Mirror Moment: Who’s Staring Back at You – With Anthony Hart

When you look in the mirror you see something, you see someone, but do you know who they are? Do you know their passions and their purposes? Do you see the true beauty of all they were intended to be? Or are there masks, facades, titles, messes, cracks, lies, addictions, enmeshments that are holding you back from the real you?

Today’s episode, with guest speaker, Pastor Anthony Hart, has you self-reflecting with your own mirror moment not by condemnation but by concentration and challenge.

He takes what the world would deem dirty and he helps you realize that it doesn’t matter what others expectations are, it doesn’t matter what others call you or need you to be, it matters who you are called to be. And in the end, no matter what, we’re all called to love and it starts with the mirror or self-love.

Don’t let addictions, stuff, fear, or relationships block you from seeing yourself clearly. It’s time to identify who you are – own it – walk into it with confidence – and be just that – You!

Mirror Moment Anthony Hart
Real Truth of a mirror moment from a pastor

If you’re interested in learning more about Pastor Anthonys ministry check out https://www.gogcc.org/

Show Notes: Mirror Moment: Who’s Staring Back at You – With Anthony Hart

Tamra: Well, welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome to episode two of the fit and faith podcast. We are here with someone that I treasure dearly. You guys had an opportunity in episode one to meet and greet his beautiful wifey Morgan Hart. And today you are coming, we said last week that you were not quite her better half.

Anthony Hart: I would have to say that I’m definitely her better half but I’m coming to terms with it. She’s my better half in marriage. If that other person is not your better half than why are you with them?

Tamra: It’s true. I like it. I think we bring together each other with that intent, of coming to completion. So Anthony is not only my pastor from the session. He is a really good friend. He is an uncle to my babies and has stepped into the role of the brother in recent years and I’m excited to share how that kind of evolved. And while in the Christian faith, people often call brothers and sisters based on the fact that they’re a Christian. So they’re naturally in that role, but he really has come into being a family member and I’m really grateful for the wisdom that he brings, but also the hilarity and goofiness have I hope you unfold for these people over the course of the next hour. So yeah, today we are going to talk about a lot of different things.

I’m sure we’ll go into different spaces, but the concept of why we came together and how our lives kind of symbiotically progressed into where we are today had a lot to do with our, our identity and our journey on creating the who of who we are. But more so who’s we are and releasing what the expectations of other people have put on us. The expectations I think we oftentimes put on ourselves without really realizing but being able to stand in our own identity. And so we’re going to unpack that a bit for you and I’m sure Anthony will go into a bit of his testimony as he does it. And I’ll share some of mine too. So enjoy.

Anthony Hart: Talking about the who’s who I didn’t know if we were in a dr Seuss novel or I don’t know that he does novels, books. I would think that would be a really cool dr Seuss character though. I don’t know how that would look, but I think the beard helps the shape come to life. The Lorax, the Lorax, you can totally see that. I don’t remember what he says, but something about trees.

Tamra: There you go. If you guys can’t see this when you’re listening to the podcast, but Anthony has a very lovely beard that is new to his identity because he came from being clean shave for awhile.

Anthony Hart: Yeah, that’s, I guess that’s huge of my story in more ways than one. I’m raised in a super traditional religious home and, and, and I don’t, I don’t want to say that anything that’s my parents, let me first apologize for anything that I might say over the next hour. If my mother and my father watched this. I love you. You’ve done an amazing job raising me. And the Holy Spirit has just taken on that capacity since then. And raise me a little bit more. But yeah, we were raised in a super traditional home. No TV in our home collects the seventh grade having a beard was against our religion. I, I can remember just people having beards and coming in and getting saved. And like one of the first steps of change was to shave their beard off and now you can go to heaven type thing.

