Interview with Stacey Jackson [Transcript]

Andy: This week’s God in All Things is special. If you haven’t watched the Lifetime docu-series, The Sisterhood, which debuted last November. It’s a reality series about five young women discerning religious life. For six weeks the five women visit three different convents. They get a taste of a variety of charisms, ministries, and the challenges of community life. Joining me today is Stacey Jackson. One of the young women on the show. She’s 26 years-old and studied Musical Theatre and Theology at the Catholic University of America. Stacey is the second of eight children and her family lives in Virginia. She currently resides in a Lay Intentional Community and current seminary on Long Island in New York called Domus Porta Fidei. Operated by the Archdiocese of Rockville Centre. It was created as a response to the new evangelization. An effort to reach out to young people. Stacey’s experience in the performing arts has been a real influence on her faith and where she finds God. Stacey, welcome.

Stacey: Thank you so much, Andy. It’s so nice to speak with you.

Andy: So uh, before the, before the show, before Sisterhood uh, had you felt uh, a calling to religious life? How did, how did that develop for you?

Stacey: Well when I was really little uh, I always wanted to be like Saint Therese of Lisieux. Had this great coffee table book that my mom uh, put out. And I would just look through that. And she was just my heroine. And you know, she would uh. I wanted to be just like her. And I told my grandma that when I was about ten that I wanted to be Carmelite Nun. Uh, and then as I continued to get older. Uh, kind of my own dreams sort of took over. Uh, I fell in love with theatre. I started really pursuing musical theatre. That was my goal, my focus.”

Stacey:  That really became the thing that I was pursuing most passionately.  I wasn’t pursuing God’s will for me as much.  And then, I was out on a national tour.  I was on the Wizard of Oz, and that’s a very surprising place for your faith to deepen, but it did for me. So, I started to rediscover and reinvest in my faith in a new way while travelling across the United States and Canada performing in a different venue every night, which just shows you, God can use anything.  Yeah, so after that, my faith kept growing and growing to the point where then I started going to daily mass.  And then, I went to daily mass every day and really started to understand how beautiful community is.  And then, I was led eventually to discover my current young adult community where I’m living at an old seminary.  And it’s called Domus Porta Fidei, and we have the luxury of having three priests in the building, who say mass for us every day, which is amazing. We can go to one of four chapels that are in the building and very shortly after I moved there I started to discern because I realized how wonderful and necessary community is for your spiritual life and I realized I had never really given God a chance to, to tell me what He wanted for my life instead of me telling Him what I want and trying to, to fit in, you know, His will amongst, you know, my preconceived notions of what I was going to be doing with my life.

Andy: I, I found it interesting in our email communication you spoke about a, a kind of a loneliness on the road when you were doing this national tour.

Stacey: Definitely.

Andy: Tell me more about the lone, the loneliness and, and how that figured in your discernment at all.

Stacey: Sure. Sure. Well, actually, so I did two national tours. The first one was The Wizard of Oz and I was blessed with a very wonderful Catholic friend who helped me rediscover my faith and really understand what it was like to read the Bible. Then I moved to New York and fast forward two years, booked the Beauty and the Beast national tour.” I was backsliding. I found myself getting into bad habits and so forth, not to say that the people I was with were, were terrible or anything like that. It’s just that the, when you get, you know, 30 actors together, living together on a bus, you know, it creates a lot of, there’s tensions and, and if you don’t have that sort of spirituality to help, to help everyone sort of pull themselves out of themselves, you know, then, then it can become quite, quite disruptive to your, your spirit, spiritual life.

Andy: You know, it’s, it’s great that you talk about the, the tensions and, and clearly I think you, you probably experience that right now in, in your own intentional community life.

Stacey: Uh-huh.

Andy: There was a, a great scene in the second episode of the sisterhood.

Stacey: Yes.

Andy: Sort of a confrontational scene between Claire and, and you and the other discerners.

Stacey: Yes, hm.

