Finding God in Our Pain with Sherrie Pilkington

Before every podcast, I pray that God will use it for His purposes. This podcast with Sherrie Pilkington needs to be soaked in. It is so prevalent when God shows up, and I was overwhelmed with so much emotion during many parts of today’s guest testimony sharing. Sherrie is a sweetheart, really. She is a friend and somebody who has a testimony – not unlike you, but uniquely hers. The part that I love most is that she relates to everyone in a beautiful way through the pain.

And ultimately, isn’t that an easy way for us as humans to connect? In the emotion of hardship, in the emotion of grieving, in the emotion of loss? Of not understanding God all the time? Of worry? Of overwhelm? Of apathy? Of so many things that come alongside her in brokenness? And yet, at the same time, realizing the ever-evolving, ever-present love of our Father and how good He is. Even in the pain.

That is Sherrie’s podcast name – Finding God In Our Pain. It’s the call of her life to live a life of “thrive” and help others learn that we, too, have access to that process. We all have access to that unlock, and she does an incredible job of sharing that.

So I hope that you sense His presence today. I hope you, too, are drawn in by her storyline and her perspective, and the vision that God was gifting me during the episode. You guys, it’s so interesting to stand alongside people. And we need to do it more often.

Today, I hope you realize the power of being with people in their pain, and you take something away. Even if you are sitting with just yourself today, I hope you understand that God is with you all the more. It’s OK to ask hard questions. It’s OK to wonder. It’s OK not to know. But I hope that you find a knowing that you didn’t know before you arrived through this episode. Guys, be blessed, know I love you. You know that this podcast blesses me every single time. And my prayer is that it blesses you, too. And I know I say that all the time, but it’s like every time there’s an evolving story, and ultimately His love is what exists in the weaving of every single person. 

finding god

Guest Bio

Widowed in early 2018 after 32 years of marriage, her whole world was shaken to the core of her existence. Life no longer made sense to her and she needed answers and needed to know she was not alone.

In the midst of her continued healing, her sons, daughters-in-law, and beautiful grandchildren brought her the fresh water of joy. But she also found special comfort and encouragement in the stories of other women who have endured the devastation of life-shattering events and can testify to the beauty of Christ meeting them in their despair.

As she has lived through this journey, she discovered this truth: we are never alone, as God does not hesitate to enter into our pain with us. He speaks the most beautiful things in the dark.

Where to Find Sherrie:

https://alifeofthrive.com/
https://alifeofthrive.com/finding-god-in-our-pain-podcast/

https://www.facebook.com/livelovedandthrive/

https://www.instagram.com/livelovedandthrive/

Show Notes: Finding God in Our Pain

Tamra Andress

Holy Spirit, you are welcome here. Oh, I hope you just soak in today’s episode, it is so prevalent when God shows up and I was overwhelmed with so much emotion during many parts of the testimony sharing of today’s guest. Sherrie is a sweetheart, really. She is a friend and somebody who has a testimony – not unlike you, but uniquely hers, and the part that I love most is that she relates to everyone in a beautiful way through pain.

And ultimately, isn’t that an easy way for us as humans to connect? In the emotion of hardship, in the emotion of grieving, in the emotion of loss? Of not understanding God all the time? Of worry? Of overwhelm? Of apathy? Of so many things that come alongside her in brokenness? and yet at the same time, realizing, ever evolving, ever present love of our Father and how good He is. Even in their pain. That is our friend’s podcast name – Finding God In Our Pain. It’s the call of her life to live a life of thrive and knowing that we, too, have access to that process. Access to that unlock, and she does an incredible job of sharing that. So I hope that you sense His presence today. I hope that you, too, are drawn in by her storyline and her perspective, and also the vision that God was gifting me during the episode. You guys, it’s so interesting to stand alongside people.

And we need to do it more often. So I hope today you realize the power of being with people in their pain and you take something away. Even if today is your time to be with yourself and to understand that God is with you all the more. It’s OK to ask hard questions. It’s OK to wonder. It’s OK to not know. But I hope that through this episode, you find a knowing that you didn’t know before you arrived. Guys be bless, know I love you. You know that this podcast blesses me every single time.

And my prayer is that it blesses you, too. And I know I say that all the time, but it’s like every time there’s an evolving story and ultimately His love is what exists in the weaving of every single person. All right, chat soon.

You guys, I am so excited to introduce you to my dear friend Sherrie. She is not only a fellow podcaster, as of lately. We have some fun celebrations to talk about, too, in that regard. But she is a blogger and ultimately, I think a writer like just in general, because I think blogging can sometimes have its own perspective. She is a writer, a contributor, and ultimately a sister, which I say this about every single person that comes on, whether they’re a sister or brother.

But there is such value in having that, like knowing I think, above coming into a conversation and being like, is she isn’t she? What is this conversation going to look like?

So whoever is listening at any point or watching, we’re so glad to have you here and I’m excited.

I’m going to let you kind of take your own time to give your own brief bio. If I didn’t touch on something,

Sherrie Pilkington

My brief bio. Yeah. Why didn’t you prepare me for that? I mean, a mom to two grown sons who are married to two fabulous women, one woman each.

And that’s said that I thought, I’m going to clear that up. And then they have their children, their families. I’m a widow. Coming up on about three years, completely unexpected loss of my husband from a heart attack. And so I’ve been trying to find my identity all over again when that title is stripped away. All of the responsibilities that are associated with that title come into question, and then you try to figure out, well, who in the world am I supposed to be now?

