The Experience Jesus Calling

PODCAST

When Your Purpose Seems Unclear, Seek God: Jeremy Cowart & Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Jesus Calling Podcast #140 featuring Jeremy Cowart & Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Jeremy Cowart and Elisabeth Hasselbeck are driven by their faith to find a greater purpose for their lives, and use their talents to help others and reflect God’s glory in our world. Jeremy is a renowned photographer and the founder of The Purpose Hotel. As an artist, he endeavors to use his creativity to spotlight situations of need. Today Jeremy discusses his mission to create an intersection between empathy and creativity, and finding his true purpose.  Elisabeth rose to prominence as a contestant on the second season of the reality television show Survivor, where she finished in fourth place. In July 2002, she joined the daytime talk show The View, and after ten years, she went on to join Fox & Friends. Elisabeth shares her experiences in each of her roles in television and relates how, in looking for her “calling,” she found herself running ahead of God. During these seasons of change, she related how she’s learned to wait for God’s guidance as He’s helped her identify her unique purpose in the world.

Jeremy Cowart: When things go bad, we’ll always need hands to rebuild. We’ll always need money to be given. We’ll always need our huge organizations to respond. But we also need innovation and new ideas in times of need, especially with all the technology we have these days. We need innovators, and I like to fill that little gap in times of need.


When Your Purpose Seems Unclear, Seek God: Jeremy Cowart & Elisabeth Hasselbeck – Episode #140

Narration: Welcome to the Jesus Calling Podcast. Today’s guests are driven by their faith to find a greater purpose for their lives, and use their talents to help others and reflect God’s glory in our world: photographer and social entrepreneur Jeremy Cowart, and TV host and writer Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Renowned photographer, Jeremy Cowart

Up first, Jeremy Cowart is a renowned photographer and the founder of The Purpose Hotel. As an artist, Jeremy endeavors to use his creativity to put the spotlight on situations of need.  He discusses his mission of creating an “intersection between empathy and creativity,” and finding his true purpose.

Jeremy Cowart: My name is Jeremy Cowart. I’m a photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee, and I’m also the founder of The Purpose Hotel.

I was a painter first, and then over time became a graphic designer. I did that for a few years, running my own company. Then I started shooting [photos] just out of curiosity, wanting to explore and learn cameras, and then I realized that’s what I wanted to do: be a photographer. Photography got me out to travel, got me out meeting interesting people away from the computer. So yeah, I fell in love with it.

Finding a Greater Purpose in Life

Jeremy Cowart - I'm Possible book

I released a [book of my] life story [called I’m Possible], where I say “greatness should serve a greater purpose.”

It’s essentially just my life journey. It’s not really about me, because my story, I feel like it’s everybody’s story. It’s overcoming the words “I can’t,” overcoming fear, overcoming doubt. And when I say “overcoming,” I really mean jumping into those things—jumping into fear, jumping into doubt, knowing that God has laid this before us, and so we have to go into it. Go into the darkness.

It’s really how we have to get in a rhythm and exercise of doing and believing, not tearing ourselves apart, and just seeing what we learn from that, even if it does fail. Because in every failure, we still learn. So it’s taking the nuggets of information we learned in the failure.

“In every failure, we still learn.” – Jeremy Cowart

I’ve built apps, I’ve launched nonprofits, I’ve launched an online training business. I’ve done all kinds of things, and some of those I would consider commercial failures. But to me, I still learned so much about collaboration and teamwork and so many other things.

So the book is really a story about doing things through Christ who strengthens us, chasing those ideas as paper wads He gives us and then just learning that process.

Photographer Jeremy Cowart on location

The Intersection of Creativity and Empathy

I just love doing things that actually help people, whether that’s telling a story or doing whatever, but it has to also be super creative.

So I’ve recently added a mission statement to my website that says “My mission is to explore the intersection of creativity and empathy.”

