For week 38 of Reasons to Hope we are honored to host author, journalist, veterinarian, minister, and Miss America 1990, Dr. Debbye Turner Bell.
She has a brand new book out, Courageous Faith: A Lifelong Pursuit of Faith Over Fear, which I am reading now and as Debbye writes in the book, if you’ve ever said to yourself:
You’re not good enough.
You don’t have what it takes.
You’re second best.
This book will speak to you. And so will Debbye, so if you didn’t catch our Instagram Live conversation yesterday on Reasons to Hope, here are some highlights.
Debbye Turner Bell on Reasons to Hope
Our One and Only Job — Never Give Up on Your Divine Purpose
“I believe great success is built on a foundation of failure, which means you keep trying when you don’t hit the mark. What I know for sure is that there are many people out there, myself included at certain points in my life, where we try, things don’t go the way we want, they don’t happen in the time we think they should happen, it doesn’t look like what we thought it should look like, and then we just throw up our hands and go ‘Oh, that must not have been right for me, or I’m not the right person, or I don’t have what it takes, or I’m not worthy,’ and then we just give up. I believe that we were created by a great big awesome God, and he put a great big awesome purpose within us, and only job is to say yes to that. And to keep improving. Keep looking for allies and advocates until we fulfill our God’s purpose on this earth.”
“We all have a divine and awesome purpose. Our one and only job is not to give up until we walk into that purpose.”
Prayer as the Soundtrack of Our Lives
“In the book I write this line that prayer was the soundtrack of my childhood and that’s very true. Every event was punctuated by prayer, started by prayer, undergirded by prayer — it’s in my DNA, if you will. So now as an adult and now an aging lady, I start my conversation with God the moment I open my eyes in the morning. And that conversation continues all day long until the moment I close my eyes. I do have what some would call quiet time or devotion; I do that every morning. It’s just a part of my routine, but I’m in communication with the Lord all day long. When I reach a point in the day and I’m frustrated — ‘God I need help, help me not slap this person across the face.’ I am on staff as a pastor at a church here in Michigan, and so I’m often counseling with or praying with someone, and in the course of that conversation inside I’m praying, ‘Lord, tell me what I need to say, what are the words they need to hear? ‘ So it is an ongoing, unending dialogue with God all day long from the moment I open my eyes to the second I close them. And I don’t know how to live life any other way.”
The Evidence of God in His Creation
“You can’t be in a place like Hawaii, a beautiful tropical paradise, and not believe in God, because the majesty and the splendor, it’s just so overwhelming. It doesn’t even have to be the tropics, seeing just the beautiful wild flowers or a beautiful river bed, these things just speak to me of the majesty and the creativity of God. I love water. So sitting on a beach, looking out over the ocean where I cannot see the end of the ocean just always brings me to a place of reverence and praise.”
“One of my favorite prayers I learned from a speaker, I say, ‘God, I’ve done everything I know how to do. Now, I step out of the way to give you room to do what only you can do.’ There is a requirement for us to use our talents. We achieve supernatural success when we do everything we know how to do, and then back out of the way and let God do what only He can do. That’s true success. That’s true significance, and that is achieving things that are above and beyond anything that we could imagine.”
Facing Down the Fear of Failure with Courageous Faith
For week 38 of Reasons to Hope, let’s trade our fear of failure for the assurance of supernatural success, asking ourselves Debbye’s question — “By refocusing from my dream to God’s will, how can I view failure differently?” And for more encouragement, pick up a copy of Courageous Faith: A Lifelong Pursuit of Faith Over Fear at your local bookstore or online.
We can’t wait to hear from you — how is your faith giving you reasons to hope? Tag us @rootandvinenews #reasonstohope and we’ll see you next Monday at 3pm ET on Root and Vine’s Instagram Live.
Writing the Book of Hope
We’ve been writing the Book of Hope together for 38 weeks now, but it’s never too late to join us. Here’s all you need to get started.