So I always say the first couple of years of my life, I was told I was going to hell if I had a beard. And then I joined the Navy and I couldn’t have a beard. I was gonna get fired if I have a beard. So the day that I ever wear your stash? No, I had a stash at one time. We were on deployment and I let it grow outre and it got real as you can or you can’t see those of you that watch on Facebook or Instagram, it is really thick. So it was very Burt Reynolds’s desk. So I didn’t tell Morgan at all that I was growing it and we got a chance to do a video conference live for like Christmas and Ty was just a baby at the time. So I popped up on the screen and I had this mustache and she doesn’t start the conversation with, Hey, I love you.

It is, you better shave that before you get home. So then all the guys were like, you’re not going to shave her. I’m like, I know who butters my bread. And before I walk off the ship it was definitely gone. So after I retired from the Navy, I said, I’m going to grow a beard. And that was August 25th of a year and a half ago. And I said I’m going to wait until Christmas. That’s for four months. And we’ll see how it looks. And on Christmas, Morgan liked it as much as I did. So here we are. It’s a year and a half in the making now and it is a bit biblical. I feel like I could part of the red sea or at least be standing in the gap when God decides to do that. Mainly because of the beard. So yeah, play like a featured role in one of the new Jesus movies coming out.

They’ve got to do a reboot of the 10 commandments here soon because that’s what Hollywood does. We don’t do new things or just reboot them. So if I could be Charlton Heston, that would be amazing. And as my wife would say, well when you were first saying your story, I thought you said beer. Oh, but you said beard. I did say beard, but it also is a good conversation. It is not one that I’ve been easy and willing to have in times past. I guess so it’s coming off if you, if you know me intimately you know, that I enjoy a good craft beer, not a Miller light or anything like that, but I do enjoy a good beer every now and then. And that was another thing in my early childhood and coming up and the religion I was raised in if you had a beer you were going to hell.

And one of the biggest parts of my identity was truly having to find that for me. What that meant. Was it right? Was it wrong? What the extent of it was? Because you know, I don’t want to turn this into a religious banter as you talking against all the time, but if you know me, I’m going to talk about the Bible because if anything in my life, I really feel like we’ve restricted access to what the Bible actually says and who God is. We’ve made him this angry father who does crazy things like cause earthquakes and kill babies. And I don’t think that’s who God is at all. And I think sometimes in the church we restrict access by saying you have to come in and look like, act like sound like us, so you can have access to this God who loves us and he creates this little club that there are a people on the outside who are broken trying to figure this thing out, but figure like they can never get good enough to get in there.

So they’re just empty in this place. This God-shaped hole that exists in their life is just void and they don’t know why. And they try to replace it with anything and everything. So it was one of the things that I had to really say, okay, God, is this right? Is it wrong? I’m not gonna talk to somebody who does believe it’s right or somebody that does believe it’s wrong. I want to hear from you. So I really got in the word and looked into it. And you know, I completely believe that being drunk is wrong. 

It’s several times in the Bible, but you know, there’s something about when Jesus turned water into the water, into wine. I think the reason that you call that drunk in this being wrong so many times opens the door to say, okay, it’s, if it was just wrong altogether, it would just condemn alcohol. Right? But it’s the act of it. I think so many times we confuse that in the world where you know, there’s a lot of people who are overweight and hitting the buffets after church on Sunday. I guess they missed that scripture on gluttony. Because it’s not wrong to eat, but it is wrong to overeat. We allow things.

Tamra: Well I think it’s the exact thing of like what you were saying at the very beginning is access. There is a difference between access and excess. And so we have access to a lot, God has given us access to everything that we have from mental, physical, spiritual beings, our health, all of the above. But anything in excess can be turned into. An addiction can be turned into a detriment to our identity. Which is exactly like where we’re, where we started in the concept, of where this is going. 

And so I think alcohol, while it is an open door conversation with somebody who might see the church in just one box, it’s not, it’s not who you are. It doesn’t define you by any means. Like your beard doesn’t define you. We like it about you and I like to have a good beer with you, but at the same time, like I’ve never seen you drunk one time and I’ve known you for three years and I think you can say the same about me.

Tamra: I don’t know. I’m still coming into my faith a little bit here, but I think that it’s really, it’s imperative to know that as there are different parts of us and at some point in your life you might have to restrict what things you have access to and, and maybe that is alcohol. And I don’t think that there’s anything wrong like I’ve given up for lent. Gary and I have multiple times done that. And it is, it’s a restoration and a refresh process and that’s everything from food. 

