January 13, 2022
An Interview with writer and speaker, Robin Luftig
Be grateful in everything–even the bumpy rides … is Robin Luftig’s mantra while either writing or speaking to audiences on healing after tragedy. The central theme to all her messages–grace is available for everyone.
This episode is really going to speak to you today. I have had so many messages asking, “what are my next steps on where to go when I’m trying to find faith? I’m at this place where I’m not quite sure what happens after I’ve said, okay, Jesus take the wheel.”
This episode speaks volumes…
We can grow up the same and our faith journey looks different…
Robin began attending church at ten years old with her mother along with her triplet brothers. While Robin says she loved Jesus, the religious, legalistic side seemed to get in the way. On the other hand, her three brothers all became ministers. We all have our weaknesses, strengths, and overall journey.
They embraced their faith and that’s how they got through it. I walked away, but then God’s faith… God is faithful and his tenacity and his patience. He let me flounder for years until He tapped me on the shoulder. Again, it just reminded me that he was still.~Robin Luftig
God does not want us to love Him out of opposition…
This is the big difference between the religious side of things and then the relationship- are we being forced, coerced, told, made to ‘love’ God?
Or is our love because we realize His grace, His steadfast love, will, and magnitude?
… willing us to make our mistakes, allowing us, because I think he loves that sweetness of our love when it’s not coerced or it’s not manipulated. He just wants the sweetness of it. I just love that, that He has enough trust in our ability to feel that and accept that because He made that in us. He made that hole in each one of us to be filled by only his presence. And when we get it, it is if there’s nothing sweeter than that.~Robin Luftig
Things will happen and life will be rocky…
…but that does not mean that God is not there for us. In fact, sometimes the hardest times produce the strongest faith and the greatest peace.
… things will happen, but this has to bring you and your faith stronger. And I just knew that God was with me and that, that changed my direction right then in there.~Robin Luftig
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”
1 Peter 1:6-8
We are the boss of our own lives, right?
The world would have you believe that. We tell ourselves we are in charge all of the time. But the truth is God is asking us to trust His plans for our lives all the time. We don’t know best. He does. Even when we are being followers of Christ and serving, we have to ask, are we listening?
And God said in that car to me in my spirit so clearly, “How are you serving me if you’re doing what you wanted to anyway? Do you trust me?”~Robin Luftig
Having a strong, Christian group of women for support…
Fellowship. I know coming out of religion it can be scary to have fellowship with other women. Intimidating. You might wonder if you are being judged. But, no ma’am. God tells us in His word how important it is to have the people of the church, the church being the people as the body of Christ. We need each other.
Having good, strong Christian women around when you are growing your faith is probably one of the most important things to do.
Well, it’s very important for women to know that we’re being watched. Whether we’re doing it for the Lord or not, we’re still being watched and we are influencing other women. So we might as well do our best and it doesn’t have to be a structured mentorship, but as long as we listen to Jesus, do what he said. Follow his, his way share openly and be as transparent as possible.~Robin Luftig
Advice for Women Finding Faith
It’s quite simple. It’s not easy, but it’s a simple thought concept. Not until we embrace the fact that only God is in control of my life and not us, our faith will always falter, but when we trust and decide to surrender… What I call doing a Swan dive into the lap of Jesus… That’s when things change. That’s when our hearts will begin to heal and that’s when our focus, our lives will change completely.
How to keep going with your faith…
- Build a Community
Let’s share! Share your creative, God-led story, heal from the old religious junk and make friends while we do it. Support, friendship, and collaboration at the FB group —u003e Christian Women after Religion
More About Robin Luftig…
Be grateful in everything–even the bumpy rides … is Robin Luftig’s mantra while either writing or speaking to audiences on healing after tragedy. The central theme to all her messages–grace is available for everyone.
She’s an award-winning author and columnist for great magazines such as Leading Hearts, CBN.com, and many more. Her non-fiction book God’s Best During Your Worst—the 2020 Golden Scroll winner and 2021 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Director’s Choice winner in Nonfiction—has been well received. Her first novel, Ladies of the Fire is taking the world by storm and was nominated for the 2021 Selah Award in the First Novel category. Her second book of the Ladies series, Ladies Uncover a Secret, is scheduled for release later in 2022.
Luftig is a nationally sought speaker and shares stories of God’s mercy and grace at women’s retreats and conferences. She is a leader in Word Weavers International, a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA). She comes to us from the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area … but was born, raised, and lived most of her life in the Buckeye State of Ohio.
She is a wife, the mother of three, and grandmother of two. And she’s hooked on chocolate and the TV show, “This Is Us.”