There’s lots of people who’ve modeled this “creativity meets empathy” discussion. Obviously, Jesus’ life on earth, that’s the number-one example. But I do like to look at people here living right now. What does that look like in this crazy world we’re living in? I think my friend Bob Goff is an excellent example with his whimsy. He’s always just a quirky, fun guy. Look at the work Bono has done over the years through his music and his humanitarian projects, and there’s so many examples.

It’s just a realization over time. It’s not like I set out on that journey years ago. This is just a recent thing. Looking back on my work, I’ve done things like after the Gatlinburg wildfires, I went and used my creativity in a very different way to help tell the story.

I have grown up going to Gatlinburg a lot with my family. And so it felt like a second home in a way. I was sitting in church when my pastor Darren Whitehead was speaking. And I just kept thinking, I’m going to do something to help. And the words “drone” and the “mattress” hit me. I had never used drones, I didn’t know how to use a drone. I went and found some drone guys. I just had this vision of a drone photographing these homeowners in their old home, laying on a white mattress and the stark, dark brown and black rubble of their former homes, and I thought the emotion that could help tell their story.

We spent five days photographing about 20 families. That project ended up being featured on Time Magazine and all over the Internet, and helped raise money for these people to rebuild their homes.

After the Haiti earthquake in 2010, some 200,000 people died and it was just . . . we’ve had a lot of disaster since then, but I’m not sure many have been that devastating. There hasn’t been anything that’s wiped out 200,000 people.

I was just so devastated watching the news and seeing what was going on. I wanted to do something myself to help.

I figured out a way to get down there and just tell stories of people, because the media was not telling stories. They were just showing the stats. “This is how many buildings have fallen down. This is how many people have died.” But I wasn’t really hearing humanity in it all. And so I just went down there myself and wanted to give people a microphone in the form of a photograph, kind of a visual tweet to tell their story.

It ended up being showcased in the United Nations to help raise more money to rebuild Haiti through the United Nations. And so yeah, I just love trying to figure out how to be an innovator in times of need.

“I just love trying to figure out how to be an innovator in times of need.” – Jeremy Cowart

When I go into situations of helping others, I have to really figure out how does this actually help? I can’t go in there and make this about me. I can’t be the rockstar photographer that’s come in and take pictures, get out and get good images. It has to actually tell a story and to help.

I’m not always successful. Some of my projects haven’t really helped. But I can say that my intentions are always 100-percent pure to help, to raise money, and to tell a story.

I think that’s number one. And I think when the people understand that you’re there to truly give them a platform, help them raise money, help them in a creative way to get back on their feet, then they’re open and willing to be a part of your project. But if they see you just trying to be selfish and take cool pictures or whatever, then you’re not going to have a lot of luck.

Using Social Media For Good

Jeremy Cowart and his sons

I’ve recently noticed on social media—not even that recently, but for a long time now—we are becoming increasingly obsessed with ourselves.

It seems like every Instagram account these days is pictures of people, like selfies or portraits of themselves, acting like they’re . . . you know, everybody is basically trying to become a lifestyle personality. Which is fine in some regards, and for some people it works.

But I just . . . I don’t know. I think there’s a danger in that and becoming so obsessed with ourselves and the way we look in the story we’re telling that it’s just it’s them. Science shows that’s causing everybody else to be depressed, and we’re comparing ourselves. “I don’t look that good. I didn’t go on that [person’s] vacation,” when in reality none of that is true. None of that is real life.

I just crave to see more people trying to help with their tools, use their accounts to do good things, to showcase others, to tell others’ stories. We can’t get enough of that.

I think we’ll get to a point where we realize, Oh, none of that matters, the things that society tells us chase. And so what I realize is that my greatness should serve a greater good, and that is our greater God. It’s His purpose. He gave me this life, and I’m not fulfilled until I find that purpose. And then once I do, it’s amazing how fulfilling life can be and how much vision God can give you once you really find that thing that He’s called you to.