We’ve given up desserts when we have a sweet tooth that’s just taking over our habits. And the same as working out and physical activity. But I think the intent of Lynn is a spiritual exercise, right? And we’re in it right now. And so it’s just knowing what things become too much in your life and then realizing, okay, how do I restrict myself to get back to a place of health and a place, of spiritual wellbeing.

Anthony Hart: One of the scariest places to be is in the bathroom staring in the mirror with nobody else around. Because that is like the only time that you can seriously look yourself in the eyes and really evaluate who you are, where you’ve come, where you’re going. And you know, you heard Morgan’s story last week. I think there’s something powerful to were her moment happened in the bathroom, in front of the mirror. Truly a place of introspective look to say, who am I? And it’s a scary place because if you’ve gotten to this place in life by making mistakes and making bad decisions, they will haunt you. And you will wear those. Like, you know, it was here that, but like death clothes, anytime you’re wrapped up in that new suit on the way out, that will define you the rest of your life. That’s what we buried them in.

And we even let a lot, you know, with family members like Oh I remember that suit. That’s what we buried him in. That’s the clothes they wear. And I think we do that so many times with our decisions and our mistakes and our actions against people and ourselves is we look in the mirror. That’s what we see our clothing and not what’s inside of them. You know, that was something in me and my identity was releasing that religious nature that I was wearing. 

You know, I was a box checker. I was, I go to church cause I have to, anytime the church was open, I was there. And you know, you’ve been there with us over this last year and a half as we stepped out of the campus pastor position, the church where you’re at at the time. And as the session became formed, it was almost like an undoing of what we thought the church was.

There were several moments where we’re like, I don’t know what this is, but we’re not supposed to do this anymore. We’re not supposed to do this anymore. And it was an undoing. And in that, we begin to find ourselves, our people. And I think that’s internal, that’s us as well. Like you talked about that excess. So many times our life begins to be defined by the stuff that we’ve been given. And we see it as blessings when God gives us something or we have a really good job and we’re able to provide for our family. But when that stuff begins to control you I’m a sports addict and there were moments in my life and my relationship with Morgan where if the game was on like my day was planned, I’m super big Cardinals fan. A baseball starts two days, so go cards.

If you’re not a Cardinals fan, I’m praying for you. But there were so many times where I would put my family on hold, I would put our marriage on hold because of a three-hour window rad to find a game. And it was moments when I had to undo some of that kind of like church, all these things. When I begin to release it then I can sit and watch it with Morgan or I’ve learned to appreciate the why behind it, why I enjoy it, but it doesn’t dictate my, my life anymore. It was the same with alcohol. If I’m having a beer to get drunk, then I’m losing my ability to speak to the life that I have within me. I’m losing the ability to be a good parent, to be a good husband. And I think that’s the problem.

When you drink to go get drunk, you’re losing your ability to be a good part of you. You are giving control to that and it will cause you to say the wrong thing when you’re not supposed to. It will cause you to take action that you wish you could take back. If you look back at this so many times, all of us that have been drunk before, whether it’s the next morning, we wake up with a headache, whether it’s the relationship you’re trying to salvage because you did something, said something wrong. It’s that giving up that control at that moment and you have to look back and say, is it worth it? Is a beer worth it? It is watching the baseball game worth it is going to the buffet six times a week and then dying of a heart attack and lose, you know, leaving your family behind without that missing piece. All of these things, when you give them control, it’s good and bad and you lose the ability to be who people need you to be.

Tamra: Yeah. I, it reminds me of some of the sessions when we first started, we would have like a theme and because the session is a place that not just pastor you speak, but you give the opportunity for all the voices to be heard. We had the conversation around hangovers and I remember specifically relating hangovers to so many facets of our life that we walk through hangovers and that I feel like the devil is keeping us trapped in a constant state of a hangover. 