Full Transcript of Today’s Episode.
31. A Swan Dive into the Lap of Jesus- Interview with Robin Luftig
[00:00:00] It’s quite simple. It’s not easy, but it’s a simple thought concept, but not until we embrace the fact. That only God is in control of my love and not us. Our faith will always falter, but when we trust and decide to surrender what I call doing a Swan dive into the last. That’s when things change. That’s when our hearts will begin to heal and that’s when our focus, our lives will change completely.
[00:00:45] It’s that Swan dive.
[00:00:53] Be grateful and everything. Even the bumpy rides that is Robin left tags mantra, [00:01:00] while either writing or speaking to audiences on healing after tragedy, the central theme to all her messages, grace is available for everyone. This episode is really gonna speak to you guys today. I have had a, so many of you messaged me and kind of what are my next steps on where to go when I’m trying to find faith I’m at this place where I’m not quite sure what happens after I’ve said, okay, Jesus take the wheel.
[00:01:23] But now what, and this episode is just. Speak volumes to you. And to be honest with you, we had had this episode, we had to reschedule. So it had been pushed back later in the schedule. But after talking with Robin, I was like, no, we need to, we need to bring this up because I really feel like you guys need to hear this now.
[00:01:41] So this is a great episode. I cannot wait for you guys to listen was jumping.
[00:01:49] Did you know that belief, the size of a mustard seed is enough to move mountains. God saved you by his grace when you believed and you can’t take credit for this. It is a gift from [00:02:00] God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done. So none of us can boast about it. Ephesians two eight through nine I’m Shelby Hartsfield.
[00:02:09] I have a colorful religious past and carried around a lot of baggage. Or too long, 20 years after leaving the church, I discovered who God really is. And that he was waiting for me the whole time. I do not want it to take you so long. God put it on my heart to help you. Pretty girl find grace God’s truth and the amazing unending steadfast love of Jesus.
[00:02:29] We are building a relationship after religion. New strength in him to do things we never thought possible. If God is for us, who can be against us, you are listening to find a
[00:02:46] All right. So we are so lucky to have Robin with us today, and she is going to share her story with us, a faith and coming to Christ. And I’m so excited to get into it. But before we do, I wanted to just ask you to put in your own [00:03:00] words, what is it that you do Robin? Oh, I write some, I speak some you, I’ve not, I’ve got a few books out.
[00:03:10] I’ve got some fiction and nonfiction and shall be things before I go any further. Thanks for having me here. This is really awesome. Um, I’ll have a few books out on, um, the theme of them is God’s grace and mercy, but some of them are fiction. Some are nonfiction God’s best during your worst. Uh, nonfiction talk about having a, uh, a brain tumor and they gave me 10 days to live so that that’s a great little book.
[00:03:41] And then I speak and love that who went grandma and a mom and a wife
[00:03:50] Sylvania. So I’m good to go out here in the cold weather. Well, I’m finding faith above. I know I’ve shared this with you before, but I really [00:04:00] just like to open it up to, for you to be able to share your story of finding faith, finding Christ, because I really do believe that people’s stories to speak to women who are.
[00:04:13] At a place where they are trying to find God and in those stories can really just change their lives and make such a difference. And that is, I mean, that’s the whole basis for this whole podcast. And I love the fact that you talk on grace because grace is something that we all need to understand so well.
[00:04:31] And when we do it changes everything. So kind of wanted to just open it up to you. Uh, first, you know, start with, how did you grow up? Did you grow up in faith and. What did it look like for you when you were younger? A little, a little sketchy. Um, the state that I didn’t grow up in faith is kind of misleading because both of my grandfathers were ministers and that then made my parents [00:05:00] Piquet’s preacher’s kids.
[00:05:02] And if you know, preacher’s kids, they either embrace faith or they flee. And both of my parents fled their faith. They had made a decision to father follow Christ early, but because I think looking back and listening to their stories, they saw religion get in the way of their faith and it confused them and distracted them.
[00:05:32] And so they just wanted nothing to do. At that point. So, um, we had no, uh, no structure in our family. As far as church, there was nothing there. Like I said, both of my, my parents were troubled, you know, they had a tough place, a tough way to go. So at one point in a season of my mom’s life, when I was [00:06:00] probably 10.
[00:06:03] She, uh, she felt the stirring of God in her heart and she took me and then subsequently my brothers to church. My dad never did follow, but it was really funny because all of us accepted Christ into our lives. And my brothers then became ministers. I have triplet brothers and they all became ministers, which is a real hoot.