And it’s not like I had any guarantees about my future or that I knew what my future looked like, but my future included my husband. So when that was just detracted from the equation of my life.

So that’s really been my focus is trying to find who I am and these last three years figure out. And when I do, I will write a bio.

Tamra Andress

Yes, you definitely will, but you already have one. But it’s it’s becoming and I always say this like we’re always becoming and we’re on the journey. So there is no, like, obituary at this point right now yet.

And we don’t know when that time is going to be at the very same time. So it’s like living what you call a life of thrive, which is your entire concept of serving your community and serving the world in a unique way is really a beautiful understanding based on what tragedy and experience you’ve walked through in that regard. It’s like now walking out thrive. I don’t know if you saw recently I had Charles Clark on and his whole being is about thriving, too.

So it’d be really cool to see you guys pair up. Yeah. And know that there’s a thriving is a desire of all of our, of all of us, like we want that. So how did you thrive after that pain, after that shocking experience?

Sherrie Pilkington

And it’s interesting too, because the Lord had been after me for a long time to write and I kept putting him off and putting him off like I didn’t have a book in me. I still have a book in me. And I kept thinking, you had to have you had to write a book in order to be interested in writing.

But I, I positioned myself in a way to be where he could draw me out or finally I agree to write.

And that’s through the form of the blog, A Life of Thrive. And the blog launch was like, I want to say eight days. My husband passed like eight days before the blog launch and I was like, Oh Lord, I cannot believe you did this to me. I finally decide and agree to your calling. I titled it A Life of Thrive. And then you pull the rug out from underneath me and I’m like, Yeah, go get that ball, baby.

So I really I did have an intimate heart to heart talk with the Lord and said, I, I don’t want to do this.

I don’t have it in my heart.

And then he just impressed upon my spirit that but it is a life of thrive, like it’s thriving, it’s choosing to thrive. I give you the ability to thrive even in the midst of pain. And so my daughter in law’s had had everything straight. I had to do was walk in to the event. I didn’t really well, I didn’t really I did not give the the the presentation that I wanted to because I couldn’t hardly talk, of course.

But people there were very compassionate to me. They were very kind and just very gentle with me. They heard my story. I couldn’t help but share as far as I was not fully engaged with what was going on. Very disoriented a lot of times, but they were very kind to me. So that was very helpful. I told the Lord at one point because they would ask me, what do you want to do? Yeah.

And I said, Well, I know if I don’t move forward with it, I will never do it again. I will never pick this up again. And so then I pushed through the end. He met me there, which he always does.

Yeah, he always does. But that’s the thing I think people are so fearful of is like if I take this next step, whether it’s a step of obedience, whether it’s a step or fear oriented, whether you even know. Like, sometimes I take a step and I am confident that he has told me this is what you do and I’m still like trembling and and I’m what’s going to happen even in the confidence of this next step, I can’t predict the future.

I can hope and that’s part of faith, right. Is like knowing that he has us aligned for what our purpose is and what our calling is. So I think literally of all there’s so much to your story. We’re going to continue on and packett. But just knowing that you still showed up is just an incredible act of bravery. And even if you literally said no word, if you literally just came, that’s still you stepping out of the boat under a storm in the midst of.

So I think it’s just wild. But I also wonder, as you’ve come into really walking through this understanding of identity and who you are without that title, because I think titles can blanket us from knowing what our true purpose is. How has that shift evolved for you? Like who are you now three years later? For me, I’m still on the grieving journey. I had shared before that the the crushing weight of the unexpected loss, that just leveling of everything that, you know, that’s past the pain is not there.

But ultimately, I do believe that the. Pain that remains for any of us who’ve lost a loved one or and actually I say this, there’s a death of many kinds. The death of America, the death of health, the death of sight, the death of a dream or a goal. So there’s many, many types of deaths. And when that happens, there’s just this grieving process and it’s the separation from that dream or that goal or the the death that separates you from it.

And that can last longer. So for me, the separation of Larry and I is still tender to my heart.

So it’s not as if I don’t I think he’s coming back or I don’t get it.

Right, right, right. But I get that. Yeah, but it’s still there for me. That’s part of the process. Is the separation dealing with the separation? Yeah. And you know what I say this evening, I think in my story, because I have a video of my personal testimony.

So pretty. Yes.

Thank you. So when we birthed this podcast, I wanted to show people how I come to the conversation, how I show up to the table and can contribute to the conversation. So I did a little over eight minute video of my story.

And it really shares so many different things that the Lord said to me.

And I don’t want to get off track, too, because, no, I’m hearing you this good.

So the Lord really revealed his heart about how he speaks beautiful things in the dark. And that’s what I say now. God speaks beautiful things in the dark. So I come to the conversation and having been devastated, life just laid flat. And if you knew my husband because a lot I mean, he was a man of relationship and he knew a lot of people, even the funeral had to go online and it was fifteen hundred people online.

And wow. I know. I don’t think I ever heard that the church was there were three people, three rows deep in the spots where people could stand because that’s what my husband is, just the heart for relationship and for people.

So his laughter, his presence filled a room when he walked in.

He’s going to know either 90 percent of the people in there. He’s going to meet 90 percent of the of the other. And when he left, the equation of my life became silent. Yeah, just very silent.

My house was silent. My life was silent. So that and even that silent depth of silence was deafening. Yeah.

