Joyce Meyer - The Desires Of A Woman's Heart
Ginger Stache: Hey, everyone. Get in here. This is the perfect time for you to be here because this is Joyce Meyer's Talk it Out podcast, where Joyce shares the Word of God, in her practical, no-nonsense way that we all love. And my friends, and I, talk about the real stuff of living it every day, and we don't hold anything back. I'm Ginger Stache, with Jai, and Erin Cluley, three friends who are all in very different stages of life, and we're going to talk about that a lot today, who understand the importance of having honest, loving women around you. When we need a little extra help, we call up our friend, ms. Joyce, because sometimes, you just need to talk about life with your girlfriends. So, consider yourself one of us, get on in here, because today, we also have our beautiful friend Lisa Harper with us. I'm so happy to be with y'all, so happy. I was just feeling so sorry for the person who saw me out of the corner of their eye and thought, "Oh, yay. Ms. Joyce is there". I'm so sorry.
Lisa Harper: I'm so sorry, but I'm so happy to be with you all.
Ginger Stache: That's kind of my life. Is that, "Oh, you're not Joyce".
Lisa Harper: Just that deep disappointment, when they realize you're not Joyce. "No, I'm not Joyce".
Ginger Stache: Sorry, yeah. Well, what we're doing today is going to be, I think, really deep and important, but also a lot of fun because you can't help but have fun with this group. And it is for everybody, we're talking about the heart of a woman, today. So, we're gonna talk about the desires that God puts in our hearts, and how those are met, and how, sometimes, it feels like maybe, they're not being met. So, we're gonna talk about moms and real-life situations, and disappointments, and a lot of things that many of you may be going through. So, let's just start. Lisa, if you don't mind, fill everybody in on your path to motherhood, will you do that?
Lisa Harper: Path to motherhood, yeah, it was a bumpy one. I am 58. I just turned 58 yesterday. So, I am 58 now.
Ginger Stache: Happy birthday.
Lisa Harper: Thank you, it was a good one.
Ginger Stache: You know, me too, high-five. Me too.
Lisa Harper: You're not 58.
Ginger Stache: I am fifty,we are the same age.
Lisa Harper: What are you taking? I need whatever you are taking. You look great.
Ginger Stache: Thanks, you too.
Lisa Harper: Your skin has more elasticity than mine. The reason I say my age is, my daughter is just 12. And so, I became a mom, at the age of 50, through the miracle of adoption. I was telling a friend, recently, 'cuz she just sees my life now, and she's like, "Your life is so fulfilled, and you seem so happy". I was like, "You know, God has been so good". My whole life he's been good. But I was just thick as a brick in my twenties and thirties, and I don't mean in the commodores, kinda way. I just, was really, really broken. There's some molestation in my background, and so, I was really drawn to abusive men. And God protected me from the guys, I was most attracted to, and the few, good, godly guys, I dated, God protected them from me, 'cuz I was hot mess express. And so, by the time, I got to my forties, and God healed kind of the deepest roots of toxicity, you know, how you can know Jesus as your Savior, but you don't yet know him, as liberator? I just lived there for a long time. So, I knew,i knew, I needed him to deliver me from my sins. You know, I'd walked the aisle and gave my heart to Jesus, when I was a little kid. I just didn't think he liked me very much. I carried shame for a really, really long time. And so, by the time, I got to my forties, I'm not saying I was perfectly fixed, but I think the deepest roots of that brokenness, he had so graciously and redemptively pulled out. But I realized, "I'm not gonna be a mom," because at that point,i don't know if you can say this on talk it out, but my ovaries were raisins.
Ginger Stache: You're very welcome to say that.
Jai Williams: We talk about ovaries and uterus.
Lisa Harper: Score, score!
Ginger Stache: We talk about raisins, too.
Lisa Harper: I'm so glad, 'cuz it's in Leviticus and song of Solomon. But I thought, you know, I know God isn't capricious, but I'm just not gonna get to be a mom, because I sabotaged so many decades, when I shoulda, woulda, coulda, either been adopting, or had a child of my own, or married, and...
Ginger Stache: So, talk about that shame. It seems like there was even false shame with that aspect of your life.
Lisa Harper: Huge shame. There's even shame, and I don't,i really don't want to say anything that's unkind or sounds bitter, but I do think, unwittingly, the church makes an idol out of motherhood and out of marriage. And I can't tell you how many times that I would walk into a church and just go, "Oh, crud. You know, I don't fit in this place". And I loved the church, I loved the bride of Christ. I just didn't always feel like I was welcome there. No one was unkind. It was, again, I think, most of the time, it was just a subconscious thing. I remember, one mother's day, I live in Nashville Tennessee. One mother's day, I walked into church and there were little kids, beautiful, little pumpkins carrying those flat, kinda Martha Stewart baskets, you know, that you collect roses in, or daisies. They were at each of the entrances, as you walked in the sanctuary. And they were holding these daisies, and as you walked past, these pumpkins would go, "Are you a mother"? And then, you know, if you said, "Yes," they'd hand you a daisy. And all the women, I was around, were like, "Yes, oh, thank you, honey. That's so sweet," and they'd walk in. And I thought, "Do I lie, in church"? Or do I say, "No, I'm not a mother"! You know?
Jai Williams: "I don't get a daisy".
Ginger Stache: "Do I turn around and run the other way"?
Lisa Harper: Yeah, and I just thought, "This is just weird". And of course, nobody was planning that event thinking, "Let's make the old, 40-year-old women, with, you know, who are in elastic pants and have no children, feel weird today". It just was kind of this miss. And so, I got to where I just wouldn't go to church on mother's day. I'd go to Starbucks, get the biggest frappuccino they had 'cuz I thought if Jesus wanted us to do paleo, he wouldn't have said he was the bread of life. So, I would get as many carbs as I could, and really grieve those days, because I thought, "I have missed it. I believe he's a good God, but because, I was a train wreck, I've missed that".
