Grow in Dark Times with Kathie-Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford is a shining example of love and grace, but her growth didn’t come easily. She has known hard times. She shares how she brings everything to God with honesty, telling Him when she’s angry or crushed, when she doesn’t feel close to Him, or even feels betrayed by Him, “Because He can take that kind of honesty. He’s made for it.”, she says.

One of her favorite stories of hardship is the story of Hagar, a single mom who ends up alone in the desert, heartbroken, and feeling invisible. God meets he her there and she calls Him “El Roi, the God Who Sees Me”. Kathie Lee collaborated with Nicole C. Mullens to write a song called, “The God Who Sees.” Kathie Lee reiterates that the same Gd who saw Hagar sees us five thousand years later too. That’s the amazing beauty of the scriptures and the song celebrates the story of Hagar, Ruth, David, and Mary Magdalene. God met each one where they were with love and provision.  

Kathie Lee shares that after encountering God, Mary Magdalene and the other women were filled with courage, enough to want to risk the consequences of going to anoint the body of Jesus after his death.  These female believers were filled with “hutzpah” which means “bold courage”. Women in that time were looked down on in their culture. They were seen as less than but when God saw them, they became emboldened and strong in spite of their low societal status. This position is similar to single parents who often feel less than and overlooked too. Yet, when God enters our lives and demonstrates His love for us, we, too, can become full of courage.

Kathie Lee shares that people don’t like to talk about it, but the Bible never shies away from sin. Abraham and Sarah were guilty of a great sin in what they did to Hagar. Hagar was a slave and Sarah’s handmaiden. Hagar had no say in the decision to have sex with Abraham to perpetuate the family line. Sarah had given up on the promise of God to give her children, so she took matters into her own hands and used her servant. Yet later Abraham was called “a friend of God” and Sarah became the mother of a great nation and the line that Jesus came from. David was a sinner too, guilty of murder and adultery, yet he was called “a man after God’s own heart”. God is a God of justice and forgiveness and He uses ordinary, imperfect people in unexpected ways when they encounter Him as the God who sees them.

As Kathie Lee experienced her own hard times, her life required courage too. She has faced some dark days of loss. After her first marriage ended, she found love again with Frank Gifford but became widowed after almost thirty years together. Kathie shares that the darkest days happened before he died. There were difficult moments as his health declined and their marriage changed from one of “sexy romance where you can’t keep your hands off each other”, says Kathie, to one where she found herself caring for him in sickness. “Love has seasons, and it changes”, she notes. There were twenty-three years between them in age and Frank was eighty-five when he passed away. She remembers a couple weeks before he died of a heart attack, she was looking at him, and she sensed God telling her to go over and kiss him “the way she used to”, so she did. Tears came to his eyes and he said, “I remember that”, and she had the opportunity to tell him how much she loved him, and she realized he had missed that as much as she did.

“We are meant to be intimate with each other”, Kathie Lee continued. And “we are meant to have intimacy with God. When we are miserable it is because we have lost intimacy with God and with others. Intimacy means the kind of knowing, like “The God Who Sees””. Kathie Lee learned something that day, that even though health had prevented a connection like they had once known, Frank felt the loss of that too and had some guilt at what the difference in their ages meant for their relationship.

“Loss is loss”, she says, “and we shouldn’t apply our own experience of it to anyone else. It’s always unique and different. Our God is such a customized Lord. Whether your husband just died yesterday, or you’ve been a long-time widow, or you’re a widower, whatever your circumstances…the God Who Sees You right now sees your exact circumstances. You are not cookie-cuttered in any way by the God Who Sees You. Jehovah Elohim is your Creator God. He created you and knit you together in your mother’s womb…and had a plan for you to give you hope and a future, to prosper you and not to harm you, because He loves you.”

Kathie Lee encourages anyone going through hard times to ponder that thought and immerse themselves in scripture. She also says, “Get into a support group with believers who have gone through something similar” because they can guide you through it. She emphasizes how important it is in hard times to know you are not alone. She also says, “Do not fear…because God loves us perfectly and He is enough.” She reminds us that God inhabits the praises of His people and our faith pleases Him. The antidote to fear and the enemy’s lies is the truth of God’s word. We need to answer those lies with scripture, so she says, “Learn the scriptures!”. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and Kathie shares that someone told her that “things” can also be translated “seasons”. “I can do all seasons through Christ who strengthens me.” Hanging on to these truths is what got Kathie Lee through difficult seasons. God and His word have helped her keep growing in hard times. Lessons learned have allowed her to deliver so much hope and wisdom for anyone struggling.
She shares more in her book, “It’s Never Too Late:  Make the Next Act of Your Life the Best Act of Your Life.” For more encouragement from this beautiful woman of God to keep growing, you don’t want to miss it! Find it at www.kathieleegifford.com.

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