Andy: And at least the editing seemed to make it out that, you know, Claire is kind of a bit on a high horse, perhaps found she was maybe further along in her discernment or more spiritually advanced than the others.”

Andy: You said this great thing.  You said, “”that’s the beauty of the Catholic Church.””  It’s a hospital for sinners, not a museum of saints.

Stacey:  Yeah

Andy:  And, that, I think, that’s hard for people to accept.  You know?

Stacey:  Absolutey.

Andy:  How did you get to that place?  I think it’s easiest for us to just assume we’re right and everyone else is wrong, especially in matters of the faith.

Stacey:  Sure, well, gosh.  It’s been such a journey for me I think that realization came from a place of acknowledging my own imperfections and my own sins.  Because, I went through years of, you know, still calling myself Catholic and going to Mass every Sunday.  But really, beyond that, I didn’t invest in my faith at all.  I was really luke warm.  I allowed myself to be more wooed by the world then by Christ’s love.” And so I think it’s just so real to me how sinful I am and how much I’ve fallen and stumbled, you know, that I think it’s kind of helped me to understand that, you know, no matter how bad a person is, God still loves them and no matter how backwards their life may be, you know, God still wants them and desires them. I moved to New York and I, I worked and, you know, lived on the road with all these people who either used to have faith or never did have faith and I think seeing the goodness in them and seeing how God still works through them and there are some people who are very good friends of mine who aren’t Catholic, and I call them, you know, I, I tell them I think you’re a better Catholic than a lot of Catholics I know just because that, that goodness can still be in you even if you don’t go to mass every Sunday. Even if you don’t, you know, submit yourself to these teachings or, or, you know, really believe in, you know, what you call a God or anything like that. So, I think that recognizing that and starting from that place of trying to understand everyone and continuing to seek to understand is so important. Because, if you judge someone right off the bat, why would they ever want to listen to you? Why would they ever want to hear what you have to say, you know?

Andy: I could imagine being in the performing arts, as you are, because you not only act and dance, but you sing as well, right?

Stacey: I do.

Andy: It, it seems like, that as far as where you find God and that, you’re, you’re finding in God in the good, like, the goodness of the people around you.

Stacey: Yes, definitely.

Andy: What else, like, where else, say more about that. I’m curious as, you know, as far as even the, your part itself. And I know you also make miniature dolls, too.

Stacey: I do. [laughs] I do.

Andy: Got a little bit of a, of the preview of that on the show I think. Yeah, talk more about that and, like, how you find God and how you connect with God through your art.

Stacey: Oh my gosh! It’s really the Holy Spirit.”

Stacey: I remember waking up one morning and I kinda had this breakthrough. I was like, “Oh, man, thank God the Holy Spirit is here!” Because, you know, when I, when I perform, when I sing, that’s what, that’s the creativity, you know? I can’t even call it mine. It’s Him coming through me, and, you know, and I just kinda had this realization. I was like, “Oh, man, it’s all Him.” You know? And actually there’s this, this ancient notion of genius not being something that a person can attribute to themselves but if the genius is with you, you know, it’s something outside of yourself. So when, when a performer was, you know, incredibly successful or they had a, a, a moment of just pure brilliance on stage people would stand up and applaud and say, “That was God up there on stage.” You know, the genius was with this person, and so that’s very much the way I see performance and art is, you know, is the Holy Spirit working through you and inspiring you and it’s really important to just be open to that and to not judge that. Not judge that creative spirit because it’s not even you.  It’s something coming in through you, you know.  As for my sculpting, even the process itself is a really beautiful way of bringing me closer to Christ.  While I was on the show, I actually made a crucifix.  And it occurred to me one day why I love sculpting Christ so much is because you know I’m a doer, you know I love doing things.  I’m very visual as well.  I like seeing things.  And I realized that you know I received Christ in Holy Communion, but sculpting him was… felt even closer to being able to actually touch his face and to actually you know see him in a physical form.  And I realized that you know this is the closest I’ll ever be to doing that in this life.  So it was very meditative.   It really, I would pray I do pray because I sculpt as a draw whatever I’m doing. So, and I know that that’s a way that God reaches me, so for all of us right brained people out there, you know, God loves to reach us through our, through our expressions of creativity.