Really, that makes sense. It does loud it’s obnoxiously obvious that it’s like you just want to make noise just to, like, make noise like what is happening.

Did you find yourself like turning on music or turning on like TV in the background a lot just to have something? Or did you sit through that silence and walk through most of the time sitting through the silence? But I did turn to the because I had nothing to say. The leveled me. I had nothing to say. Nothing, nothing to bring back. It’s not like anything I had to say would change. I wasn’t reading the word. I wasn’t going to church.

I wasn’t praying for people when praying for myself. I was just having these in-depth conversations with God. Some of it was out of the pain. So it would be rageful. Yeah. You know, in the sense that, you know, you’re God. Yeah, you’re God. You could stop this. You didn’t. Can you please tell me why? Yeah. And so he spoke some beautiful things into my life that got me through that.

Eventually I turned to worship music and just giving him praise because he he said, all right. So two major things that definitely turned my wise. I had a lot of eyes. Yeah. Just bombarded the wise. And ultimately because I did not like the outcome, I wanted it. It wasn’t your own expectation of. Yeah. Life, and I wanted to change it. So I was going to argue my pain.

Good. He never engaged me on that. But he he said to me two things.

One time he said to me, chéri, some things just belong to me. And so that was kind of set back. I’m like, well, yeah, you’re right.

But what I began to be flooded with was especially the example of when my husband, my husband, when my mother and father got a divorce. Yeah. And I remember, gosh, that’s so painful. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Life is flipped upside down.

You have no ability to make any input. You have to just ride it out with whatever they decide. And then there’s a quite a different thing. When a parent wants to come to you and say why they’re getting a divorce, what in the world are you supposed to do with that information? Yeah. So you got the answer you wanted. Like, why in the world would you divorce? But you have to learn to write, understand why that would happen.

You have no influence, no authority, no context. And so you’re just strapped with this insurmountable weight around your neck, if you will. And I believe that’s what God is doing to me or with me.

He had the answer God. Right. So but the answer he would have given me, I had no reference for or no context. I had no authority. I had no input. It would not have changed. It would have been more weight around my neck because what I wanted was the argument. So any answer he would have given me, I was still Ardern have been received.

Because what you’re saying to me right now does not make me happy and I have even less influence.

Yeah, it’s so interesting because as you say that and you’re that you used the example of divorce and you talked about all of the different types of death, that there are different types of greeting or different types of. Gain or loss, I mean, in the midst of this year specifically, you’ve probably spoken into so many lives in a different way than you probably ever intended to, with the abundant loss of jobs, with the abundant loss of a voice, of the abundant loss of relationships and talk about silence for people who are extroverts to be now stuck in their house and not being with people.

I mean, we’ve seen what has come of that based on suicide rates, based on divorce rates. And yet you’re standing there and as you’re saying how you’re responding, I’m sure it’s a common response. It makes me think of like my daughter or my son when I do the thing that they don’t want me to do, when they do the thing that they’re not expecting, when I say the thing that they’re not wanting to hear and I think about their response and their response is often in that fight, wait, no, that’s not the right thing.

And so so interestingly, I love how God just like presents conversation and presents just discussion points with other people and things that are occurring always say it’s like a God wink. And so this morning, in the wee hours of the morning, I had gone to the gym. My house is in the middle of a renovation right now and therefore there no coffee pot, y’all. OK, this is like treacheries is like we have no stove to do the coffee.

It’s not as good when it’s out of your, like, boudoir area of your bedroom. And I’m like walking to fill the sink coffee cup. But regardless, my husband texted me, it’s like five forty five and he’s like, hey, stop for coffee before you come home. Like I was already at the gas station ready. So we sat there in the dark and we just had a conversation while the sun rose and the conversation was around the difference between expectation and entitlement.

And it’s so plays a role in this conversation. And I said, what book did you read? What podcast did you listen to?

Where did this come from? He’s like, I’ve just been simmering on it. And I just came to me and I just have realized it as I’ve been cultivating that idea in every conversation. And I’m simultaneously learning about emotional intelligence and what that means to be aware of self aware of other people and aware of the environment and how they all interact together. And so if you think about expectation versus entitlement, expectation is like is not selfish. It actually is just something has been presented to you.

And you’re expecting it to turn out this way because maybe it’s been showcased some other way in your life where entitlement is is selfish.

It is. I’ve been like I earned this or I deserve this or I want this. And so coming into this situation in the same conversation with God, it’s God like I expected to live my life this way and his promises are good. And that covenant that you made upon the day that you got married, you’re thinking life long and yet entitlement is I I earned this.

We’ve worked this long to stay married, which is hard as it is.

And I want him like this is my I deserve him. And so to God for God to speak to you and say like it’s all mine anyway. Your marriage is mine, your husband is mine. It takes you to your knees, it silences you.

And then you have a whole nother understanding of the expectations of other people when they’re in marriages, when they’re in a grieving perspective.

So I’m curious, like, as you unpack that, because it’s a fresh information to you, you’re probably still trying to receive it like what was in the grieving process, like the expectation release as time kind of went on as time.

I know initially, you know, knowing the word before tragedy hits, you have a framework to talk to God if you have an expectation based on his words.

So I went to the Lord and I think I would say things like your word says that no evil will come near your tent.

But evil came not just near my tent. It came in my tent and it blew up in my tent. So how you’ve got to help me understand how you say the cells in your word and yet that’s not what has happened. Yeah.

