Embracing Messy Stories: Finding Beauty in God's Redemption | with Shadia Hrichi | episode 247

Oct 17, 2023

Stephanie and her guest Shadia Hrichi delve into the richness of messy stories and God's incredible redemption.

We have the privilege of welcoming back the brilliant and passionate Shadia Hrichi. Shadia is known for her love of messy stories and the people who have experienced pain and trials. Together with Stephanie, she uncovers the beauty of redemption in the lives of characters such as Hagar, Legion, Tamar, and Rahab.

Listen here: https://www.podcastics.com/episode/252642/link/ or watch the conversation on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/gospelspice 

Throughout the episode, you'll witness Shadia's deep personal connection to these stories, particularly the themes of sexual pain, betrayal, and heartache. But don't worry, redemption is the thread that weaves through it all, pointing to the transformative power of our Lord. Shadia also shares a powerful story of how she prayed a bold prayer during a conference, asking God to translate her Bible study, Hagar, into Arabic. Discover the amazing way God answered her prayer and be inspired to pray bold prayers too!

Shadia tackles the controversial topic of Rahab's profession. While some scholars try to paint her as an innkeeper, Shadia stands firm in highlighting Scripture's truth that Rahab was indeed a prostitute. Join us as we explore the redeeming power of God's grace in Rahab's life and how it symbolically reflects the story of the church body.

The conversation takes an even deeper turn when Shadia shares her personal experiences and challenges faced while writing her latest Bible study, Rahab. Prepare to be inspired by her powerful testimony of how the Lord met her in profound ways during this project.

Lastly, Stephanie and Shadia discuss the impact of our words and actions on others, even when we can't see the immediate fruit of our labor. Stay tuned as they dive into the incredible story of how God used Shadia's words to impact her own mother, leaving a lasting legacy of faith.

We encourage you to listen to this thought-provoking and faith-strengthening conversation. It's bound to ignite your passion for redeeming stories and remind you of the incredible work God is doing in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

Join us on this captivating journey of faith, redemption, and transformation!


Signup here: https://kingsumo.com/g/mbmw1n/exclusive-rahab-media-tour-giveaway 

More about RAHAB here: http://rahabbiblestudy.com/ 

NEW! Here are 3 key takeaways from this episode:

1️⃣ God's redemption knows no bounds: Through the messy stories of Hagar, Tamar, Rahab, and Legion, we see how God can redeem the darkest of circumstances and bring beauty out of pain and trials.

2️⃣ Pray bold prayers: Shadia shares her personal experience of praying for the translation of Hagar into Arabic, a bold request that was answered six months later when she received a copy of the book being distributed in churches in Egypt and beyond. Let's be encouraged to pray bold prayers and trust that God can move mountains!

3️⃣ Embrace the true word: There is a temptation to alter Scripture for the sake of political correctness or to make it more palatable, but Shadia reminds us of the importance of not hiding from the true Word. Let's embrace the wisdom, goodness, and beauty of God's redemption, even when it challenges our preconceptions.


1. How do you personally define a "messy story" and why do you think the speaker is attracted to them?

2. How does the story of Rahab challenge your understanding of redemption?

3. In what ways do you relate to the experiences of pain, betrayal, and heartache mentioned in this episode?

4. Have you ever prayed a bold prayer? If so, what was the result? If not, what would a bold prayer look like for you?

5. How does the story of Hagar being translated into Arabic and distributed in churches in Egypt and beyond illustrate the beauty of redemption?

6. What are your thoughts on Shadia’s discussion about the word "zona" in the book of Joshua and the temptation to alter Scripture to fit certain narratives?

7. How does Rahab's story reflect the story of the church as a whole, with the church being the prostitute in need of rescue and redemption?

8. What are your thoughts on Shadia’s emphasis on not hiding from the true Word in scripture when it comes to Rahab being referred to as a prostitute?

9. How has your faith been challenged and nurtured through studying Scripture and personal experiences, as Stephanie and Shadia mentioned?

10. Can you think of a time when you doubted the impact of your words or actions in sharing Christ with others, only to later realize that God's grace was working through you?



Shadia shares, "I never imagined I’d become an author, but I was certainly a bookworm, to which a shoebox full of “Reader of the Year” awards my mother saved can attest. I’ve always loved to read … and still do. But there was one Book I never opened until years later. Because I was not raised to believe in God, I was 30 years old the first time I began to read the Bible. And oh, what a treasure I found! If only I had found it sooner . . .

My teenage and young adult years were filled with both good and bad choices – triumphs and tragedies. Abortion, date rape, substance abuse, marital abuse and divorce left many wounds and scars. And yet, it is precisely these heartaches that God has gently used to invite me to know Him more—to deepen my faith and fall in love with Him again and again.

God gives me courage to share some of my stories in the Bible studies I’ve written, such as:

- RAHAB: Rediscovering the God Who Saves Me

- TAMAR: Rediscovering the God Who Redeems Me

- HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me

- LEGION: Rediscovering the God Who Rescues Me

- Worthy of Love: A Journey of Hope and Healing After Abortion

I love studying and teaching the Bible – especially the amazing, but messy, stories of real people who faced real problems. In addition to receiving a masters in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary, I received a masters in criminal justice from the State University of New York (I’m a nerd at heart). But God’s Word is so beautiful, I’ll never tire of reading it. Even before I entered seminary, God opened the door to begin a speaking ministry to share the beautiful truths of Who He is and His power of redemption.

In the beginning, I was often invited to speak for pregnancy centers. While speaking for pregnancy centers remains a deep passion and joy, God has since broadened the ministry to have me speak at conferences, churches, and women’s retreats. From there, God has invited me to serve Him by serving writers. In fact, I have a whole page specifically for writers, complete with workshops, such as Am I Ready to Write a Bible Study?, as well as coaching and other services. But perhaps my favorite is serving women’s groups by joining them for virtual “Q&A and Get to Know the Author” zoom meetups.

The truth is that I love digging deep into the Bible and sharing what God teaches me. In fact, one reader compared me to a scuba instructor—gently guiding readers into the beautiful depths of God’s Word. I’ve only been scuba diving once (it was cool!), but my two favorite pastimes are studying the Bible and visiting the ocean. Perhaps it’s a suitable analogy after all."

Meet her at  https://www.shadiahrichi.com/  

Catch up with Stephanie's latest episodes on the Gospel Spice podcast!

Listen now

Stay connected + receive a free, tasteful gift in your inbox each month.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.