“My greatness should serve a greater good, and that is our greater God. It’s His purpose.” – Jeremy Cowart

I think of ideas as a little paper wad with the message that God throws at me. And I think He throws those at everyone, but most people don’t acknowledge it, like, “That’s not for me,” and they don’t open it. Or when they do open it, they’re like, “Oh no, I can’t do it. It’s too big.”

I’ve just always loved the excitement of having those paper wads hit me, opening them, and being like, “This is crazy, but I’m going to do it. I’m going to jump and then figure it out.” And they seem to get bigger and bigger and bigger, and I just take that responsibility and I’m called to it.

Finding The Purpose Hotel

There’s definitely a sense of responsibility now, because I do feel like I’m fortunate enough to have really discovered my calling.

I’m currently in the process of building a hotel chain. And you talk about scary. I’ve gone from being a single, self-employed artist to now building, making a brand that will exist one day. It’s scary as all get out, but I have seen over the course of my career that one idea leads to the next leads to the next, and all those ideas are from God.

“I have seen over the course of my career that one idea leads to the next leads to the next, and all those ideas are from God.” – Jeremy Cowart

In 2012, I had a photoshoot at the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles, and I was just walking through the room. I’m walking through the hallway to my room, and the room numbers were designed like nametags from the 80s: “Hello, my name is Room 121.” And for whatever reason, that caught my eye. That’s cool that they rethought the room numbers, but what if every room had a story? And what if it was a child with their face and their name, and that was telling you it was sponsoring this child?

And then I look down at my room key and I go, Oh, the room keys could be connected to The Giving Keys.

And then when I walked in my room, the rest of the idea hit me. The internet fee could fight human trafficking. Soaps and shampoos could come from Thistle Farms. Just the whole vision for the hotel. And again, it was a “paper wad” moment from God, and I was just so overwhelmed and moved by it.

I spent three years, literally from the age of 35 to 38, saying, “Nope, God, you got the wrong guy. I cannot do what you’re calling me to do.”

Then in 2015, He kept knocking, kept nudging me. And I remember flying over New York City one day and just thinking, Man, all of these skyscrapers had to start somewhere, like, with one person. And every one of these buildings has to start with somebody. And if God has called me to be one of those people, then why not? So here we go, let’s jump in and figure it out. Now we’re in the process of doing just that, building a really large building downtown Nashville.

The enemy is going to be always trying to take your eyes off the road, whereas God has set the road ahead of me. He’s lay the path then the enemy is over there just trying to distract me. Who am I to think I can build a new hotel chain in the midst of the hottest city with all the biggest developers?

But I’m like, You know what? God has called me to this, and this is what He has set in motion. So I’m going to keep walking, knowing that the vision He’s given me is so different than the rest of the industry, and that I just have to own that and keep walking.”

Fighting Fear by Seeking God

Jeremy Cowart and his wife

I have so many friends who are so hard on themselves, including my wife. She’s a newly established real estate agent, and her doubt and her fear—it just overwhelms her. [My fear has overwhelmed me] too, and it still does.

[However,] my wife has always been an extremely disciplined person, in terms of her quiet time with the Lord in the morning. We have four kids, and she somehow has a superpower to not function on 8 hours of sleep. I have to have my 8 hours of sleep, so she wakes up really early, like, 5:00 AM. Our kids usually wake up around 7:00 AM. She just has to have that quiet, truly quiet moment on her back porch on the swing with her Jesus Calling book and her devotions.

She’s been doing that for as long as I’ve known her, and it’s so sweet to walk out every morning—she’s out there on the back porch with her robe and a book and the Bible and just quiet. And of course when our kids wake up, it’s utter chaos. But I just have such an admiration for her and her discipline to do that every morning, because it’s not easy when you’re mom of four kids.

May 9th says:

Don’t be so hard on yourself. I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret. This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to Me. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design.

Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride. Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses. Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. Trust Me, and watch to see what I will do.

