Grounded Podcast

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Being a Confident Woman in a Confusing World, with Mary Kassian

Have you ever felt insecure? Of course; we all have. The answer to our insecurities goes beyond a new outfit or the “you’re enough” pep talk. Discover the grit of a God-fearing woman and learn how to have the right kind of confidence in this episode with one of our favorite guests, Mary Kassian.

Connect with Mary:

Episode Notes:

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Introduction: Confidence

Portia Collins: Would you describe yourself as a confident woman? Good morning, I'm Portia Collins, and welcome to Grounded. This is a podcast and videocast brought to you by Revive Our Hearts.

Alejandra Slemin: I'm Alejandra Slemin. Erin Davis and Dannah Gresh won't be with us today. So, Portia and I are driving this bus/boat together for the first time on our own. Today as a perfect day we're going to be talking about confidence.

Portia: You know, as I'm thinking about confidence, I'm not feeling very confident right now.

Alejandra: I hear you, I hear you.

Portia: Like, our big sisters are not here. So, I’m kind of spazzing out here a little bit. 

Alejandra: No worries.

Portia: I know. We’ve got each other; we're gonna do; this we're strong. When I think about being a confident woman, one image that comes to mind is the women on the red carpet in Hollywood just last week. We know there was the Met Gala. Maybe you saw pictures of the stars struggling confidently in front of the cameras in the most outlandish outfits ever. And that's not the kind of confidence that we're talking about this morning. Right?

Alejandra: You're totally right. This is not the kind of confidence that tells you that you are enough—positive thinking. So when you hear the word confident, is there a woman that comes to your mind? And if you have a name of a woman that comes to your mind that has the right kind of confidence, will you please drop that name in the chat, because we want to hear from you?

Portia: We do. One woman that comes to mind for me is our guest, Mary Kassian. If you know me, you know that I love me some Mary Kassian, she says women have a confidence problem. And we'll hear more about that . . . and the unlikely solution.

Alejandra: I don't know if you've ever felt insecure. I have felt insecure many times. If you have, this episode is for you. Would you share today’s episode with other women? Would you just send it through an email that Grounded is on? And before we get on to the confidence level thing? We need to hear some good news. So, Portia?

Portia: You know that I've got good news. Okay. According to the survey conducted this summer, the pandemic has changed the opinions of many people about the Church in the United States. Get this, 62% of people believe churches have had a positive effect on the way things are going in our nation, alright? This is a big shift. About 10 years ago, studies revealed that our confidence in the church was on a downward trend, and that continued for over a decade until the pandemic. Talk about a silver lining. 

Today, more Americans believe that churches are contributing to the good of the country, more than any other type of institution such as colleges, banks, unions, or large corporations. Sometimes you’ve got to think about it this way. Sometimes it takes some bad news, like a global pandemic, for the world to see the good that the body of Christ does. 

What's happening inside the church is also interesting. With all the bad news in the world, guess what? It got believers back into their Bibles. And y'all know me, I'm a Bible girl. I love to see people in their Bibles. And so, I am super excited about that. I'm also excited that it boosted reading their Bibles—more people getting into the Bibles more. It boosted their confidence in the future during a time when many fail, fearful of what lay ahead. 91% of believers who were reading their Bible said reading God's Word either increased their confidence in the future or helped them to maintain the confidence that God is in control. Amen. How about that?

Alejandra: He is. He is in control. Indeed, I think one of the things that makes us more excited is just to see how the Word of God is becoming more and more the center of our lives. So, when we hear good news like that, that's just like, good, good, good, good news. It's over the top news.

Portia: Look, literally, grounded in God's Word. We are people are getting grounded in God's Word by clinging to the truth of Scripture.

Alejandra: That's right. Well, as you all know, Grounded is a family. One of my favorite parts of Grounded is the chat. People share their hearts; people share prayer requests, testimonies, and many things. And as a family, we go through ups and downs together. 

I want to share today a little bit about my downs. This summer, it was a very difficult summer for me and for my family. It was a time that it felt as if all of God's waves had fallen on us. I mean, there were days where I couldn't see the light, where I could feel the heaviness, the weight— marriage issues, health issues, you name it. It was just one thing after the other. 