Ginger Stache: I love that you're sharing this because, I'm sure that, there are a lot of our friends, who are listening right there, right now, who either have been or a currently are,or let me bring in another group of people, those women who have not felt called to be a mother, and it felt like there's something wrong with them.
Lisa Harper: Absolutely. And you know, infertility, in scripture is, God is so tender with infertility. And so, whether you don't feel called, or you haven't been biologically able, or like, me, you missed the window because there are just things in your life that took a long time to heal: I think that tends to be almost like the scarlet letter a. It's just the scarlet letter, you know, negative m. You're not a mom. So, you're kind of a second-class citizen when it comes to spiritual community. And I'm like, "Golly, jeepers". First of all, scripture doesn't define a mother as one who has had children, because there's an element of mothering, and especially, for such a time as this, it is time for women to stand up and go, "I will mother in the house of God". To mother is to nurture, to mother is to be the source. Deborah,i was,when we were all praying about this, in judges, there's this verse, is it okay if I read a verse?
Ginger Stache: Absolutely. Deborah's my favorite, so, read away.
Lisa Harper: Oh, I love Deborah, I'm like, it's all I do not to get a Deborah tattoo on my calf.
Erin Cluley: Can we come, when you do it?
Ginger Stache: Yeah, we'll come along.
Lisa Harper: Can't you just wait to meet her in glory. I think she's gonna wear leather pants, like Lisa Bevere. Deborah,it's in judges, chapter 5, verse 7. And it says, "The villagers ceased in Israel, they ceased to be", in other words, Israel is declining in hope, in power, in significance. And listen to what she says, 'cuz she always seems really humble. You know, the rest of her story, she is not, you just don't see her kinda with a wonder woman cape. But I love this verse, it says, "Israel has ceased to be until I arose. I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel". And you go, now, that's what it means to be a spiritual mama. It is not necessarily about having children, biological, or adopted, or step, or children that you walk alongside and parent: it's actually, more about going, "I am a source of spiritual nurturing, and whether I get to do it with my own kids, somebody else's kids, or the young women around me, God has called me to use the heart he's given me, as a woman, to mother the people around me". I think God was whispering to me long before I became an adoptive mother, "It's time for you to be a mom. It's time for you to stand up, in the house of God, and be a mother and nurture where I've called you nurture". So, I am sensitive to women who feel less than because they are not literal, or biological, or adoptive mothers, or stepmothers. I'm real sensitive, 'cuz I know what that feels like. And I know the unintentional shame that sometimes they carry, especially, around Christians.
Jai Williams: Can we talk about that real quick. I would love to put a pin there, just because I've just been around so many young mothers, or actually, let's start with women that are single. You know, like, the pressure, and even, like you said, we love the church, love the bride, but sometimes, historically, the church has put so much pressure on young women of like, "Why aren't you dating yet"? Or, "Why aren't you married yet"? And then, women start to believe, either you do something like what I did, and I got married way early. You know, which I find out now, 20 years later, now that I'm, you know, divorced, that like, that was too soon. But the church pressure, because they thought that if I dated then that meant, I wasn't a virgin or that I was promiscuous. So, that pressure. And then, "Who are you dating"? "What are you doing"? Ahh... "I know he's single... I know..." Then, you go to the whole, once people do get married, it's like the weekend, they come back from a honeymoon, "When are you guys having kids"? 'where's the baby"? It's just the pressure, and it's not just the church, but I do,i would love like, I love the fact that you're saying, you know, that you're sensitive to that. Because that's a paradigm shift that needs to happen within the church.
Lisa Harper: Amen, and I think we need to talk about it. I don't think we talk about it enough because you don't, you know, I just think there's a lot of inherent shame there. But also, people go, "Okay, theologically, God does talk about marriage a lot and then he uses marriage as metaphor, and you've got Hosea and Gomer. And you've got", you've got all these metaphors of marriage, and it's just like, there are metaphors of marriage, but he uses those metaphors of marriage, not to say, this is the be-all, end-all. To say, "This is what you understand of intimacy. Your relationship with me is even better than that". You know, like, I love song of Solomon. I used to think I couldn't go there 'cuz you know, it's like, Danielle steel in the New Testament.
Jai Williams: It's a naughty book!
Lisa Harper: It is. And it's crazy. And yet it was a holy response to Mesopotamian pornography. And so, when you go, "Let's just call it what it is". It was God going, "We're gonna redeem this. We're gonna get this out of the gutter," but it's still super sensual. But you look at that book, and to me, the cool thing about that book is not how spicy their honeymoon was. In chapter 4, you know, "Blow on my garden," and you're like, "Wowzer". You don't even need to have an imagination to know what he's saying. The bigger issue is when you go, "Okay, Jesus is the divine bridegroom". In song of Solomon 4:9, he says, "With one glance of your eyes, you captured my heart". You go, "Oh, my heavens". If, as believers, we could even get the tiniest piece of that and go, "I capture", I didn't get that. And I think that's one of the things that messed me up so much being single, and coming from a background of abuse, is I thought,i just didn't think I was worth much. So, I would put my head down, and be real dutiful for God. And then, the fact that I didn't marry, just kind of exacerbated that. It was like, "Oh, well, then definitely, I'm kind of a scratch and dent girl because nobody picked me up and made me their very own". It took me so long to go, "Oh, that's actually about me and Jesus". The God who breathed our universe into existence, looks at me, and says, "One glance, Lisa, you captured my heart". I think if we got women to start there, women would choose better. You wouldn't have married when you were little girl, because you would have recognized, "You know what? Let me sit in his affection for a while until I'm baked. And then, once, I'm through cooking with him, he's my main man. This is my security. This is who I am. So, I'm gonna be able to have a life partner. I'm gonna be able to have a husband with skin on, but I'm not gonna expect him to meet all my emotional needs. I'm not gonna think I'm better".
Erin Cluley: I was just gonna say, when I was,i had just graduated from college and so I was single and feeling that pressure of, "Why are you not married yet? You didn't leave college with a spouse? You did it wrong, Erin".