Whether it’s from a relationship that you’re getting over or something, a mistake you made in your marriage that then you’re constantly living in this place of shame and guilt. And I think that’s where we rest when you’re in a hangover. I know the hangover feeling of like being addicted to shopping, which I feel like I went through that phase and, and speaking of and identity and, and shedding yourself from that.

I lived in a constant state of buyer’s remorse and that to me is like the hangover state of having a shopping addiction. And so being able to like literally let go of those things and become whole from it. It’s not, you don’t go back out and go shopping cause the same thing is going to feel that way the next day. And so it comes with anything that you are experiencing and shedding in your life. 

If you can now recognize the pain and realize what started the pain and going back to the root of it. Because oftentimes people don’t even really know why those things exist. I don’t, I just liked shopping. I just thought it was something I’ve always done. It made me feel good and, and that was it. But there was so much more to it that I had to uncover and understanding who and how you’re cultivated is how that happens.

And we talk about it from the, from the state of, of gardening and like really digging up the roots. You’re never gonna fully get the weed if you just pick up the green that’s over the surface. Cause there’s so much more to that plant, just like there’s so much more to our being than the fact that, Oh, she likes to shop. I don’t want that to define me. I don’t want that to be who I am. I definitely don’t want to be an alcoholic and I’m surrounded by things like this all the time. So it’s an interesting like segue to where we had those conversations. And I’ve seen where we’ve grown from them and I say we because it’s a collective whole of the people that I’ve been there who are realizing and recognizing the access that we’re given through the Bible and through so many other things of just spirituality and then just connect with other people. Like the intent is for us to live a whole life, not to live a broken, hungover, exhausted, like starving life.

Anthony Hart: And you’ve talked a lot about, I know just the first two weeks about how you’re pulling yourself out of the rat race. It’s amazing. We live in an addictive society. And it’s all of this stuff. The job you’re striving for from the day you start school, that’s the first thing here. You’ve got to get good grades to get a good job so you can take care of your family. So you’ve put into motion this just addictive nature to succeed. One of the biggest problems I had to get over in my life was when I saw that even as a pastor where ambition was my drive, my goal, and I was chasing these titles and I was chasing these positions and I wasn’t even really doing what I should have been doing in those positions. You’ll hear me say this a lot now I don’t need you to call me pastor.

I just need to be a pastor. I don’t need a tie. I don’t need it. And I think that’s what, you know, our relationship, how it kind of blossomed as it wasn’t the fact that you called me to a pastor. It was through relationship, through friendship, before anything else. When you and Gary came into Morgan and his life, we became friends before anything. We were all, we were both in a church at that time where we had a pastor. So we were able to connect I think in a deeper sense than just a title. And through that, there were moments where I was able to pastor you and now you call me pastor. I don’t receive that as a title. I received that as a term of endearment. The same way I receive daddy or husband, all these things. I don’t ever want to be called something by somebody that doesn’t see me like that.

There’s a whole lot of people that are going to listen and watch this that would maybe call me pastor Anthony. But if I’m a pastor, you then don’t call me a, I don’t see it as a title. I see it as a calling. I think that’s everything in your life. If you’re not being a good husband or a wife, then you need to strive to be better at it. So almost like your wife doesn’t have to call you any of that or that anymore. It just flows out of her. Everything she does is saying, you’re such a good husband. I want to give to you. I love you because I, I recently challenged a young couple to go a couple of days without saying, I love you and before y’all get crazy and say goodness, but I said, what if from the moment you woke up to the moment you went to sleep, everything you did was to show that person that you loved them.

Three of the most overused words in this culture in the world, I believe is I love you. And it’s become so surface and fake. We say it all the time, Oh, love you, but nobody feels loved. That’s the problem in the church. We say God loves you and you walk into a church and you don’t feel loved. Maybe that’s the whole reason that I had to get out of church for a bit was that I saw so much hurt in the name of God and churches where people who were supposedly trying to help me get better. I saw people pushed out and edged out because they didn’t look like act like sound like because they hadn’t had the same revelation or same they think the same way as somebody else or they questioned some, God forbid we question anything. Right? and it was at that moment that I did not want to be a part of any of that.

