A listener writes: I am really struggling with PTSD from a car accident. Now, it is affecting my parenting. How can I trust God as my children get older and start driving? God understands our struggles and our fears—and He says, “Trust ME,” but how do we do that? I’ll also be answering a question from a listener who is struggling to talk with a family member who claims Christ but does not agree with the Bible on important issues that God addresses in His Word.
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Luke 2:12-15
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Hey everybody. This is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the podcast, you guys. Happy New Year, we’re almost there. Today is Monday, December 30th. This is episode number 864. Oh my goodness. It’s mailbox Monday and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So I hope you guys had a fantastic Christmas. I had a good Christmas with my family. Oh my goodness. Jay and I have done so much entertaining over the holidays this year, and the other day, I think, I don’t even think I got out of bed. I’m not even kidding. I was so tired, I woke up and I just was like, what day is it? It’s like Christmas falls on a Wednesday and then Friday makes no sense and Thursday feels like it should be Sunday, and I’m in this sort of weird vortex. And so basically I just took a break and then I got up, did some dishes, sat on the couch for a little while, tried to find my equilibrium, and I have a feeling that I’m not alone. So moment of silence for all you mamas who are just trying to figure it out.
All right you guys, quick couple things. I want to say thanks to everybody who has sent us Christmas cards this season and participated in our Christmas card Palooza. We are really going to work hard to send y’all a little something in the mail from us, so look for that. It’s going to take a little while, because we literally got hundreds and hundreds of them from all across the United States and even around the world, and it has been such a joy for me to read your letters and see pictures of your families, and it’s been really fun for everyone at Firmly Planted Family to see our mailbox literally stuffed with cards every single day. So thank you so much for doing that. Keep them coming. We love to hear from you, and if you are able, and can participate in a year end donation to Firmly Planted Family, those donations really assist the ministry here. And so we would love to hear from you and we would love it if you would prayerfully consider a donation to Firmly Planted Family to end the year 2019. And I will give the address to Firmly Planted at the end of this podcast and also you can find it in the show notes.
Also want to say we are excited for a brand new study, so starting on Monday, January the 6th … Remember, our Bible studies for MomStronger International always start on the first Monday of the month, and we’re changing it up a little bit. We’re changing the format to a format that I think is going to be really helpful for you as you sort of look at getting into God’s Word on the regular, on a regular basis to get into the Bible with me. And so I want to encourage you, this is a fantastic time of year to say, you know what, Lord, I’m going to make a promise to you this year and I’m going to be in Your Word. I’m going to study to show myself an approved workman who does not need to be ashamed and who can handle God’s word.
And so that’s the goal at MomStrong International is to train you up so that you know God’s Word so that when the things that are in the culture come at us fast and furious, like they have been doing, we’re not stumped. We’re not sitting around going, golly, I just don’t know. Because you guys, God’s word is not silent on the issues that we are facing. I think we sometimes think that he is. And sometimes we have some sort of wildly preachers and crazy politicians who like to quote scripture and take it out of context. And the only way for us to be able to combat that is to actually study the word. And so in January we’re doing a study called recalibrate, and it’s an opportunity for us to hit the reset button, to say, “Lord, we want to be all in. We’re going to get off the bench and onto the battlefield. We want to be who you say we are.” And that always starts with coming before the Lord and just saying, “Lord, we need your help. We need your help.”
And I am so excited, because we finished up that study … It’s been crazy for us here at the podcast and over at MomStrong International and Firmly Planted Family, and my daughter, who does all of the graphic design for the MomStrong International Bible study is in Italy right now. And so we’ve been, nine hours apart. She’s getting ready for bed, I’m getting up in the morning. We’ve been trying to get that working and we’re just excited to see, even when our team is spread across the world, how God’s been able to bring this study together. So if motherhood has ever made you feel aware of your own insecurity, if it’s highlighted your inability rather than the ability you have because of Christ, if you guys have ever felt the sting of wondering if you make the right choice as a shepherd and as the person who trains up your children, you’re not alone, because I believe with all my heart, and this is why I wrote Becoming MomStrong, that the culture is feeding mothers failure and fear for breakfast, right?
Because as soon as we open up our phones, the bombardment begins. It seems there’s always healthier moms, busier mama’s, smarter women, brighter children, cleaner kitchens, larger homes, loftier goals, greater achievements, and I’m going to encourage you in the month of January to take a step back and ask yourself if the pressure that you’re feeling comes from the Lord or if it comes from you. And in the midst of everything that we do as mothers and as parents, I’m going to encourage you guys to remember that you are loved and that it’s always a good idea to reflect on how we’re doing in light of what God wants for us.
