Today’s guests help us see that even when life gets hard, we can keep going, knowing that God’s plans for us will always bring us exactly where we need to be: Fox News anchor Ainsley Earhardt and author Andy Andrews. Ainsley Earhardt is the co-anchor of Fox & Friends. Ainsley has a robust background in broadcast journalism. She recounts her journey up to network television, and tells us how she has been able to trace God’s hand through her life, and how her faith has sustained her during some of her darkest moments. Andy Andrews is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and consultant for the world’s most successful teams and fastest growing organizations. Andy encourages us to keep going, even when life gets hard, by using our imagination and trusting God’s timing to help us move toward the life God has planned for us.
Don’t Stop Now, God Has Plans for You: Ainsley Earhardt & Andy Andrews – Jesus Calling Episode #107
Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling Podcast. Today’s guests help us see that even when life gets hard, we can keep going, knowing that God’s plans for us will always bring us exactly where we need to be–Fox News anchor Ainsley Earhardt and author Andy Andrews.
First up, we have Ainsley Earhardt, the co-anchor of Fox & Friends. Ainsley has a robust background in broadcast journalism. She recounts her journey up to network television, and tells us how she has been able to trace God’s hand through her life, and how her faith has sustained her during some of her darkest moments.
Ainsley Earhardt: My family still lives in South Carolina, and we grew up in a Christian home, going to church every Sunday. If we spent the night out, Mom and Dad picked us up and took us to church, or we went to church with that family.
I grew up in the public school systems in South Carolina, middle-class family. We cared about every dollar. We had to turn off the lights when we left the room. And some days I paid for my own gas money in high school. And some days I put in two dollars and seventy cents, just change from the ashtray in my car, just to make it to school. I hated asking my parents for money because I didn’t want to burden them. And I always had a job, had a job from middle school on. And so I used a lot of my own money.
I got a little bit of a scholarship to go to Florida State, out of state, and that was expensive tuition. I stayed there for two years. I changed my major. I was biology there and then transferred into the journalism school at the University of South Carolina. And that’s how I was introduced to broadcasting. Really, really enjoyed it. I grew up in the theater and grew up acting, and so this was an opportunity for me to still get a great education and be in front of the camera. So that’s how I ended up in television. And it was the best thing. And I knew right out of the gate, as soon as I transferred to the University of South Carolina, I was in the right spot.
My relationship with Jesus developed when I was in college. I was in a Bible study and still having a lot of fun on the weekends and sometimes during the week. And I just started to look at my life and slowed down a little bit, and hunkered down and started asking God to change my heart. And through this Bible study called Experiencing God, God used some of my Christian friends to model what He looked like and live the Christian example in my life. And so I wanted what they had.
“God used some of my Christian friends to model what He looked like and live the Christian example in my life. And so I wanted what they had.” – Ainsley Earhardt
I was at a fraternity party and looked around the room, and I just was sick of it. I was tired of living that life and I wanted more out of life, and I wanted to live for God.
Working Hard to Get Ahead
So in broadcasting, you are going to start at the very bottom. And in school, I remember our teacher saying, “Do not walk into these job interviews and say you want to be the next news anchor. You have to start out as a reporter. You have to work the weekends. You have to work the long hours. You have to work the overnights.”
And so I did that for a long time. And in local news, I would see because I would work hard, because I would keep my head down, I wouldn’t complain, I rarely was in the boss’s office, and I just wanted to do the right thing and I always wanted to say ‘yes’. I wanted to be the one they called to go get the big story. So I tried to have a positive attitude and worked all the crazy hours.
Eventually I got a promotion. And then I got another promotion. Then I transferred to another station in a bigger market to get more experience and moved to Texas. Our show went from number two to number one. And so I saw success just by working hard and always saying yes.
And then I got the job at Fox News. And I was hired to work the overnight shift. And I stayed on the overnight shift—I thought it would be just for a few months, maybe a year—I stayed on the overnight shift for seven years and never complained, said yes to every opportunity.