Lisa Harper: You didn't get the mrs degree.
Erin Cluley: Exactly, it was real embarrassing. But I read this book, I think my mom gave it to me, called "The bride". And so, it was all about song of Solomon. And so, I had this revelation, when I was like 23, of exactly what you're saying. I remember, where I was. I was in my bedroom and reading that, and it was this amazing visual image of, I'm going to share with you. I was in this hall and everybody was dancing, and from across the room, Jesus came in, and he saw me, he locked eyes with me. And so, I remember, like, him just walking to me, and he saw nobody else. There was nobody else in the room, but me, and him. And he said, "Will you dance with me"? And that was a long time ago, but I still remember that. And I will go to that place when I feel like my heart is hurt, or I feel alone or rejected. "Erin, I see nobody else right now, but you. And I'm gonna walk towards you". And it changed it me. Because I didn't seek out a man to meet that place. Jesus, already I did that.
Lisa Harper: That's right. This whole thing, it drives me nuts. When i,and I've heard it in so many,did y'all, when you were younger, Jai, I feel like you and I, can kind of go here. Did you all have to do the dating, waiting, and mating seminars?
Jai Williams: Of course.
Lisa Harper: I'm like, "Ya'll that's gross. Can you call it something else"?
Ginger Stache: Dating, waiting, and mating?
Lisa Harper: Dating, waiting, and mating, yeah, ack! I got introduced at a conference,this wasn't too long ago, and the gentlemen, I mean, he was real nice. It was a singles conference. This was the one and only singles conference I've ever spoken at. Cuz, I'm like, "Nope, I don't do pizza or putt putt". But he introduced me, and trying to be kind, and he said a few things about my background, then he said, "Lisa is a beautiful, single, celibate woman". And I was like, "I'm so sure! You just said that in church"! It's like, "Yo, this is so inappropriate"! And I'm not shy. I mean, I'll tell you everything. I will lay it out there, except I will not tell you my real weight". I'll fudge that a little bit.
Ginger Stache: You gotta draw the line somewhere.
Lisa Harper: You gotta have one boundary. But I think we just, we have this,we've got it out of context. And when you get it back in context, and you get that, he is the love of our soul, that's where we start. Then all this other stuff, the Romance of it, you recognize, "Okay, that's gonna fade. God is in this together". We go into it with the expectations of the guy, on the, you know, the knight in shiny armor on the white horse. And I'm like, "No, actually, that's Jesus. Jesus is the one who rides the white horse". And when you're found by him, when you're kept by him, when you learn what it is to look into his countenance and go, "He thinks I'm the greatest". I was in a seminary class, just a few weeks ago, and it was so cool. Y'all know this. But you know those things, when you hear a truth again, and you go, "Dang. I need to relearn that. That was like, so good". Well, our professor was, you know, talking about all this deep stuff that I can't pronounce. And he was talking about the infinite nature of the character of God. And you know we're all like, "Uh-huh, uh-huh..." Taking notes, the things that'll be on the test. And he said, "What do you think", and there were only a few of us in his class. "What do you think, when you think of the infinite nature of God"? And you know, I'm thinking, "How much Greek and Hebrew do I do remember from my master's course"? 'cuz I wanna sound smart. And he goes, "Here's what I want you to know, about the infinite nature of God". He said, "Because he is infinite, he doesn't max out when it comes to love". And then, he came to each of us,we're all like in our forties and fifties. And he stopped right in front of us, and he said, "Erin, you're God's favorite". And he said, because he's infinite, "Jai, you're God's", and all us, by the time,and like, fifty-year-old men were weeping. And that's what you just said. God gave you the vision, and the rest of the room dissipated, and it was just you and him. That's actually, biblically defensible. That's theologically sound. Because he's infinite in nature, we are his favorite.
Ginger Stache: And that's, that desire of the woman's heart that we're talking about. Because one thing I love is how very, very different, we all are as women. And it's really easy to throw everybody in the hallmark movie bucket, you know, that we all want the same thing. When you look at the desires of a woman's heart, we do have that desire, like you were saying, to do something meaningful in our life, to, whether you call that nurturing, or leading, or mothering, whatever it may be, we do all have that desire to leave a legacy, to sow into other people's lives. But we also have holes in our hearts, that only God can fill. And there's so many different things that we all try to fill that with. For you, Erin, and I know that you wanted to be a mom, for a long time, before you really saw anything happen. And that was a hard thing for you too.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, it was really hard. It was, it was really difficult. And I remember thinking, just like you, I hated church on mother's day. Terribly painful, especially, 'cuz every once in a while, they'd make all of the mothers stand up. And so, you are the one still sitting down.
Lisa Harper: Right.
Erin Cluley: So, I'd never felt so alone.
Lisa Harper: And didn't you feel like you failed.
Erin Cluley: Yeah.
Lisa Harper: As if you had anything to do with it.
Erin Cluley: Yes.
Lisa Harper: Yeah.
Erin Cluley: And I kept thinking like, "If I do this, then God will give me what I want. Or if I had done this, then I would have had a child".
Lisa Harper: And the worst thing is the people who imply, I get this about marriage all the time. "Lisa, when you stop wanting a husband, when Jesus fulfills you, then he'll bring someone". And I'm like, "How old were you when you got married"? "I was twenty-two". "Oh, I bet you had amazing spiritual maturity at twenty-two". I'm so sure, you are gonna tell another believer "If you pray hard enough". I'm like, "Goodness, gracious". The damage we do, to make each other feel less than. Some of it is just, we live in a broken world that's marred by sin. That's a whole lot of it.
Erin Cluley: I just had so many conversations with God about it and we get angry at him. And like you were saying, the holes in your heart, like, "Why am I not enough? Why can't I have this thing that you,i feel like you put on my heart to have"? And I've talked to so many women who've experienced the same thing. I got to have two kids, but I still have friends who are waiting for babies for years. I read this amazing book, and this woman was talking about how she wrote this book in the midst of her waiting, because she's tired of not getting to hear that good outcome. Sometimes, we have to wait, and it hurts. So, it's hard.
