Q: In honor of Mother’s Day, what’s been the most unexpected part of your journey as a mom?
A: I started out as a pregnant, unwed mother at 17 years old. Nothing at all could have been more unexpected than finding out I was going to be a mom. From that day up to this one, I’ve continued to feel unprepared for each new moment of motherhood as it’s come at me. About the time I got used to having an infant, I had to figure out how to navigate a toddler; and once I finally got used to the independence of a toddler, then began the tearing of my heart as that toddler went off to their first day of school. And as I got in the rhythm of doing homework with an elementary school student who loved and needed their mom so much, they moved into middle school. And again, a tearing of independence began that turned into a slight defiance of teenage hood as hormones and their physical body grew, as their decision-making person and emotional person weren’t yet quite caught up. Then getting to watch that changing human blossom into a beautiful adult through college and the early 20’s; knowing that every tearful and joyful moment was so worth every moment of prayer, pain, pausing, and love. But I’d do it all again in a second.
Q: Early on you spent a season as a single parent to your oldest, Austin. Looking back over that time can you briefly share a story of God’s faithfulness during those difficult days?
A: There were so many times I couldn’t afford to be the person that I was. I remember a Christmas when I couldn’t afford Christmas presents, so I went to yard sales and I found a bucket full of Legos for $20. Because Legos were so expensive, I was just thrilled to pieces that I had found all of these! But when I put them out for Christmas, they didn’t look like anything. So, I had to spend about a week trying to build them into something that looked really cool – except I was not talented with Legos. It was one of the funniest, hardest, most heart-breaking moments of my life as I realized I was going to have a Christmas fail. And at the last minute, I think I had $15, and I went to a pawnshop and I got a CD player. And so I had the Lego set and the CD player. He woke up on Christmas morning and walked right past my pathetic Lego castle and went to the CD player and played the song Tootsie Roll and danced to that one CD for about two weeks straight. At the last minute, God came through! I tried to build that Lego castle in the flesh, and I couldn’t pull it off. And yet, God knew just the gift that would thrill that little boy’s soul.
Q: You’ve always been open about the challenges you’ve faced throughout your life, from being abandoned by your father to later becoming a victim of rape and abuse. How is your story a testament to God’s goodness in spite of your circumstances?
A: I firmly believe that the enemy can see the light of God in us, he can see our purpose and our calling. And he’s so threatened by it that he attacks – especially when we’re young and vulnerable – trying to keep us from the very destiny for which we were put on the planet. So to be upset that the enemy struck is like being upset at the ocean for having waves. That’s just what the ocean does! And attacking is what the enemy does. But God! He uses all things together for our good. There was a month’s pain in my childhood, but my pain has become my platform. My test has become my testimony. And the thing that the enemy tried to use to kill me, God turned it for my good and it has been the very thing that has elevated me. (Romans 8:28 ) So my tombstone became my stepping stone, and the thing that was meant to harm me became the thing that catapulted me. And it can be the same for everybody!
Q: In your new book, Hi God, One More Thing, you share practical ways to connect with God about the everyday issues of life. How can this book help those who have trouble taking their problems to the Lord in prayer?
A: I have problems taking my troubles to the Lord in prayer, and that’s exactly why I wrote the book. Nobody wants to talk about their problems, their failures, what they’re not doing right. Everybody kind of wants to brag and then talk to God about the shallow stuff. But talking to God about the shallow stuff really doesn’t get us anywhere. We really need to be honest with God about our failures, about our pain, about when we’re mad at Him. He can handle any single thing we would ever say to Him, and He knows it before we even say it. He’s just waiting for us to articulate it so that He can do something about it. So, instead of keeping it in and allowing roots of bitterness, anger, and resentment to grow, it’s better to let all of that out. God is a big boy. He can handle it. And He just wants intimacy with us. Intimacy can also be said “into me, see.” God can see through us, but He wants us to allow Him to see into us so that He can develop a relationship with us on a deeper level.
Q: What are some common lies of the enemy that prevent people from reaching out to God during tough times?
A: You’re not enough. God doesn’t care. He doesn’t see you. It’s not going to make a difference anyway. You are never going to measure up. He tells all of us the exact same lies every time because they work. He doesn’t even have to develop a new tactic or a new plan.