So that’s what we’re going to do for the month of January. We’re going to ask the Lord to shift our focus and help us recalibrate and reorient all the while moving forward and getting off the bench and onto the battlefield. We’re going to spend January studying a daughter of God, whose name was Naomi, and see how God mightily spoke into her disorientation and pain and he spoke with provision and he spoke with love. My heart is with you guys. I’m going to encourage you to take a moment and reflect and allow God to direct you and direct your steps, and as he leads us, we can better lead our own children. That study’s a great time to become a member of MomStrong International. It’s just $8 a month. It helps our ministry stay on the air, it helps me do what I do, and I hope you guys are blessed and encouraged, so MomStrongInternational.com, hop on there right now and become a member and get in there so you can start the January scripture writing with us which starts on January 1st. Now, as always, the January scripture writing challenge is free and that’s available starting probably tomorrow. It might even be up there right now and you can find that at MomStrongInternational.com.
Also want to let you know that Faith That Speaks, my women’s conference, is coming to Lakeland, Florida, February 21st through 22nd. We are waiting until January to announce the women who are going to be traveling with me this year. I think you guys are going to be blown away by the women that are going to be joining me out on the road this year to talk to you about how our faith should speak. You guys, our faith in Jesus Christ is not a quiet faith. It’s not a silent faith. God didn’t mean for us to hide our light under a bushel. He meant for us to shine brightly. Wherever he has us, our face should speak. It should speak with authority and confidence and humility and love and grace, and that’s what we’re going to do at my women’s conference this year.
I can’t wait for you guys to hear the lineup. You’ll hear it at the end of this week, so stay tuned for that awesome announcement. I cannot wait to make it for you and then mark your calendars, the very first one is in Lakeland, Florida, February 21st through 22nd. You’re going to want to plan to come out and spend that day and a half with us. I’m telling you what you guys, it’s going to be a day and a half that will change your life and help you to reorient yourselves to find God’s purpose for your life. Today is MailNox Monday and I have spent the last hour and a half looking through your questions and you guys are awesome. You always send me the most amazing questions. I want to thank you for continuing to do that. If you would like to submit your question, please submit it to me at heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. And I’m just going to get right to it.
Also, I’m not going to get right to it. I lied. I want to say really quickly, when you submit your questions, it really helps me if the very first three words of your questions sum it right up. You guys have been doing that more and more and that helps me get through those questions. There are hundreds of them in the queue and when I can see what the subject is, then we can choose which ones we’re going to answer when a whole lot faster. So thanks for doing that. And my heart, when we talk about your questions on Mondays and Wednesdays, is to really send you back the word of God and to encourage you toward a posture of prayer. And that’s what we’re going to do today as well. The first question comes from a sweet mama who did not leave me her name, but she has a question about fear in parenting.
And I thought January is a great time to address a question like this, because I don’t know of a mother alive who has not felt the grip of fear in her parenting. Some of us have lost babies to miscarriage, some of us have been involved in terrible situations where either our children have become ill or we’ve dealt with an unfaithful family member, and so our lives can tend to be racked with fear if we’re not listening to and following the Lord, and that’s what we want to be doing, is just following the Lord and obeying his word. And so that’s where I’m going to turn your heart and your attention this morning as I read this question. She says, “Hi Heidi. Several years ago, our car was hit by a drunk driver while we were stranded off to the side of the road. I was outside the car when it happened and had the unique and terrifying position of seeing it happen while my kids were in the car.”
Boy, that’s, I can’t even imagine. “We all survived, but the struggle to overcome debilitating fear on the road took some time to overcome. And now I’m faced with a new challenge, in trusting my teens on the road.” Moment of silence. I feel you and I didn’t have this in front of me and it’s still hard. “My oldest is 16 and eager to drive, but I am dragging my feet, because I am so scared. Petrified, really. We live in a busy city with heavy traffic and inattentive drivers. What is the secret to trusting God during the learning to drive stage? How does anyone do this?” So, this is a fantastic question, and I want to just take you, obviously I’m going to take you to God’s word, because we all struggle with this and what you’re talking about is trust, right?
And so when we talk about trust, we define that as confidence or belief or assurance, and they’re placed in the intentions and the integrity of another person. Now, in our case, that integrity and intention is placed in the promises of God. And my grandmother used to say to me, Heidi, you either trust God or you don’t. You either believe he’s true or you don’t. You either say, “Lord, I believe that your word is true.” The Bible says that our days have been ordained for us. So before any of us takes a single breath, the Lord of heaven’s armies looks down and says, “Heidi St. John, you’re going to be on this planet from 1970 til whenever.” I don’t know when that is, right? Most of us don’t know. But God says that our days have already been ordained for us. And a really wonderful friend of mine told me one time when I was facing a very fearful situation as a speaker, she said, “Heidi, I’m not going to let you speak fear over your life, because you need to get out there and do what God told you to do and stop demonstrating that you believe the enemy has any authority.”