Andy: Yeah, and that’s such a, that’s the sacramental imagination of Catholicism, is, is that we can experience God very physically, you know, through just, you know, like your, your image of touching Jesus on the cross.

Stacey: Definitely and, you know, it’s such a misconception of people who don’t know about Catholicism. A lot of them that I’ve talked to think that the church is there to sort of stifle your creativity, to sort of make you conform to being one particular way and that you’re not allowed to be any other way, but in reality the most vibrant and, you know, the people who I know’s faith is most alive are also the people who are the most creative often. You know, if they, if they’re moved by the Holy Spirit they will draw, they will sculpt, they will make music, you know, and, and do it joyfully and so expressively and I love that, that that is a true, you know, manifestation of your faith.” Is that the church doesn’t want us all to be cookie cutters. You know, actually I think, I think Sister Marie Therese actually said that on the show, you know? We want women who are themselves. We don’t want women who are cookie cutters.

Andy: And, and you even said on the show, like, the church accepts everyone. We love everyone, you know.

Stacey: Yes, yes, definitely, and that is just such a, that’s just such a beautiful thing to me, you know, that literally everyone. Blows my mind. That’s who we want. That’s who Christ wants and so that’s who we have to want as well.

Andy: So I want to just go a little bit back to your own discernment. Most people, you know, initiate their discernment through reaching out to someone they know, perhaps a religious or particular religious order. What, what led you to the show as a, a particular means to discernment or had you maybe taken a more traditional route before?

Stacey: Well, I, I heard about the show through my friend who ironically is an atheist but she and I have great discussions around religion and she, we very much respect one another and she knows how much my faith means to me. My friend, who ironically is an atheist, but she and I have great discussions about religion and  we very much respect one another and she knows how much my faith means to me, so she keeps up with sort of all the, the buzz on whats happening in T.V shows and stuff and I never auditioned for television before. I’d always kind of said like  oh, well, you know, I’m a stage actress and if T.V is ever a thing that happens, it’s gonna have to like come to me because I’m not gonna reach  out for that, so she actually kinda threw this thing my way. She’s like “you should, you know,  submit to this, you’d be perfect for it”, I was like, ok why  not, it’s Tuesday. And took about 6 months for everything to develop and for me to actually find out that that I  was going to be a part of this show,  and from there it was actually it’s own process of determine apart from my actual discernment to do this show because of course I had tons of questions. I wanted to make sure that they were going to portray the faith well that they were gonna portray the sisters well. And I think they did in the end a really good job with that. As for my own discernment, I wanted to make sure that I got an off camera experience because there were a lot of unknowns with the show, so I went and discerned with the Little Sisters of Poor in Queens and discovered quite to my surprise that I actually love working with old people, and so I visited the Little Sisters I think about three times before, before the show began and in addition to that I was going to mass every day, making a holy hour every day and I started praying this prayer of surrender which I’d never done before and which was definitely the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done in my life, because it’s almost like a litany. You go through and you just surrender one by one all these things to God. You know, my, my passions, my hopes, my fears, my past, my desires, my relationships, everything in your life and if you say it slowly and intentionally and there’s anything that you’re holding back you’re gonna feel that reaction. You know, you’re gonna feel that, that tension as you pray and so then, of course, it’s, it’s another whole process to sort of surrender that particular thing that you want to hold on to. Then of course, it’s another whole process to sort of surrender that particular thing that you want to hold onto.  So I made myself pray that every day and it did get easier. Praise God.  The more you do it and the more you get used to it, and the more you understand that he’s going to give you back so much more than you ever could have imagined.  So that was kind of the route that I took in discernment.  Also, I reading a lot of books about the spiritual life.  Reading biographies of great saints was very helpful.  And also, it mentions on the show that biography of mother Delores Hearts.  She is fantastic.  She’s really like me.  I really related to her because we’re both very artistic and I was amazed by how she brought her vocation as an artist into her vocation as a sister.  So, all of those things, kind of, you know, led me to the show.

