I think that there probably is. And if there’s not a retreat or a conference, there’s a Facebook group. So there’s a lot of people who want to do what you do. It’s interesting Rachel Hollis, who I love and adore, she recently had to change her promo, I don’t know if you notice it or listen to her. Her intro was always like with a high school diploma and a Google search bar and it now says from a high school diploma. And an internet with access to everything and she had to change, cause Google, I’m sure it was a Google thing they either wanted money or she was branding without recognition or receipt of banks or whatever. But it’s so true that the internet gives us all of this information. The internet will have your story intertangled in so many different resources. It’s standing on the fact that yours and that comparison of yours are different and yours is enough and yours is worthy. Otherwise, you as a human being would not exist. Karissa would not have been born. Right.

So coming alongside like-minded people, these people have, Oh my gosh, she’s going to steal my idea or I just did that last week and she’s talking about the same exact thing. It’s not a competition. That’s where you can just rest in the fact of, thank you, Jesus, that somebody else is aligned with me enough, which is aligned with you, that then can spread to their people. How many pastors are speaking of freedom? How many pastors are speaking on grace?

Karissa:

It’s true. The church, I feel like is limited sometimes because they kind of get a bad rap. People are like, well the church, you know, didn’t do this very well or the church didn’t, you know, and the church has major weaknesses. And we were on staff at our church and we love our church but I also kind of love that not being on staff anymore, I feel this freedom. So we’re going to address whatever I want and say whatever I want without this “Oh I can’t believe you said that, I can’t believe you did that.”

Tamra:

Yea, It’s so freeing. It’s interesting I’ve done the opposite. So I was not on staff and now a part of a church plant out of our homes. And so we have established a culture that is definitely like freedom of speech. Not one person doesn’t just stand up on a pulpit, you’re in a house like that would be really weird. As everybody talks and shares and puts in their experience, which is just so wild and important. Which is why people have small groups and life groups and things within larger communities of the church. But there’s this element of not necessarily a concern of what they think, but the pressure of, am I stewarding God’s word, right? Am I saying, am I being, am I doing what I’m actually called to do? Where is the line in my humanness and the line in my experiential relationship with God? And it’s so hard, I’m constantly on my knees about it and I think everybody should be. It’s not an aha, I figured it out. This is how you do it. Even our pastor who was a preacher’s kid, so he’s been in that church. He’s taken steps back. He’s taken steps in and deep and high and low and wide, and all of the things. But it’s still a constant pressure and it’s not a weight, but you’re talking about how even this calling of sharing your story feels like a burden in some sense. Explain that to me.

Karissa:

It does. It’s like, I don’t know when you’ve gone through really hard things and most of us have, and then when you feel like god has given you this desire or this passion to share and to write. I feel now with what we’ve gone through with what we’ve learned and how we’ve recovered from all this marital hardship and infertility, all the things that came with that and being in ministry, now not being in ministry, a church ministry. I think I’ve felt this burden of, Oh man, if I’ve experienced freedom, I’ve experienced the feeling. If God has really changed my life, then people need to know this.

And so I think it often feels like there’s this burden on me where things still just constantly come and I’m like, no, it’s not written down and how am I going to do this? And I think the only way to relieve that burden is to put those things out there in the way that he’s asked me to. And so, that’s why I’m here. Is to find out how to do that really well in a way that honors God in a way that reaches people.

Tamra:

And honors you and your husband and those struggles that you have gone through. I think that’s a big place for me. And I mean I have people as close to me as my siblings who will not follow me on social media. They cannot, they have like at the unfollow, it creates such a divide in our relationship because they don’t feel like I’m supposed to be sharing those things and the intimacy. And I think there’s this fear of like, are you going to talk about me? Not I think I know, there’s this fear of are you going to talk about me on your story? And I’m like, no, your name is not in my book, but you are in such close quarters with me. It does affect my life. If something’s going on in your life, but the story is not about you, you know.

And so here I am and here you are like talking about your unborn child or talking about your now child, talking about your husband. I’m sure your parents are involved in that because of the heritage and nature versus nurture concepts. It’s such a fine line and there is that burden way of saying, okay this is okay and this is not okay. And yet God says the not okay is where he’s pulling and pulling and tugging and tugging and I’m like, “Shit!” for a lack of a better word. What do I do with this? How do I this? And not wanting to be like ostracized from my family. But also knowing that that sector of people is not who I’m supposed to be. I’m not writing a book for them. I’m writing the book, if one person buys it and one person is me, I’m ready for me. It’s hard cause it feels selfish. But it’s also not for me at all. It’s for all of you.

