Hi there. I'm Jill Allen and this is find your fierce, the show designed for women to discover your fierce, unlock and unstoppable mindset. Build unbreakable courage and completely transform how you show up every single day. Each week I will bring ideas, methods and strategies that will inspire you to step into your greatness and live life on purpose. Let's be fit, fierce and unstoppable.
(00:34): Hey there everyone. Welcome to episode 18 of find your fierce. So glad that you were with us today. We are continuing the mini series on relationships because like I said, there is so much we can dive in on this topic. We talked about marriage and how to build that strong foundation. Last episode we talked about connecting with our kids and this week that guys, I am so super excited because I have a special guest, one of my dearest friends for the past decade, one that shines so much like truth and love with everyone she meets and I just know that she's going to share that with all of you today and I'm excited about that. We're going to walk through her spiritual journey and how it has changed everything. So get ready, meet my friend crystal. How are you? Welcome. Hey, thank you. Thanks for having me.
(01:18): I'm excited that this is going to be good. I love that you are here with us. You know, just, you know, share with those that are listening a little bit about yourself. You know, cause we've been friends for 10 years. It's been awesome and amazing, but just, you know, share with them a day in the life of crystal. Sure, sure. Well, I am married to my husband Mike. He is a police officer, recent police officer. That's a whole nother podcast. But I've been married to him for 23 years together. We have three sons and they're all adults now. So it's really interesting to be a mom of adults and you know, honestly there they mean so much to me. So they're a lot of my life and you know, I own my own business. I've always been that entrepreneurial spirit, you know, to get out and meet people and you know, just love connecting with people.
(02:09): And that's kind of it. Yeah, no, that's a lot. This is something that you've been seriously and inspiration and it has completely changed my life in a lot of things in a lot of ways. And so I thank you on that and I just know that your wisdom, I've watched you, I've seen the changes in you. Okay. This is why I wanted you on here to share that story because I've seen you start this journey with the Lord and how he has worked in your heart the way that you speak it. I'm telling you, it's how you have transformed and changed over these last few years. I can see it. And so that's kind of where I wanted to have you share with them. Take us back to where you had this awful moment that you needed, that you couldn't do this on your own anymore.
(02:55): Because I think so many women are listening and they're like bogged down. We're here. We are in the middle of a home order, the stress of being a mom and a wife and you know their career, we cannot do it alone. So what was that aha moment for you that you were able to take that first step? Well, I can tell you that I can go back pretty far to where I know the Lord was really knocking on my heart and it's really just just out of college. I remember when my aunt, she was just so much like my dad, like she's like the female version of my dad and so comical, you know my dad and how he is and his personality and she was in hospice care in her home and she was passing away. She was dying and I was there with my brother and my sister in law.
(03:43): And I have to say my brother and my sister in law have been so pivotal in my life because they were praying for me for a long time and they've shared that with me since. But praying for me and I could sense their prayers cause I knew something was happening and stirring inside of me. And I remember being with them with my aunt and my aunt. They were all praying and she said something about my parents that please make sure your mom and dad know that it's not about just being a good person. That's not enough. They need to know Jesus as their savior and they have to accept him and make sure they know. And they began praying and I can't even explain the warmth. They came over that room and atmosphere, like I don't even know how to describe it, but I had never experienced it before.
(04:38): And I walked out of that house knowing that God was real and that this relationship she had with Jesus, it was something that it got my attention. And that was my aunt Daisy. So I can go back as far as to that. And I was probably 21 maybe and I'm 49 now. So you look at this journey of you know where it's gone and it's just one thing after another of people being in my life and strategically being put in my life to give me words of encouragement. And the journey has been a long one. But I can say I honestly got to a point in 2017 that I really started seeking him. Okay. Just a few years ago. Yeah. So I've been going to church every Sunday, you know, really started that very like before Mike and I even got married, that that became a staple that I knew I wanted, that I was seeking, that I desired, that I always felt better when I went, you know, I might not have felt like going, but every time I went I came home and was like, I am so glad I went.