Jai Williams: And my story's really different, because, mine was so different because I was hyper sped into marriage. So, I was,I'm a pastor's kid. We have talked about it so much on the on the show. But when, me and my ex, actually got engaged...
Lisa Harper: How old were you Jai?
Jai Williams: I was 20 when I got engaged. And I was only a junior in college. And my plan, that I thought me, and God had already figured it out, was that I wasn't gonna even think about getting married until after I finished grad school. 'Cuz that was, I was like, four, you'll like, go four-year college, two years for masters, then, I'll be ready to think about it.
Erin Cluley: And I'm sure you communicated that to God.
Jai Williams: I communicated that to God. And I communicated that to my ex-husband. I communicated to my father, who,none of them actually cared about what I thought me, and God had done. So, when I actually got engaged, I told my ex at the time, I said, "We won't get married until, you know, we can have a long engagement". Of course, that was faux pas for the church world. They were like, "You guys are clearly having sex. You guys are doing things unbiblical". It's like, "No, we're not. I'm actually in school, and I need him to show me that he can actually be something". You know? "And I need to show myself that I can be committed to this relationship". And so,but my dad actually pushed our marriage up, and we got married that summer. He announced it at church, yeah, it was sped ahead. And so, I felt like I was kinda like stuck.
Lisa Harper: And a little bit of a mascot.
Jai Williams: Oh, my gosh, yes! And then, I, honestly, like the night of the honeymoon it was like, "What the heck am I supposed to do? Like, I'm not even ready for this. Like, I wasn't even thinking about this. This wasn't even on my radar, for, at least another three or four years".
Lisa Harper: You should talk about that more, 'cuz I've had so many women, in private go,it's, "Do I have sex? Do I have sex"? And they wanna honor God, then all the sudden, it's the honeymoon night and they're like, "Uh"!
Ginger Stache: How do you flip the switch?
Jai Williams: From a saint to a stripper, it's like, "I don't know how to do this". I'm like, "Can we watch a movie"?
Ginger Stache: That's frowned on too.
Jai Williams: And it's like, "What do I do"? Well, then like, literally, I had such a,I'm sure we'll talk about this in some other episodes, but like, I had such a hard time with intimacy, and you know. Which, I'm owning, in divorce face, I'm owning things that, "What were some of the early years' issues"? You know, I was so afraid of it, because I was told not to. It was like, "The forbidden"! And so then to switch into that all of a sudden, and then, end up getting pregnant, like after being married, maybe about three months, we found out. I was pregnant for three months, and I found out like, a few months later. 'Cuz I was still in school, and I was still a cheerleader in school, like I was still moving. So, I was pregnant, and I'm like, I thought, it was like, "God, what in the world"? Like,i wouldn't trade my kid for anything. But I was so hyper sped into this world, of now like, now I'm in,i haven't finished college. And then, I like, my graduation, I remember, my graduation, I was almost like, nine months pregnant. And I'm like, "Well, this is not what I envisioned". Like, waddling across the stage. You know, and so, my situation, even though I wanted my kid, and I wanted her, but I just wasn't prepared. I wasn't,it felt like God was, I almost felt punished by him doing it so quickly. 'Cuz like, "What in the world"? Like,and that actually traumatized me. Ended up having a couple of miscarriages after that, but I'm like, "I don't even want any more". Like, it just really did a number on me. So, my story,like, hearing yours and like, man, it's just...
Lisa Harper: But that's so real, because we tend to go, "Oh, this is legitimate pain," and not go, gosh, the woman who goes, "We are really struggling financially, and I am fertile myrtle. And of course, I'll love this child, but I wasn't expecting a sixth". And I see that too. But they are afraid to say anything in small group, 'cuz people will go, "They are a blessing from the Lord, and these quivers in your arrow" and you're like, "Of course, I'm grateful, and I know God is sovereign, but some of this is hard".
Ginger Stache: There's so much in all of this, that God knows our individual hearts, but we don't always know our hearts as well as God does, you know. For me, I was, I was fiercely against any stereotypical thing of a woman.
Jai Williams: Shocker. That's a shocker.
Ginger Stache: So, I was like, I knew that I did not have a mother's gene in my body, anywhere. I was not gonna do the motherhood thing. You know, it just, it wasn't me.
Lisa Harper: Why, Ginger? Did you have a stereotype that was like, pink and pastel, and lace?
Ginger Stache: You know, I think it was more, I had goals, and I knew what God was calling me to, I thought. Those are two different things. So, I was walking with the Lord. But I really felt like he was asking me to do these things, and that motherhood was not something he put in me. And I think a little bit of me, thought I was broken. Like I didn't have that natural tendency that other mothers do. I loved kids, and I don't know how that works, because I've always been drawn to kids and they're drawn to me. But I didn't have that baby thing, where like, "Let me hold your baby," and, "I can't wait to have my own". I was like, "I want to nurture people in other ways. I want to be a leader. I want to sponsor children who need help". You know, all these other things.
Erin Cluley: Culture told you that you were doing it the wrong way. So, therefore, you shouldn't be a mother.
Ginger Stache: Exactly. So, I dealt with a lot of, "What's wrong"?
Lisa Harper: Second-best instead of first best.
Ginger Stache: Yes, yeah, and so, in Psalm 37, where it says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart". It was not at all, when I started praying that prayer, about getting what I wanted. It was about God, putting the desires in my heart, that were in line with his word. And so, after a while my feelings about myself, and our family, and motherhood, and all those things changed. But what's so beautiful about it, is it didn't take away those other things, that drive to lead people, and to see God work in different ways. You know, I still believe that every woman, whoever they are, God has put something specific in them. And we don't all have to fit into the same basket. We don't have to look the same, do the same. We can love ourselves, no matter what, because he does.
Lisa Harper: Homogeneity's unattractive.
Ginger Stache: Yes.