Speak Your Ideas into Existence

I think when we carry our ideas and our dreams by ourselves, we’re only going to continue to get demolished by the doubt and the fear. But when we speak those things, when we text somebody, email somebody to share our dreams, then we’ve held ourselves accountable. And then our loved ones can say, “Hey, how’s dream going and what are you doing?” Oh gosh, I guess I have to start.

That’s what I did for three years with the hotel. Even on stage, I would tell audiences “I’m going to build a hotel.” I didn’t even believe it in that moment. But then becomes this swell of community that starts to really support me.Hey, I really love that hotel idea. You need to do that.” And even my wife in the middle of the night sometimes, she would just say, “I hope before you die, if you do nothing else, please pursue The Purpose Hotel.”

I could have just kept that idea from her. She was just over and over and over telling me, “Please do that.” So I think we have to speak things. If nothing else, it builds up the community around us to believe in us.

I’m a photographer. I’ve just got a camera, but I’m going to take pictures of people and show them the beauty of who they are and there’s nothing in it for me. It’s not a portfolio thing, it’s just giving ourselves away. And I think anybody can do that. You know, even if it’s not your specific talent, even if it’s giving yourself away and listening to somebody or loving somebody—that’s what God calls us to do from the get-go. It’s the most beautiful thing we can do.

“Even if it’s not your specific talent, even if it’s giving yourself away and listening to somebody or loving somebody—that’s what God calls us to do from the get-go.” – Jeremy Cowart

Narrator: To find out more about Jeremy Cowart’s photography and The Purpose Hotel, visit jeremycowart.com. You can pre-order Jeremy’s new book I’m Possible from your favorite book retailer today.

Stay with us as we continue our discussion about faith and purpose with TV show host and writer Elisabeth Hasselbeck after this brief message about a beautiful new edition of Jesus Calling.




Narrator:
Our next guest is former talk show host and writer Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck rose to prominence as a contestant on the second season of the reality television show Survivor, where she finished in fourth place. In July 2002, she joined the daytime talk show The View. After ten years on the show, she went on to join Fox & Friends. Elisabeth shares her experiences in each of her roles in television and relates how, in looking for her “calling,” she found herself running ahead of God. During these seasons of change, she related how she’s learned to wait for God’s guidance as He’s helped her identify her unique purpose in the world.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck as featured on Jesus Calling podcast

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: I’m Elisabeth Hasselbeck, former television broadcast host. I’m currently enjoying season as CBO, Chief Breakfast Officer, in our home and just enjoyed a writing season that came unexpectedly in the quiet of taking some time off.

I’m a mom of three awesome kids, and I’m thankful for a husband and a family that supported my desires to do the things that I was doing at the time and still do. Now I’m thankful for the chance to have a season where I’m home with the kids in the morning, so I can send them off to school. I’m thankful for that.

A Family Together in Prayer

Elisabeth Hasselbeck with her mom and dad

We grew up in a family of four: my mom, my dad, my brother Ken and myself. It was just an awesome, creative home. My dad, he’s an architect, a brilliant man, and really instilled a confidence in us to try anything. My mom had an awesome reverence to her, always. She worked so hard in all that she did. She’s an attorney by trade.

They are just great parents. I think they raised us really well to be individual thinkers and loving, caring people. They really trained our eyes as we grew to see other people well and to feel other people. They just grew our hearts really well and provided the soil for that.

I grew up in a Catholic home, and I grew up a lot of the time at my grandmother’s house after school. My [grandfather] Papa went to heaven when I was in about third grade, and my grandmother lived alone. So [we kept] her company, and also she helped my parents when they were working by picking us up after school sometimes.

I spent a lot of time with [my grandmother] Mama, and Mama was just devoted to prayer. When she wasn’t cooking, she was praying. When she wasn’t pulling things out of her garden, she was praying. And so I just grew up knowing that prayer was not something for one time a day, but something that was essential all times of day.

“I just grew up knowing that prayer was not something for one time a day, but something that was essential all times of day.” – Elisabeth Hasselbeck

I always felt a really tender, special relationship with God. I remember always praying, so it wasn’t something that was foreign to me. I knew what prayer looked like, and I knew what prayer looked like in some tough situations.