(05:56): And in the beginning, Mike didn't even go with me. So that journey, and that's something I always wanted and you know, and I was seeking him, but honestly, until about 2017 is really when I just desired a deeper relationship. And it was gradual prior to that introduction, different people hearing different things. But it was 2017 that I really started to see a day difference in my pursuit of him. I was given a word. I had purchased a bracelet and this bracelet was made by women that were rescued in sex trafficking and they made these bracelets and they put a word on the card for each person that they made it for, of what was on their heart. And my girl was Amy and she gave me the word surrender. I love that word. We all need to hear that. Yeah. What did you take from that?
(06:54): What did you feel from, because we could be given something, we could read the devotions, we can go to church, we could do all the right things, but we can still not be truly, truly connected with all of that. So we've heard the word surrender multiple times. What made this different? Well, when I would hear surrender in the past, I would look at that as being a weak word because I'm a doer. I'm a go getter. Like surrender meant, Oh, you're giving up, you know? And that's not what it means at all, like at all. So at first I just started really just, well looking at myself and saying, what do I need to surrender? And there were so many things, but I mean the bottom line is all of it, but it was one thing at a time that I needed to notice. Surrender because we can't carry it.
(07:47): It's not something I can do in my own flesh when you try to do it yourself and that, honestly, that's what I had been doing my whole life of trying to do things on my own and going to God as a last resort of please help me in this area. Or instead of seeking him first and seeking his guidance for my life, so I needed to surrender it that year in particular, and it's been ongoing that I have to, that it'll be, I'll be reminded, but it was, it was my boys and, and you think, okay, surrender your your kids. Like what do you mean? Meaning I had to take a good friend, love her so much. Jenny Don Lee, she said there is a fine line between protection and control and protection is from love. Control is from fear. And I realized I was trying to control at that point, teenage boys out of fear, all the things I didn't want them to do or didn't want them to walk.
(08:53): The same walk that I and one of them to learn from my mistakes and just not do them. And I had to take my hands off. And of course you're still a mom. You're still guiding. You're still doing all of that. But I needed to surrender where aye gave them to the Lord and said, they're yours. You, you gave them to me to raise and I need to let them stay there. I need to put them at the foot of the cross and let you take care of it. They're yours and they're in your hands. That takes a lot. Yes it does. But once you realize that they've been given to me, that they really do belong to God first. I've just been blessed to be their mama, but I had to surrender. And in that process, when you surrender and you lay all the things that you love and that are important in your life and you lay them down and you say I, because honestly we can't, we can't keep up with all of it.
(09:55): You will be running ragged and you won't, you know, be filled up yourself. Like you can't, you can't pour out of an empty, an empty pitcher. You have to be filled yourself and by surrendering and just think about giving all of your cares, all of your worries, all of your, even your love, like everything that you value when you surrender it all and give it all, it's actually liberating. So I was just going to say it was probably freeing. It is freeing. Yes, yes. But at first it wasn't, it was very prickly like, Ooh, what am I, I don't know if I can do that. But now I look at everything like that, you know, I'm reminded that I need to surrender at all and you know, ask for God's will in whatever, be obedient and walk in that way. And surrender has actually become a really good word.
(10:51): And I want people to know that, you know, that's a great word. So whatever, you know, someone's whatever's in their heart, that's like really a feeling of [inaudible] or you know, it just isn't sitting right. You just have to surrender it. And even the good stuff, our business, everything, like all of it, your marriage, like even when things are great, still surrendering all of those things and giving him the control, giving the Lord the control. That's the difference. And this is the part that I have seen change because when I first met you, I may, we're, we're pretty much alike. We strive two not be the best, but I do know that we strive to become the best version of herself. We were filling those voids with other things besides the one that we should have been. And I think that's the difference in these last few years.