Q: Whether it’s meeting a spouse, having a baby, getting a new job, or some other situation, what encouragement would you give those still waiting to see God’s promises come to pass in their lives?
A: I would say God’s plans are not our plans and God’s ways are not our ways. If we could see what God was going to do, we’d end up rushing to it before we were ready for it. We have to trust that God is God; and with God, it is never for less, it is always for more. But we have to be willing to walk according to His timing, His pursuits, and His purposes. That can be one of the hardest things on the entire planet – especially when we think, “I’ve got this.” Because we all think we’ve got it… right until that moment that we don’t. And then we realize we really do need God!
Q: As lead pastor of Faith Church, you’re especially passionate about helping women everywhere connect to their calling. How can those who fully embrace God’s plan for their lives impact culture for Christ?
A: It’s been said that the moral compass of a nation is found in its women. And when women are suppressed, they give up, they stay silent, they think that they can’t – we actually suppress the moral voice of a country. And that’s part of the reason the united states is where it is, because the voice of the women has been silent for so many years. But the women now are standing up to take their place, and I believe it’s going to make a difference, and the cause of Christ is going to become more conscious in the United States of America because the voice and the mortality of the women is rising up to lead the Country in that direction.
Q: Each year Faith Church hosts I Am Woman Conference to help women around the world live with passion and purpose. What can those who watch powerful this event on Daystar expect to experience?
A: Well, I hope you come with your expectations high, because a climate of expectation is the breeding ground for miracles. We serve, in Ephesians 3, a God who is bigger than we can ask, think, or imagine, and there is no distance in prayer. The power of the anointing of God can travel through the tv screen and actually millions of miles in a moment straight out of heaven, straight through the word of a prophet, straight through a screen, and straight into the heart and body, mind and soul of someone at any point on this planet. You should expect your heart to be moved, your Spirit to be challenged, and yet, encouraged and your destiny to be awakened.
Q: When you think about the life lessons you and your husband, David, have shared with your kids over the years, which one stands out the most?
A: Oh, that’s a good one. I’m just smiling because we have had so many experiences with our kids. I’m so proud of my kids. And yet, I can see so much growth opportunity for each and every one of them, including me. None of us have arrived, but each of us help each other on the destination. I think that’s what I like about our family the most is we don’t have to be any certain thing except for who we are, and in the meantime, we’re each trying to help each other get there.
Q: Describe one practical way parents can help build a strong foundation of faith that transforms the next generation.
A: My husband always says don’t wait to tell them. He pulls our kids into very adult conversations at a very early age and asks them what they think. As a result, we have some very young world leaders on our hands who feel empowered and listened to and strong in their opinion who are not scared to insert themselves into a situation and help other people build great things.
Q: With the pressures of social media, people sometimes think they need to be perfect parents, doting spouses, and selfless humanitarians in order to have meaningful life. How can believers connect with others in an authentic way that reveals God love and creates sincere community?
A: The beauty of social media is that it makes a big World small. The ugliness of social media is that it makes a fake World real. The connectivity that you can have in the beginning of a Developing — by beginning to develop a relationship with someone you have never met is a powerful tool. However, social media cannot replace a truly social life where we step out of our own comfort zones and put down the screens and don’t do facetime, but instead spend time looking into someone’s face as They share their heart, their mind, and Dreams. So, starting a relationship on a screen is great, but Finishing it in person is necessary.
Q: As you look to the future, what goals has God put on your heart for this new decade?
A: My heart is exploding with opportunity to help more people. I’ve never had a burning and a fire to reach more people than ever before. It seems like god is flinging open doors and making sure that walking through the right doors at the right time has been the focus of my heart. I want to help people in the jails, I want to help people in Africa, I want to help people in Latin America, I want to help people in the US, I want to help disciple people, I want to help people be closer to Christ…they all seem like the most noble causes, but there is a right time, a right season, and a right place for each one of those things. You can’t help the whole world and lose your soul. So, staying focused on what God wants to do when God wantsto do it and how God wants to do it. That way, I can be around for the long haul and allow Him to use me to the very end.