And eventually, years later, it led to me launching Fox & Friends First at 5:00 a.m. And then eventually, that led to me getting this job at Fox & Friends, and I’ve been here for almost three years.
The Light Within Me
Narrator: Ainsley tells us about her new book, The Light Within Me, where she offers a look into her spiritual journey and reflections on her family, faith, and career.
Ainsley Earhardt: It’s called a memoir. And I was a little bit taken aback by that. I said, “Are you sure we want to call it a memoir, because aren’t you supposed to be like 80 years old and really have this long, rich life?” But I do feel like I’ve had so many rich, wonderful moments with God and that’s what this book is about. It’s about my walk with God. And it’s not to be self-righteous. I don’t want all the praise. I want people to read this and I want them to see God, not Ainsley.
God says you will have trouble. John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So He promises us that we will all have trouble. And if you haven’t had trouble in your life, you will. And I don’t say that to be negative. I say that because you have to rely on God, and God will get you through those valleys. He will walk you all the way up to the top of the mountain, and you will look down at your journey, and you will be glad you went through those struggles.
“God will get you through those valleys. He will walk you all the way up to the top of the mountain, and you will look down at your journey, and you will be glad you went through those struggles.” – Ainsley Earhardt
I am constantly trying to remind myself who is in control and that I’m going to be okay, that everything is going to be alright because I’m walking with God. And I know He has me.
I lost a marriage. I lost a baby. And those were some really really hard times in my life.
But now look where God’s taken me. Now I have my dream job Monday through Friday, and I have weekends off so that I can be a mom to my daughter. And I’m just so grateful. And I know that when I get through struggles in the future, that God will get me through, just like He did in the past.
“I am constantly trying to remind myself who is in control and that I’m going to be okay, that everything is going to be alright because I’m walking with God.” – Ainsley Earhardt
Remembering Whose I Am And Who’s In Charge
I love Jesus Calling. I get it on my phone and every single day. My routine is I get in the car, I put on my earphones—and I don’t drive, so I’m not driving while I do this—I listen to Pandora, and I push “hymns” and I always listen to hymns. And then I push this app right here, Jesus Calling, and I go to today’s devotional.
I read the devotion every single day. It’s always something I feel like that is hitting home for me that day. It’s so amazing how God does that. I feel like He wrote it just for me. It’s something I really need to hear and then it gives you three scriptures, two to three scriptures at the bottom every day.
And it’s just a great tool. It’s an easy way to get a quick devotion into your system early in the morning, before you talk to anyone else, before you get your day going. And it just reminds me whose I am and who’s in charge.
“[Jesus Calling devotional] is just a great tool. It’s an easy way to get a quick devotion into your system early in the morning, before you talk to anyone else, before you get your day going. And it just reminds me whose I am and who’s in charge.” – Ainsley Earhardt
In my Jesus Calling devotion this morning, it talked about God holding your hand. And I physically put my hand out in my lap when I was riding to work this morning and could feel or imagine Jesus’s hand on top of me saying, “I’ve got you, I’m I’m pulling you, I’m carrying you.” Some days He’s carrying me, some days He’s just right next to me, holding my hand. Other day other days I’m just dragging behind. But I always know that God is in control, and He’s leading me through this glorious life.
“I always know that God is in control, and He’s leading me through this glorious life.” – Ainsley Earhardt
Be Bold, Be Real, Be Authentic
What I have seen, and no matter what you do, you have to be authentic, you have to be real, and you have to be genuine.
And I just want to be myself.
“No matter what you do, you have to be authentic, you have to be real, and you have to be genuine.” – Ainsley Earhardt
I feel it’s important to be bold, no matter what your faith is. I think that you can love others and share God’s love just in your daily walk, and you don’t have to walk around with Bible. You don’t have to recite scripture all the time. Just do it in love, and love other people. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Narrator: We’ll be back with the rest of our program after a brief message about a free offer from Jesus Calling.