Andy:  So it seems that you sort of did some of your own discerning outside of the show. Cause I think one of the things, you know, I used to be a Jesuit and I remember the complexity of discernment. You know, the time it takes, the prayer, you know, the meeting with the spiritual director.

Stacey: Definitely.

Andy: So, you know, one of the things I kept thinking about myself was, you know, it seemed a bit maybe premature to make a decision after just two weeks in each convent, you know?

Stacey: Yes.

Andy: You know, clearly at the end of the show we saw that, you know, each, each of you women made some sort of decision.

Stacey: Mm-hm.

Andy: But discernment, you know, clearly takes a while. Did you, did you feel that the show in and of itself and I don’t know the others’ experiences, but that that show in and of itself was a, a good, authentic discernment process?

Stacey: Hm.

Andy: Did, did you feel any pressure to make any kind of decision by the end?

Stacey: That’s a great question. A lot of people have been asking me that and I’m glad you asked because I think some people assume that, you know, that the six weeks it too short, which it is, and it was great that the producers didn’t put any pressure on us. They, they just told us, okay, we want to know where you are in your journey. You don’t have to decide yes or no. Maybe you need more time. That’s totally okay. They said we just want this to be a slice of your discernment. We want to show the process, you know, it doesn’t matter so much, that you know, because they recognize this as our lives, you know, so, so they didn’t expect us to actually make a decision one way or the other after six weeks, which was very good. And I was very grateful that they did’t put that pressure on us.

For the, the other part of your question, I did feel that it was an authentic discernment experience for me. I prayed so much before hand, to have the grace to not, you know, parade in front of the camera or sort of, you know, be dramatic for the TV show, or anything like that. And you know, I really think that grace is given where grace is needed because I certainly got so much, just, just an absolute ton. And, and I’m so grateful for that. And we also had, you know, the fact that we were working with the Sisters was fantastic. They really you know, kept everything uh, really real. And you know, they made sure that it was uh, an authentic experience for us. Uh, for example we had mass every morning. And we prayed the Office and we had an holy hour with the sisters before the cameras even got there.

Andy: Hmm.

Stacey: And that was such a necessary time for me. You know uh, and then we would also pray after they left. Uh, Kristy and I would often kind of like sneak to the chapel late at night. Like you know, sit in there and pray. Uh, it, I really did feel that it was an authentic experience. My faith life actually changed as a result of the show. And I actually had some of the best prayer experiences of my life. Uh, I really experienced Christ in a new way I never had before. And know five months later, uh more than that actually. About five and a half months later, to be, you know, to have given myself to him and continue to do that. Uh, and to feel called to marriage. You know, I feel more secure in that now than I ever did before. Now that I have discerned. Now that I have given myself over to that. You know so. So it’s, it’s really good. It’s uh, just such a blessing everything.

Andy: So you’ve, you’ve also discerned for marriage?

Stacey: I have at this point, yes.

Andy: Mm-hmm. Where.

Stacey: So.

Andy: Do you feel comfortable saying where you’re feeling called now? I mean I know you, you eventually decided to stay in New York for the meantime.

