Sometimes life takes a turn in a bad direction, leaving us feeling helpless and uncertain about the future. Sure, we realize that God is in control and can find comfort in that; however, if we’re being honest, it’s usually not enough to bring us peace. In this episode, both of us (Lanee and Sandy) share some big curveballs life has thrown our way recently. As we’re in the midst of these trials, we reflect back on what the guest on our last episode, Lisa Howze shared about how faith was the basis for her resilience and hope.
As much as we try to focus on the positives that can eventually come from our struggles, we’re not here to just throw around clichés about making lemonade out of lemons. We want to be as open and authentic as possible. However, we definitely want to give you encouragement and fill you in on what’s working for us now and has been useful in the past. Everyone’s situation is unique, but we hope what we share gives you not only comfort, but helpful information.
Trusting God means accepting that there are reasons beyond our comprehension. It's an invitation to lean on our faith and believe that even in the midst of turmoil, God has a plan for us. By embracing this trust, we can find solace in the knowledge that we are not alone.
If you need some encouragement today or know someone who does, click play. We hope you’ll be blessed and strengthened by what you hear.
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Sandy Kovach [00:00:01]:
Welcome to Imagine Yourself podcast, where we help you imagine the next chapter of life with grace, gratitude, courage, and faith.
Lanee Blaise [00:00:09]:
Hello, everyone out there listening to Imagine Yourself podcast. I'm Lanee here with Sandy, and today we are going to kind of build upon something that we learned during an episode with one of our guests named Lisa Howze. She's an author, a speaker, professional, strategist, and she taught us so many things. And Sandy and I just wanted to share some of the ways that we're incorporating what she taught us in our own lives and encourage you to do the same. So Lisa Howze is a businesswoman, professional woman, but she is not afraid to incorporate faith in her life, no matter what aspect of life she's discussing. And I just wanted to kind of remind everyone, including myself, that it's okay if you're a faith filled person, to bring your faith into every element of your life, even in those areas that are not typically seeing faith. I think we need it in this world. I think we all need a little extra dose of God in our lives. Don't you agree, Sandy?
Sandy Kovach [00:01:20]:
Yeah, I mean, to me, it's the only way to make sense of things, whether we're talking about something personal that we're going through or whether we're like you said, there are some crazy things happening in the world that you just pick up your phone and you start scrolling the news stories and shaking your head. So, yeah, Lisa talked to us a lot about how trusting God and knowing that he was going to use things in her life. She had a lot of challenges in her life, in every part of her career. Like, the classic example to me was she was in politics for a while, too. And when somebody out of the blue invited her to run for an election and she's telling us the story and it's building up and building up, and she's like, and I lost the election, but she came back the year after and won an even better position. But let's start with maybe what we're going through personally, because I know both you and I have some personal struggles that are happening that are hard for us to see the end of the road.
Lanee Blaise [00:02:21]:
In the flip side, that's the thing. That's always the thing. It's always hard when you're right in the middle of it. And we do have to like you said, we can't get through easily without faith. And even then, sometimes it's hard and to really lean into the fact that God has a special timing for things to either begin or end when they're supposed to. And like, in your case, in my case, sometimes that we want something to end that's frustrating us, or sometimes we want something new and wonderful and beautiful to begin. And sometimes that has to do with, like, a job position or something creative that you've been really looking forward to. And mine is actually I've talked a little bit about it on other podcasts, but the development of my screenwriting career I had been making. I'll put past tense right now. We'll see what happens as we listen back to this episode, like a year from now or something. But I had been making some really good strides in my writing career, had talks with big platforms, big media platforms that could take some of my shows and run with it. Everything was really looking up and cheerful and then all of a sudden there's a writer strike in Hollywood right now. And it's a situation where writers not only want to be paid fairly, because with the streaming situation happening now, it greatly affects the way and changes the way writers had typically been paid and tried to make a living. But also artificial intelligence that AI writers are trying to make sure that that is not something that will be allowed to come in and take the place of human writers with human stories and human souls. All that to say, timing is super important. There are a lot of other writers also who feel the same way, that they were right about to jump into something wonderful and now it's all paused. And these are things that we cannot control individually. And we have to look to God. We have to lean on God for his timing, his patience. I'm trying so hard to surrender all of this over to Him in a healthy, positive, spiritual way. And it's something that it's tough, but I do love positive podcasts and positive people like Lisa Howze who do remind us to kind of look back at our past, see how God has been faithful to us and gotten us through past situations and really trust that God will get us through the current situation too. So that's kind of my share for right now. How about you, Sandy?