And as I’ve pulled away from all of that, I was able to begin to see that there was still this love there that I could access personally for myself. And I wanted to take that back into. So it wasn’t that God was sitting there telling me, I love you. It was in everything I was doing and receiving. He was showing me. Absolutely. And I think that’s what the amazing place is. There are so many times that I look around and I say, I don’t deserve this. And I’ll tell you this if you’re at a place where you think you deserve what you’ve got, you were living at a place in limit because what you’ve probably had is from ambition. It’s from what you’re able to do and all of that. Because I know a God that is willing to give you exceedingly and abundantly more than what you can even fathom. So if you’re in a place where you feel justified and you feel like you’ve earned everything you’ve got, you’re limited. So the moment I look around, I’m like, wow, I don’t deserve the session. I don’t deserve.

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

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

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

I’m a type three. I have achieved since I was four years old. I remember doing it from gymnastics all the way into church settings. And feeling like, Oh, if I’m the lead worship leader. Yeah, that’s a funny story. I’ve never told Morgan. I used to be on the microphone for life and I can barely sing. So I won’t give you an example like Morgan did last week, but I thought, Oh, I’m deserving of this and I wanted the limelight and this experience as I’ve grown into a ministry, I so much like I was so hesitant to put my name on my business card and I remember Morgan and I have like an all-out fight for a couple of weeks, she was like, it’s so good. This is what I want you to have. And I had a really, really hard time doing it to this day when I see it like, Oh gosh, I wish it was something else because it’s not about me anymore. And that’s where you come to the mirror when you know I’m not coming as Tamar Lee Andrus, I’m coming as a child of God and that’s where we’re deserving. So I hear from you. And I think that it’s so powerful for us to strip away the things that are limiting and blocking us from actually seeing who we are in the mirror.

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

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

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

You’re listening. But man, that’s the little stuff that makes so much of the little stuff when those people contribute to us. Yeah. You know, one of the things when we come up with a session, we really tried to figure out what it was, but in the midst of all the questions and all that, the one thing that’s always stood is our kind of our mode, our motto or tagline. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to be better and love you when you’re not. That’s life. If you’re not doing that, if you don’t have people who constantly challenge you to be better, not making you feel bad because you’re not, not talking down to you, not walking away when you slip and fall, but truly challenging. You just take a step when you can’t even crawl, but then loving you and you don’t, and nursing you back to health when you’re broken and picking you up. And maybe even taking that step with you walking back a couple of steps to pick you up to help you walk. So many times we surround ourselves with ambitious people and those are the people who aren’t even willing to come to help you up when they need to because their stuff’s in the way and they’re so focused on where they’re trying to go that they miss neglect you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And when you try to get better, you try to better yourself. Now they start comparing their selves to you and Oh, Tamar is just trying to be better than me. I knew who you were and they will continually try to tell you who you were and where you’ve come from. Don’t tell me who you are right now. I know where you are, I know what you’ve done. But if you forgive yourself, those people can’t hold you to that anymore if the people you’ve wronged. I think that’s something we miss too is the people you’ve wronged. 

You may need to go apologies to them, but there are so many people that make you aware of these titles and they had no stake in it at all other than being a third party that witnessed it. And then that becomes the definition of you. If I’ve wronged somebody, I need to go to that person and receive forgiveness. But at that moment we walk away from it. I don’t care what you think. If you saw that event it’s the same way with God the things that we’ve done in our past. Once you get forgiveness from him, if he’s forgiving you, then that’s it. You won’t have to wear that stuff.

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

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

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

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

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

Anthony Hart: Yes. And it’s not self-love just to get what you think you deserve. It is self-love because God made you that way. God made you different. I just had a little girl that comes to the session. She said she went to church the other morning and somebody called her stupid. Or you’re at all the time with kids. Especially though, because kids care can be really hard to be different because there’s an expectation that everybody’s going to look like the same act, the same. And why is that? Because parents are all dressing them the same and there’s an expectation when the one stands out and does something different. God forbid you’re the parents that let your kid color their hair or wear something. Oh my gosh. Then you stand out and you stand to be different and suddenly you start wearing these labels that even as a child they put on you.