My dad had this really optimistic faith as well. My mom is probably more vocal. My dad is a little more quiet. So I got to see different ways that faith could articulate itself. But my parents were such encouragers. I mean, they just kind of thought, “If you work hard at something, you can do this.”

I think that’s what God our Father does all the time. It just gave me this glimpse of what God says to us. God is like, “I know you. I see you. Go show them!”

The Challenges of Faith and Work

I’ve got a great work ethic because my parents exemplified that for me, [along with] a great heart for the bigger. I love being part of the team, so I will do anything to not let the team down. That’s kind of how I operate.

Sometimes your words can get ahead of the spirit. You know, there’s a danger in that. There’s not a ton of room for the Holy Spirit to do what the Holy Spirit does best if you don’t leave Him room. And so in a live television environment, which I was in for almost 15 years, there’s a lot of room to mess up and to say something maybe that wasn’t as soft as you could have said it. I think my proudest moments are the days that I could go home and say, “God, did I please You? Did I stand up for You? Did I share with somebody that You’re who I rely upon in those tough days?”

I’ve had the blessing of interviewing every living president right now, but one. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to sit with extraordinary people who’ve done really wildly successful things, and those are always instructive moments for me to see the personal side of someone who’s had such progress in life and just productivity.

“Sometimes I think the failure moments, for me, were articulated in a way that maybe put more about what I stood for above the God I stood under.” – Elisabeth Hasselbeck

And I think that can get challenging. I think Bob Goff says, “God does not need you as His attorney.” He’s such an instructor to me and a teacher to me.

I think there are some times I can look back and be like, “Man, did I spend that whole morning defending God instead of just being loving?”

I think having the chance to step away from broadcasting and 10 years where I was in a hot debate every day . . . they were not easy issues. The women that I sat there with at The View, we took on topics that you weren’t supposed to talk about, and that was tricky. I think there were some times I felt like, Gosh, was I too sharp? Could they really see Jesus through me, or was I just defending this God that I knew? And so now, having stepped back from all that and the pressure—and pressure can make you do a couple of things and make you run away, or it can make you charge forward. I think sometimes I charge forward with such fight.

Seeing Others’ Point of View

I think understanding someone’s point of view requires being next to them and with them, and just kind of like snuggling up behind their lens. I thought that was the most fun thing about what I got to do every day. I started thinking about that a little bit more with the title of the book.

“Understanding someone’s point of view requires being next to them and with them, and just kind of like snuggling up behind their lens.” – Elisabeth Hasselbeck

The title of the book is called Point of View. If you’ve ever studied broadcasting or been a part of it or watched something on TV, you know that as the person who’s interviewing, my job was to get behind the lens of the person telling this story. If you get the blessing to look at someone’s story and tell it, man, that’s awesome. But what it requires to do it well and fully is to really get behind their lens. When talking about an issue, we all see things differently.

So that’s kind of where the book came from. After really trying to see the point of view and deliver a point of view on topics, I thought, Man, there’s one that’s just so good.

One thing I figured out in writing this book is that God has a lot of invitations for us every single day, and they’re all awesome. And the ones that He’s put before me were, they seem wild—like saying yes to Survivor, designing shoes for Puma when I didn’t really study designing shoes in college, or getting on The View and talking about these hot topics for ten years with Barbara Walters, or all of a sudden jumping into delivering live television news—like, real news, not opinion news, in the morning every day.

I will say, people sometimes look at The View, and they’re like, “Those women are crabbing at each other,” or, “They’re just at each other.” Listen, we operated like a family—we just didn’t do that and go away. We came back the next day. Underneath all of the debates that we had, there are the relationships. Like Whoopi and I—this shocks everybody—Whoopi and I are friends, dear friends, and I love her. We think nothing alike, but we love a lot alike. I think she’s been an awesome blessing in my life because we’re not trying to change the other person’s opinions. We’re just loving each other well.