When you're going through struggles, you feel very weak. You feel very hurt. You feel very disappointed. It is very difficult. We as a family decided to go on a road trip, a very long road trip—about 35 hours. We stopped in many cities. But as we were traveling, I was feeling so down. I said Lord, “I need some encouragement.” So I picked up two biographies of two women that I admire: Elisabeth Elliot and Corrie ten Boom. 

When my husband was driving, I was just reading and reading and reading. And even though I had read this biography before, this was the very first time that I was able to see different things in their lives as things that I needed to have in my life. I read them. I just needed to feel better about my situation. So maybe if I read them, they went through worse things, maybe I’d know a little bit more about them and I'd feel better about myself. 

This was very intense reading. When I finished reading their biographies, I asked myself, “How did they stay strong in the midst of so much hurt, in the midst of so much disappointment, in the midst of so many things that were attacking them?” And at that moment, I said to the Lord, “If You were able to sustain them, You are able to sustain me.” I needed to know where the confidence came from. And definitely, we can find that in Scripture. 

Growing Confident in the Word: Proverbs 14:26

So, if you have your Bible, please open it in Proverbs chapter 14, verse 26. And listen to what the Lord has to say about confidence. It says, “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,

and his children will have a refuge.” Mary Kassian is later going to unpack that a little bit more for us about the fear and the truth that we need to believe. 

But the truth that we want you to hold on to this week, that I have been holding on to, is that if we want to be confident women, we need to fear the Lord. A woman that fears the Lord is a woman that says she stands in all of who God is; that she is not a woman that runs away from God and is not afraid of God; that she is a woman that has a reverence and admiration for who God is—the only one true God the King of kings and Lord of lords.

A confident woman is a woman that can remember what God has done, what God is doing, and what God will do. A confident woman is a woman that can say, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” because we will. But it says, “I will fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they will comfort me.” It says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over. Surely, goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (from Ps. 23) That is a kind of confidence. 

As I was reading Elisabeth Elliot's book, one day she said, “I don't feel today so much like a missionary.” I'm sure some of us might say today, “I don't feel so much like a good mom or like a good wife or like a good Christian.” But that same day, she also said, the secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances. 

We see all through the Bible how the Lord came through, how the Lord was faithful to women that feared Him. We want you to stand firm. We want you to stand firm in the confidence that God can give you. That's why we want to continue to invite you to come and join us at Revive ’21 Would you please watch this short clip with us about the conference?

Video: Revive ’21

Woman: Picture an ancient oak tree. Its wood is solid. Its branches reach to the sky, and its roots run deep. In the book of Isaiah, God's people are compared to an oak tree—unwavering, resolute, and deeply rooted. 

Child: “That they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.”

Woman: When the storms of life rage around us, you can be rooted and grounded in God's Word. Like that oak of righteousness. 

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: What are you trusting? When the world around us crumbles? Will you be able to stand firm because you're being held by the God who cannot be shaken? 

Woman: You can learn to stay rooted and grounded at Revive ’21. It’s a conference hosted by Revive Our Hearts—in person and online. On October 8–9, women will gather in Indianapolis, Indiana, and tune in live from living rooms around the globe to discover how to live rooted and resolute.

Nancy: Those who trust in with all their hearts will never be disappointed, because He will never fail. 

Woman: You can be grounded in Christ, grounded in the gospel, grounded in God's Word. You can stand firm in a shaky world. Join us for Revive ’21.

Portia: I am certainly excited about the Revive ’21 conference. Get this, I've been getting some sweet messages from sisters who are on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram and everything. They just say, “Hey, I'm going to be Revive ’21, and I can't wait to meet you, and we can like elbow bump or give a hug or whatever people—whatever you may be comfortable with. But I hope that you're coming. Okay, so as I always say don't meet me there, beat me there. And I know that God is going to bless our time together. 

Growing Confident: Interview with Mary Kassian

And guess what? Here to get us Grounded with God's people is one of the speakers for that conference. Mary Kassian is here with us today. You probably know her if you've been a part of our Revive Our Hearts family for a very long time. She is a frequent guest on our flagship podcast. She is about to release a new book titled The Right Kind of Confidence. And the subtitle is, The Remarkable Grit of a God Fearing Woman. She's joining us from Alberta, Canada this morning where I hear that it is very early. What time is it there, Mary?

