Ordinary People Extraordinary Things

68. ?Questioning Faith - Is it Real? with Cartier Cole

March 03, 2024 Cartier Cole Season 4 Episode 68
68. ?Questioning Faith - Is it Real? with Cartier Cole
Ordinary People Extraordinary Things
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Ordinary People Extraordinary Things
68. ?Questioning Faith - Is it Real? with Cartier Cole
Mar 03, 2024 Season 4 Episode 68
Cartier Cole

-Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads between the familiar faith of your upbringing and the uncharted waters of your personal beliefs? As a pastor's daughter, Cartier grew up in church. Her story is a testament to the courage it takes to step back, question, and seek a faith that is not just inherited but earnestly owned.

❓“My parents gave me the space to ask questions - no matter what they were.”

❓“I would encourage you to figure out what questions you have. That helps you process & decide some things.”


 -We also touch on the beauty of discipleship through unexpected friendships —a profound reminder that the journey of faith can be a shared one, full of kindness and mutual growth. 
 
 —Join us as we navigate the complexities of faith, self-discovery, and the importance of asking the hard questions that refine our beliefs and relationship with Jesus.



For Cartier’s husband’s story:
#43 Atheist to Jesus Follower with Stephen Cole
 https://www.buzzsprout.com/1882033/12703610-43-atheist-to-jesus-follower-with-stephen-cole

Thank you to our sponsor….
https://generationstogenerations.com/

You can find “Ordinary People Extraordinary Things” anywhere you listen to podcasts or Check out the links below....⬇️

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1882033

https://generationstogenerations.com/podcast

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https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-ordinary-people-extraordin-89553427/

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Any advice should be confirmed with a qualified professional.
All rights reserved: Ordinary People Extraordinary Things

Stories shared by guests may not always be shared views of OPET.
Being a guest does not mean OPET approves of every decision or action in the guests' life.

We all have a story, all of us, share your story. You don't have to have the perfect answer or the perfect life - share what Jesus is doing in your life. This is an easy, real way to witness & share your testimony.


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

-Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads between the familiar faith of your upbringing and the uncharted waters of your personal beliefs? As a pastor's daughter, Cartier grew up in church. Her story is a testament to the courage it takes to step back, question, and seek a faith that is not just inherited but earnestly owned.

❓“My parents gave me the space to ask questions - no matter what they were.”

❓“I would encourage you to figure out what questions you have. That helps you process & decide some things.”


 -We also touch on the beauty of discipleship through unexpected friendships —a profound reminder that the journey of faith can be a shared one, full of kindness and mutual growth. 
 
 —Join us as we navigate the complexities of faith, self-discovery, and the importance of asking the hard questions that refine our beliefs and relationship with Jesus.



For Cartier’s husband’s story:
#43 Atheist to Jesus Follower with Stephen Cole
 https://www.buzzsprout.com/1882033/12703610-43-atheist-to-jesus-follower-with-stephen-cole

Thank you to our sponsor….
https://generationstogenerations.com/

You can find “Ordinary People Extraordinary Things” anywhere you listen to podcasts or Check out the links below....⬇️

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1882033

https://generationstogenerations.com/podcast

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS8xODgyMDMzLnJzcw==?fbclid=IwAR247ak35J8RZi5b7yy5bLckHABNYCBnwYxGS0NU1spsVtKqsxhFH4PCaZM

https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-ordinary-people-extraordin-89553427/

Https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ordinary-people-extraordinary-things/id1596670894

https://open.spotify.com/show/5wVEm2IUT7lpVGBdbgqagd

https://www.youtube.com/@GenNancy


ordinarypeoplestories@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/ordinarypeoplestory

https://www.instagram.com/ordinarypeopleextraordinary/

X: @storiesextra

Any advice should be confirmed with a qualified professional.
All rights reserved: Ordinary People Extraordinary Things

Stories shared by guests may not always be shared views of OPET.
Being a guest does not mean OPET approves of every decision or action in the guests' life.

We all have a story, all of us, share your story. You don't have to have the perfect answer or the perfect life - share what Jesus is doing in your life. This is an easy, real way to witness & share your testimony.


