It was not my intention to do a podcast. Nope, not me. But God called me to do just that in the season of Covid. After months of prayer and coaching, I felt ready to bring positive messages from survivors of all kinds of traumas and pivotal points in their lives to help minister to a hurting country and world. It was my understanding, after seeking God’s guidance, that he wanted me to use my gifts as a storyteller and my experience as a radio talk show host to help bring some hope and light to a world in great darkness right now. I knew I could not do this without Him and a team of faithful friends and family who joined me in promoting the thoughts that He was giving me to share.
I was not without some timidity when it came to starting something like this (which is huge as you can imagine). But I knew if I obeyed, He would bless the work He was calling me to do. I could never imagine the blessings He had in store for me too. And bless me He did with the stories of my guests (all of them) that have begun to shine light in my personal little world, and encourage me to continue seeking His will, His guidance and His healing.
One current example of this is found in an interview with a lady named Karen DeArmond Gardner, who survived thirty years of domestic abuse in her first marriage. I had asked her to be on the podcast because I believe her book, “Healing from Domestic Abuse: Reaching for God’s Promise of Real Freedom” is needed to bring truth to a situation that is often silenced, overlooked and even ignored.
In this book, Karen does not focus on what happened to her but what Jesus is doing with what happened to her. She says this is not a self-help book but an invitation to walk into the fullness of God’s love. She tells us that leaving is just the beginning of healing, as she busts myths about what domestic abuse is, why women are not always able to get out of the situations, and why even churches are unlikely sources of support and help in the abusive marriage. Among the many, many nuggets of wisdom found in these pages as we walk into the love of God and learn to trust again, Karen shares that we must acknowledge what happened in order to offer it to God for our healing as well as asking Him what He wants to do with our experiences.
After the interview concluded, I was unsettled, sleepless and very, very sad. For several days, I asked God to reveal what He wanted me to see. I worried that technically I may have not dotted all my i’s and crossed all my t’s. But as I listened to the interview again during the editing process, I saw very clearly that my Heavenly Father was telling me there were pieces of my past, my childhood, I needed to acknowledge, revisit and offer to Him for healing.
It was not my intention to drag all those memories up again or search for ones I had forgotten. What good could that do now? But I knew just as I was learning to trust God and obey His guidance in the new realm of podcasting, I would be blessed by accepting an invitation into the healing He was offering me through the work of my friend and sister in the Lord, Karen. And so, it began.
As the child of alcoholics, I’ve spent a great deal of time learning about their disease and recovering from the effects of that disease. Likewise, I’ve spent a great deal of time excusing the acts of domestic abuse and violence I saw as a child – putting it down to the result of the drink. And I never talk about it. It never occurred to me that the scars of feeling unsafe have, are and always will affect my ability to trust fully, if left unaddressed.
So, today, thanks to God and His desire to heal me, and others, with podcast guests’ stories of hope and new life, I move into a new season of healing too. It will not be easy but I know I can trust the outcome if I rely upon the One who will answer the questions and show me how He will use what has happened to me too.
Let the healing begin.
Karen DeArmond Gardner’s interview is in two parts and will air on August 18 and 25. You can hear that by clicking on the tab on my website called “Podcast Episodes” or looking for “Livin’ What You’re Given” Podcast wherever you get your podcasts – Spotify, Apple, Stitcher, etc.
Copyright August, 2021 Laura L. Padgett, M.A.
Connect with me, Laura Padgett, on Twitter @lauraleepadgett or my Facebook Author Page
Check out the books I have published
“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and all major online retailers. If you live in the U.S. and would like an autographed copy sent directly to you, click on the tab for buying books on my home page
The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you live in the U.S. and would like an autographed copy sent directly to you, click on the tab for buying books on my home page.
Don’t forget to follow my podcast episodes. You may hear the podcast on any device of your choice and on any platform where you now receive your podcasts. Or you can click on the Podcast Episodes tab on the home page of this website.