And so that was kind of part of that. Why phase is just trying to struggle. I wanted my answers. I wanted to I had to have my my entitlement at this point, the right of wanting these answers, because based on your word, this is what you say. Why didn’t it happen that way? But if the Lord said to me the second thing that he said to me when I’m in this Y thing, he said to me, Sherry, I don’t care what this life dishes out to you.

I’m writing a much bigger love story with you. And I want you to keep your eyes on me, keep your eyes on me. And I’m writing a book, an overarching love story about you and your life with me. So let this world hand you the divorce or death or bankruptcy or what you name it.

But I am writing some.

Deeper with you getting emotional, just thinking about that, because I’m thinking about like the tragedy that this year has been for a lot of people, and I’m blessed in the fact that I have not really carried this weight like a lot of people have, especially the weight that you’re expressing and experiencing even now.

But I think about this since and this air and this bubbling of revival.

And I see it in women specifically and as a coach to entrepreneurs like I see it in this like passion that’s just bubbling beneath the surface of so many people to say, I am called to more and this nine to five is not that more. And what does that look like for longevity? But in a bigger perspective, it’s like God is so at work right now.

So true.

And yet all we see is tragedy and all we feel is a sense of entitlement to go out in public without a mask on or go experience what life was like. And our expectations and our entitlements have us in this, like, weird battle with each other when at the end of the story, it’s God’s. And so I just I love that viewpoint and I love that you shared it. That’s just as I was receiving it. And you said before, and I want you to say it again because it’s so good.

What is the saying that’s on the shirts for your podcast?

God speaks beautiful things in the dark. He does right now feels so dark and yet we have this big ring light.

So I’m obviously feeling the pressure here. But it’s I know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

And and I’m curious as you’re continuing on this process, because you said you’re still in that becoming phase in the journey of still comprehending and grieving, like, has the light gotten closer or do you feel like it’s the same distance away or do you feel like it’s brighter, the revelations of like digging into the Lord during this time and just really pressing it to him for things, the overarching thing that he brought off of crinkly pages in the Bible and made real to me, because there’s a lot of things that, you know, what’s that old saying?

Like, you know, there’s a difference between knowing Mike Tyson, his heart and then Mike Tyson, you know, so, you know the word totally.

Then God shows up and is made manifest to you. So for me, that overarching thing is it doesn’t matter what this life dishes out to us, it’s his presence that will be with you through everything he brings in his light into every equation of life and gives us a different option we don’t have to settle for. I’m not saying pain is not real. Yeah, Lord knows. I know it is real, but God never shamed me. He never, you know, pushed me away.

When I tried to distance himself from it, he walked into it with me. He sat with me in it and I just had a conversation with a young woman. It’ll be a bonus podcast this month because I loved it so much. But we talked about, you know, God, our tears are precious to the woman. And he catches these tears and he puts them in this bottle or forgot what the Jewish people call it. But what is he going to do with those tears when we get to heaven?

Is he going to wash the residue of this world off of us? What is he going to do with those tears? They are precious to him. So our God is purposeful. Nothing is wasted. Everything is intentional. What is he going to do with those tears? And so these are the kind of things when I’m having these conversations that I get to see the beauty and the depth of his care and his kindness for us, even in pain, the fact that pain is woven into the fabric of the society or into our life, we can’t avoid that.

But he interjects his presence into them to speak something entirely beautiful over over what pain means to us here. He gives us a different equation of different.

So good. I don’t know why I’m so emotional, because there’s nothing that’s like directly. It’s not new. It’s not a new conversation is our new understanding it. But I never had the chance to just like, sit and chat with you other than phone conversations and emails and stuff. But even being on your podcast, I don’t feel like I received the same is as you were talking about. What is he going to do with our tears? All that just like really got me because I’m thinking of the fact that I’ve been in Mexico so many times over the past month.

And I look at the ocean, I look at the vast like a ray of water and like God created that with purpose. And it brings such peace. And so imagining myself in heaven on my favorite color, crystal blue ocean and thinking of it as tears and this being instead of painful instead of hard, it’s what now causes peace because you understand that it’s.

Yeah, riddim. If it’s purposeful that he caught it and he stored it in a place that’s so beautiful, it takes your breath away. And not only is it serving you in that moment, think of the ocean. There’s like hundreds of people right on the beach. It’s it’s providing that to everyone.

And the beauty of that is I heard a Jewish man talking one time that we will no longer need see us in the salty sea.

It will be the living water or a living water that we will have at that point. Assault’s purpose is to preserve. We don’t need that. We won’t need it anymore. Oh, that’s so good. OK, ok.

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Let’s get started and think about how that’ll feed us the water with which we get to enjoy. And that is so amazing.

And again, like I am a thirty year old woman. Well, I’m older than thirty. Let’s be serious.

I’m mid thirties and I still break out like my fate. Let’s go.

We’re going to a real lighthearted here, OK, because I just cried for you is as I was there, like I was like I got to get in the ocean. I have to put my face in the ocean. And because I know it’s going to clear me, it’s going to like dry out my skin and I’m going to feel replenished and renewed.

And I was talking to my daughter about this because they don’t understand her perfect little skin right now. And I was like, oh, my goodness, let’s go dive mom. Is that to clear her face? And she’s like, what are you talking about? And so it’s like perspective even on the season of life that you’re in, because one day she’s going to understand that one day she’s going to know. But at the very same time, she fell later during that trip and got her elbow all scraped up.