(11:50): I've seen that within you. So I think for those that are listening to me, I, I, I keep hearing the word hope. There's hope for someone out there that maybe has been lost or maybe had this little tug. Like I remember being in junior high. Okay. My family had not gone to church daily or I should say weekly, but for whatever reason I was drawn to youth group. I loved, you know, being around those things and those people and taking part. And so like you remember those moments and I, you know, maybe it's been years or that you feel it pull on your heartstrings or you want to get back. I think it's never too late to start now to build that relationship. I mean, what can you share with someone that might be in that place right now where maybe they've given up hope or you know, maybe they're not feeling good enough or they just been separated or distant or maybe have never had a relationship with the Lord.
(12:48): Where do you tell them to begin? Or how should they start this journey and this walk? Well, I think the first thing is to know that God is very personable and knows every hair on your head and knows every thought that you have. So, and I think a lot of times we try to run away and he's right here, you know, he is desperately wanting us to share whatever is going on with us and it's a relationship. So I don't know if someone's like, not really sure where to start. I know for me people that I trusted, like people that I see you, you know when someone has the fruit of the Lord in their life because you see it, where there, it's not just what they say, it's that you see that manifest in other parts of their life. So you can, you can see the fruit of it in their life where it's genuine reaching out to someone that you know, knows the Lord and you know, just having that conversation with them and praying together if you're not sure.
(13:54): But I think just getting to a quiet place, putting yourself, even if it's your closet, you know, in going to a quiet place and just being still and you know, maybe it's crying out to the Lord and letting him know your hurts and you know, just sharing what's going on with you and getting in that quiet place with him. That is an excellent place to start. And then you can utilize people that, you know, friendships because it's an encouragement to talk to each other, especially about the Lord. It's an encouragement because the Lord will use people to share something and people have no idea. Like they may say something to me and I'm like, okay, I just read that there's signs everywhere. There's people I hear you often say the sprinkling. Okay, there's people, there's things, there's signs, there's words that are just sprinkled all over your life.
(14:53): Hi everywhere. God talks to us every day, all day, and you might see certain words all the time that are highlighted. For me and my, in the beginning of my journey, I want to say it was in about 2009 to 2010 I did commanding your morning. It's a Cindy trim commanding your morning. I did that with you. Yes. Yeah, there was a word back then and that was just highlighted to me. Like that was a, that was a good start for me. So if someone's listening that once, like, you know, I'm not sure where to start. That commanding your morning was really good for me and my beginning. But I would see the word lights everywhere, everywhere. And then it was, believe, believe was and still is a very highlighted word from me because I think that's where a lot of people's struggle and it's not, it's not believing in yourself, which is what I always thought.
(15:52): Like, Oh crystal, you just have to believe in yourself and you can do everything. And that's a lie. That's a lie. We can't do anything without the Lord. That's the truth of it. So it's believing in him and knowing that he has us and knowing that he will take care of us. But we have to see Kim daily. It's not just on Sunday or once in a while, but seeking him daily. And that's been gradual for me to now I'm to the point where I have to do that. Like that is something getting in his word. You know, I would hear people say, and it's usually like my pastor, you know, people you would expect to say like read the word it. It's you know, it'll light you up and it'll feed your hunger. And I'm just like, I don't even know what you're talking about.
(16:42): Like I know, but no, I think getting like a daily devotional is a great place to start. Or reading a proverb for whatever day of the week it is. Cause there's 31 of them is great too, but the word now is something that the Lord speaks through his word. You will have things happening in your life and you will read and you will say that is for right now and it is an answer to whatever you might be going through. I mean God works that way. It's like we need to hear, we hear what we need to hear when we need to hear it. Exactly. But if you're not in a place where you're not slowing down and everything else because believe me the enemy will put chaos and things all around you to distract you. I don't have time and now it's something that I don't get on my phone.