Download this FREE Jesus Calling Daily Prayer Calendar which works with your Jesus Calling devotional. Each day begins with a guided reflection followed by space for prayers of thanksgiving and special requests.
Narrator: Welcome back. Our next guest is Andy Andrews, a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and consultant for the world’s most successful teams and fastest growing organizations. Today Andy tells us about the importance of a good perspective, waiting on God’s timing, and the power of imagination to help you get “unstuck” so you can live the life God has planned for you.
Andy Andrews: Perspective Matters
Sometimes in the middle of a crisis, there’s not the answer that you could pick up off the floor and just shove into that square hole. Sometimes the answers are a matter of God’s timing. And that’s where you need to make sure you have perspective.
Perspective brings calm. Calm leads to clear thinking. Clear thinking leads to ideas. From ideas we get answers.
It’s amazing how powerful just a simple foundational perspective can be.
“Perspective is more important than answers…Perspective brings calm. Calm leads to clear thinking. Clear thinking leads to ideas. From ideas we get answers.” – Andy Andrews
The Power of Imagination & Getting Unstuck
I do want people to get unstuck. I want people to be able to live the life of their dreams. But I want them to understand that much more is available.
You know at the beginning of everything is imagination. It’s the beginning of everything.
As human beings on this planet, before there was a bridge, somebody imagined way before there was a car, or there was a wheel, before there was a ladder, before there was a Band-Aid, before there was eyedrops, before there was hair gel. There was imagination behind everything we are, everything.
“There was imagination behind everything we are, everything.” – Andy Andrews
And the curious thing is I’ve looked at successful lives—and when I say successful lives, that includes a lot. I’m not talking about success. You ask people what is success, and they’ll say “a car and watch.” But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about a successful life, which includes peace, which includes your spiritual life, which includes your family. And I’ve studied a lot of those people, and I’ve seen a lot of people do amazing things without a ton of education. I’ve seen people do absolutely amazing things without a ton of what I would call “self-discipline” or “work ethic.” I’ve seen people do amazing things without a lot of what normal people would say you have to have. But I’ll tell you this: I’ve never seen anybody do amazing things without a great imagination.
Now here’s where I’m going with this.
Do you believe that God wants the best for you? Do you want the best for you? Do you want the best for your family?
All right. Here’s a really really tough question. Do you believe that God has a better imagination than you? Me too.
So then, when we look at what you imagine is the best for your family, and we compare it to what God imagines is the best for your family, how big is that gap? I mean, how big a gap would that be?
We all have friends who have adult children. One of the things that I’ve seen as people raise their kids, I mean you got a 14-year-old, a 16-year-old, an 11-year-old, and they’re starting to do something. And you, as the parent, were teaching them how to do it.
But have you ever had a situation with the child or you watched them and they’re doing great, and they’re really getting good or getting better and better, and they were getting great results. And then all of a sudden they get getting results but they were coasting, they weren’t really pushing upward anymore, and we were saying, “Wait, wait, wait! Why are you stopping? There is so much more here. Why are you stopping?” And it’s, like, here in a situation where you wanted your child’s success more than the child seemed to want the success for himself? And it’s just so unbelievable.
Well, I wonder sometimes if our Heavenly Father looks at us and says, “Wait, Wait! Don’t stop now. I know you know this is hard, but we’re just building muscle for the next run. Don’t stop now. Don’t you know what I have planned for you? Do you know what I have imagined for you?”
Inspiration For The Traveler
Narrator: Andy is a gifted storyteller who weaves larger-than-life figures from history through his tales. Andy tells us a bit about his New York Times bestselling book, The Traveler’s Gift, and its newly-released sequel, The Traveler’s Summit.
Andy Andrews: I love stories, which is why I got into those biographies. Because those were stories.
When I was a little kid, I wouldn’t remember anything the preacher said, but I remember his story. You know, I wouldn’t remember almost anything the teachers said, but I remembered the stories.