Speaker 1:

Welcome to Ordinary People, extraordinary Things. I'm your host, nancy, and I get to talk to ordinary people just like you, about real stories. Do you know someone who would be encouraged or inspired by this episode Today? Could you take the time to send this to them? We are spreading the word about Ordinary People, extraordinary Things, to bring faith and hope into our communities. Well, welcome to Ordinary People, extraordinary Things. I'm here with Carter Carter, thanks for coming on. Hi, thanks for having me. I'm just so excited to have a conversation with you about your faith journey. Thanks me too. So if anyone doesn't know you, could you give three words or phrases to describe yourself?

Speaker 2:

I can sure try. So firstly, it'd probably be a hyphenated word Jesus follower. That's a big part of my life. For the most part it always has been. Loyal is probably a big one for me. The people in my life matter a lot to me. Let's go with persevering. Oh, that's a good one. That's an ongoing one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. Is it easy for you to persevere, or you just find that you have to?

Speaker 2:

I wouldn't say it's easy, yeah happening, because life is forcing it. Yeah it does that, yeah, so yes.

Speaker 1:

All right. Well, those are good ones. So you grew up in the church. Your dad was a pastor your whole life. So I'm sure I had a friend that was in middle school and high school and her dad was a pastor and she always got the very famous quote of like oh, you're a pastor's daughter, You're going to whatever they say about pastors.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, totally yeah.

Speaker 1:

I was like, oh, you're kind of setting her up for failure.

Speaker 2:

I know right, it can feel like that.

Speaker 1:

So you grew up in the church and I assume you kind of had a, because when you're growing up you kind of take on the faith of your parents. Is that kind of how it was for you too. Yeah, definitely Okay. And then what kind of made you walk away?

Speaker 2:

Not until I moved out of the house after high school Did I really even start considering that maybe what I, the ideology I grew up with, could be I don't know what, if it's wrong. Basically, let's see what the rest of the world has to say, Like how does that hold up?

Speaker 1:

Okay, so kind of the whole college also. People talk about like I'm on my own, I have the chance to make my own decisions figure this out yeah, that's kind of where you were as well. Yeah, okay.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that's just part of that part of life. Yeah, yeah, there was a period of time for like a year or two after high school I was just working full time, not going to school. I just kind of thought to myself like I don't know what if this isn't true, and I started hanging out with people that weren't necessarily bad but had a not a Christian lifestyle. So I became very influenced by that and so, after some time had passed, I thought to myself like I don't think I see God, I don't think I'm seeing any of that be true. So I felt that way for a little while. But I think my biggest advantage was that I stayed curious, Okay, and I always was asking questions. I was never really satisfied with just kind of being a limbo, so you wanted to either believe or not believe.

Speaker 2:

Yes, okay, and that's a big part of my personality.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

I was very tied to my morals and values. So, yeah, I wanted to have some sort of resolution in my mind. So anyway yeah, that's, that was the beginning of walking away. Wow, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Wow, so during this time I'm the after high school and you started to like I don't know if I believe this, Did you? Were you going to church? Were you reading the Bible? Were you doing kind of the things that kind of keep you centered and focused more on God, or were you taking that time and just stepping away and yeah, so I was going to church with my family every week still for pretty much that whole time until I went off to college.

Speaker 2:

It was a mutual decision my parents and I had come to to go to South Carolina for college, and so I went and did that and it was a Christian school and so I was able to continue to ask questions and wrestle. Yeah, I don't know if that answers your question. No, yeah, so you stayed home after, after high school for a while, yeah, and you were in the Bible or anything like that just kind of going to Sunday because, you've always gone, yeah, ok.

Speaker 1:

So you were asking questions You're trying to figure out hey, am I going to believe this or not? And did you completely walk away from Jesus for a while?

Speaker 2:

I don't know if that's the right word. Yeah, I don't know about completely. I was in a space where I was just kind of thinking to myself I don't know if what I have grown up with is true, and so I don't know that I ever got to a point where I was like it's not, it's not. Ok, but I was, I don't know, somewhere on the spectrum of like I don't know, yeah, and really not living a lifestyle that would point me toward any of that being true.

Speaker 1:

So yeah. So you said that you were like I don't know if this is real. You were seeing kind of the world in a different way. What made you think that maybe it wasn't?