Lisa Harper: When you see the same thing, I'm like, "Well, that's just like stepford wives, that's lemmings, that's not", I think, becoming a mom older, because when I was younger, and I grew up in the south, there was that stereotype of kind of the, "Ozzie and Harriet," and it looked a certain way. And,but getting older and seeing people like you, seeing people like Lisa Bevere, who's you know, wearing leather pants and swinging a sword at 60. Seeing,i thought, "Oh, there's not this narrow paradigm. These are women who are running hard toward Jesus". And leading,isn't weird that you grew up in church, but you thought being a mother and being a leader were two separate things, which is crazy.
Ginger Stache: I did, I did. And they're not. And I think, even for men, men need to know that too. You know, there's something about being a leader that you have to be able to love and nurture the people in your care. It's called being a shepherd. And you know, that's how God sets it up. So, as women there are so many different things in our hearts, so many desires. I got a message from someone that really touched me. And she was talking about being in that place where they had tried to have children for a very long time and it didn't happen. And it still hasn't happened, and coming to where she was at a place of peace in that. Knowing that it didn't mean she was in complete. That there were things that God was doing in her life that we're good and teaching her through that. And I think that's important, that we look at all the different facets of womanhood.
Erin Cluley: My sister,i was talking to my sister yesterday. And she and I are four years apart. She's younger than I am, but she's married, and people ask her all the time, "When are you going to have a baby"? And they don't want kids. And that has been hard for her, not because she doesn't want them, they're comfortable with their decision, but that's not,like we're talking about earlier, "That's not acceptable". There's something wrong that, that's not,like, "Why don't you"? And they'll say, to my mom, "Oh, I'm so sorry. You can't have grandkids". And it makes me frustrated, for her, because she's not a second-rate woman. She is amazing. And God has put so much in her and she's so strong. And she has so many gifts, I can't wait to see how God uses them. Not because she's going to be a mother, but because of whatever her story is. So, when we were talking about this, I had this realization that our stories are so unique. My story is different than yours, and yours, and yours, and everybody's. And God loves us so much, infinitely, like you were saying, that his story is unique for you and me. And they are gonna look so different, but his heart for us is good. You and I were talking about it earlier, the goodness of who God is. He's so good, even amidst the pain of the woman waiting for years, or the woman who doesn't want kids, and feels like she's doing something wrong, or whatever situation you are. That's how good he is.
Ginger Stache: And the different types of healing he's done in each one of our lives. That hole, that healing, that we all need in one way or another, that he's there for every aspect of it.
Lisa Harper: I'm so glad that we're talking about this because I think, even y'all talking about it, will help dispel the myth for some people, who do think there's one way to do this Christian womanhood thing right, and everything else is a, you know, is kind of a pale imitation. "But if I do it right, I'm to be married by this age, and have two point three kids, and I'm gonna cross-stitch, my Bible verses, and I'm gonna", and there's still kind of a pretty narrow paradigm.
Ginger Stache: Well, you do have to do the cross-stitch thing. That one is in the Bible.
Lisa Harper: Oh, I'm going straight to the hot place. I'm about as domestic as wallpaper, I cannot cross-stitch. But even there, Ginger, when I did become a mom, because I made a conscious choice in my forties, probably mid-forties. I'd read,y'all have read it a million times. You may have cross-stitched it. You know the cs Lewis quote about if you want, if you don't want to get hurt, if you don't experience the pain, to not love anything. Don't even love a pet, don't wrap your, but at the end of this quote,it's one of the most powerful quotes on love. He says, at the end of it, "Your heart will be locked up tight in a coffin". And the real",the real grief is that you won't be hurt, but your heart will be impenetrable". And I remember reading that for the umpteenth time, I have a Platonic crush on cs Lewis. And I thought, "I've got a choice. I may never get married or be a mother, but I have a choice to either protect my heart and keep it from getting hurt, and then my heart will get hard, or I can lead with God says to worship with my heart and my mind". So, I can press into the lives of my friends' kids. I can press into other people knowing, "Yeah, there's gonna be missteps along the way. Sometimes it'll be hard". But I just am not gonna kind of cocoon my heart because people hurt my feelings. I had a guy at a church once, I was interviewing to be on a church staff. I ended up going on this church staff. But one of the elders, in the interview meeting, said, "Lisa, I'm just wondering", this is almost verbatim what he said. I can remember it. Should have punched him in the throat. But he said, "Lisa, you know, I'm just wondering, since you're single, I mean, what can you teach our women? I mean, we all have wives. If you're single, and not a mom, how can you lead them spiritually"? And he wasn't mean, he truly,
Erin Cluley: May we punch him in the throat?
Lisa Harper: Poor fella. But he truly was thinking, "What do you have to offer"?
Ginger Stache: Just a serious question.
Lisa Harper: Yeah, and I remember being a little discombobulated. And of course, you don't wanna react, you wanna respond. And I said, "Well, I think the gospel extends far beyond the bounds of marriage". And I believe,'cuz I believe everything in here, cover to cover is applicable to the human experience, whether you're married, single, not. But you have to make those decisions. And you have to, even now, as an older, single mom, adoptive mom, transracial family, and I travel, I can't tell you how many times, other moms have shamed me. They're like, "Well, we're having a thing". And I was like, "Well, my, I'm not going to bring gluten-free. I'm going by whole foods. Here's what I'm bringing, because I get to go be with my friends in st. Louis tomorrow. So, I'm not gonna stay up all night, and I actually have a job, 'cuz I bring home the bacon in our family". and I,sometimes, you just have to go, "I'm just gonna fly the flag God has given me, and do it with kindness, but go, "No, that's not my lane. That's your lane".
Ginger Stache: Thank you, Lisa. Thank you. Because I've felt so much of that condemnation. Not so much, you know, for a long time, but when my kids were little, that "I wasn't doing it right. I wasn't doing it like all the other Christian moms". And it hurts. And I really had to learn to get through a lot of that. So, thank you for bringing that up.