And I said, it’s OK that it burns, it’s OK that it hurts, it’s actually healing you. And what an analogy to what you walk through. Yeah. And to hear that from, like, your caretaker, your heavenly caretaker, it’s like I know it hurts.

I’m sitting with you in this pain, but I promise there’s a healing factor to come.

And whether it’s right now on this side of heaven, which I believe for you it has been, because you’ve healed so many just through your story and sharing it and also walked alongside people as they’re in that process. Your podcast is doing that now globally, which is amazing is to realize that still we don’t know what tomorrow is going to hold.

And so how do we, like, show up today? A amidst pain, a missed watching somebody else’s pain? Because sometimes I’ll even go through that. Why? On behalf of somebody in my own prayer time is like.

What do you do with that right now? Yeah, there’s a lot of different things going through my mind to say that, yeah, I, I now understand, you know.

No one knows what to say when something happens that’s tragic or painful or or whatever. So I received whatever people had to say, but it was it really didn’t hit the mark. And I’ve said some of those things, and I know not to say them. I received them in the heart that they were given to me. So that’s not a problem. If you’ve got something, somebody’s going through something you want to share your heart with, share your heart with them.

I’m not saying that, but nothing could touch the pain, really. Nothing could get to that. Nothing could reach that pain. It was just comforting to the people where they are. People cared. People were thinking of you. I’m trying to think of, gosh, there’s just so much to that, how do we I don’t when I pray for people now, I don’t pray their pain away persay. I pray for them to have that peace, to have that comfort, which to me is God’s presence in the midst of their struggle.

So. Yeah, showing up and trying to be there for someone else who’s going through tough times is to just like they say, sit with them, pray with them. You know, if they’re praying, if they’re open and receptive to you being able to pray, then that’s what I would do for them. Wrap them in the presence of the Lord.

That’s the soothing balm of all of the pain.

And so one of my things I used to tell the Lord all the time, and I remember when I was young in the Lord, I felt the Lord drawn on my heart, drawn my heart to become to to receive him. Yeah. And I was like, I want to be a missionary. I mean, that was my whole thing. I’m not like running on water. I like electricity.

I like a toilet like like a toilet in the bathroom. So that was my thing. And how weird is that really? Because I just had no entitlement. There you go. Right.

But I just had an opportunity to talk to a missionary. How amazing. But so that was my whole thing. Yeah. Finally I come to the knowledge of the Lord and I was like, OK, well, I choose you. I’m yours. Like, I’m not fighting you, Lord, I’m in.

Right. I got the can I get the VIP?

I want to be on treatment because I’m like, I’m not your enemy. I’m I’m I’m in Christ. Yeah, but that’s not that’s not real life.

Nobody here gets away with anything like that. Gets away, gets away from like you can’t dodge pain because pain means something different to different people. Yeah. So what might not be painful to you is painful to me, vice versa.

Right. So we really have to do it.

So showing up. Yeah. To De. Had a relationship with crisis experiential, building your trust in who he is and who he says he is, that’s comes from. Experiencing him, questioning him, digging in deep, asking the tough questions, I didn’t hold anything back. And if you’re like me, if I if I’m in a relationship with you, I’ve got to be able to be real. Yeah. Look, I got to say, if I’m upset, which luckily I’m not really upset, I try to let people be people.

But my point is I got to be real with you. And so I was real with the Lord. Yeah. So be real.

Yeah. No, I love that it is, it is because I, I can fully relate to that because I not I say this before, but like I feel like I live my life masked for a really long time before knowing the Lord.

And it was majority of time not intentional like I didn’t intend.

I’m OK, I’m walking out of my house. Here’s this tamira version of me. It was something that evolved as I came into pleasing other people, people pleasing or achievement driven or things like that. Right. It wasn’t something I, I tried to do. I wasn’t like purposely lying to be somebody that I wasn’t. But yeah, we’re I can’t I’m still unpacking it thanks to therapy.

But it’s like realizing that now I missed being able to be transparent with myself. I’ve been able to become transparent with others. And that understanding of a real and vulnerable and authentic versus the heaviness that it felt to wear a mask even unknowingly. I look at myself in old pictures and I’m like, that is not who I am now. I could literally have now. Obviously I was younger and whatever, but I think we have more energy to run longer without dealing with it when we’re younger.

Yeah, that’s true too. But it’s the knowing that I will I’m grateful that I had this experience when I was twenty nine versus fifty nine and I now have to go back and like rewind my life and almost walk through seasons of grace with myself. And so I think looking at it from the other perspective, here you are on what you would feel like, the defense of pain or grief. Do you have any insight or wisdom or thoughts on what if you’re the one who caused pain?

You know, I.

There’s so much value in going to someone and asking for their forgiveness, asking how that affected you. I’m always open to listening to what people have to say. If they’re upset with me or they’re not happy with something I said or did, I’m like, tell me about it. What do you need from me? How can I help you get past that? I am quick to apologize when I know there’s one that needs to be there.

And I don’t have a problem with that because life is always about dividing us, tearing us apart and division and life is too short.

That was really driven home when Larry said he didn’t feel good. He went to work, so I didn’t feel good, said it was going home and then he was gone. So life is extremely short. I’m not going to let Satan divide my family. If it’s up to me, I won’t let Satan divide my family. And then. I’m trying to think of what was the question it was just around, if you are on the actual, like delivery of pain versus the receiving of pain, you walk through that be vulnerable to be vulnerable, to figure out what went wrong.