Stacey: That’s right. Yes uh, well you know, God works in all kinds of mysterious ways. So after the show. At, as the show was ending, I was feeling called to go to the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence to continue to finish my discernment as a postulant there. Uh, however I went back to New York and felt such a sense of peace there and uh. And you know, that was very confusing to me. Because I was supposed to go to this convent, you know. Uh, but with more prayer uh, and more discernment about. Let’s see, it took me about three months to kind of you know, formerly discern that, that I wasn’t being called to the convent. Uh, I, I just felt that uh, I needed to go. I kind of felt this unrest about that.  And then I got myself thinking that maybe I should go to the convent you know so that I can discern out and come back to New York.  And I thought well you don’t go to the convent to discern out, you go to the convent because you think you’re called to the convent.  You know, and so then I kept praying and kept praying and kept saying you know Lord please just change my desires, change my heart if this is where you want me.  And he you know gave that desire for marriage right back to me.  And so I’m, you know, even more joyful about it and excited about it now because I really feel that, that what’s he calling me to.  You know as opposed to me just deciding that I want this you know.  So it’s really beautiful.  And for the time-being, I’m in New York.  And I actually got a call from Sister Peter from the show.  I don’t know if you remember her. but she is the one who said Camelite women look so good for their age because they know how to take care of themselves. Yes, Sister Peter. So she actually called me just a few days after the show finished airing, and she offered me a job with the Carmelites.

Andy: Wow.

Stacey: So I’m starting next week. I’ll be working with them. I’ll be living in Huntington but then also traveling up to, to Germantown where they live. And I’ll be helping her at the [Avila] Institute, which institutes programs in different nursing homes to help people with dementia access their memories longer, and helps with sort of general end of life care in, in all sorts of different areas…

Andy: Well that [scene] when you went to Saint Patrick’s Manor in Framingham, Massachusetts, which is where I grew up. That seemed to be a powerful experience for you.

Stacey: It really was. Yeah, it really was. And at the time I walked away thinking, you know, I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t, I don’t know if I can form relationships with people who are about to leave this life, you know, feel like loosing my grandparents all over again. And you know, I walked away from it with kind of this fear but also with this, this awe and this, this realization that, you know, I think it would be difficult to loose these people because I do care about them so much, you know. But also with this awe and this realization that, you know, I think it would be difficult to lose these people, because I do care about them so much you know.  And with the Little Sisters of the Poor, same thing.  I formed relationships with the people at the nursing home.  And I just fell in love with them.  And even after the show, I’ve continued to go and visit a nursing home every week.  And you know form friendships with the people who don’t have many people to come visit them.  I really just love it.  You know, I think the sort of sacrifice of losing them would still be just you know such a small minuscule part of the hole picture you know.  And overall, it would be such an honor to serve them and to get to know them and hear their stories because they have so much wisdom to offer.

Andy:  One of the things of Ignatian Spirituality and I talk about this a lot is our gifts and talents that you know, the very unique gifts and talents that god gives us.”

Stacey: Mm-hm.

Andy: And it just sounds like you’ve been discovering, sometimes it’s been to your surprise these, these gifts that God has given to you.

Stacey: Mm-hm.

Andy: That’s kind of forming a vocation.

Stacey: So true and, you know, one of the really beautiful things about this job that I have coming up is that it uses music because if you had to mention one of the ways that you can help access your memory longer is through music and, and so I’ll be able to use that, you know, that creativity and I’ll be able to use my, my creative skills to, to help these people, which is so much more, you know, dignified than, you know, it’s putting my talents to greater use than if I were to just sort of, you know, perform for my own glory. Not to say that all performers are performing for their own glory, it’s just that that’s something that I tended toward at that time in my life when I, when my main focus was performing, you know? So I’m just, like you said, discovering how to use these skills for God’s glory. It’s really thrilling and exciting, it’s certainly nothing that I could ever have made up or planned for myself. Which kind of goes hand in hand with this great thing that my, that a priest that I know told me in confession. He said, you know, God is an adventurer. Don’t rob him of the joy of unfolding his plan before you step by step. And in that plan there’s going to be so many twists and turns and surprises it really is an adventure. And you’re just never going to be bored, that’s for sure. And like he said, you know, you’re going to discover new gifts and talents that you never thought you had so it’s really exciting.

Andy: Now one of the great things that I appreciated about the sisterhood show was that the five of you – there was really this diversity of spiritualities that you all had. How would you describe your spirituality?