[00:06:32] So, um, that’s how we grew up. And about how old were you when you started going to church? Was it pretty young then? Yeah. In about 10, 10 years old. And then I, I was, I love Jesus, but again, I don’t know if it was religious. Got in the way that I hate to say that because religion is what we work with, but, [00:07:00] um, there was a lot of legalism going on and it turned me off.
[00:07:08] And then I started making bad choices in that from my faith. So it was kind of a, a crazy, crazy. And what church did you guys, was it a nondenominational church? Was it a more of a Christian based church? The Baptist church in Ohio, it was very fundamental. Um, it was a good church, but there, you know how Satan works though, Satan kind of can twist things and gets in our brain.
[00:07:42] And now my brothers were fine. They, my brothers did not catch that. And it was, it’s really been funny because, because of what happened with me and my faith, I then walked away. They embraced their faith and that’s how [00:08:00] they got through it. I walked away, but then God’s faith, God’s faithful and his tenacity and his patience.
[00:08:11] He let me flounder for years until. Tapped me on the shoulder. Again, it just reminded me that he was still. And he is, uh, I, I mean, my story is so similar in the fact that I walked away for so long. And when I finally did, you know, just open my arms up again and say, okay, God, take the wheel. It was amazing to know that he had been there the whole time and I could see the evidence of.
[00:08:38] The whole time that I couldn’t see what I was in the last moment, but when I did find him, it was like, wow. Like it was, he was always there, like in, through every step, he was there, patiently waiting for me. Oh, walling us to make our mistakes, allowing us, because I think he loves that sweetness of our love when it’s not [00:09:00] coerced or it’s not manipulated just once the sweetness of it.
[00:09:04] I just, I just love that, that he has enough trust in our, our ability to feel that and, and accept that because he made that in us. He made that hole in each one of us to be filled by only his presence. And when we get it, it is if there’s nothing sweeter than. So what made the big difference? Was there something that happened that kind of brought you back to him?
[00:09:39] Yeah, I was, I was trying to control my life cause you know, we all know the best ways to do things. And I had, I had just destroyed my life. I had more marriages that I needed to have. I, it, my [00:10:00] children were. Casualties of my bad choices. Now my children love me, so I don’t want, I don’t want there to be a bad picture of that.
[00:10:11] I love my children, my children love me. And we have this, this wonderful relationship when I’ll I’ll remember something, I’ll say, oh, I’m so sorry. I did something. And I, I respond to what it was. They say. Okay. We know we don’t, that’s the past. We know that you did the best you could, but, but anyway, I was in the, in a place where my, my husband was making bad choices and I thought I was, I was going to be better off if I just was dead.
[00:10:53] And I felt truly, I felt evil. [00:11:00] Wrap around me and try to whisper in my ear. How, um, yeah, it was a good idea. Just, just go down the garage and turn on the car and go to sleep. The world would be a better place. And I, I got up out of bed and I went, I got my keys and it had been, it had been a long time since I’ve been connected.
[00:11:29] To Christ. Yeah, I would, I was trying to get back that I was not there and I just, in my heart, I said it out loud. So God, I’m sorry. I knew what I was going to do. And I just asked for his forgiveness and the moment those words left my mouth, the darkness, there was a darkness in there in my bedroom that was darker than.
[00:11:58] There was an [00:12:00] accurate smell in that, in my room that had never been there before. And I really think it was the presence of evil, but the moment I got those words on it, smell left. That darkness changed to just a dark room and I fault to arm. Wrap around me and in homemade, as I, as I began to cry, it was just such an impactful moment that it changed me forever.
[00:12:36] And I remember God telling me to get into, into scripture and you go to first Peter. So, so I got into the first, the first chapter of Peter and I started reading how. That things that things will happen, but this has to bring you your faith stronger. [00:13:00] And I just, I just, I knew that God was with me and that, that changed my direction right then in there.
[00:13:10] Wow. Thank you so much for sharing that. I mean, that really is just such a. A beautiful story of coming to Christ. I mean, it really is. And I think that’s just such a important thing that I wish I could just tell everyone that things are going to happen. These bad things are going to happen and your life is going to be Rocky.
[00:13:32] And your faith journey may be a super winding road. But that moment that you’re able to say, God, just help me. Everything will change. And he will be there for you. And, um, And it’s, it’s crazy because you think that once that happens, then, okay, we’re done. Uh, then you go off into, uh, a fairytale life with Jesus, but that’s [00:14:00] not the way it works.
[00:14:02] And you know, it wasn’t until in 2011 that I wrote the book God’s best during your worst. Out of nowhere. I had a seizure and they gave the doctors, gave me 10 days to live. And three weeks prior to that, I had been driving to a retreat. I was going to S uh, lead for the, some women. I was Christian speaker and writer.