Mary Kassian: I don't even know. It’s early, but you know what? It's earlier for Alejandra, so I can't complain. 

Portia: I'm just excited that I get to spend this morning with two of my favorite Canadians. Okay, like this is great for me. Well, Mary, I know that you've been going through some personal things with your parents during the last few weeks—caring for an aging father and mother during a pandemic, as Canada continues to really lock down in many ways. And so, I'm sure there are lots of reasons to be fearful. But you're here today, confidently pouring peace and confidence into our hearts. And so, is there a special Scripture that you've clung to in these past few weeks?

Mary: Well, what's interesting about the pandemic, I mean, my parents, are in their 90s. They're facing end of life, but they've been doing really well. But during the pandemic we've faced numerous hospitalizations, which of course, the pandemic makes it even more challenging to have hospitalizations. 

And then the last one, I think it was three weeks ago, my dad collapsed with COVID pneumonia, and ended up in the COVID isolation ward. So that's where I was, by his bedside. We didn't know if he was going to make it. I was the only family member that was allowed to see him. So, I stayed in the hospital in the COVID ward isolation ward with all the PPE on and for almost two weeks. We did bring him home, and then we're just trying to determine at this point what moving forward is going to look like. It's been exhausting. I'm exhausted right now, I'm really tired. 

But I cling to this. I love that you brought up the verse in Proverbs 14:26. “And in the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence.” The pandemic has shaken up in so many ways. There are people right now losing their jobs, facing an uncertain future. Here where I live, we've just been locked down. People can't even see some people, can't even go into a restaurant. You can't go into a gym to exercise; you are barred from doing all sorts of things, even from having people in your home. They are trying to dictate who you have in your home. There's a lot of fear going on. 

I mean, we're going on almost two years coming up around the corner for this pandemic, and there's still a lot of fear. So, in the fear of the Lord, one has strong confidence. What's really interesting about that is the Bible seems to imply that the way to fight fear is with fear of a different kind. So, in the fear of the Lord, one has strong confidence. 

Generally you think, “Okay, we need to get rid of fear.” But the Bible says, “No, don't worry about getting rid of fear, worry about fearing in the right way.” And when you fear God in the right way, all those other fears will begin to fade. 

Portia: Yes.

Mary: So of course, I'm sure Portia, you've seen that in your own life. Alejandra was sharing earlier how fearing the Lord doesn't mean that you don't have problems, it doesn't mean that you don't feel afraid of other things at times, it doesn't mean that you're never anxious or worried. But it teaches you what to do when you have those feelings. And when you have that. Go ahead.

Portia: I really want to zoom in here. Because I kind of see where you're heading. I feel like you gave us a very good basic definition of fear and how fear works in. It’s fearing the right thing or God in the right type of way. And so, I want to zoom in here, in terms of how fear works. What is actually happening in our bodies? Will we become anxious, like, when it's the wrong kind of fear, teach us a little bit about I guess you would say is physiology.

Mary: Well, we have a really intricate fear network that God created. It's wired in each one of our bodies. There's all sorts of different things that are going on when you feel fearful. When fear grips our heart, it's like your heart starts racing, your pulse goes up, you start sweating. You have this fight or flight response, where it's just an automatic response to a situation that you find frightening. And so that's going on, and then you're making associations with all your memories. 

For instance, if a black dog is running towards you and you're bitten by a dog when you were a kid, all of a sudden, that's going to be a very frightening situation. You're associating that with another fear from the past. You're also using your mind to evaluate what's going on and to figure out if is this something I should be afraid of? Should I not be afraid of? So, there's an automatic level, and then there's a reasoning level. I think God gave us all of those. 

He created those in, wired that into us, from the very beginning. 

But then what's really interesting, if we rewind the tape and we look back at Creation, is that when Satan slithered up (I guess he was walking before at that time) to Eve in the garden and started tempting her; what he was really doing was playing on her fears. It's really interesting. He's getting her to be worried and anxious. 

God isn't good enough. God isn't big enough. God isn't on your team. You need to look out for yourself. So, he's playing on her fears. He's encouraging her to exercise some self-confidence and to be confident in the wrong kind of way, rather than the right kind of way. 