Exactly. Because people do come to the table in any relationship. You can put a community around a table. You can put. A small group of men around a table, and we do come with those expectations and those entitlements, and it has to be sorted through. And I get it that there are people there are layers of friends where you let them in closer. And the closer that you let them, the more transparent that you are because there’s some people you just don’t trust with your one hundred percent.

And so depending on what degree you have let them into your life, then you need to have certain levels of conversation with them as well. And you can only really hurt those people who are closest to you, anybody outside of a certain level.

They don’t hold water for me. Right. But you hurt someone who’s closer to you than you need to invest in them more. Yeah, I know what my role is really good.

And I love like you’ve we’ve all heard, like, hurt people, hurt people. And often, like, there is either gaslighting experience because they don’t want to take ownership of something when you point three fingers pointing back at you. Right. And so it’s like realizing that when you dish out pain, there is a process, I think, even for that forgiveness process. And so for going to ask for forgiveness, we need to learn to forgive ourselves about that.

I just think it’s so critical in in obviously, I think the biggest part is when when we cause pain. And I’m saying this from a perspective of wisdom, because I’ve done it before. We often carry shame or guilt with that pain and because we have a heart and we have a conscious and the spirit, especially if you’re a Christian, lives within you and already probably convicted you, that that’s not the right thing or that wasn’t the right way to go about it.

I was talking to somebody else who was on the podcast a couple of weeks ago, Vince, and he was talking about how he got outraged and started yelling at this reporter based on something that happened with covid. And he then immediately was like, oh, that wasn’t how I should have handled it. Now he’s never going to see that reporter again. So he didn’t represent himself well.

And he had to then come to God and be like, I am sorry, I, like, repent for that. And I want to ask your forgiveness in that. So it’s like finding forgiveness from our Heavenly Father, the process of repentance, and then it’s the forgiveness of self before you can ever ask for this person to forgive something that you haven’t even forgiven. It’s true. But where’s the disconnect between believing that God forgives you and then you not forgiven yourself?

That’s good, because I think it’s easier to understand that God forgives us. Right. And then we’re like, oh, can you just carry it? And you carry it, carry it.

It’s the release of the breakdown of that. Like, OK, good God, forgive me, I want to join in on that. Yeah. That’s so stuff. It’s so true. I think again, I think it’s a process of the journey. I think it’s a process of the becoming is if it was easy for us, if pain as a whole was easy for us, it would be a out of sight. Out of mind. That’s true.

And in biblically pain, grieving forgiveness is such a palpable conversation in the Bible, Old Testament all the way through Revelation.

And there’s it’s obviously a big conversation because it’s a heavy thing that so many people come into experience with. So I think that it’s critical for us. It’s just like grieving to. The process of forgiveness, I want to be like my kids, my kids are grown now, but yeah, I remember when you you know, you’re in the throes of a young family and you discipline your kids. They are like what you did or sit there or maybe they got in trouble.

They got in trouble somehow and they film. But a few minutes later, as soon as that’s done and they pay whatever the hell out of the console, they come back.

Mom, can I have something? Can I you know, I just want his to be that way. Yeah. With the love that, you know, you’re safe and that you’re secure. I do feel that way with God. I just can’t figure out why when I do something, I just bury myself. Yeah. Yeah.

I mean, that’s the whole conversation of shame and guilt and knowing that we’re out of alignment, I think you were intended to be good and that would be the process of forgiveness. That’s almost the consequence of acting or doing something in pain towards someone else is now you have to experience the process of forgiveness or vice versa. You’re receiving something from someone that is painful. They’ve acted out of alignment of integrity or whom they should be. And and maybe your expectation, maybe that’s a whole nother conversation of entitlement versus expectation of that person of humanity is out of alignment with who we actually are in Christ.

Yeah, I agree. I see what you’re saying, you know, and so it’s I mean, that’s like a concept in and of itself.

It’s really realizing if we know who we are and God do we look at ourselves in the mirror like we see the other person and who they are through the lens of the Lord?

Yeah. And likely no, because we’re the hardest on ourselves or the hardest on the people close to us with our expectations of them are higher. Yeah. So how do you live up to that?

Because you’re right, when you the more I learn about who I am and the more I learn about who God is, is how I learn more about who I am. And I do come to a place I come into relationships and into places of community in in an overflow.

At that point, I don’t go into looking for something from someone to fill me up because I’ve I’ve already been filled up by my private time with the Lord of my word with him. And and that’s a beautiful place to be.

The more the strong you become and your identity and identity is everything.

It’s everything. It’s you. It’s how you choose to marry somebody. Who am I worthy of marrying? It’s your job that you choose. You’re just so much of identity.

And what I love about you, one of the first things I fell in love with you over is the fact that you fold failure into life in a beautiful way. Because I don’t like failure. I’m like, yeah, so.

But to see you do it in such a beautiful way, it’s like I might be able to do that.

Yeah, I think that that’s another heartbeat and another identity, peace and character of the Lord. Not to say that he’s a failure on any front at any point. Right. But he uses all things for good and therefore shouldn’t we. That’s good.

And that’s really the building block of life. And that’s why we’re always becoming why we’re on a process, why we’re on a journey. It’s like you don’t have to necessarily look at it like a ladder. And I think that’s what we so often do, is we’re like, we’re trying to get to this top this like that this peak or this mountain top. Right. But that’s not the point. I don’t think life is lived like that. Right.