[00:14:29] That’s who I was. And God said in that car to me in my spirit. So clearly, how are you serving me if you’re doing what you wanted you anyway, do you trust. And to give myself credit. I said, I, I didn’t want to scare him. God, I know that you can’t. He knows my heart better than I know my heart. And I said, I don’t know.
[00:14:53] I don’t know God, if I trust you, I don’t know. I said, can’t we just do what we’re [00:15:00] doing. Can’t be just let me talk about you and you watch my back and we call it a day. Can we just do that? He kept saying, do you trust me? So you trust me, that was a five-hour drive. There was a long time, but at the end of the drive again, it was another one of those moments that I said, of course I do, and I completely forgot about it.
[00:15:24] And then the. Thing happened. The seizure happened and I was in the hospital emergency room. He just told me I was that I could die within 10 days that I leaned back after sobbing with my husband and the doctor. And I heard God say again, do you trust me?
[00:15:46] And I am in my sixties and I’m not above having that happen again to me where I will have a. A moment with God. I, I fully [00:16:00] expected. I feel like I, I deal with this so often I’m somebody who really wants to just kind of control the situation and make things happen. And, and I, I, for me, a lot of times, it’s when I don’t hear him and I’m like, okay, If I don’t hear him, then I know I’m probably doing my own thing here and that trust needs to happen.
[00:16:27] And I need to be reminded of this often, too. So, absolutely. But I love how you said though, that. It doesn’t all just after you say, okay, God help me. And you have that moment where you come to him. It doesn’t mean that everything just ends up laying out all perfect. I mean, it, it takes, it takes work to get to know him and to get, to follow him and constant reminders to, to walk, to walk with him.
[00:16:54] And, uh, and how did that look for you? It’s a journey. It was a muscle that [00:17:00] was being exercised. I follow. Uh, people that were important to me, I tried to, to glean what I could from, from people around me when back in, after, after the time with the car keys and the evil eye that marriage subsequently ended.
[00:17:27] And I was on my own with my children. And I remember being so focused. It was my optic that I was, I was only focused on do, being who God wanted me to be and being the mom that I needed to help raise these kids. And that was, that was everything in my life. I had a job, you know, I had a job, but the job was to get me to those other things.
[00:17:56] It was focused. I had to, I had to be focused. [00:18:00] And this, I, I hooked into women of my church. And then through the years I looked into women of faith and Sheila Walsh as a real woman of faith, you know, she, for some reason, and I don’t know what it was. We connected. I dunno how it happened. But we would text one another periodically.
[00:18:34] We would communicate once in awhile and she even, um, endorsed my book that God’s best during your worst, which I find. I was very honored to have her do that. But, um, I connected with her in that she was, she dealt with brokenness in several ways that I had dealt with brokenness. So that was very encouraging to [00:19:00] me.
[00:19:01] There was a gal once I started biting that I’ve met, her name was ed Melson. She is the director of blue Ridge writer’s conference. Christian writer’s conference in. North Carolina. She is fabulous. And she taught me without teaching me, but she taught me how to serve as Christ serves. It was just wonderful to watch her and to, to see how she worked with people.
[00:19:35] And again, we connected immediately and.
[00:19:42] I’d have a problem. And she would write me long emails and just breathe life into my doubt and just refocus my, my, my eye onto Christ and know that I’m doing a good thing in what I’m doing. So [00:20:00] she was wonderful. So it’s always important to find these women. Oh, and another one. Her name is Tani Whitehurst from Texas.
[00:20:11] The Dallas area is a doll baby. She she’s, she saw Christ in me and she promotes Christ. And I just love her. I would take a bullet for these women because they are so powerful to me. I think that having good, strong Christian women around when you are growing your faith is probably one of the most important things to do.
[00:20:40] I mean, I had my, when I had my moment, well, like yours, you know, where you, you just come to God. Um, God told me that I needed to call a friend of mine who. We had, I say, friend, we had grown up super close together, but then at some point we had, um, kind of had a little bit of a, you know, friendship [00:21:00] disrupt.
[00:21:00] I hadn’t talked to her in years and I have no idea why God said call, call her, but I did. And she has been the strongest. Uh, I don’t want to say influence, but just strongest, um, pillar for me to be able to learn from, and, and to guide me when I was at that moment where I needed a good Christian woman in my life to help me so badly.
[00:21:28] And God knew that. And I feel so blessed to have that. And I do think that having strong women is just so important. And I love the fact that now you go out there and you speak and you can be that for people as well. Well, it’s very important for women to know that we’re being watched and whether we’re doing it for the Lord or not, we’re still being watched and we are influencing other women.