Speaker 2:

I think my lifestyle at the time and just being surrounded by people who don't have a relationship with the Lord, I think it's really easy to walk away from God and from church and people involved in it and to stop seeing where God is working all of a sudden and be, like huh, ok, well, maybe this isn't true. That was kind of the space I was in, was just hanging out with people who didn't really believe any of that so like, if you don't know how to look for God or know how to see Him, you're not going to.

Speaker 2:

So that was kind of a big mantra for that period of my life, sure.

Speaker 1:

Was that hard to be honest with your specifically? Probably your parents, because they'd raised you very fiercely into a Christian home. Yeah, Was that hard for you to tell them?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was very hard, especially because for most of my life my parents and I have been pretty close, and so to know that I am believing or feeling something that they don't agree with gave me a lot of turmoil inside and I didn't love, but I felt like I had to be honest with myself and go through those things and ask those questions.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So then you went to college, and how was your relationship with God at that time?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I was there for one semester in total and it was the second semester, so it's halfway through the year already starting. I was new to the state and so I didn't have a lot of friends for most of that time. The first two months of the semester, so the first half I was really spending a lot of time just wrestling and asking questions. My parents specifically my dad gave me for the first time I felt like, the space to ask questions, no matter what they were.

Speaker 1:

To ask him, to ask God, to ask anyone, all of it, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I think at one point, while I was there at college, my dad and I were maybe on the phone or emailing and he said I would encourage you to figure out what questions you have and that in itself helps you actually process and decide some things, even if it's only what questions do I have?

Speaker 1:

Instead of just being like yeah. I don't know, I don't believe this. What is, you know? Just abstract. Ok, so he was asking for specific. Ok, that's a great question, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I started just writing down and then it kind of just flowed. Questions are things that didn't sit right that I've experienced whether in church or in the Bible. Yeah, I think that really forced me to kind of actually come to some kind of resolution with like. So about two months in I'm like, ok, well, maybe I'll give this another shot. Let's see if maybe this really is true. And then I started to experience a lot of things for myself with the Lord that I hadn't, and so those have marked me in my life.

Speaker 1:

OK, yeah, would you mind sharing?

Speaker 2:

some of the questions you had. Well, let's see if I can remember.

Speaker 1:

Or just maybe like abstract, like was it is God good, Is it? Why do bad things happen? Some of those, or were they more?

Speaker 2:

It was maybe a little bit of that. If I remember right, I think it was more my issues were with people and not God. Oh well, that's. And again, I didn't know that until I had kind of written all that out and been like and actually reflected back on it and kind of saw it for what it was. So I think that was the moment where I was like OK, well, if all my issues are with people, that's not God, so what does that change for me? And it changed a lot in my mind actually. So Wow.

Speaker 3:

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Speaker 1:

Do you think some of that and I don't want to get too much on like the preacher's daughter thing, but do you think that there is a little bit more heaviness that people put on you? That's not the right word, but do you know what I'm saying? Like there's more that you have to be.

Speaker 2:

In some ways. Yeah, definitely the eyes of most everyone in the church are on you in some way or another. They at least know who you are and know your face, and so in that way, I think I have always felt very responsible for the reputation of my family and upholding that in a good way, which can be a lot of pressure. But I don't know, sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn't Okay, yeah, so you said that there were some things that marked you.

Speaker 1:

Could you share some of those?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, if I can recall. Yes so back to that time, while I was away in college, this kind of question asking my dad had with me. He had me send him the questions and some of him he responded to. Some of him he was like, yeah, I don't know, that's a good question, and to have that response as well was also, I think, reassuring for me. To be like, oh okay, not all the questions have to be answered. It's okay to have some to be confused and not understand God and how he's working.

Speaker 1:

Fully that may always be true, because maybe we shouldn't be able to understand a God that we can understand completely.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that would make him very small.

