Deeper faith through worry, doubt and control | with Lori Ann WoodAug 08, 2023
A serious diagnosis took Lori Ann Wood on a faith detour she never saw coming. As a lifelong believer, she felt profound disappointment in the God she thought she knew. Wanting answers, but more than anything, needing permission to ask the questions, she took the risky decision to embrace those difficult questions. She shares her hard-won insights today on Gospel Spice.
Listen here: https://www.podcastics.com/episode/242130/link/
Lori Ann was raised by a mother who strongly believed in God, but she didn't initially feel the same conviction towards faith. Lori Ann compared faith to how people have different tastes and preferences with cilantro, with some believing without a doubt, while others may come to faith through questioning. Lori Ann embraced her unique perspective and believes that God does not think less of her for it.
Lori Ann’s journey towards faith began after she was diagnosed with heart failure. She was given a journal to write out questions and complaints to God during uncertain and difficult times, and it eventually turned into a blog where she started sharing spiritual content. People related to her spiritual struggles, and Lori Ann saw a connection between her questions and Jesus' temptations in the desert, which helped frame the content of her book, Divine Detours, into three questions to deepen one's faith.
During the episode, Lori Ann discussed three important questions related to faith: the question of worry, the question of doubt, and the question of control. She admitted to struggling with the latter due to her natural tendency towards planning and control. However, she believes that Jesus is the perfect companion, friend, savior, and God who can help us through our unbelief.
Lori Ann also reflected on the value of asking questions and how they wish they had instilled this value in their younger self and their own children. Lori Ann believes that questions are an important part of their faith journey, referencing how Jesus used questions in his teachings.
BONUS | GO DEEPER WITH QUESTIONS, ALONE OR WITH A FRIEND.
Lori Ann invites us to ask deep questions fearlessly. Here are a few to come alongside your own journey!
1. What was your biggest takeaway from Lori Ann Wood's story?
2. Do you relate more to the idea of faith coming easily or through questioning? Why?
3. How do you think Lori Ann’s struggle with illness impacted her faith journey?
4. Have you ever struggled with any of the three questions Lori Ann posed (worry, doubt, control)? How did you overcome them?
5. What do you think it means to "ask questions" in relation to faith? How can questioning faith strengthen it?
6. What insights did you gain from Lori Ann’s reflections on her book and her journey as an author?
7. How do you feel about the comparison between faith and cilantro? Do you see any parallels between the two?
8. Have you ever felt like the woman who touched Jesus's cloak and was healed? What parallels do you see between that story and your own faith journey?
9. Do you agree with the idea that asking for healing (spiritual, emotional, relational, or physical) is important and that God is not afraid of people's questions?
10. In what ways can we cultivate a closer relationship with God and deepen our faith? How do you plan to do this?
DISCOVER LORI ANN’S BOOK, DIVINE DETOUR
WHAT – Divine Detour is a book of relatable essays that gently guides the reader to confront the three most important questions of her life—the three questions every life must answer.
WHEN – Divine Detour is an invitation to explore the questions of worry, doubt, and control that always surface when a Christian finds himself on a path he didn’t choose.
WHO – Divine Detour is for the believer who hits a snag in her careful life plan and starts to wonder if her faith is any good at all: the career has evaporated overnight, the adult child has turned his back on his family, the marriage vows have worn paper thin.
WHY – Heart failure patient and award-winning essayist Lori Ann Wood confronts faith’s three most menacing questions of worry, doubt, and control, and discovers hope for anyone on an unexpected path.
Buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Divine-Detour-choose-always-wanted/dp/1936501759/
MEET LORI ANN WOOD
LORI ANN WOOD lives in the shadow of the Ozark Mountains in beautiful Bentonville, Arkansas, with her husband, the unsuspecting guy she chased all the way from ninth grade to grad school. She is mom to three world-changing young adults, one impressive son-in-law (who all live too far away) and a miniature dachshund named Pearl (who threatens to never leave). Her new favorite role is appropriately spoiling her granddaughter Hazel.
Read more from her at loriannwood.com.
Catch up with Stephanie's latest episodes on the Gospel Spice podcast!