And I was like, “Okay, yeah, you right”, right? And so it really comes down to trust. And the Psalmist David, in Psalm 20:7 reminds us of where our trust should be and where we boast. He said, “Some might trust in horses and some might boast in chariots, but we don’t. We trust, we boast in the name of the Lord our God.” So this goes back to all aspects of life, precious mom, listen to me. We can say we trust in homeschooling, but we shouldn’t. Our faith should never be in homeschooling, right? Homeschooling, I believe, hands down the best way to educate kids in the culture today, but it’s not going to save them. It’s not going to keep them from walking away from the Lord, it’s not going to keep them from engaging in activities that are displeasing to the Lord and even dishonoring. The only thing that does that is growing, breathing, living relationship with Jesus.
And your kids don’t get that through osmosis. They get that by coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus for themselves, and you are the first person to show them how to do that. And mom, even though you’re afraid, and you have good reason to be afraid as your child steps out into this new venture of driving, your child is going to learn a lot about how to trust the Lord by watching how your trust in the Lord right now. “Some might boast in horses and chariots, but we don’t. We trust in the name of the Lord.” And we say, “Lord, we trust you. We’re going to trust you with our kids. We trust the Lord with our kids every single day.” Four of my kids now are grown and out on their own, doing their own thing, and I’ll tell you what is a new level of trust, when my daughter went into labor and they discovered at eight centimeters that her baby was breached and she had to have an emergency C-section, new level of trust.
Our lives don’t belong to us. They belong to the Lord, and I want to encourage you to trust the Lord. When Jesus was comforting his disciples, in John 14:1, this is what he said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.” In other words, don’t sit here and let fear rule you. He goes on to say, “You believe in God? So believe also in me,” right? And it goes on to tell him about heaven and how wonderful it is, but I love how he starts us off, because he says, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus knew the struggles that we were going to face and His answer was always “trust in me.”
“Trust me. I am trustworthy.” You can trust me. And so I want to encourage you to a place of trusting the Lord today, because that’s what God would have you do. He would have you trust the Lord. The next question comes from another listener who asked to remain anonymous and she says, “Hi Heidi. We are struggling with my brother-in-law and his wife and their progressive beliefs. They love Jesus, but we disagree on so many issues, from homosexuality to abortion to gun control, the list goes on and on. We are conservative and they are liberal progressive Christians.” And so she goes on to say her approach is to disengage, but her husband doesn’t want to do that. He doesn’t want to allow them to lie. And so she’s saying, “How do you communicate with them in love without constantly getting into disagreements and yet sticking to the truth?”
All right, this question, this question is on the hearts of so many of us right now as we are trying to figure out how we navigate this crazy season that we’re living in. How do we navigate this crazy season that we’re living in? We just got done talking about trusting in God, right? And remember that the secret of learning to trust in God is remembering that we’re not putting our trust in somebody that we don’t know. We’re putting our trust in someone that we do know, right? And we either say we trust you or we can say, why should I? And when someone says to me that they’re a Christian and they believe that abortion is right and they think that women should be able to choose, my question is, do you believe the Bible or don’t you, because God is very, very clear on the taking of innocent life.
This is at the top of the 10 commandments. You shall not commit murder. And yet that’s exactly what we do every time we say in the name of choice, that someone can take the life of another human being, an innocent human being. It’s a tragedy. I found a website, I’m not even going to list it for you, because I was so irritated, I couldn’t even believe it. They’re talking about the Christian left and how could I be a liberal and a Christian? And they’re saying you probably been ostracized by other churches and “conservative Christian friends”, you probably even doubted your own viewpoint. And then they go on to say, you’re in the right place. We believe the word of God. We believe in God. And then they failed to use scripture to backup anything that they stand for.
I mean, they use it for, like blah, blah, blah, blah, “Thou shalt not judge.” Blah, blah, blah, blah, “Eye for an eye.” Blah, blah, blah, blah, “The town didn’t receive Jesus,” and they use that as a place to say, “We are being rejected and Jesus was rejected and we’re being rejected by the church.” And I’m just like, oh my goodness, I can’t even do it. You guys, if we’re going to be believers, our hearts should break what breaks God’s heart. And I’ve noticed that as the primaries are getting closer and closer, a lot of people on the progressive left are suddenly getting religion. And so while I would say, we have people in our family, just like you do, I would say don’t get into an argument. I don’t think there’s any reason to get into an argument with people.