Speaker 1:

That would make him pretty small, which again I don't really like, because I like answers yeah yeah, me too. Answers resolution yes, Like black and white, but that is not. Yeah, that is not the world, that is not our God. Yeah, but sorry, keep going. No, you're good.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, basically this whole time I was in Charleston, south Carolina, at college marked me in my faith, because I was doing all that wrestling for two months before I even was like, okay, I'll give this a shot again, maybe let's just see. And I remember in that moment the semester was a hard time for me. Every second felt so slow and I wanted to be home with people I knew so bad the whole time and I was pretty literally alone most of the semester. I didn't have a roommate in my dorm. I was, you know, trying to meet people and build relationships. Still, it was a bittersweet time because I was very lonely. But I also experienced the Lord in a new way I hadn't, and so in that way it was really great.

Speaker 2:

But I remember, after I had kind of sorted through all the questions and confusion I had with God, I kind of came to a point where, like I said, I was like, okay, maybe I'll give this a shot again. I had a physical response. I was experiencing something in my body I hadn't before. I didn't know what was going on, I just felt really good. I couldn't explain it. I felt light, I felt happy, I felt peace, and so I was. I was so confused by that. I was like what is going on? Later in the semester I'm spending more time in the Word? It's Christian college, so I had classes that required. I do that so.

Speaker 2:

I did it a lot and I came to a passage in John I think it's 1427, and Jesus is talking to his disciples, preparing them for when he isn't going to be with them anymore permanently, and he's telling them about how the Holy Spirit is going to come on the scene. And Jesus offers the world, or offers a peace that the world can't give, and I immediately identified that was what I was experiencing in that moment Is it peace I leave with you.

Speaker 1:

My peace. I give to you, not as a world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Speaker 2:

I think so yeah, that's one translation. Yeah, so I was like, oh, I'm experiencing the peace and joy of the Lord and yeah, it was so profound, so, yeah, that was really like the cornerstone, I guess, of my faith really beginning.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow, yeah, it's so fun to hear because you grew up in church your whole life. My kids have grown up in church, their whole life.

Speaker 1:

I grew up in church. My whole life and part of me is like I don't want them ever to walk away, I don't want them ever to question, I don't want them. But at the same time, you have to, and maybe it looks different, different variations for different people, but it has to become your own at some point, and so that that is one of the reasons I wanted to have you on is because for people like me that are in the midst of raising their kids and maybe I don't want to say fearful, but okay, are they going to walk away? Are they? What's going to happen?

Speaker 1:

And to have your story of hope, of yeah, but I had to in order to really have it be mine, or have it be bigger, or what's a better word to make it personal yeah yeah, again, these are kind of words that you hear in Christian world is like the prodigal son, and I don't know if I want to throw that on your life, but there's a lot of people who are praying for their prodigal children is what they would call them. Is they've walked away from their faith and for years and years and years and like really not asking any questions or completely said no to Jesus. And what would you maybe say to one of those parents that are listening.

Speaker 2:

It's a tough spot to be in. I really get it, also because both of my brothers are currently not not walking with the Lord and haven't been really since they've become adults. I just feel like the biggest difference between me and them in that way is that I continued to ask questions and be curious and they at least for my brothers haven't been, and so they've been kind of stuck in that place for a while, which is fine. That's their journey. But yeah, I know that's really hard for parents to just sit back and watch and try and support their kids. I don't know. I feel like it's a necessary process for every person to go through as we grow up. Just encourage parents if they're in that place with their kids that it may not be like that forever, and do encourage your kids to ask. I feel like that was a big factor for me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I love that, I love that. So what would you say to someone who is where you are, Like I just don't know? Would you say that the number one thing would be to say write those questions down?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Mainly yeah, Okay, and ultimately, like I said, if you're not in the Word and like spending time with God and don't like understand how he works, what he looks like, you are probably not going to see Him. Yeah, it makes sense. You know why people feel that way. In that space there's a quote. I can't remember what it's from. If you are only looking for darkness. That's all you'll find. Sure, yeah, sure. That's kind of that idea.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that's kind of why I have my questions at the end as far as gratefulness and kindness is to kind of just make all of us who are listening, make continually make me remember that we need to look for these things. We need to, because otherwise it's easy to just start getting a little bit more pessimistic. Yeah, totally yes, very true. Is there anyone who really helped or hindered your journey?