Sandy Kovach [00:05:00]:
Well, what did she call it? Or I think you had a name for it and she had a name for it.
Lanee Blaise [00:05:05]:
Faith Files and Spiritual Bank. Is that what you're getting at?
Sandy Kovach [00:05:10]:
Yes, because that is remembering how God brought you through situations and just remembering even little tiny answered prayers. Now, I'm speaking as somebody who doesn't really do that. I mean, I do remember some big things that God's done, but I know a lot of people, and I know you're very good at journaling and writing things down that write down when God answered a prayer or writes down when a situation was turned around and there's literally no explanation except for God. And when you think about that, it does so much. But even if you go back in the Bible and you think about the Israelites were delivered by God and they saw the Red Sea parted and they mana came from heaven and all the things, and still, I mean, it didn't take them long to forget. And I'm not putting them down because I'm saying, we are them.
Lanee Blaise [00:06:03]:
It's a struggle. Yeah. To remember, God is going to take care of us. Go ahead and go to the promised Land and don't be afraid to take what he's trying to give you. And you're right. And that's that part that the one that I leaned on was something I'd heard before. But spiritual bank, it's where you put those deposits in so that you can pull them out when you need them. And there were times when I was in college and God pulled me up and out of some frustrating situations. There were times with family members, especially when our parents get older, things like that, that pulls us together in a way that we have to remember. He teaches us to take things day by day. Those are the things that we need to pull from during those uncertain or frustrating or challenging or suck times.
Sandy Kovach [00:06:52]:
Let's just face it, sometimes life sucks.
Lanee Blaise [00:06:55]:
Yes. And we don't want to discount that and confuse what is going on. Why? And so sometimes that's that little piece of hope, that little fragment of hope to hold on to during those times.
Sandy Kovach [00:07:10]:
And I remember one of the things Lisa said, and I had heard this before, but I really felt it again when she said when she was going through one of her challenges, she said, God, why me? And then immediately it came back to her, why not me? And there is another quote that I like that kind of reminds me of that instead of asking, Why is this happening to me? Ask, what can I learn from it? So there's different ways of looking at it and it's hard. And people that are in very difficult situations, it's probably not going to happen right away, where they can do that. Sometimes people have to either grieve or they have to feel the loss or the disappointment, and they shouldn't feel bad if they can't immediately change their perspective. So for me, it's been a process too. And mine is with my health. So I have kind of a condition and I won't go into it because it take too long to explain and it's kind of boring and whatever, but it causes chronic pain is like the main issue with that, as well as some other issues. And there are a lot of people out there with chronic pain day to day, and they don't have a major disease. And so I thank God that I don't have anything that's going to kill me that I know of anyway. This is not going to kill me, this condition. It's just harder to live life this way. And so I have been running all these different tests and now I need to decide, do I want to do a certain surgery which may or may not help, but it's a gamble and all the things. So in the meantime, I'm just kind of waiting around and my husband's like, well, when do you want to go out of town? When do you want to go on vacation? It's like, I kind of want to wait until I get this straightened out. And you know what? I might never get it totally figured out. I might only get a little piece of it or just decide how I'm going to move forward through this. But it's been sucky too.
Lanee Blaise [00:08:54]:
And that's the part too. You're saying you don't want to put your life on pause, but the uncertainty is rather overwhelming. And sometimes all you can do is just put 1ft in front of the other barely and just get through this particular chunk and hope and pray that the wonderful thing that God has around the corner to help you through it shows itself soon.
