ep. 12 | Waiting with Ann Swindell
On today's episode of the Journeywomen podcast I had the privilege of chatting with Ann Swindell.
Ann is an author and speaker whose first book, Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn't Give You What You Want, just released with Tyndale House Publishers. Her work has appeared in The Gospel Coalition, CT Women, RELEVANT, Deeply Rooted, Desiring God, Darling Magazine, and (in)courage, among others. Ann writes about the intersection of daily life and God's love on her website, annswindell.com. She holds an MA in Writing and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing and is passionate about helping other writers tell their stories powerfully. Ann teaches faith-based, online writing courses at writingwithgrace.com. I was actually introduced to this dear friend of mine through her Writing With Grace course, which taught me a lot about writing in general, but more specifically, how to share my story in light of the hope we have in the gospel. I’m so excited to have her with us today on the Journeywomen podcast to share her story of waiting and to help us better understand how we can share our stories in light of the gospel.
The way Ann communicates her story of waiting in her book, Still Waiting, has stuck with me since I read it. I hope you will connect with her on social media and purchase her book! You can find the links to both by scrolling down. As always, thanks for all of the love and support you guys extend to the Journeywomen podcast! If you want to know how you can help the show, be sure to head over to iTunes and write a review. The directions for how to do so are on the podcast tab of the website. Here are the questions Ann and I covered during our time together. Thanks again for listening and I’ll see you here, next week!
Ann, for those who aren’t familiar with you, can you explain a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Could you share about your story and your journey with Trich?
At the beginning of this journey, how did you view yourself and what you were going through?
At what point did your understanding change to accepting the waiting process? What caused this change?
How has this condition taught you about the Gospel?
How has this changed your views on suffering?
What was the hardest truth to embrace during that time?
Were there things that hindered your ability to trust God in the waiting?
How did others come alongside you in your waiting?
When someone is experiencing something difficult like what you’ve been through, how do you encourage them?
3 Questions I Ask Every Guest
What 3 resources would you recommend to someone who is in a season of waiting themselves OR walking alongside someone who finds themselves waiting?
What are your 3 simple joys?
As a journeywoman, who is the most impactful person in your own journey with Jesus?
Note Worthy Quotes
“We all have something in our lives that isn’t whole. Most of us live on a daily basis with some reality of pain because of the places that aren’t healed and whole yet. We’re asking God to come through and maybe he just hasn’t healed that part of our lives yet. Still Waiting is really about ‘What do we do with those places where we’re waiting for God to break through? How do we live well in the waiting and continue to trust him, even if he doesn’t answer our prayer the way we want him to?’”
“Jesus you are better than any healing, than anything I want and I don’t understand you, but I can trust you because of your character and your kindness and your love towards me.”
“My hope is no longer in, ‘Am I going to get healed?’ My hope is in the person of Jesus.”
“‘How is the gospel here? How is Jesus in this?’ Because there’s never any place where he abandons us. It’s not like he says, ‘I love all of you except for this one little part.’ He loves us and is always in the process of making us new and restoring us.”
“God is a good Father. He only points out our brokenness and reveals it to us because he wants to heal it.”
“God has brought this up time and time again not to say, ‘Ann, look at how weak you are or how you’ve failed,’ but Trich has always been something he’s brining up because he wants to see me healed. For me it hasn’t been a physical healing yet, but I can tell you that the amount of emotional and spiritual healing that God has brought about from my persistent weakness—which I don’t want to have—but he keeps brining it back up because there are new layers for me to trust him and to see him as my strength in my weakness.”
“Jesus does enter into suffering with all of us no matter what it is. He understands what the cost has been to us in a way that nobody else is ever going to understand.”
“I have found the hard way that when I focus on the suffering, when I focus on the loss, I spiral to a very bad place, because all it feels like is darkness and loss and trial and aloneness. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are seasons when even Biblically we see people like David experiencing feelings of isolation, but for me, one of the hardest lessons that I continue to learn in my life with Christ is that suffering itself does not get the privilege of being at the center of my attention. In my flesh, that’s what I want to do. I want to focus on the pain. I want to fall into it and let myself feel all the feelings… don’t get me wrong, there are seasons for legitimate grieving. But we live in a culture that is so feelings based it’s easy to say, ‘Woe is me.’ But the truth is that a lot of the gospel is the reality that life is hard and God is good.”
“A lot of the gospel is the simultaneous reality that life is hard and God is good.”
“The only way I know how to walk that out is to stay rooted in the Word of God and to have a community of people around me who are going to speak the truth to me even when I don’t want to hear it.”
“Even when my heart didn’t know what it wanted that is what I craved: to know God and to cling to his character. That for me has been the hardest part of suffering and also the pearl of great price.”
“We have to get around other people who are going to declare the truth of who God is to us when we don’t feel it and when we feel like we can’t hear it. And we’ve got to do that for other people. The reality is there is going to come a day when we’re going to help our brothers and sisters hear that truth, because there’s also going to be a day when we’re in the middle of that circle weeping on our knees and we need somebody else in the body of Christ to speak the truth to us. That’s what the Body is there for. The gift of suffering to me has been to see my consistent need for the body of Christ and the Word of God.”
“How can we love each other and live with each other in the now and the not yet that we have Christ, but we’re still broken. Physical brokenness points out the reality of our spiritual brokenness. How do we love one another in seasons of long pain or suffering? It’s hard, and we need lots of help.”
“You’re going to have to go first and be the one to crack open the door to vulnerability and honesty and to risk sharing your story with another person because you love Jesus more than you love what they think about you.”
“I so want to tell of who he is and how he has changed me not because I look great, but because he is wonderful. I want that freedom and that hope for my friends. But that means that I have to go first and be willing to say, ‘Here’s where my brokenness is and here’s where Jesus met me in the brokenness.’ I’m not getting to say, ‘Here is my brokenness and here’s how Jesus fixed me!’ But I am getting to say, ‘Here’s my brokenness and here’s how Jesus met me here.’”
“Talking about Jesus is worth any cost to us. It’s worth the cost of our reputation, it’s worth the cost of our facades, it’s worth the cost of us feeling like we have some social media presence or whatever we want to call it. Because when Jesus is lifted up, people will be drawn to him. It’ll feel like it’s at our expense, but really it’s for our good. Because any time Jesus is life up we fall more in love with him and so do other people.”
“Faithfulness on earth might look really simple. But to God it means everything.”
Ann's Resources for Discipleship
Streams in the Desert by Cowman
Getting into a consistent Bible Study
The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis
Ann's Simple Joys
Her daughter and husband laughing
Walking outside when the weather is perfect
Date nights with her husband
Watching shows like “The Great British Baking Show” or “When Calls the Heart”
Connect with Ann
Today’s episode of the Journeywomen Podcast is sponsored by White Pepper Ink, a custom-scripting canvas and wood company founded by Amanda Nicholson. You can find her work on Instagram and Facebook. To custom order, email Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you mention hearing about the shop on the Journeywomen podcast, you will get 10% off a canvas of your choice if you order through the second week of August 2017.
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