[00:21:54] So we might as well do our best and it doesn’t have to be a [00:22:00] structured mentorship, but as long as we listen to Jesus, do what he said. Follow his, his way share openly and be as transparent as possible. Because like I said earlier, you know, people don’t learn through our wisdom. A lot of times they are through our knowledge, but they learn through our transparency.
[00:22:31] You have to, we have to be able to be transparent with people. So, how has God working in your life now? Where, where are you at? What are you doing with, um, I know that you’re writing your speaker, uh, but how’s he working in your life now? He’s stretching me. You know, I’d like to say that’s all it is writing and speaking, but there are so many times that he’s challenging me and growing me.
[00:22:56] And I [00:23:00] sometimes do you ever, shall we just say I’m tired of. I mean, that’s being a and again, but it’s some, it’s still hurts. I still mess up. And I still say, father, thank you for loving me through this again. Yeah, I’m not done. I’m not done. I still have do booze. I still heal. I still need to heal. And I’m, and, and I’m finding my life as like an onion that though there’s another one there’s enough to address, but because, because I make a point to stay in scripture because I make a point to stay connected with, uh, women of faith that helps keep me focused and good ones around you.
[00:23:58] Challenge you, if you [00:24:00] get off, get out of, out of whack and I’ll say, Hmm, Robin, come on now, you know, better to revisit this lovingly is of course, but we need our friends and we need to be friends to other women. Absolutely. Absolutely. Uh, from here. Um, where do you see things kind of going from here with, uh, with your faith journey, uh, anything in the works, anything that you have planned that you’d like to be working on?
[00:24:29] Scott? I just finished up one book that should be out in this fall. It’s a fiction it’s I did a book called the ladies of the fire, which is a fiction of three women who met at a fire. And this is the second in the series, a called ladies uncover a secret. So, and then I will start a third, the third and final [00:25:00] segment of this series.
[00:25:02] Soon. I’m getting the, the research done on that. I’ve got some speaking going on in Ohio, Pennsylvania, always canceling speakers. I’ve got. Texas, you know, I go up the east coast. I love, I love just talking about God’s mercy and grace, because it’s there for all of us. We just have to tap into it. Absolutely.
[00:25:29] For women who are at a place where they are really struggling right now, and they’re, they’re feeling lost. They’re kind of in that moment where they’re wanting to find faith, but they’re struggling. Uh, what would be your advice on helping them to, to find Jesus and to find God.
[00:25:47] It’s quite simple. It’s that easy, but it’s a simple thought concept, but not until we embrace the [00:26:00] fact that only God is in control of my love and not us. Our faith will always falter, but when we trust and decide to surrender. What I call doing a Swan dive into the lap of Jesus. That’s when things change.
[00:26:22] That’s when our hearts will begin to heal and that’s when our focus, our lives will change completely. It’s that’s one dot. Oh, that’s beautiful. I love that. Where can people find you if they were wanting to learn more about what you’re doing and your books and all that good stuff? Uh, I’m on, on the web, I got us a website, Robyn, bluffton.com.
[00:26:49] That’s R O B I N Luftig L F as in Frank, T as in Tom I’ve g.com and then Facebook. [00:27:00] Instagram, I’ve got a blog on the website. I’ve got a calendar for people that want to sign up to have me come to speak with them on I’m all about that. Perfect. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming today and thank you so much for being so honest with your story.
[00:27:18] I think that these things just, I mean, like I said, I think they just move people who need to be moved and, uh, I’m so appreciative of the fact that you were willing to come on and talk about it today. So thank you. You’re very welcome. And you know, why on my website, if anybody wants to contact me, I’d be more than happy to chat with them.
[00:27:36] It’s not in the emails we can do that. That’s all about. I love it. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.[00:28:00] [00:29:00] [00:30:00]
[00:30:42] I am so honored that you showed up today to listen to this little podcast, talking about big things. If you want to comment shared, laugh or cry about what we talked about today, then you need to head on over to join our Facebook group. The link will be in the. It’s a safe space where you can share, [00:31:00] because we kind of need people in this big, old world that understand us.
[00:31:03] Right. And if you are like, heck yeah, that was awesome. Where can it get some more first hit the subscribe. So you don’t miss another episode and then hurry on over to finding faith above.com where you will find so much goodness created just for you, because I really do love you guys. And I have been where you are and I want to share all of the.
[00:31:23] So there’s resources more coming in 2022, finding faith above.com. I’ll see you guys next time. .