I wanted to write something that people would relate to and remember. And so I know that everybody can relate to a hard time going on in their family. A time, you know, when Mom or Dad feels like, This is over. I don’t know what to do.
And in this book a character named David Ponder, in The Traveler’s Gift, David Ponder had reached that point. His daughter was sick, they were out of money. And he went thinking, I’d be better dead than alive for my family.
And he hit a patch of black ice. And I won’t reveal the story, but David Ponder was allowed to travel through time meeting with seven historical figures who were also, at that moment, going through the toughest time in their own lives. And he got to be with Anne Frank while she was in the annex hiding from the Nazis. And he’s there with her.
And then he’s with King Solomon. It’s right after Solomon says, “Bring me the sword. I’ll tell you whose baby this is.”
And and he gets to be with Lincoln Gettysburg.
And each of the seven historical figures gives David Ponder a different principle and explains it to him and that if he puts these principles into his life, everything will change. And so I like his way to the end of the story. But it’s good for David Ponder.
So The Traveler’s Gift has become a book that people give to graduates, that people give to each other. Super Bowl winners have used it, and World Series people have used it, and the past 10 college football national champions have used it.
And so for while I thought, People love this character. They loved David Ponder. And I thought, I didn’t. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do a sequel to it, because people would come up to me all the time and they would say, “I am David Ponder. This is me. This is my life.” And I’m like, “Really? Wow.”
What Would Giants Of History Say About Our World Today?
And so now I wrote the The Traveler’s Summit.
If you ever wondered if Joan of Arc and King David from the Bible and Winston Churchill and George Washington Carver could sit around a table and talk about what’s happening how on earth, what would they say? That’s what the book’s about.
This is 15 years later, and David Ponder is an old man now. His wife has passed away, and he’s contemplating his last days.
And just when he’s at his lowest moment of despair, the Archangel Gabriel—who is a character from the first book—The Archangel Gabriel arrives and tells him humanity is at a turning point.
And it was one of the most fun things to write about, because there’s Bear Bryant talking with Martin Luther King. And there’s Winston Churchill down on the floor. He pointed out a woman to David Ponder and he wonders, “Who is she? She looks familiar.”
Aand Winston said, “It’s a lady pilot. She showed up unexpectedly. You’ll never believe where she’s been.” It’s Amelia Earhart.
I love having these little bitty things. And I had a great time time putting it together.
And I’m really excited about this book, because I love the story, because I think the lesson is so needed right at this time in our country’s history.
I hope people enjoy it, and I think it’s something that people want to pass to other people.
Rejoice In What I’m Doing In Your Life, Even Beyond Understanding
Narrator: Andy reads a passage from Jesus Calling that relates to how God has our situations under control, and how focusing on God allows us to view the world from His loving perspective.
Andy Andrews: From Jesus Calling:
When things don’t go as you would like, accept the situation immediately. If you indulge in feelings of regret, they can easily spill over the line into resentment. Remember that I am sovereign over your circumstances and humble yourself under My mighty hand. Rejoice in what I’m doing in your life, even though it is beyond your understanding.
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In Me you have everything you need, both for this life and for the life yet to come. Don’t let the impact of the world shatter your thinking or draw you away from focusing on me. The ultimate challenge is to keep fixing your eyes on Me, no matter what is going on around you. When I am central in your thinking, you are able to view circumstances from My perspective.
Narrator: To learn more about Andy’s new book The Traveler’s Summit, visit AndyAndrews.com.
Narrator: Next time on the Jesus Calling Podcast, we speak with country music superstar Hunter Hayes, who candidly shares the ups and downs of life in the spotlight and the doubts that we all have about who we’re meant to be.
Hunter Hayes: You were made to be exactly who you are, as hard as that is to believe, as hard as it is for me to believe right now as I’m sitting here talking to you. My faults are what make me, and I think it’s important to remind people of that.