(17:36): I don't, it's the first thing I do that I am getting in the word and and prayer and it's and in prayer with other people and praying in agreement with one another. Okay. That you up that builds up your faith when you do that with others too. Well it kind of leads into what I, you know, what's next? Like how has this impacted and will in both finish up with this question, how has this changed everything in your life from back when you were in college to the pivotal moment in 2017 two now and where this journey has taken you, how has it impacted your life to where you are now? Because I know we're always on a growth process. It's again an everyday thing and we know that it's going to continue, but looking back, can you share with us? Well, it's impacted me in the reality that it's not about me knowing that the Lord wants to use me in ways that I might not have understood before, but that he wants to utilize me so that other people could be impacted.
(18:44): Whether they need healing from things that have happened in their lives, they need, you know, to know that the Bible is real and that the stories in there are not just stories of once upon a time, but they apply today. It's impacted me in such a way that I'm just like excited for for what's next. Have you said earlier that we were striving, you and I, you know, that's how our life was of constantly striving and it's not an ad anymore. The Lord has worked in me to say, no, we're going to stride together. When you go along side of the Lord, it's no longer a striving because when you strive, it's you. It's, it's, it's, it's hard. It's impossible a lot of times and there's so much hurt. I think that comes along with that. So stride when you stride with the Lord [inaudible] coming alongside of him and going where he has, which let's face it, his plan is way better than anything I could possibly accomplish my life.
(19:55): And so now I'm at the point that my life is his and I want to walk according to what he wants me to do. And for me to say that, I mean that sounds like a good idea, but that wouldn't have been something I would've ever said I would have. I think, well, yeah, you know, I love Jesus, Jesus, and I did. But now it's different. Like it's, it's a, when you surrender everything, it changes you. You'll never be the same. You'll never be the same because the Lord wants to do so many things in and through us, for other people, like it's so much, it's not about me anymore, but it's for other people. And of course he blesses you along the way. Like he's such a loving knows desires of our heart and he's so loving. But that's the difference. That's what's changed.
(20:52): I've gone from striving to striding. You're at peace. I had shared on one of the earlier episodes, you know that I always thought that piece and that calm came from time management and getting things done in a really nice organized way and it's not, it's, it's finding that peace and calm within with God's help and guidance leading the way. Let us recap here because this is what I took from you and I wrote notes. Why do we need to seek him first? Okay, seek him first. Surrender number two. We need to find a quiet place. Okay, so now I get it. Some of you guys that's going to be hard, but maybe put on some Christian music. Sit there quiet. Lock yourself in the closet. Close your eyes. Guys. I tried to do this the other day and my eye, I just kept opening up and peaking to see if anything changed.
(21:49): Okay. Cause I know I get it. It's, it's a challenge. Okay. So we got to sit still in a quiet place for five minutes so we can listen to what he is trying to tell us and how he's going to guide three get in the word. So if you guys are brand new and you're wanting, there's this, you know, tug at your heart that you want to get into that re relationship with the Lord and to build that, get in the word commanding your morning, it would be a great start. Your daily devotions. And number four, and I think this is the best one guys. It's not about us God once to use us and guide us to stride, not strive. So I absolutely love this. Thank you so much for sharing and for being here. We are always on a mission here to find your fierce on this podcast, to be the best version of ourselves, to be better today than we were yesterday and to always be working on ourselves.
(22:41): So if you have zero energy to focus on yourself and need extra support and accountability from women who know what it's like to juggle a crazy busy life, then go to beef and fierce.com and become unstoppable with us. Or if you want to join a sisterhood dedicated to growing our faith, join our just breathe Facebook group heads up on the next episode. We are going to continue this relationship series, but this time it's going to be about the relationship we have with ourself, how you can love who you truly are and all the gifts you have been given. We will dive into how we can give ourselves some grace. Thanks so much for joining us today. Please subscribe. Share this episode link on your social media as we all know, someone that can benefit and I would love it if you would give some feedback and review as well. Talk with you next time. Be fit. Be fierce. Be unstoppable. See ya.
This is ThePodcastFactory.com.