Stacy: Latin mass.  I’m just kidding [laughing]. My family does go to Latin mass everyday – I’m sorry, every week. My family does go to Latin mass every day, I’m sorry, every week and, Latin mass every day. That’s intense. They do go to Latin mass every Sunday and that’s definitely kind of, I fall more towards the, you know, the very traditional side of, of Catholicism. That’s how I was raised and that’s sort of like my, that’s like home for me, you know, that’s my, that’s my comfort zone, if you will. That being said I came in to really appreciate charismatic spirituality when I was on the Wizard of Oz national tour and sort of experienced this, you know, spiritual awakening or reconversion, whatever you want to call it because my friend who I mentioned earlier, you know, really taught me how to read the Bible and apply it to my life and how to pray and be open to, to God moving me and the Holy Spirit moving me, and I had never really encountered someone with a charismatic spirituality like that, you know? The idea of speaking in tongues or, you know, being slain in the spirit was just very new to me and I, you know, kind of had a gut reaction of like, ugh, that’s weird, you know? You know, this is why people think we’re crazy. You know, but then the more I started to understand that kind of spirituality the more I realized that, you know, God does use every part of our human experience to reach us. So I, I’ve incorporated kind of more, more elements of, of the charismatic spirituality into my own, into my own spiritual life, yes, so I’m kind of an interesting combination because I come from this very, very conservative background. You know, my family lives in the Arlington Diocese and I went to a very, very conservative high school, I was home schooled, however when I moved to New York and, you know, went on tour and so forth a lot of my friends here come from either slightly, you know, I don’t wanna say liberal background but, you know, kind of and they, and everyone in New York comes from such a different place. So it’s really helped me appreciate the vast, vast, vast of human, you know, expression of spirituality and sort of make connections with people who, who have a spirituality that, you know, maybe I don’t even understand but would like to learn more about, so.

Andy: Yeah, you kind of hit on, on a big part of Ignatian spirituality where Saint Ignatius says, you know, “The Creator works with the creature.” You know, in God’s own way, you know, and, and, and touches people and communicates with people in ways that, that we know and that we, that we, that make sense to us, you know?

Stacey: Yeah, and I was even talking with a couple people. I’m like going through this phase right now where I’m like fascinated with, you know, the personality types.

Andy: Mm-hm.

Stacey: Yeah, and, and so I was thinking about that and talking to one of the friends that I have here in my community and kinda realizing that God reaches people with different personality types different ways. So, you know, if you don’t have these, these visions like, you know, like Christy did on the show, it doesn’t mean that your spiritual life is not, you know, “”working,”” or, you know, you’re not, you’re not holy or anything like that. It doesn’t mean that your spiritual life is not, you know, “working,” or, you know, you’re not, you’re not holy or anything like that, it might just be that you have a different sort, that you respond differently to different types of things. You know, and, and it’s kind of unique to even sort of start to look at my friends and see the different ways that God reaches them. You know, for some people they read a book and it’s the reason, you know, it’s the, the, you know, the philosophy behind the book. Like when things kind of click into place and make sense. You see some converts who are just converted by sort of the rational, the rationality behind the, behind Catholicism and the philosophy behind it, you know? And then you, you see other people who are sort of receive like a, you know, St. Paul experience conversion. You know, falling off of his horse, you know, where he’s just like moved in a way, you know, God just reaches out and, you know, or, or people are reached through there emotions, or whatever it is, you know? It is amazing, you know. God knows us so well and He can just like pinpoint, you know, well, this is the way that I’m gonna reach this person. So, and that’s neat cause it’s accessible to everyone, you know, no matter what your personality type. Yeah, so cool.

Andy: I like to ask people about their favorite thing about being Catholic. I once saw a taping of The Colbert Report in New York and in the Q and A before, before the beginning of the show we could ask questions and I asked him what was his favorite thing about being Catholic was.

Stacey: Hm.

Andy: And he says forgiveness of sins. What’s your favorite thing about being Catholic?

Stacey: Oh, boy. I have so many favorite things. These are a few of my favorite things.