And so, she lost her healthy confidence in the Lord and began putting her confidence in the wrong place. And, of course, we know the rest of the story. So ever since that time, we've we have had to deal with all these fears that take our eyes off God. When we reinstate that positive fear of the Lord, in the fear of the Lord, one has strong confidence.

Portia: I'm glad you're going here. It leads me to this question: How do we turn fear upside down and turn it into confidence? Can you kind of land there a little bit more and expound for us?

Mary: Well, turning fear upside down, I think we need to view fear as an opportunity. We often view fear as something so negative, and we need to get rid of it. We fear fear, so to speak. And that fear can be a crippling emotion. It's something that so many of us struggle with. We struggle with insecurities. We struggle with having a bad hair day, my makeup isn't right. What is that person gonna think of us? For you guys, oh no, what if I mess up the program? What if I press the wrong button? What if I look foolish today? I can't do this without Dannah, without Erin. 

And so there's all sorts of fears that we face on an ongoing basis. And David really gives us in the book of Psalms the key. He says, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (Ps. 56:3) 

So that's taking all those emotions we talked about. Those emotions just flood in, and there's not always a lot we can do about those emotions. But when we feel those emotions, we can take that volitional kind of part of our brain that God gave us to, to think about fear and to interact with what is scaring us in the right kind of way. To make a choice to go when I am afraid, when that trigger comes, when I am feeling scared or nervous or anxious or fearful; that is an opportunity to trust in the Lord. When I am afraid, I will trust in You.

Portia: Yes, when I am afraid, I will trust in You. I think that's gonna be what I call my cling verse this week. I'm gonna use that this week. 

Mary: I was just going to give you the reference. It's Psalm 56:3. So if you're going to use it as your cling verse, you can jot down the reference as well. And I think for any women who are listening and need a cling verse for the week, that's a good one. Psalm 56:3, “When I'm afraid I will trust in You.”

Portia: I love to write them on little sticky notes and put them on my bathroom window or on my computer screen—somewhere where I will see it and revisit it over and over. So, I appreciate that. I know that there is some woman, or even I'm thinking of myself, who is dealing with something and she's fearful. I hope today after hearing this asking God to help her to be confident. I would love it if you could just pray. Pray over me, pray over all the women who are watching. Pray that God would help us to have the right kind of confident.

Mary: Absolutely. Heavenly Father, I thank you that Your Word provides us solutions and answers for real life. When we are walking through our days and our situations, for the women who are facing something really scary today, maybe it's a relationship breakdown or a project or a child or perhaps it's a diagnosis that she didn't want to hear, or perhaps it's just the stress of living during these times, perhaps it's a job loss, whatever it is. 

Father, I pray for that woman that she will use this as an opportunity to trust in You. Father, I pray that You will help her deal with those fearful, scary emotions. And that she will replace that, turn that upside down by looking at You and being amazed and wowed by the God who is bigger than every single problem that she might face. 

Father, I pray that You may calm our hearts and our spirits, even today, at the beginning of this week, to go through this week with an attitude that we are going to fear the Lord so that when we are afraid, we will trust in You. I pray, Lord, that You will give us strength, give us insight, give us wisdom, make us resolute. Ground us in Your Word today so that we may trust in You and may turn fear upside down and allow the fear of You to quiet and calm every other fear. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen.

Portia: Amen, amen. Thank you so so much, Mary. Okay, before we go, I’ve got one more question. Everybody will appreciate this. You've been at all of the Revive Our Hearts conferences, even the ones in Latin America. There is probably a woman watching who has never been. Why should she join us? I know that you have a lot of insight. This is gonna be my first conference. So, share with us, why should they join us?

Mary: Well, I was just gonna say come because I'm going to be there. Kind of a strange answer. But no, there is something that when you are in person in the room, there is something that happens in a way that I think when two or three are gathered, right? “There am I in your midst.” I think there's something about gathering together and just experiencing the Spirit of God in our midst and just going deeper. We need each other. We need each other in these times, particularly, to stand strong and resolute and to stay grounded in the Word of God. 

So come if you can come, please come and be an Indy. I'm planning on coming barring anything keeping me from coming. I know I’ve got my tickets booked. I'm ready. I'm ready to be there. And I hope to see you there too.