Jai Williams: I remember that too. Because I was fresh out of college, having my daughter. I remember feeling like, and I was a marketing exec, and I remember going to the bathroom and pumping. Humiliating, right?
Erin Cluley: Oh yeah. I'm laughing, because in the middle of the workday and you hear...
Ginger Stache: Erin used to call it going to church. She'd come in, she goes, "I'm going to church".
Erin Cluley: I'll be back in 30 minutes.
Jai Williams: I remember that, and I remember, like, or, like, being,feeling like I shouldn't be,have to do that because, "How could I possibly be nursing a kid, and working, and why would I be here"? And I remember, one time, sitting so long that I engorged. And then, in my little tan suit, having like, two big ole wet circles because I didn't go do it, you know, 'cuz I was like, "I'm gonna just force through it". But I'm just saying the shame of that. And then, the thought of even my mom, having these great experiences with my kid 'cuz she was watching her, at the beginning. You know, and I was like, "I feel terrible". And I remember quitting that job. I quit that job because I just couldn't, I couldn't, I felt like less than a mom for pursuing my career and leaving my kid with my mom.
Lisa Harper: The struggle's real. But I'm so glad, again, I'm such a slow learner, and I had a lot of friends who were really honest with me. Because I had so many women,when I was bringing Missy home, from Haiti, finally, I lost two adoptions before. By the grace of God, I got to bring Missy home from Haiti. Her first mama died when she was two. And, you know, I was just over the moon. But, I had all these people, before I brought her home, and they're like, "So, you're not gonna travel anymore". And I was like, "Oh". You know, how you're like, "I didn't know my ministry calling was going to be off the table when I became a mom, but that is what everybody seems to be saying". And if it hadn't been for Chris Caine and Priscilla Shirer, both of whom, pulled me aside and they were like, "Lisa, your life is not gonna be conventional. And everybody's gonna try to put you into this kind of conventional, conservative, church mold of what a mother is". They were like, "You had a calling on your life, and God doesn't revoke that calling when you become a mom. He will give you the grace to do both. You're not gonna do both perfectly. But Missy will probably be a kid who loves to travel, and loves the church". And I was like,and it scared me, 'cuz I thought, "Oh, I'll so anything. I can't believe he let me be a mama. I'll just work at target. I'm strong, I can stack boxes". 'Cuz I thought that's what I was supposed to do. And they just, both of them, said, "It's not gonna be comfortable, and you are not gonna fit. And you do what God has called you to do. And if he's clapping, that's your audience. But, you're probably", in the south I'm very conservative theologically. They were like, "In the south, in southern culture, in orthodox culture, there's not a whole lot of templates for what you do". So, they were like, "Don't expect everybody to pat you on the back. You run your race, and you listen to the Holy Spirit".
Ginger Stache: I love that. That's so good. I learned so much about Philippians 4:13, 'cuz we grab that scripture, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength". And so, as women, then, we get that, "I can do everything, and I won't drop any balls, and it's through Christ. It's not me, but I can do all of it". And I learned so strongly through that, that it's, God saying, "I will give you all things. I will give you strength in all things, but that doesn't mean you will have all things". And so, learning who God had for me to be, was really important in that. What things do you pull out of your life? What things does he ask you to focus on?
Lisa Harper: And for a season.
Ginger Stache: Yes, right.
Lisa Harper: There's some balls, that you go, "I've gotta set this aside, for the next two or three years, while I do this". That doesn't mean it's jettisoned forever. Then, when this shifts, when they start to drive, "Okay, I have more time now, 'cuz I'm not a taxi mama," when they,there's just, when you're not pumping, you do have more time. I think that's where, goodness, gracious, as Christian women, we have got to give each other more latitude and go, "You don't have to look like me in how you do it," and, "How can I help you"? Let's kind of blow the paradigm, and make it God's paradigm. Deborah led Israel. You go,I'm sure there was some yayhoo on the side going, "Did you make your husband, a hot meal tonight"? And you know Deborah probably said, "No, I went through Chick-fil-A".
Lisa Harper: And so, I think sometimes, we have to go, "Let's just kind of go, what really is God's perspective? And what kind of baggage are we saddling on each other saying, 'this is God's plan for you'".
Erin Cluley: I'm so glad you're saying that. And I think, as a young mom represented here, we need to hear those things, because we feel the pressure, like you're saying, of being home with my young kids. But I am called to this job. I'm called to be here, "But I'm not a good enough mom at home because I send my kids to preschool, or whatever". But all those sorts of pressures that are so prevalent right now.
Ginger Stache: And the saying is just the and the opposite, for those moms, who are at home, and they are getting the opposite feeling, "You should be doing something else".
Erin Cluley: "Why are you not helping provide for your family"? We're all doing the best we can, so for you, to tell us, "You're doing great. Keep doing what you're doing, go where God is calling you, and that is all that matters," that is,there so much freedom in that.
Jai Williams: I wanna, ew... It's something that just struck me.
Erin Cluley: Ew, here we go.
Ginger Stache: What is it?
Jai Williams: Okay, so, I'm doing something, right this moment, that my 18-year-old daughter is not thrilled about. And so, to her, "I'm not a good mother," at the moment. Because like, I've shared this a bunch, how I've gone through a divorce recently, and she's 18, going to college. Well, we thought she was. She wants to take a gap year. But she's decided to do something that her, and her dad, decided that, I support her completely. But I'm just not in a place where I feel like she's ready for that particular jump. And I told her, a couple months ago, I said, "If you go this route, I love you, I support you, go and do what you're gonna do, but I can't be a part of that". You know, and so, that's what I had a peace about. That's what I still have peace about. But because she still needs my help with these things, my natural, you know, mom instinct is to like, jump in and help her, but I know I'm not supposed to. And so, she is beyond angry with me, and like, not talking to me because of it. You know, and then, I feel the guilt of making that decision, putting my foot down, but I also, see on social media, all the parents that are taking their kids to school, decorating the dorms, and doing all this stuff. And I only got one kid, I only have one, and so, I'm like, this is my shot, you know. And so, then, all this guilt with being a mom that's trying to figure out if she wants her hair short, long, or whatever. You know, like just trying to keep moving after divorce. But I'm like, "Am I being selfish? Am I do", but I feel a peace, in God, that I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. She made her decision, it's my very first, real, tough love situation.