Karissa:

It’s so hard. It’s really not black and white. That’s what’s so hard about it. Cause it’s a definite like, okay, I feel this burden now to speak on this topic. We’ve recently been sharing a lot about my husband’s struggle with mental health and major struggle with depression, but also how that’s played out with addiction. And he just recently wrote a really long blog about what he’s learned about that and trauma, how that played in. And it’s really weird to share those types of things. And then like, who am I gonna run into at the grocery store? It’s like, Hey, I read your blog and how your marriage fell apart and her husband this and I’m like yea.

And so, how do you honor him and people. And it’s really one thing at a time. Letting people I think, involved in that process who you trust, who can say no this is good, this is healthy. (29:42 cross-talking) That inner circle bouncing things off people so much. Yeah.

Tamra:

I would love it if, like the day my book launched, I flew to Tahiti and I just stayed there for the rest of my life.

Karissa:

Get out of town. I don’t want to be here.

Tamra:

Like even my kids they have to come and they don’t have access to the book ever. So that’s also something I struggle with is that my kids are going to one day read this. How do I want them to perceive what has happened in their mommy’s life? And how do I want them not to label me? Or judge or take that then as a balling chain to their relationship because Lord knows, every marriage has issues and if you portray that your marriage is perfect, I know that is not true. So, you know, marrying my cousin the other week and speaking into their marriage, I felt such freedom in explaining to them that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies and that it’s not about any of the people sitting in the Pew or the chair watching this ceremony right now. Had I given the ceremony four years ago, it would have been so drastic but different.

And I’m so thankful that God seasons us for the things that he does and he knew this was going to happen before I could even comprehend it. And I’m probably not going to be in Tahiti. So I just gotta face it.

Karissa:

I felt the same way. I will put this out there and I will stay in my room. Yeah, I’m like I’m fine to share it this way. I don’t want to see your face.

Tamra:

I don’t want to see it and I don’t want people to feel bad and I don’t want people to feel uncomfortable and yet at the same time, I also don’t even know that in here I am speaking about sharing it with the nations. But it’s not really for the people in my community like, my friends are not going to be the beta readers to my book. I was given that sound advice, like do not give this to your mom and sister to say, do you think this is okay? Do you think this is good? They said either one, they’re just going to be ultimate supporters of you because that’s what they’ve always been and I was like, yeah, it’s great. And then inside of you would be like that was horrible, or this is all the things that you should change because they don’t want to offend you. But also like it’s not for them.

So really go outside of that inner circle, even next circle and find beta readers. There are literally free resources online for beta readers who will read your book and look through it and access it and give you sound true insight. So do that.

Karissa:

Yeah. Good to know.

Tamra:

Yeah. So even like sharing chapters with people, I think there’s value to that but I also think that it’s muddled and so we have to be very conscious of that. Even in the grocery store for the person who’s judging you. And that’s likely gonna happen. So I can’t give you sound advice though.

Karissa:

Yea it’s so true. I am encouraged though because I think that we all judge and we’re all scared of being judged and it’s just so dumb. Every time I do it I’m like, come on, you know better than this. So it’s something I’m, yeah, I’ve been judged like crazy. And it’s awful. It’s so awful. And I have these giant fears of being misunderstood but again, it’s something that unifies us. We all have those fears. We’ve all done it. And that’s where I’m like, I want to… If it’s uncomfortable, I want to do it. So if it’s uncomfortable to talk about, I want to talk about it because it’s uncomfortable for all of us. And I get that not everyone can talk about it or should. And there are plenty of things that will never see the daylight of my blog story.

But for the things that I feel like God wants people to know and I’ve met so many women struggling with infertility or their marriage is falling apart and this is just a need. And if it’s uncomfortable, let’s just talk about it.

Tamra:

Last night at dinner we were talking about pornography and sex within marriage and how these are all taboo topics and there are some churches who have stewarded it very well. If you listen to Levi Lusko’s like porn series. I don’t remember what it’s called.

Karissa:

I have not heard that but I will listen to it.

Tamra:

Girl, it is rad. It is so good and it gives you stats and so it’s really stewarding truth in the essence of the world, but also truth with the big T of what does God say about this and how do you talk about it? And so often I see women struggling in this area where they feel like it’s all men. And I’m about to go and host this event around the safe house project, which is a sex trafficking organization. The United States was just ranked as the third-largest country in the world for sex trafficking. And my hometown city of Virginia Beach was the 15th in the nation. And so it’s huge, but people immediately think because the three top sex traffic things in our nation is the super bowl and the Republican national democratic convention, you think of a white male, I think of a white male, even after having a black president and women coming into the fold of that, I think of a white male. And it’s stereotyping because if you look at the stats, 50% of people who are struggling with the addiction of pornography are women. And so it’s something that women don’t talk about.