Andy: You could do a performance!

Stacey: Oh, thank you. That wasn’t even on key, oh my gosh. But, let’s see. I do have a, I have a couple favorite things. I think I love the fact that our church is universal and that we are connected spiritually to people in ways that we don’t even know. That’s kind of, that’s immensely comforting to me, to just have this vast universal experience, you know, of the creator. And if you, like me if you’ve travelled and you go to different churches you just see how it’s the same mass everywhere you go, even though there’s a million different ways. You know, you could be in a basilica or you could be in a tiny, little church in North Dakota. You know, and when I was on tour and I would go to a different church every week, or multiple churches and that became one of my favorite things about touring was just discovering the vast expression of this the same spirituality and the same foundational truths. So that’s definitely one of my favorite things about becoming Catholic.  I went to some tiny churches where there were like twelve people, and then huge basilicas like the one in St. Louis, for example, which I think it has, let me see if I got this right, it has more mosaics than any church in the world or something  – absolutely gorgeous, you know, experience. Absolutely gorgeous, you know, experience and you just realize that, like, God is so big and yet also so personal. So, yeah, forgiveness of sins is also a big one for me too. Like, being able to just allow God to forgive you and then forgive yourself and move on. There’s so much hope in that.

Andy: What’s your experience of being a woman in the church? Did that change at all in your time with the sisters?

Stacey: I think, I, I recognized how, how powerful nuns actually are, you know? And there’s a certain, there is, there is a real power that’s with them which I think a lot of people from, you know, the world’s perspective kind of don’t, don’t understand. So, you know, to, to be small and to be humble in the eyes of the world is to be great in the eyes of God and the amount of good that these women are doing, even though to the world it seems. they seem so small, you know, once you really live with them and you, and you see their day to day life and the amount of good that they’re accomplishing, it’s formidable. It really is and I think I started to understand how God, no matter who you are, God can fulfill the needs and desires of your heart, you know? And as a woman I, I have these, these very, very deep desires for, for love, for validation, you know, I, I need that. I need to understand that I’m loved and, you know, that I am lovely and, and not just in a physical sense at all. The, you know, for a lot of women they struggle with that, myself included, certainly more in the past than now, but it’s an ongoing thing. You know, but to know that you are lovely and that you are loved and I think even with the sisters I, I could see kind of in a, on a day to day basis just how fulfilled they were in that. How God really was able to reach them and fulfill them in a way that was just unmistakable. You know, they were so joyful, and then with that joy they’re able to give back to others, you know, so they don’t, they don’t suck the life out of people. You know? They’re giving all the time and you’re like, “Where does this come from?” You know? They seem like these, you know, like, these deep wells of just, you know, joy and, and happiness, you know, and they’re just kinda spewing it all over the place and you’re like, “Who are you?” You know, so, I think it was the way that it, the being with the sisters affected me was just understanding, you know, I am loved and, and Christ can fulfill all those deepest desires and that’s something that’s so, so counter-cultural because people are, you know, the world is telling you, oh, you know, you need to be going out and, you know, you need go have sex with all these different people so that you can, you know, you can be a player. You could be, you know, at the top of your game. Whatever, whatever, however it all is, you know? You’ll feel good if you can, can get somebody to validate you, through, you know, through sex, or attention or whatever it is. And um, you know learning that, that’s actually, you’re seeking for it in the wrong place, if you’re looking for that. You know and that Christ really is the only thing that can validate that. And that he will and that he does validate you in that way. It’s like, just beautiful, and um, you know, it’s such a beautiful journey. It’s really, really cool.

Andy: Stacey, thanks for spending time with us today.

Stacey: It was absolutely my pleasure. Great to talk to you Andy. Thank you so much.

Andy: [music] To see the six episode series of the Sisterhood on Lifetime, and for more information on the lay intentional community Stacey is a part of, as well as a link to Stacey’s very impressive doll making, visit the post that companions this podcast, visit GodInAllThings.com.