But I would say we have to speak the truth. We have to. We got to stick to policy and stop talking about personality. To me, this is about policy, and I would encourage you that direction. I’m going to take one more question and then I’m going to have to end it for today. So Jennifer said, “Heidi, do you think it’s fiscally possible to live life without supporting companies that support all the LGBTQYZ1234 organizations like Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coke, Target, Sears, et cetera.” Okay, so Jennifer, my answer is no. I don’t think we can avoid it, but I’m trying. I really am trying. When somebody comes out and they say, “Your daughter is not safe in our bathrooms,” like Target, I have not been to Target since they made that, whatever it was, proclamation several years ago. Well, that’s not true. I have been to Target a couple of times if I’m in a pinch and there’s no other options, I’ll run into Target and it pains me, because I really like their stuff. But I have a very hard time supporting an organization that comes out and just says, “I’m so sorry that your eight year old daughter feels unsafe in our bathrooms. Too bad.” I can’t do that.
Now, I get that General Mills and Coke and all those guys, Nordstrom, oh my goodness, I get that they have an LGBT arm of their organizations and of their businesses, but I’ll tell you what we have done. I don’t shop at target anymore and I am …. We canceled, my husband did, which was a big deal for him, he actually wrote to Netflix and he canceled our account, which I think we’ve had for, what? 13 years or something crazy like that. And when they started depicting Jesus going to visit people on Christmas with his gay lover, we were like, that’s it. They would never do that to Muhammad. Could you guys imagine? But it’s open season on Christians and it’s open season on what Christians believe, and if I can help it, I won’t give my money to organizations who blatantly mock the Lord Jesus and who blatantly would put my daughter in danger, in harm’s way. That’s where I draw the line. And it may come down to the point where, because really you guys, we can’t … We’re not going to be able to just withdraw from everything, right?
But we can definitely choose where we spend our money to the best of our ability. And I think we spend … We should be at least spending a whole lot of time praying about this stuff, and being the people that God wants us to be, because we need to be salt and light. We need to have … Our faith should speak, and there are lots of ways for it to speak. And in this case, if, at least for me, it’s, I’m speaking with my pocket book. You don’t have to be a jerk, and I would just say, please don’t do that. But when you talk about family members who claim to be Christians, this was the same question that we answered right a couple of weeks ago from the mom who said, “Hey, my brother says that he’s a Christian, but he’s openly living in sin. Now, he’s married to a man. What should I do?”
Well, the Bible says in Corinthians that if a man, if somebody is a brother claims to be a Christian is living among you and he’s living in sexual morality or he’s openly sinning and doing what God says is wrong, the Bible says don’t even eat with such a man. That’s hardcore. And yet the Bible recognizes the bad company corrupts good character, right? And so I think we’re going to be … We’re going to see this happen more and more in the future. By the way, that was 1 Corinthians 5:11, because I know somebody’s going to write asking. And this is basically saying, we’re not to be … As Christians, we should be holding each other to a standard that says we believe what God’s word says, and that is the end of it.
God said it, I believe it, and that settles it. And so we want to be a set apart people. And so while we can’t hold people that aren’t Christians to that same standard, and in fact I … We shouldn’t be doing that. I’m hoping, we’re engaged in the culture and hopefully making a difference in the lives of those people around us. As Christians, we need to live a set apart life and that’s what bothers me so much when I get questions from people who say, “My family members claim to be Christians but they’re pro homosexual, pro abortion,” The Bible says that you’ll know them by their fruit and you guys, I’m telling you what, I have serious questions about somebody’s faith when they tell me that they believe in Jesus, but they don’t believe that basically anything that Jesus said, anything that the Bible teaches, and we need to be really looking inward first and then saying, Lord, help me to live a set apart life, because that’s what is required.
That is what is required. I realize I’ve gone over today. It’s just been such a long time since I’ve talked to you guys, and I’m getting questions stacking up so I’m trying to answer them as quick as I can. I really appreciate you guys listening. On Friday, I’ve got a very special guest, John Gottry is going to be on the show with me and you guys are going to be so encouraged by John. I had a great conversation with him. He is currently … He’s an amazing guy. He’s the vice president of public policy at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute and we had an awesome conversation about where the faith and the culture intersect, one of my favorite things to talk about, so come on Friday. You guys are going to love that. And on Wednesday, I’ll be back answering some more of your questions and encouraging you from the word of God. I appreciate you guys listening today. Don’t forget, in just a couple of days, the new scripture writing challenge starts. Hop on over to MomStrong International and download it today. Have a great day everybody. Thanks for listening and I will see you back here on Wednesday.
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Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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