And something that I really struggled with, not pornography, but concepts of sex. It was less visual and more internal and vocal. And that was something that as early as middle school, I struggled with. And so that’s a part of my story and it’s raw and people are like, Ooh, she’s a Christian quote-unquote. And she’s saved and yet she went through all of this and that is the grace of God. That is literally what the feet of Jesus is about. So you can judge me or you can join me. And that’s what my heart is. Like stop judging, give yourself space not to judge yourself and not to judge others and join me like it’s (inaudible 18:05)

Karissa:

That needs to be talked about so much more.

Tamra:

And it does because we just condemn any form of judgment to one thing or one side of the story. And there’s not just one side to any story. So taking ownership of the part that you’ve played in my marriage breaking as well. What does that look like and how did that unfold? And it’s not about the details, it’s about the redemption. And I’m saying things I wish I was writing down. This is good.

Karissa:

It’s so, so true. And it is easy to judge Christians especially. And I’m like we’re just as human as everyone else. This is… Let’s look at Jesus (inaudible 37:55) And even like being leaders in the church, we elevate them, we idolize them. Like you couldn’t do that. You would never do that. It’s like, no, they’re human. They have their own baggage. They’ve all had probably some sort of trauma in their life. They’ve all had voids and yeah. So it’s like we all need more grace. There just needs to be more grace.

Tamra:

And I think that that’s where we’re called and how we’re called, is that when grace meets vulnerability as the true access point of freedom. Because we all have grace. Like it’s elemental, it is there. You’re given it. It’s accessible right now. But what happens is we internalize that grace to then be overwhelmed, to then be struggle to then be shame and guilt. And it could be somebody else’s problem, but yet we take it as our own shame and our own guilt. So I admire you that you’re about to walk into unveiling what that means to people. It’s hard and I’ll be cheering for you and I just want to, full circle, come back to the fact that this is a space of like-minded, like-hearted women, which I think is another key element of like-minded. You have to have a like heart. Because if you’re missing that element, the pursuit becomes very wrong and that’s where brokenness comes.

I felt like I was along with many like-minded people when I was aspiring and the CEO of two companies and I was going after the cash show, the money, and it was awesome. But at the same time, I was really broken. That was when my ministry was nonexistent. That is when I did not know Jesus. I talked about Jesus, but I did not know Jesus. That’s when my marriage broke. That’s when my motherhood struggles were at its peak. I mean, everything is aligned. My fitness, my body, I mean sexual issues, everything pinnacle, because I was in pursuit of the wrong things with like-minded people who did not have like hearts.

Karissa:

When you’re pursuing your calling like that I think yeah, that Satan doesn’t ever get us in the black or the white. He knows better. He gets us in the gray and there are so many parts of falling or calling that become gray and that’s where we have to hold so tight to what did God asked me to do here? What is this book like? What are my trusted advisors speaking into this and saying? And yeah, just keep the heart and mind.

Tamra:

You’re saying that, and I want to go back further. So were you always rooted in the church? Have you always believed in God or being Christian?

Karissa:

Yes. I Grew up in a Christian home. Was one of those people that I was leading worship when I was like 11.

Tamra:

Wow, cool. I want that for my children.

Karissa:

It was great, my dad was on the worship team and I have a lot of memories growing up in the church.

Tamra:

That’s awesome.

Karissa:

But I will say, I don’t feel like sometimes people who grow up in the faith grow up into the church. I honestly think sometimes we’re harder to reach because we have our own minds made up and we become hard about different things and wavering and we haven’t really experienced intense rescue as other people have. And so I think sometimes it can be a hindrance. And I think for me, for a lot of years it was. But I really feel like in the last several years, the darkness of infertility and marriage, and this is why God, he whispers in our pleasures and shouts in our pain. And I feel like he really rescued me these last several years. So yes, I’ve been a believer my whole life essentially. But I feel like he won me the last several years, so now that’s where I am. I want to help other people understand that.

Tamra:

In portions of my book, and I shared this last year (inaudible 42:26) and agent appointment. And I don’t know if it’s the right wording, but it’s really how I feel that there are people who are spiritually obese and spiritually their muscle is good. Like they practice it all the time and yet they’re so missing the mind and body element of that and now they’re so aligned. And I was speaking specifically to someone who I knew physically I would love to work out with. You got this girl like let’s go.

But I feel like people are missing that connection. And so here you are talking about like I was Christian but I was not fully rescued from God is like knowing that our spiritual obesity and spiritual strengths can be a hindrance to the full capacity of what God has in store for you. And that is wholeness. That is health in your mind, in your heart and in the emotion of your marriage and all of those pieces. It’s not a one-track thing.

Karissa:

I think I became… It’s easy to become like the Pharisees. It’s easy to become hypocritical and judgmental. And I think that’s where I was. And if you look in the bible, Jesus was way harder on the Pharisees. And I think when your life falls apart and you’re humbled all the way down to your rock bottom, I’m like, Oh, yea there’s way more to this than that.

