Grace and Grit: Approaching the New Year with Jennifer Rothschild
- Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I have also learned to ask God to help me rather than ignore my feelings -- to use them as an "Intuitive Detective" leading me to His truth, which I then trust more than the feelings themselves.
DT: The late Luther Carden, a former pastor in my hometown, often said, "Emotions make great servants, but lousy masters." It sounds like the process for you was similar — learning to understand and ultimately master your emotions so that you can use them to get to the foot of the cross where God's truth is found.
DT: Jennifer, as we approach the New Year, how will you approach the new opportunities and new challenges it may bring to your life?
JR: The combination of being both an introspective person and a "Type A" personality can keep me on over-drive, trying to constantly improve. So one of the things I want to do this year is to learn how to really rest. And it occurred to me that the two words rest and resist share the same letters with the exception that the word resist has a big letter I right in the middle of it. I have learned that when I am striving and working and trying to impress God, then really I am just being in the center of my own world and in many ways I am resisting the grace that God wants to have fully blossom within me. But when I choose to decrease resist by removing the "I", then I find I really begin to experience the rest that God intends. I cease striving and can truly "be still" and know that He is God. I don't have to be Him, because He is!
And I believe that no matter what we are dealing with — emotionally, financially, relationship-wise, in our work or family — whatever the disappointment, whatever the confusion — instead of feeling, "It's not fair to me", "I wish this hadn't happened," and becoming the center of our own worlds, resisting what God may be trying to do within that difficult circumstance — we can learn to rest and in doing so I believe receive some blessings from those really difficult things in our lives.
DT: Attending one of your Fresh Grounded Faith conferences, I was particularly touched by your story about going bungee jumping. For a blind person to be courageous enough to bungee jump says a lot about taking a "leap of faith" and illustrates that you are open to new experiences. Would you share that story?
JR: My husband I had only been married a few years and were in Pigeon Forge, TN when he spotted a bungee tower. Assuming I would not take his challenge, he said, "You would never do that." Well, of course I disagreed and a conversation ensued which ended with me strapped into a harness tied to a bungee cord, 7 ½ stories "above my common sense!" I remember standing on that platform thinking, "What have I done?"
It was the most exhilarating and terrifying feeling all at once. The falling was euphoric but when I reached the end of the bungee cord and it started to jerk me back up, defying the law of gravity — that didn't feel right!
Once was enough, but the experience was in many ways a lot like faith. It seems counterintuitive; we are giving our control away and yet it is liberating to realize that we are not in control. We are not sovereign. And if we are willing to really take the leap, jump, trust God and fall into the great adventure of faith, then we realize we are tied to Him and connected to Him in a way that keeps us safe and secure even through all the ups and downs. So faith is like bungee jumping, but is a much more intelligent choice!
DT: It is such a tangible example of "stepping out in faith." Are there other examples you would share with us?
Recently on Women
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content