Ginger Stache: That's hard.
Jai Williams: It's just the pressures of being "A mom" and,
Ginger Stache: It can be gut-wrenching.
Jai Williams: It's so hard. And I'm like, I wanna post a pic of me going to target, with my kid, to find some bed sheets, but I can't, because she's angry with me, because of all the things that are going on. But I had to put my foot down, and yeah.
Lisa Harper: You know, what's beautiful, in what you're sharing,and you didn't ask my opinion, but,it's fun to be with y'all know. Because I love you all, and watching you from the cheap seats, it's just a gift to be here. But you are really consistent, in the way you speak, and the way you minister, there's just this, all of y'all, have this consistency. You know, y'all don't look like ekgs the way you live your life. When I was bringing Missy home, from Haiti,I've been in Christian counseling for years to kinda keep it between the lines. The answers are in God's word. If it's,I'm trying to apply it to a place where I was wounded, I can be such a, just such a dweeb. And so, helps me to have an older, wise counsel to go here's where you need to go, to walk right with the Lord. So, I did a lot of,a lot of counseling, pre becoming an older adoptive mom. And my counselor was talking to me, one time, about love, and she said, "Lisa," she said, "What will it look like for you to love Missy"? And I was like, "Well, I'll just,I'll love her". And she was like, "But love". And I said, "Yes, there's three Greek terms for love..." All my love knowledge. And she said, "But what will it look like"? And I was like, "Well, you know, I'm gonna affirm her verbally, if that's her love langu", like, I'm,i was lost. You might as well have asked me,you know, I dated a physicist once, that was exciting. Yeah, I read a book "Physics for the rest of us," but that's what it felt like. I felt so foolish when she was saying, "What would that look like"? And she said, "You know how to do this. You just don't see the profound simplicity of it". She said, "Love for Missy, a child who lost her parent when she was a baby, who's been in an orphanage in Haiti, who's very sick. Love for her will be consistency and safety". And I went, "Oh". And then, I went, "But Lynn, I travel, I'm always in different cities". And she goes, "You are consistently in different cities. You are consistently..." And I was like, "That's how I love my kid". I'm consistent. I'm consistent with discipline. I'm consistent with my personality. I'm a verbal affirmer. I'm consistent with, and I thought, "Oh". It's like, it took all this pressure off. So, when you go, "I don't know if I'm even do it right". I'm like, "You're doing it beautifully, 'cuz you're being consistent". Even about I'm having a boundary, you said, "I love you with all my heart. I'm still your mama. This is how I've been for eighteen years. You know, my heart, for you". I think, again, that's where we have to do it "As unto the Lord," instead of as unto Instagram or TikTok. It's like, everybody else is doing stuff. Missy is different than most of my friends' kids. She and I,I've got this beautiful kid from Haiti. She doesn't look like my other friends, she's socially,there's some places where she's playing catch-up. And I'm just determined to have her be exactly who God made her, and it means, our lives look a little different. And I don't always get the, I just don't always fit in what a mom looks like in this season of life. But I think being,i mean, 60 is right around the corner for me. The one thing I have is, I look back at the consistency, the consistent faithfulness of God in my life, and go, "That's what he's teaching me to do, is just", I'm gonna to keep walking. Eugene Peterson says obedience is a long walk in the same direction. That's what you've done with your baby girl. You have walked a long way in the same direction, beautifully.
Ginger Stache: That's what we all need to hear.
Erin Cluley: You know, one verse I just wanna share real fast, that, I think I wanna share with you. And it would,i think it applies to all of us women, in general, and the heart of what God has for us. But to you, specifically: Psalm 46:5 "God is with her. She will not be moved". That is who you are. And that's what you're walking out, right now.
Lisa Harper: That's right.
Erin Cluley: God is within you, and you will not be moved. You're consistent and you're consistent with your daughter, and God is with her. She will not be moved. God's heart is for her, too. And that girl, she's gonna be fine.
Jai Williams: Yeah, I believe it. I just, I believe it, and receive all of that. And,but I do know, it's real when, you know, when you, and the different phases, of course, you know. Like, everybody has different phases of how they, you know, feel guilt or shame when they're mothering and their choices that they're making. I told Taylor, my whole time, I was like, "This is me and God right here. I don't know what I'm doing". I've never had a Taylor at this age. Like, I would always say, "I'm kind of guessing, so".
Ginger Stache: There's always something new for us, we gotta figure out.
Jai Williams: But that's why I appreciate, this group of ladies, like we're all different. And I love having people in different phases, you know, and having Joyce, and having, you know, just to hear those different perspectives on motherhood, and like, "Okay, this is what happens at eighteen? 'cuz she's crazy". And I'm hopeful 'cuz I see, you know, I see Ginger and her girls as adults, with her grandkids, like facetiming, you know, with little elsie, with her little hat on, and diaper. You know, so it's like, you see that it's hopeful to say...
Ginger Stache: And that area that I thought I was broken in, that area that I thought I did not have what I needed to do it has been one of the greatest joys of my life.
Lisa Harper: Isn't that amazing.
Ginger Stache: Absolutely. And so that's just God is. It's just,God knows who we are, and how he's created us, and our weaknesses, and comes in and help us in those areas that we just never imagined we could be fulfilled in. So, it just says so much about who God is. So, that consistency, that giving it over to him is not easy for us. It's not easy for me, believe me. But it really is the key to all of it.