Speaker 2:

I have had a couple really helpful people in my life on a couple different occasions. When we lived back in Idaho I felt like a nudge. Looking back it was probably from the Lord, but a nudge to basically reach out to a woman. There were different people at different time, but someone older than me who could basically mentor me or disciple.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I had two really awesome women who were in my life at different points, who who walked with me in my faith and it was really cool to be able to experience that and be like, yeah, that's what it looks like to do discipling well. So, yeah, I feel really fortunate to have experience not one, but two different people who have been great for me.

Speaker 1:

I just see your face light up when you are speaking about stuff. That's so neat.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they just did Jesus really well.

Speaker 1:

You said you have a cornerstone. It became personal and this is what I see in you and please say I don't see that but I think it's important, when you've made that decision, then to go all in, and that's what I see just from afar, seeing your life is. It's not just okay? Yeah, jesus is real and I'll just keep doing my life however I want, right. Would you agree to disagree? I would agree, yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's something I'm always working towards.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So when you are like, okay, this is real. What else changed? Or what did you change in your life? What kind of happened to build?

Speaker 2:

It's been a journey. It's been up and down for sure. I've always really struggled with being very swayed by the people I spend my time with. I am still always trying to look inward and ask myself if there are things standing in the way of like me and the Lord, me hearing the Lord, me being with Him, Like things. I'm putting my trust in my hope, joy, whatever, and so I'm still like in a place of really trying to let go of some things. But I'm also like totally sold out in a way that I haven't really been until even recently. The last six months I've kind of come to a new chapter in my faith in growing spiritually. That's been really great and really hard, oh my gosh. Really painful, but seeing a lot of growth in myself.

Speaker 1:

I don't know if that answered your question. No, it does so no doubts about that.

Speaker 2:

God is real and it hasn't been that way the whole time.

Speaker 1:

It's my point here, yeah right, just continuing to grow, which is a good reminder for all of us, right Is that? Even when we're like, yeah, I am in, I believe all of that, just continuing, continuing, continuing to grow and walk out that path.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's so important to me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Well, I love your story.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for sharing it, of course.

Speaker 1:

So, as we end, I always have some questions what is your favorite Bible verse or story?

Speaker 2:

Okay, so my favorite Bible verse changes Right now. It's, I think it's John 4.24. And it says that God wants worshipers who are willing to worship in spirit and in truth, because God is spirit.

Speaker 2:

And so we must, we must do both, and when I first heard that I was like, huh, what does that mean? But God has kind of revealing its meaning to me over time and it's really close to my heart right now, just striving for a space in my worship with God where it's as authentic as it can be and also like nearness to the spirit, like just in its presence, like that's what that means to me right now, and so that's been really cool lately.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that is. I don't think anyone's brought that one up when I looked it up really quick, it's. He's talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. So just a little context on where where that is and who he's talking to. So that's kind of interesting. I'll have to kind of look into that more and that's such a great story in itself. What are you grateful for?

Speaker 2:

I'm really grateful for my family, specifically my husband. He's great, but I'm weirdly grateful for this season of life. There's a lot of things that are really hard. Right now, I feel very fortunate to have the life that I do. We're fortunate enough to be able to be living with my parents while my health isn't good and I can't work full time, and that's really just given me so much freedom in my schedule. I'm still working part time but, yeah, I'm grateful for my life being that way right now. Yeah, not just busy all the time. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's good, and her husband is Stephen Cole and he did one with me that I'll link on there that how he came to faith too.

Speaker 3:

So that was a great story in itself.

Speaker 1:

What kindness have you shown or what kindness have you seen from someone in the last week?

Speaker 2:

Yesterday I met with a lady who has recently come into my life and wanted to disciple me. She reached out and that's never happened before. So I met with her yesterday and we have been for some time, but that's always a good time.

Speaker 1:

Oh, and it's kind of worked out as far as. Oh, how fun, wow, that's great, just her being like stepping forward and then you saying, yes, I think there's yeah basically, you know, she just wants to pour into me, Like who does that? How lovely.

Speaker 2:

I know.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, well, I've loved our time together. Thanks, thank you for sharing your story with us. Yes, of course, thank you for listening. This is David and this is Rachel, and if you liked this episode, please share on social media and share with your friends.

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