Portia: Yes, give us the inside scoop. What will you be teaching on?

Mary: I am actually to be teaching on being grounded in God's design. And we'll be interviewing Laura Perry, who will be at the conference. Now, if you didn't know Laura's story, she lived as a transgender man for nine years, went through all the different surgeries and then came to know the Lord. Her story is really incredible. 

We're gonna be talking about how to, in our society and in our world, to deal with these very real issues where there are people who are hurting and who are broken and who are confused. They need the Lord and, and they need kindness. They need to understand our design in terms of who God created us to be. So that's my assignment for this particular conference.

Portia: I am ready. I am so ready. Laura Perry has been a guest on Grounded, so I'm gonna be super excited to see and to hear from her again and to see you. Thank you so much. You have just poured out so much this morning. And you have blessed me personally. I hope you have a great day. 

Mary: I can hardly wait to see you, Portia. 

Portia: I know Take care.

Closing

Alejandra: It's certainly going to be fun. But you know what? Portia as I am looking at the chat, this is such an amazing topic. I mean, women today are so overwhelmed by fears, by insecurities, by anxieties. Only a godly, reverent fear can transform us into bold, courageous, and confident women. 

Someone here on the chat even before we announced this said, “What is the name of Mary's book?” It actually just comes out next week. And the name of the book is The Right Kind of Confidence. So that link is already here on the chat, you could preorder. I think it is going to be way better than this program, which was just it was already amazing to me.

Portia: Yes, yes. Revive Our Hearts will also have Mary as a guest on the podcast, the flagship podcast next month. And so, this will be an extended conversation of what you already heard from her, I'm sure. So as you can see, she is a deep well. She poured out so much, and she's gonna pour out even more, so we encourage you to check it out. Don't miss it.

Alejandra: Yeah, she's a powerhouse, but you're gonna want one more reminder. Before we go, this is a time when everyone starts saying goodbye. Hey, Portia. We had amazing cheerleaders today. 

Portia: I was reading it, and I was like, you guys, honestly. You boosted my confidence a little bit. Yeah, it's like you got this. Okay let’s do it. 

Alejandra: So loving. They are so loving, so gracious to us today. So, thank you friends for helping us and praying for us. 

We want to remind you that you have time to join us at Revive ’21. We will be hosting the live stream with Erin and Dannah, and you can register at Revive21.com

Portia: Like I said, don't meet me there, beat me there guys. Okay. Well, there's no way to know what kind of week lies ahead. There will probably be highs and lows. But you can face the week with the right kind of confidence. You don't need a crazy Met Gala outfit. You don't have to walk the red carpet to do that.

Alejandra: That's right. I'm so thankful we don't have to do that for sure. You're not gonna see me in one of those crazy outfits. But for sure you're going to find me here next Monday either here or in the chat because I just love Grounded. If you love Grounded too, this is a good time to share it with your friends. We want the Grounded sisterhood to grow.

Portia: Absolutely. As you head into your week, remember to do so in the fear of the Lord. There is confidence. Okay, in the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence. Let's wake up with hope together next week on Grounded.

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About the Hosts

Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on helping women understand and embrace true biblical womanhood through solid study of God's Word. To learn more about SSBC, visit www.sheshallbecalled.com.  Portia and her husband, Mikhail, have a daughter and currently live in the Mississippi Delta. 

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra is a sinner who believed in Jesus at the age of seven in her native country, Dominican Republic. She is a wife and homeschool mom. She's passionate about Christ, studying the Scriptures, discipling, teaching, and learning alongside women. Currently, she supports her husband as he serves as a church planter in Victoria, BC, Canada. Alejandra loves herbs, designing headbands with her daughter, being outdoors, and serving her community.

About the Guest

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian is an award-winning author, an internationally-renowned speaker, and a frequent guest on Revive Our Hearts. She has written more than a dozen books and Bible studies, including Conversation Peace, Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild, and The Right Kind of Strong.

Mary and her husband, Brent, have three sons and six grandchildren and live in Alberta, Canada. The Kassians enjoy biking, hiking, snorkeling, music, board games, mountains, campfires, and their family’s black lab, "The Queen of Sheba."