Tamra:

But it takes all of the knowledge that you had up to those points that now you get to reassess. And really just uncover in such a way that you never did before. So it’s probably the writing process that’s probably been like very emotional on top of the emotion of what you’re bringing to the table. But spiritually emotional to say, Oh my gosh, God, I missed it. Right. And so that’s how I feel when I’m writing and I uncover something like even something like hydration. And with my book, it kind of follows from workout regimen of warmup to cool down and all the things in between and hydration and how you feel your body is one of those things. And here we are, water is a fundamental need. I don’t think God did that accidentally. Simultaneously, biblically, he calls himself the living water and so here’s the physical element. Like you have to have this to be whole and here’s the spiritual element.

And then when you blend that with the understanding of what it does to the space of your mind when you drink water, it’s so good. It’s so much deeper than just make sure you get your 60 ounces of water today. People put it all in these separate brackets. This is my body, this is my mind, this is my soul. Today I work on mental health, today I’m not depressed, today I take my Xanax, whatever. And everything else is separate, but we are such connected beings. It’s the whole point of why we are connecting at this moment and however many women are about to connect in the next couple of days. We’re not solely in a universe by ourselves or God would’ve just created Adam.

Karissa:

Yeah, and I love that. I’m excited to read your book. And I’m excited to learn more because that is something I’ve always struggled with. It’s like I can work on my spiritual health, my mental health, my heart health, but my body has struggled. And I think for a long time I resented it. It didn’t give me babies. I have really bad genes. There’s a ton of obesity in my family, I had PCOS. So it’s easy to feel like the victim to all that. And I’ve definitely done that definitely played that card. But yeah, and then through a lot of depression, like my coping was food. And so now I’m going through this journey of how do I reconnect? And stop being the victim in this area and unify those things like your saying. And I love that whole concept and yeah. And this is why I love learning from other women because there’s so much.

Tamra:

And it doesn’t matter how aligned your stories are, they’re so much different. There’s so much difference of perspective and I mean I just love that. So I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see what’s to come. I was worshiping this morning while I was getting ready and my roommate who has never been, she’s like, okay, Yeah come down and I’m like you don’t understand this is so exciting and I’m an excitable person anyway. But I can’t wait to just hug people’s necks that I’ve seen, but also just encourage people who this is their first time.

And I remember even on my drive here last year, I recited my pitch five thousand times. I recorded it, listen to it, then oversight it again, recorded it,goes into reciting. And I didn’t even know that I was going to be pitching until Monday of this week. And so I’m like, Oh, I have to get everything together. And God so ordained it that I was jam-packed for 48 hours with my other responsibilities. I had no time to do any of that. And then to drive with someone where.. didn’t have access to do that. So yesterday night at dinner was the first time someone was like, so what is your book about? And I was like, Ooh, shhh, I don’t know, I missed my moment and my mind is blank. I have no idea what I just started.

Karissa:

That is very scary.

Tamra:

Yeah. So I’m excited to get expectant. God just keeps on layering and unveiling the reliance that I just need to have on him, I’m not in control this story is not mine. He scripted it from the get-go.

Karissa:

He did, he did. It’ll be really, really good. And I think we do have to trust like, okay, what’s to come from this year. Like I had no idea last year and he completely delivered and it was a very productive, fruitful last year. That’s my year. Yeah, it’s a good word. So I think we can trust him with what will come from this year.

Tamra:

That’s so good. I joked that the fruit though that I’m being handed is like a pomegranate or like a star fruit or like what is this? And how do I get to the goodness? But again, God’s funny, he has a comedy to the way that he interacts with us. And allow yourself to laugh, the spirituality and religion, quote-unquote is not intended to be this stuffy you can’t speak about anything fun like that’s not…

Karissa:

He wasn’t like that.

Tamra:

Exactly. You can find so many jokes in the Bible I’m sure there’s like a book we have to find the joke book vital. That would be a really funny thing to then press into some friends who have their pants on too tight.

Karissa:

This is our guy. I think he has a lot of humor.

Tamra:

We were talking yesterday about the connectivity point of people and judging, so I want to bring it full circle but we all put our pants on the same way. I said I would have stepped further and we all wipe our butt the same and we all would pick up dog shit if we have dogs.

Karissa:

And I’ve been potty training, where I pick up my daughter’s poop. So I’ve been training a lot lately

Tamra:

I get it. I get, I have to change the pee pad the same way for the Kids. It just, it is what it is. So know that you’re all in this together. Remind people to just give each other grace, stop judging and join. It’s really fun and scary and the adrenaline is awesome.

Karissa:

So true.

Tamra:

Thank you so much for being here.

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