Anthony Hart: So the self-love is loving who you’ve been made to be loving the way you visualize things, the way you think about stuff. If I’m an over-thinker to a fault, I’ll spend 45 minutes standing in the deodorant aisle. Why can’t they just have two options? Maybe just one. And I’m like, Ooh, I like this scent, but I’ve bored this one three times in a row now is it going to lose its ability to keep their wife crazy? I do. It’s bad. Like I’ll go, I’m, I have the heart to give. There are so many times I’ve walked into a store and I’m like, Ooh, I want to get Morgan something. 

So I go look at it and like, then I started doing risk versus award. Well, what if she doesn’t like it? I don’t know if I want to waste the money when I could just ask her what she wants or take her to get something and then I just walk out of the store that getting or something and then she’d like, you just don’t ever think of him as that girl. You don’t know how much I think about you. I just don’t see the reward because I’m too busy overthinking what I think you deserve. But it’s, that’s life.

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

And you just said, why? And I remember just standing there and like staring at you and like, Oh my gosh, he really wants me to answer this question and I can think of a thousand reasons. And I knew that none of them had validity, that none of them were the true why. I was afraid of what I would uncover. I was afraid, of investing in something, not knowing what I was going to get in return. And so I did it mainly because you were my big brother at the time and I’m like, dang it, he’s expecting me to do this. 

I did it. Well, I did it so well and it became like a turning point for me and yeah, and set me on the journey of, you know, becoming a pastor myself. But again, not wanting to claim that title just because I’m so intrigued by people and like wanting to share from my own testimony. So I thank you for being an example to me and just being here today and I know that it won’t be the last cause people are going to be eager to hear more of your heart.

Anthony Hart: It’s just been amazing to see your growth. I’m going to finish with that. I’m the exclamation point on this fit and faith because like you said I saw the broken. That’s the first time I met you. That’s, that was the first snapshot. When we met you and Gary was this brokenness. And now to see that there are still fragments there. That’s what’s amazing is God doesn’t take this and make it beautiful and restore everything. What he takes are these broken pieces that you took and that you feel invalidating that can never be used again. And he slowly begins to reposition them and put things in places that you didn’t think even belonged there. And before you know it, you’re broken. This is beautiful because he has this greater perspective of who you are. So yes, you don’t have to wear that title pastor, but there are women on the other end of this podcast and even men, I think that may never call you that, but that’s what you’re doing.

You’re pastoring, you have the heart to care for people, to shepherd them, to usher them through life, to help them not have to make the same mistakes you did. I think that’s, that’s the legacy you’re leaving out. That’s the tie. That’s what legacy is. Legacy is me preparing you so you don’t have to fight the same battles I fought again. It’s so you can walk out of my shoulders and be better than I am. That’s what all of our purposes should be for our kids, for everybody that comes after us. So I think that’s the purpose of this fit and faith podcast is you’re going to have voices in here for health, for spiritual, physical, all of those things. And it’s so that you don’t have to relearn lessons. The hard lessons that we had to learn. Again, when you embrace your identity and who you’ve been, and then you just get these weapons from all these people, you’re ready to walk out and just fight some major battles.

Like I always think about this. I’m going to go super Bible on you for a minute. David, when he had to fight Goliath-like he walked into this camp and saw who was the King at the time and his whole big bad army, they had all these weapons, the swords and all this armor and all that stuff. And they could not win this battle. They’d won so many battles. But this was the one thing they couldn’t do. And then saw when he meets David Davis, like, I’ll go fight him. And they, I was like, okay, well you need to wear this armor. You need to pick this sorta. Here’s how you swing it. And he’s like showing him how to fight the way he fought. And David’s like, Nah man, this ain’t even comfortable. Let me go get a couple of stones. I’m gonna go pick up my stones. That has way more meaning if you think about it. And what he had learned to fight within a field with his sheep, he’d killed a bear. He killed a lion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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