Sandy Kovach [00:09:20]:
Yeah, do the next right thing. I used to tell my son all the time his issues were like, he'd have a bunch of stuff on his schedule and he'd feel overwhelmed. And I'd say, don't think of everything you have to do today or this week or whatever, just do the next right thing. So I'm kind of in that mode right now too. But it's hard. And just like with you in the writer strike, it's hard not to think long term. And especially when right as you are on the cusp of something big and what a disappointment.
Lanee Blaise [00:09:49]:
Yeah. Because it just is temporarily snatched away. And in my case, and sometimes even people with health issues too, like you said, after they get through some of the tough parts, there's something else Lisa taught us about attaching ourselves to something greater than us, something bigger than us. And I just know there have been people who have been through either health problems or grieving problems, and they have gone on to help, to eventually, not right away, but to eventually help other people who are in those same situations, whether it's through counseling or through group interactions that gather together. Because sometimes you have to hear the advice from someone who's already walked it and lived it to really believe that you can get through it yourself. For stuff like the writing situation, there are still opportunities for me to give back. I've fallen into the position of sometimes mentoring young ladies who are in college or who have recently graduated from college and try to help them set their course up and give inspiration and encouragement as they are pursuing their writing efforts as well. And it's not a career thing. It's not something to get paid for. It is something to do out of love and kindness and out of my heart to help others. And it ends up strengthening me also. I get to see them blossom and do wonderful things that maybe even they've got some of them gone on above past me. And it's just refreshing. And in Lisa's case, she is making sure that young people are getting the financial skills that they need and the encouragement that they need to be creative and imaginative with business ideas and political ideas and all different things like that. So you use what you do have to help someone else. And Sandy, you're a big proponent of that. When you do get sure footed enough to be able to help someone else then you go for it. And when you're not sure footed enough to do it, accept help from others. That's the other part too. Give and take.
Sandy Kovach [00:12:03]:
And sometimes that takes opening up to others. I have a friend and it's kind of a business associate who I happen to mention, yeah, I've been having a lot of tests. I'm going through this and that and the other thing. And she tells me about something that she's going through. It's a completely different issue but diagnosing or figuring out a plan or ways to deal with her chronic pain or illness. And so she had some advice for me and one of the things she said to me was to make sure that when you go in for your appointments you're asking the right questions but sometimes you don't know what questions to ask. So you really got to spend time thinking about what's affecting your conditions and doing your own research. Now the problem with doing your own research, of course, is you end up on WebMD or Healthline or all these other websites and then you're sure that you've got something terrible. They're about to explode any minute now from 500 diseases. But there's good information out there and there are people that you can talk to and communities and chat boards and whatnot for the various things that you have. So she is somebody that's helping or has helped and I want to be there for people too. And I have more of a heart now obviously for people who are going through chronic pain because the thing is people go through it and nobody knows about it.
Lanee Blaise [00:13:30]:
That's another part too, as far as from the faith perspective. Sometimes you meet with someone, it might even be a stranger. And either you are meant to meet with them so they can give you encouragement because they have some kind of gem to drop on you, or vice versa, or even sometimes people need to know that they are not alone. They're not crazy. They're not the only one struggling. It's not like misery loves company per se, but you just don't want to be on an island, right?
Sandy Kovach [00:14:02]:
And you and I both talking about this is just because I'm sure there are people listening in different camps. Maybe that's the chronic pain camp, maybe it's a career setback camp, anything. It could be relationships. It could be yeah. I mean there's all kinds of things like you and your spouse are having big issues and you're not really sure where this is going, where it's going to lead. And yeah, people can go through all kinds of these deserts before they get to the promised land. And you were mentioning Lisa and what she's doing, and she's giving back to young people through her "Candy Girl Mentality" book. So just a plug for that. And to listen back to the episode, because she's a CPA, she's an entrepreneur, a politician, a professional speaker. So wherever you fall, or just if you want a little motivation, it's the episode before this.
Lanee Blaise [00:14:51]:
Yeah, she's the lady that wears all those different hats beautifully. Again. I just love the fact too, when you think about people who are in all those different professional arenas, to me, it is so inspiring to know that they also have a strong, faithful reliance upon God and that that's what takes them from point A to point B to point C, through this life and through this journey. And I just also encourage people, including myself, to actually put a lot of value on time spent in quiet. Quietude. I don't know if that's a word. Quiet time.