I’m so thankful for Candace [Cameron Buré]. In life, God lets you overlap with people sometimes. It’s by no mistake. He really wants you to be near those people in whatever way you can, and Candace has been such a dear friend. It brought me such joy knowing that she was going to be at The View when I was no longer there, It was almost like God being like, “See?” Because oftentimes, He gives you the “what” before the “why.” I want the why to justify the what. [As I was leaving The View, I thought,] Why am I leaving? Then Candace got there, and I’m like, This is a why. I’m so thankful that she’s there.

In the process of writing, the message that was being delivered was really just God wanting all of me, and all of my heart, and more of my heart that I had given Him before. And the process of writing [this book, God] did that. He had some work to do in my heart.

And so it’s like, “All right, God. If you asked me to do this, then I’m going to do it and I’m just going to trust you’re going to lead me through it.” It was a day of surrender. I had to constantly surrender again, because I wasn’t really sure that my story had a value.

I had this day where [God was] like, “Listen, if I created you, and if I have a story in you, would you ever tell someone sitting across from you that their story had no value or worth? And that [my] work in their heart wasn’t as important as somebody else’s or unique?”

“Everyone has [a story]. I’d actually encourage everyone just write down where you’ve been and where you’ve seen God in it, because He’s there. He just wants you to see it.” – Elisabeth Hasselbeck

And so for me, [writing the book] was just casting out that fear that this just wasn’t going to be what someone thought it would be and [the book] would let somebody down.

Surrendering to Find Your Calling

I believe that God met me at Fox, but I do believe that I kind of went ahead of His blessing and sort of sought it out for myself. He was so good to me. He had awesome people waiting there for me. He knew I was going to ask Him for His blessing, as I was rounding third, stealing home, trying to get a job to prove to the last place that had me that didn’t want me anymore that I still had value.

I was working so hard to not let anybody down and do the job so well that I was over exhausting myself in that one area because I didn’t feel like I should be there. And I wish I had rested more in that. I wish I would have had more confidence in that area. But that’s okay. It brought me to my knees in a new way, and it brought me to prayer in a new way.

I was literally on my knees with Jesus Calling with, like, one contact in every morning, just trying to get my mind right. I’d say, “Fill up on the Good News before the hard news.”

He showed up for me in a way that was awesome. What He allowed for me in that time was the daily habit of being on my knees in the Word of God and Jesus Calling to get me through a season that started with me going ahead of His instructions.

But my leaving there meant that I was leaving those early mornings and leaving a desperate physical situation because I was exhausted, but I didn’t leave behind my desire to kind of control my circumstances and not surrender to God all of it. I literally got home, and I was like, I’ve got this now. And that’s the problem. You don’t. Not in the office and not at home.

I almost had a different set of rules for mothering at home and being at home than I did for work. I was like, Well, I should have surrendered it all to God. But as soon as I got everything at home, I tried to reclaim it again. And God was like, “No, I’m not asking you to have it all and hold it all and do it all. I’m really not.”

When I left Fox, I thought I had given up on that life—I’m giving up on this. I can’t do it. I can’t. I’m not going to bed early enough. I’m not trusting myself to study enough. I’m not the mom I want to be. Right now, I’m not the wife I want to be right now. I give up. And I thought that was enough. I literally thought that giving up on that job of broadcasting dreams was enough to bring my heart where it needed to be, but it wasn’t. It required giving it over.

I’m so thankful for Jesus Calling.

Jesus Calling provided me that friend who was like, “This is what God is saying to you today. Exactly today, this is what you need. And then here’s where you’re going to open up in your Bible.” It was just like that friend who is saying, “This is what God is speaking over you today, and I know this is what you’re saying.” It was like this is your very best friend, anointed by God, who is there specifically to point your eyes to Him.