I think we’re living on like if you think about the wave, like it’s recycling itself, you’re constantly utilizing the momentum that you just had.

You’re going to retract back and it just gives you further momentum to go forward again.

And if we constantly live in a session or a series or a season of traction right now, we don’t see the beauty of that next step.

And that’s when grieving pain, isolation can literally put you into a place of suicidal thought and doing something out of anger that you wouldn’t usually do because you’re not focused on the promise of God. Right. Which is the forward momentum that he literally gives us before we were even conceived.

And it’s true because I would not have trusted my pain with anyone.

I trusted my pain with God because we already had an experiential relationship in the sense that I knew he he was trustworthy, wasn’t going to use it against me. He wasn’t going to shame me with it. So I did I I was able to give him that sort of. Yeah. Even all the failures, because there’s a form of there’s a portion of regret.

Yeah. But you go through when you’re losing things. If I had done this of them that I should. And so even given him that and him saying to me because you’re not God like I should have done this, I should have done I guess.

No, I got that you’re not God. I am.

So so it really relieves you of a lot as well as far as failure goes, it just relieves you of that burden. And the thing about him is when you do mess up the beauty of his love for us, it. You lift your head under the weight of what you did, and so that to me is priceless to be able for him to remove that burden, not that I haven’t had him removed consequences. So consequence.

We’ll talk about that next time. But the the weight of it. Yeah, it’s really good that he looks good. And that’s like the whole process. I remember actually being like at the altar and being just like downcast and disappointed and in need. So much in need of him, of somebody to be able to lock eyes with where I didn’t feel any component of of anger, of of expectations that have been broken of entitlement, even like I just wanted to just be seen as like this baby.

And I as an adult, you never picture yourself like that. At least I didn’t at that point. And I remember in that light, because God speaks to me through, like vision as I’m talking to him, as I’m praying to him, as I’m I’m not even sometimes saying words, but he’s just showing me. And he just he just took my head and he just lifted it and he just lifted my chin to his, like, glorious beauty.

And I just remember feeling like I can now lay this down because you see me and I’m beautiful in your eyes. And that is what he desires so deeply from us as children, is to just look at him, just like you said earlier in the conversation, like there’s a thousand things that are vying for your attention at any given moment. So if we’re talking about like living our last day or living life to the fullest, like, why let all of those things distract us from this knowing relationship of goodness, of light, of love, of admiration.

And when you’re in tune with him and you know that he’s seeing the best in you, you want to live as that person all the time.

Yeah, that’s true. You definitely want to step into his you know, what he’s showing you about his character and his nature and his deep love that love is everything.

And so it brings me to this thought that I and this kind of off topic, but not because of what he said.

Yeah. All about his love. Yeah. When I was crying out to the Lord about it at one point and I said, your God, you saw this could have stopped it. He didn’t stop it. Clearly you have a plan. But I’m really mad that you did not stop. But you could have done it your God. And he said to me, no, Sherry, I did not lift my hand to stop the death of Larry, but nor did I lift my hand to stop the death of my own son so that you two could have your loved one back as well.

And so I was like that just really quiet.

I was like, you know, what a good God paves the way for a solution, even in the midst of the fact. The reality and the truth is, is that death will separate us.

And if I could go one step further, he in that pain that I feel of the separation of Larry, that that which still lingers, I do believe, because he is a good God, I do believe that is a taste. He is generous and kind enough to give us a taste of what it will be like to be eternally separated from our loved ones are from him. So we get this shadow, everything about this life as a shadow of heaven.

And so this pain is over.

What do you want to say, just overwhelming pain sometimes, and it still comes and goes in that in that regard and I running out, but that pain is just a sample saying, hey, baby, I just want you to realize that it hurts to be separated from me. And this is just a taste of what it will be like. So consider me sweetheart.

Consider me, you know, so I still think it’s even in that level of experience through pain, it still has value.

Yeah, I still got redeeming and giving everything of value and just like heaven to be so good, it shakes me.

Because as you’re saying that I’m I’m envisioning this pretty I say like Jesus form of Tamira, but I actually like I came to know God in middle school and I accepted him into my heart in high school.

And so I while I thought I was living separate, he was still within me. And I can look in hindsight, of all the times that he was there literally having that conversation with me, saying this is what it feels like to be away from me. Is this the choice that you continue to make? You have a choice and in free will is something he gifted us. And yet so often we choose the wrong path and yet he never moves.

He can pick up right where we never moves. We’re the we’re the prodigal, right. We’re the one coming. OK, I’ve got what I need from you, Daddy. I’m going back out trying this thing again on my own terms, OK? I’m back out.

And yet he is steadfast in his ways. He’s never changing. He is always giving and he is willing.

Every time we come back, no matter how many times like we never left to hug, to lift my chin again and to just lock eyes with me.

And so I often utilize, like when I’m talking to anyone, whether it’s in business, whether it’s in personal relationships, whether it’s in marriage. About that conversation that he had with Peter, like to step out of the boat like that visual for me is just my life, really. And realizing that the moment you lose sight of his eyes is the moment you start to sink. And I mean, just in what’s the word like simplistic or surface conversation or surface experience versus this this deep pain that we’re talking about.

This happens every day, like we’re constantly faced with a storm and we’re constantly, oh, there’s a squirrel. Let me try.