Lisa Harper: It is. And I love that plumb line you laid of, if God is in her, within her, she won't be moved, because he's not saying," if God is within her, in this framework". It's if, "God is in her, and she's a leader, and she feels called with this. And God is in her, and she's now, doing it by herself. And if God is in her, and it took a while, if you", it's like he's not saying, "God is within her, if she does it exactly like this". I go, "How cool is that"? Because it means, for the women, who are watching, right now, who go, "Yeah, I'm totally with Jai. Like, God gave me this brain, I'm supposed to use, and I want to work, but I want to be with my kids, but it's", I'm like, then you do what he's giving you to do, and you do it with all your heart. And you know that you can't have it all. I hate that old commercial. You remember that perfume commercial? "She can fry it up in a pan, she can never, never", I'm like, "Nobody can do all that"!
Ginger Stache: I can never cook anything in a pan.
Lisa Harper: Listen, I think drive through, I think ordering is a great spiritual gift. But I also, think you all, we just weave, we think Proverbs 31 is a real thing. We don't realize that's actually Hebrew hyperbole. There was not one woman. That was a composite of several gifts. And we've said, "Well, you can have..." And I'm like, "There was no one Jewish woman who did that"! I'm like, "Study your Bible"! Because we've made it too hard, I think, for other women, instead of saying, "Man", like, I'm listening to you and going, "I'm calling you in six years when Missy's 18," 'cuz you'll help me. But Missy and I will look different than you and Taylor. But you're gonna go, "Lisa, this is what God did". 'Cuz also, Psalm 84:11, "No good thing does he withhold from him whose walk as upright," I always paraphrase or say, or "From her, who often stumbles". If we're walking toward Jesus, we're not going to miss it. We may drop a few balls, we're not gonna do it perfectly. But he is,his consistency is what we stand on, his faithfulness is what we stand on.
Jai Williams: And I do think it's important to bring back what you said about the cs Lewis quote about the "Cocooning of the heart," because it's easy when you have those, you know, the whole, like the, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick". You know, like, if you allow yourself to, and this is why people say like, "How do you keep", I get a lot of messages like, "How to keep moving"? I don't,i just make a choice that, "God we gotta do this". Like, I will not allow my heart to cocoon. I will not allow myself to sit in a dark room, and be upset, or sad because this happened. 'cause that can apply to not just to motherhood, but to divorce, or to any kind of disappointment. Anything that your heart has desired that you haven't gotten yet, like, you can allow yourself to get in that dark space, where you say, like, "I'm gonna have my heart hardened". But the key is to keep that heart pliable and keep it open, and run towards God as he's running towards you. Like, I think that's super, super important.
Ginger Stache: What a great conversation. Thank you all so much. And we're gonna end with Joyce, in just a minute, praying over all of us, as women, and moms. And so, just a great prayer. But while we have our friend, Lisa Harper, Lisa is going to be one of our special guests at our 40th anniversary women's conference, next year.
Lisa Harper: I can't believe it!
Ginger Stache: It's gonna be such a fun party.
Lisa Harper: It was so fun, when I got to be with you all a couple years ago. I kinda am waiting for the other shoe to drop, I'm like, "Surely, you all think you've invited Lisa Bevere, or Lysa Terkeurst". Like I don't even wanna tell you it's Harper, I'm afraid I'll get disinvited. It was awesome. It's one of my favorite experiences, and I can't wait to come back.
Ginger Stache: And it was so fun when you were with us too. It was just amazing.
Lisa Harper: God shows off at y'all's events. And it's like his presence is palpable. It's amazing.
Ginger Stache: Well, to get us all warmed up, we have a women's conference coming up really soon that you can register. It's coming up, October 8th and 9th. It is the love life women's conference 21. And it is going to be so handy and life-changing. And I love putting those two things together. Handy and life-changing!
Ginger Stache: 'cuz it's virtual, and you can be part of all of us. We're gonna have a talk it out there. It's gonna be so fun, with Dr. Henry cloud.
Lisa Harper: Oh, he's amazing.
Ginger Stache: So, we're just gonna have a great time. So many wonderful speakers. Great worship music. Please go online to register, go to: joycemeyer.Org/lovelife21 to register. And we also, have a free resource for you, that we would love for you to get, just to add some more of God's word to your life. That really is the key to everything, is digging into the Word of God, knowing who he says you are, as a woman, as a parent. So, it's called, "Help for parents". It's a free download that you can get this booklet at joycemeyer.org/talkitout. Love you all. Thank you so very much.
Erin Cluley: We love you being here with us.
Lisa Harper: Thank you for letting me be here with you all. It's been a gift.
Ginger Stache: And you, and your sweet hearts too, and we will see you next time. Right now, here is Joyce with that prayer over your life.
Joyce Meyer: Father, we love our kids so much. And really, no matter what they do, we still love 'em. And we're grateful to know that you love us that same way. And so, we're asking you today, we're asking you, to go after these kids. To not let them be comfortable in their sin. I pray that you would surround them with people that are Christians, that are the real deal, that they can look up to and admire, and want to be like them. Some of these kids probably feel hopeless. They may be addicted to some kind of substance, and they feel there's no way to get out. So, I ask that you would give them just even a spark of hope. Because where there's hope there can always be victory. And father, our new confession is, "I'm expecting my child to be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, and serve God with their whole heart. I'm expecting God to do something amazing in their life". So, we thank you, Lord, for releasing angels and the power of the Holy Spirit, and for rescuing them, and bringing them out of darkness into the light. And I pray that you would give us, as parents, the wisdom to know when to say something, when to be quiet. When to pray, keeping our confession in line with our prayers. Let each of us be great examples to our children, and not just preach to them, something that we're not doing ourselves. If there's damage that's been done in these relationships, through things that have happened in the past, that maybe even, the parents haven't handled properly, I know I did that. You are the God of restoration and you can restore all of that. So, I pray for all those breeches to be healed. And I thank you, God, for building bridges in these relationships, and bringing families together in peace and unity. Let us be awesome Christian families, serving you, and being an example to the world. In Jesus' name, we rebuke Satan, he is not gonna have our children. We claim them. We surround them with our prayers, and we put a covering over their life today. And we say, that they are coming into the kingdom. Amen.