Sandy Kovach [00:15:33]:
Lanee Blaise [00:15:34]:
Sandy Kovach [00:15:37]:
Like an attitude.
Lanee Blaise [00:15:39]:
Yes, I really embrace that. Because lately, whether it's health things, whether it's frustrating things with relationships in the people in my household, whether it's looking at the news, the career stuff, all of this can really be at least the level of frustration can be brought down a bit and calmed down. When I really take some time to be quiet and listen for God and try to see things through his eyes. It is some of the most productive time that I have in my entire day when I am sitting still, looking like I'm doing nothing. But very likely, I am doing some of the most powerful, prayerful, intentional things that set my day up, set my health up, set my everything up for a better direction. And I know there was a really painful time when my stepmother was going through her health challenges. And God really taught me I can only go through one day at a time. I cannot tackle more than one day at a time. And just slow and steady, just like the old fable, slow and steady wins the race. Slow and steady was the only way that I could get through, and my siblings and my dad could get through without just breaking down completely. And it was just God's slowly feeding us what we needed, and I'm kind of saying figuratively feeding us what we needed day by day. And when you're dealing with pain, uncertainty, all these things day by day, and quiet time is the way I love it.
Sandy Kovach [00:17:33]:
And another thing I'll tack on to that can be sort of part of that too, is just remembering the things that we do have to be thankful for, and gratitude. And we talk about gratitude a lot, and it's a word that's thrown around to the point where people almost don't see it anymore. It's almost cliché, but it really is powerful. When I think about my situation, I don't have a life threatening condition right now. There are people out there that do and have pain. Of course, you can always find somebody with a better life or harder life or not to compare necessarily to someone else, but just to be grateful for what you do have. And we both have a lot of blessings in our life, including the opportunity to commune with God that is so.
Lanee Blaise [00:18:20]:
Important to, like you said yeah. To don't discount gratitude, don't discount prayer, don't discount being still. These are some of the things that I feel our society absolutely discounts, but they are some of the most meaningful, powerful things that can impact our lives and others possible.
Sandy Kovach [00:18:42]:
So have faith, whatever you're going through. And if you aren't going through something, you probably will be soon, or you just got over something and life is kind of like that. And in this world, there will be trouble. A famous quote from Jesus, but I have overcome the world. And of course, as usual, I'm paraphrasing with the Sandy translation, but I think I think it's in John.
Lanee Blaise [00:19:04]:
And that's the part that we have to remember too, because again, the last thing we want to do is have people walk away from this episode and think, well, Linnae and Sandy are just in la la land and expecting everything to be positive and happy. And we get it that it's not. We we agree sometimes it sucks. And like you said, even Jesus admits there's going to be trials, there's going to be tribulations, there could be trouble, but he's overcome the world. And that's where the hope lies, that's where the gratitude lies. Many of these things are temporary. I mean, technically our lives are temporary, but it's just to try to hold on to that hope as much as possible and to listen when people are trying to feed you a little something that can sustain you in a good way. Yeah. So this is a tough one to end as far as imagine yourself fully embracing and incorporating faith, reliance on God, his goodness, his stillness, his healing, and his ability to make things go in a better direction, even if it takes a little time. Hold on. Change is coming, so be blessed, take care of yourselves and thanks for listening.
Sandy Kovach [00:20:22]:
Hope you were inspired by this podcast, whether for you or for someone you might know who's going through something, who you may want to share this with. Thanks for being a part of the Imagine Yourself podcast, family. Let's all be praying for each other. We'd love your feedback too. As always, we'll drop the link to contact us in our show notes, just go to imagineourselfpodcast.com for all of our...
Sandy Kovach [00:20:45]:
Social media and email.
Sandy Kovach [00:20:48]:
Another great way to let us know hour doing is by dropping us a review. It would be so cool if you would subscribe or follow our podcast if you find it helpful. Until next time when we have something new to imagine. Let's all get through this with faith.