Oh, wait, hold on. It’s everything. And I like even something as small as, like, my going to the gym in the morning and the playlist that they have on. It’s not my choice of playlist. And yet I’m it’s my choice to show up to a gym, then that’s their choice of playlist. And I my heart breaks when I’m there. And so I’m, I’m working out, I’m doing something good for my body that God would have me do and steward my body as a vessel that he’s provided.

And at the same time, my heart is breaking because I’m thinking about these people who are singing words to a song that might just be, you know, of an era like of the eighties or the nineties or the thousands or the next decade of the last decade. And that that’s the what’s being infused in their spirit. Right, whether they know it or not. So then how do you act that out? And a music is a huge part of my life and how I’ve shifted my life away from secular music into only surrounding myself and worship because it is my warfare.

And so I guess as we round this out, like is realizing that pain exists at every given moment of our day and it’s just our choice on are we locking eyes with the Heavenly Father who sees through that pain, who comforts past that pain and who provides a promise beyond that pain.

He meets us in their. Shepherds you through, yeah, stewards. Yeah, I just love the fact that he never tires of our return. He looks forward to what he looks for us. I mean, how can that count how many times I’ve been a prodigal child?

Yeah, but my biggest connection with him, I want to start to break down some young after I had children is the fact that I could look at the relationship between a parent and child and look to see how he saw me through that. And so that gave me courage to continue to come back every time I get out of the way.

So now at this stage of the game, I’m able to return quicker way as long as it’s like with your children, if you’ve got nobody, in my opinion, no one can have a favorite child.

You might relate to one over the other, but nobody has a favorite child. But you don’t love your children any less. A one who might choose to stay away from the family because maybe they’re doing something that they don’t we shouldn’t be doing when they know it’s not going to be looking. But they don’t miss out on your love. What they miss out on is on your blessings, on the relationship, on being closer and having the benefit of your presence in a close contest so your children, you don’t love me any less, but they’re out there running around in the world.

But if they draw close, they get the expression, the love they get the outpouring of your gifts, they get all that extravagance that you have for them. And that’s how I see that God has for us. He doesn’t love us any less and he doesn’t love one more than the other. But if we draw close to him, we get love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control, all the fruits of the spirit.

And it’s such a beautiful way to live, I swear.

Holy cow, girl, you have had to be so emotional today. I’m not even about to start my period. So you got a meeting with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit and actually somebody on live with us said the Holy Spirit is so within this conversation. I sense his presence so much. And I was so grateful for this bond that we have in the sisterhood that continues to evolve. And for your light and like immense love for people is just it’s palpable.

And I’m grateful for it. And I’m excited to see that through your finding God in your pain, finding God in our pain is the exact name of her podcast. You have to go tune in. She is about to release Episode six and she’s got a fun milestone ahead. So I’m not going to tell you what it is. You’ve got to go find out. You’ve got to subscribe, review, like do all the things on behalf of my friend Jerry Pilkington, on behalf of everybody here listening today, we love you.

You are loved beyond just us by a heavenly father who sees you and knows you and intimately wants to just be in relationship with you. And so I thought as you were talking about that connection between motherhood and for those listeners who aren’t mothers yet or who are fathers will never be a mother, is the realization that that comes in so many ways to and just like your your dog, if you’re a dog, mom, I speak to my dog lovers right now, like they have that same adoration for you all the time, no matter what, as our Heavenly Father does.

And I was imagining, as you were saying, that like my kids getting lost in a grocery store, which thankfully has never happened to me, but I’ve heard many stories that it does is like you’re searching for them and a desperation. And yet the difference is God knows where we are live, leave us.

And so he he doesn’t have to worry other than to know that, like, they’ll be back. They’ll be back. And and that’s that constant outpouring of love.

I wish I could stand in the grocery store. It’s safe and sound knowing they’re coming back.

But you don’t have that. We live in a place of brokenness. We live in a place of pain. But yet there’s so much sweetness that exists in the mist. And so it’s our locking eyes with him to be reminded. Cheri, do you have any final words of wisdom to gift us with? It’s been such a treasure. Oh, I don’t I can’t remember what I just said.

I love you now. I just his presence is everything that’s in his presence. That’s everything. That’s the gold in whatever this life has. And he does have an extravagant, deep love for you. Or he is writing a love story tailor made from his heart to yours.

So dig in, lean in, recline in his lap, recline in his great love for you. You just won’t find that anywhere else. People try and they meanwell and they want to, but they will never know. There’s no rival that stands in front of him. He’s the only one. This has been too good.

I’ve got to replay it for myself just to stay in the world. But I love you and I appreciate you.

Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you all. Thanks for tuning in. See you next time.

Hey, it’s me again, I hope in today’s episode, you sense and ignite to an ember within you, something mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually moving that creates and sustains a fire within your journey. Before you go, let’s solidify the flame. I’d love for you to take a step right now and declare your take away by snapping a pic of the episode you tune to share your sparked moment and tag me at Bitan Face Underscore podcast or me personally at Tamara on.

Instead, I hope that I can keep you accountable and also share you with the greater community of the Bitten Food Podcast listeners. We’re totally in this together. Community over competition is the motto, right? I’d also be incredibly grateful if you took an extra second to lead a review on iTunes or your podcast listening app. I’d love to feature your thought in the next episode and give you and your passion project a big shout out. You know I’m a writer, so I love words and I can’t wait to read what you have to say.

I’m ready to fuel the flame with you together and until next time, blessings over your joy, help, wealth and wholeness. Tune in next time.

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