It was just this gentle, awesome, generous gift of a Friend early in the morning that could just point my eyes, and it always seemed to be just right. It just always seemed to be just right. Oftentimes, I’d say to Tim, I’m like, “Does Sarah Young . . . does Sarah know that I’m leaving work tomorrow? Does she know that tomorrow is the day I have to say goodbye everybody at Fox on December 21st, the day before my tomorrow and tomorrow?”

I felt so carried in the Holy Spirit on that day that I said goodbye to my team at Fox. I couldn’t continue to do and be the team member that they needed, and that was really hard. And the day before, I was filled with worry and filled with “what if’s” like, Is this the right decision? Is this the right path you have me on, God? And I opened it up, and it was exactly about that.

[December 21] says:

My plan for your life is unfolding before you. Sometimes the road you are traveling seems blocked, or it opens up so painfully slowly that you must hold yourself back. Then, when the time is right, the way before you suddenly clears—through no effort of your own. What you have longed for and worked for I present to you freely, as pure gift. You feel awed by the ease with which I operate in the world, and you glimpse My Power and My Glory.

Do not fear your weakness, for it is the stage on which My Power and Glory perform most brilliantly. As you persevere along the path I have prepared for you, depending on My strength to sustain you, expect to see miracles—and you will.

It was like, “Is she here? Sarah, are you here?” But I tell you what. God has used her, and I meet so many people who have been like, “You know what? I felt that way too.”

I don’t think that I could have gotten through that season without just the daily, on my knees, in the dark, with the light of my phone or flashlight on Jesus Calling. It was a huge gift to me. It was a huge gift.

I’m having a hard time keeping myself together during this because . . . you know, I really felt guilty for leaving something so good. I had the best team. And when I read, “I present to you freely, as pure gift” I’m like, God, you’re giving me an opportunity to thank everybody and go. It was just permission to be fully weak and say, I can’t do this anymore.

But that very day of admitting, “I can’t do this anymore,” was a day where I felt so much of His love and power and permission just to glorify Him in that process. It just allowed me to fully prepare for what the next day held. And there were—I can say this about December 21st, but I could say it about so many other pages in this devotional because I just think it’s blessed to be a blessing. I experience that, and I’m so thankful for that.

So I still struggle with like guilt or the “where am I supposed to be? I’m here when I’m supposed to be there.” I get asked a lot, like, “How did you balance it all?” I didn’t. “How do you balance it all now?” I don’t.

My work looks different now. It might be working from home. It might be traveling a little bit now, and the writing. It might be speaking. It might not look like broadcasting right now, or television hosting right now, but we’re all working on something that God’s given us gifts for. And God wants you—He created us as working, living beings that are supposed to be doing and using the gifts that He gave us.

I think the lesson [I learned from leaving Fox] was, you can leave your circumstances, and they might be hard. It might change things for you a little bit, technically or logistically, but it doesn’t change your heart. Only God can change your heart, and He still had work to do in my heart.

“You can leave your circumstances, and they might be hard . . . but it doesn’t change your heart. Only God can change your heart, and He still had work to do in my heart.” – Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Narrator: You can find Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s book, Point of View, at your favorite bookseller today.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck book, Point of View

If you enjoyed this interview with Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Jeremy Cowart about faith and purpose, you may enjoy our talks with other guests who have been mentioned during this show: writer Bob Goff and actress Candace Cameron Buré. You can hear their stories of faith and more at JesusCalling.com/podcast.


Next time, on the Jesus Calling podcast, we speak with former WWE wrestling champion Ted DiBiase, who was known by his wrestling moniker “The Million Dollar Man.” Ted shares how he called out to God for help after losing his father at an early age.

Ted DiBiase: I paced back and forth from that grave cried out to God. I asked God to give me help to be the man that I wanted to be and to achieve the goals I had set. “My dad is gone. I won’t seem till eternity, but I want him to be proud. Help me. Help me to show my mom why she shouldn’t quit and give up on life.” I prayed prayers like that.

3 thoughts on “When Your Purpose Seems Unclear, Seek God: Jeremy Cowart & Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *