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She is Not Your Enemy With Jenn Schultz

Jenn Schultz joins Sarah Taylor on this episode of Passion Meets Purpose! Jenn aims to help women overcome comparison and embrace their unique identities. Comparison often stems from insecurities and a scarcity mindset, which can lead to feelings of rejection and inadequacy. It is essential to understand your identity in God, set boundaries, and cultivate an abundance mindset.

Show Notes:

Find Jenn: OnlineInstagram | Facebook | X

Book: She’s Not Your Enemy – Includes Ten-Session Video Series: Conquering Our Insecurities So We Can Build God’s Kingdom Together

Transcription:

Jenn Schultz:

And so out of all of that, Jesus knew what his priorities were. He knew what he was going for. And so he had limits and he had boundaries at the same time. And so it taught me a lot about, well, Jesus wasn’t perfect. He didn’t say yes to everyone who asked. But he was purposeful. He was aligned with God and he knew what he was doing.

Sarah Taylor:

Wow. Her name is Jenn Schultz. And from the moment I heard the title of her book, I said, yes, let’s talk about that because it is something that every single woman deals with and we’re going to get into it in just a moment. Jenn, I’m so grateful that you wrote a book that is going to help us get over this whole comparison situation. The book is called She’s Not Your Enemy. And we do have an enemy, but it’s not the girl that you think it is. So when was this book born in your heart?

Jenn Schultz:

Oh gosh, it was a couple of years ago. I started digging into this topic. I know for me I would probably say longer than that because I’ve always struggled with comparison. I think most of us have, most of us relate to that. So they say to write the book that you need to read, and that’s what I did. I started digging into this topic and really wanting it to help bring freedom and healing to women who had faced the tough situation of seeing somebody else get what you want or the situation of feeling rejected by somebody. Feeling less than them. So many different situations. I really wanted to help bring that freedom and be part of that. And also do it without shaming because I know this is such an area where we can build up a lot of shame and we can feel like, well, I shouldn’t be doing that. I just shouldn’t be comparing. I just have to stop. And it goes so much deeper than that and so that was my hope for this book. And I started pressing in a couple of years ago and it became an actual book, which is amazing. That’s a whole God story I don’t if there’s time for but it was incredible.

Sarah Taylor:

If it’s a God story, we’ve got time for it.

Jenn Schultz:

Well, passion meets purpose, right? Yeah.

Sarah Taylor:

I like to start back in childhood where … Do you remember, when did you first love to write? Is that something that happened later in life or that was you as a student in kindergarten?

Jenn Schultz:

I’ve always been right brained. I’ve always been a word lover, and I would always have my books under my covers with the flashlight. That was totally me. I remember having writing assignments in school and just full out putting all my energy into these writing assignments. I loved it. I remember doing journals for your teachers where you write back and forth. I would make a little newsletter for my teachers and just had so much fun doing that. I think originally I thought I was going to write for magazines or newspapers or something because I just loved … I don’t know. I think it was probably the start of blogging. I loved having these little episodes that I would share with my teachers. And then I remember distinctively in fifth grade, we got these little hardcover books that were blank books on the inside, but they were our own books to write a story in. And I was so proud of this little book.

I’m pretty sure my parents have it somewhere. I hope so. Maybe not. I had this thought of what if I were to write my own book someday? The starry eyed little girl thinking I could write a book someday. I lost that I think as I got older. I thought, oh, I could never do that. That’s for other people, important people, smarter people than me. And again, God, he really opened the doors for me to be able to do this, and I loved it. It felt like such a partnership.

Sarah Taylor:

Isn’t that so interesting that as a kid you have something that you are gifted in and that makes you feel alive, and so you do it without a abandon because you’re a child. And then it’s a different age for everybody. I don’t know if it’s junior high, high school, college. I don’t know if it’s just one critique from one person one time that snuffs out that flame. But you just described there was a shift where all of a sudden instead of I can do anything and this is what I’m going to do, it turned into that’s for other people.

Jenn Schultz:

Absolutely. That’s so true. And we talk about that in the book. The book is a lot about our own insecurities. We just get in our own way. We get in our heads. Our enemy really wants us cut off and isolated and stuck in these lies that we don’t actually pursue our callings and our purposes, which is awful. It’s an awful way to live, but we do. We get so trapped in it.

Sarah Taylor:

Well, you’ve led that there was a God moment that happened to this book, so let’s just talk about it now because already there.

Jenn Schultz:

Okay. Oh, gosh. Well, I have been blogging but obviously writing for a long time, but blogging for a little over a decade. I like to say I was blogging before it was cool. I loved having a space where I could just put my thoughts out there and start connecting with other women. I always shared my faith, but with different seasons of life, I would share about all kinds of different things. Motherhood, jobs, things like that. And eventually I got to a point where I was like, I’m tired of writing about these other things. I really want to write about my faith. It’s been huge for me. I went through just a transformative time in my faith, I would say, where I just started really leaning into God’s compassion and his grace, where before, I had always felt like I was performing for him.

So during that time I was writing and writing and writing, and I didn’t know, again, even at that point, if anything would come out of it. I kept thinking writing a book would be amazing, but that’s not for me. And in 2020 I started again, just pursuing writing wholeheartedly. Started thinking that maybe this could be a real thing, writing a book. And I actually connected with a literary agent on Twitter absolutely randomly through this thing called FaithPitch, where you basically pitch your book in a tweet. And I put it out there. I wasn’t prepared to do this at all. I’d only heard about this event a couple days beforehand.

Sarah Taylor:

And it was this book that you pitched?

Jenn Schultz:

No, it wasn’t. It was actually a completely different book and I had nothing prepared. I hadn’t written a proposal or anything. They wanted you to be at least a little prepared, and I just put it out there. I was like, God, you’re prompting me to do this. I’m just going to have this idea.

Sarah Taylor:

That must have been a really good tweet.

Jenn Schultz:

It was only an idea that … Yeah. It must have been a really good tweet. It’s there somewhere floating around on the internet. But I did. I connected with a literary agent, something that just had felt like such an impossible thing for me, and it happened in the most random way. And we connected. I spoke with her on the phone. She was like, “I’d like to represent you.” Oh my goodness. Okay. So we did that and I went through this whole time of, am I ready to do this? Am I ready to go after this wholeheartedly?

We wrote a book proposal on my tweet. We worked that out and sent it out. It wasn’t a good fit, but I got a lot of really good feedback and I did another proposal and we kept going with it and we finally found the right proposal and the right fit with a publisher who was like, “We need to make this a Bible study. We want to make it a book, but also a place where people can journal and answer questions and work through this.” And that’s what we did. And then I signed a book contract early 2022, and then I found out I was pregnant a couple of weeks later. And just all the wrenches in the mix. I was like, oh my goodness, how am I going to write this book? And God just stepped up and came alongside me every step of the way.

Sarah Taylor:

You were having a book baby and a real baby at the same time.

Jenn Schultz:

Exactly. Two babies in one year. It was crazy. But God is so good. He was just with it every step of the way. I can see how he showed up.

Sarah Taylor:

Is there anything about that pregnancy that you feel makes this book better?

Jenn Schultz:

I write about it some in the book. Actually, it’s interesting. I share in the book about my season of infertility, which happened before I had my first child years ago. It was such a struggle for me. I couldn’t understand why God would give that blessing to somebody else, but not me. It was such a thing for me to work out with him. I really feel like I ended on the other side of it so much stronger, so much closer to God, and seeing him so differently than I did before. Waiting for that instant gratification of, oh, I’ve been good, so God will give me the blessing that I want. It’s so much more than that. It’s so much deeper and so many nuances and so many things. But I write about that in the book and then I’m able to write about and now I’m pregnant, and look what God did. It doesn’t always end that way, but he truly walks us through every season of life. So really it was a part of the journey. Absolutely. It was a lot of, I’ve got to release this to God’s hands and I’m going to need him to do it because I can’t necessarily-

Sarah Taylor:

Let’s talk a little bit about how it wasn’t the first proposal and it wasn’t the second, and it sounds like it might not have even been the third. Some people might stop there.

Jenn Schultz:

It’s very interesting. Yeah.

Sarah Taylor:

Because it’s like, oh, this wasn’t meant to be. That voice we were talking about. It failed, it failed. Leave. Abandon. And yet you were working it out. You were getting to the place. Tell me about how we can’t have that give up mentality because sometimes we think if God’s going to bless it, then it would all happen without a step forward, two steps back. But that’s not how it works sometimes.

Jenn Schultz:

Yeah. No. There’s so much to it. I look back on that first proposal and think, I wasn’t ready to write that book. I hope I will be someday because I think it’s going to be a good one. It’s all about that whole transformation of going from really performance-based to grace-based, shame-based to grace-based. And I hope I’m able to write that book, but it just wasn’t the time. I think it was really so much a season of ups and downs because I’d be on the edge of my seat waiting for a response from a publisher and even would have some meetings with some amazing editors and I’d get all excited and thinking, this is it. This is going to happen. Okay, it didn’t. What now? Are you telling me this is it God? Are you telling me it’s over? We’re so quick to make that judgment call of like, God didn’t bless it, it’s done. That’s it. We’re not doing it anymore.

There were a number of things I think in that time that kept me going. One of the things was I really got encouraging feedback about the writing. So I was like, there’s something here God. This might not be the book, but there is something here. You’ve put me in this position for a reason. Even the whole randomness of meeting a literary agent on Twitter. How does that even happen? It had to have been God behind it. So if you open that door, I know you’re going to open the other doors. I know there’s more to follow, so I’m going to keep going. It wasn’t the second proposal that I did. I did a different proposal on perfectionism, which again is a book that I sure do hope to write someday because that’s another of my longtime struggles.

But we were talking to this publisher and they were like, “That’s not the right fit for us, but you gave us this other suggestion and let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about the comparison because there’s a felt need for that. Let’s talk about it.” And so God was like, “Let me steer you in the right direction.” I think all of it was God’s goodness and saying, “Let me steer you to where you need to be. You to write this book. It’s not time to write that book.” And that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have the rejection too so.

Sarah Taylor:

And team. Working it out in community.

Jenn Schultz:

And team. Absolutely. Yeah. It wasn’t just me and my own vacuum. It really involved a lot of people helping me to make those decisions, helping me to shape what I needed to be able to get this book out there.

Sarah Taylor:

Let’s dive in because this is some of the best content there is. There’s nine chapters. I’m going to actually have us go through each of them because each one … There’s going to be one that’s a zinger. They’re all going to zing, but there’s going to be one that’s like a zap. So let’s start with the first one. The woman who doesn’t include you.

Jenn Schultz:

Yeah. I think in writing this book, I focused a lot about insecurities because it’s really not a question of what is she doing right that I’m doing wrong or why is she such a bad person that I’m such a good person? Those aren’t really the questions. The questions that we’re asking when we compare to other people are, am I loved? Am I valuable? Do I have a purpose? And when we’re rejected by somebody, it’s like all of those hopes are dashed. It’s like all the questions are in the negative. No, you’re not valuable. No, you’re not loved. It can be even hard to see God in those times because it hurts. It’s painful when we’re rejected by other people and we’re like, “Well, if she rejected me, God, how do you feel about me?” I felt like it was a good fit to be the start of the book because it really does speak to our insecurity to be able to say, even though somebody else rejected you, even though it feels like you don’t belong with these people, there is a place that you belong and it’s in the kingdom of God.

And I share a story in that just about … I still feel funny sharing it because it feels like not that big of a deal. But it was this tiny, tiny seed that was planted in my mind that continued to grow over the years. And I was just a kid. We were just talking about how when you’re a kid, you just do everything with abandon because you’re loved and you’re safe and everything’s good for the most part. You just feel like I can do whatever and I’m fine. And I was with a group of friends and one of them stopped me. I was doing something silly. She stopped me and said, “Jenn, you’re so weird.” And everybody started laughing. And it was one of those moments of does everybody know something that I don’t? Has everybody been seeing that I’m an oddball, that I’m the weird one? I’m the one that’s outside of everything. I’m the butt of the joke.

It’s funny because I just … Again, I don’t feel like that was the worst thing she could have said to me. I feel like it’s silly that I hung onto it, but I did. And I took that with me through life and I would be in a class and I’d be like, I better not be exposed as the weird one so let me be quiet, let me hide back, let me shrink myself so that I fit and I look like I belong. And it followed me so many places. It happened at church, it happened in the classroom, at work. I just didn’t want to be the odd one out so I would shrink and I would be very quiet and hide. And it is, it’s that rejection. We all go through that. We all have some seed that was planted in our minds that says, we’re not like everybody else and we’re isolated and nobody likes us and just all of those things. And it’s something that we have to work out with God. It’s something that we have to remember. He made us and he calls us good, and he invited us into his family because that brought him joy. So we have to remember that in the times when we’re rejected. It doesn’t heal all the pain that comes from rejection, but it definitely helps us to keep perspective that there’s something bigger going on there.

Sarah Taylor:

Chapter two. The Woman Who has What You Want.

Jenn Schultz:

This is the chapter where I wrote about infertility. It was one of those things where I did feel happy for all of my friends who were sharing that they were pregnant or having baby showers and all of that. I was genuinely happy for them, but there was something there where I was just held back by my own fears, my own worries. What if this never happens for me? I felt like I couldn’t cheer them on because there was something holding me back there too. And it was such a time again, of just working things out with God. Of learning that I’m not any less because I don’t have this blessing. It’s not about me or my performance. It’s about God’s timing. It’s about his goodness that he’s still good, even if he says no in this time. That was something that I learned. And as I shared about infertility, I found so many people who can relate to that story.

Sarah Taylor:

I’m going to pause this here before I go to chapter three just because it’s bringing to mind things that I’ve experienced and I want to know if you’ve noticed this as well. When I find a woman, the rare woman that doesn’t compare, or at least has done a lot of work to compare way less than she used to, something like that … I’m thinking of two different women in my life that really have mastered this. And both of them have followed the same template, and I don’t even know if they knew they were doing it at the time. But it’s the template I use in my life and it’s this. In the area that you are feeling that vulnerability, you serve.

And so I remember when my friend Ashley was dealing with infertility and I was pregnant. I remember Ashley was actually going to school to be a doula. And so when I had my daughter, I suffered from near instant postpartum depression, which caught me off guard. And so I was a mess. I had a seven-day-old baby, and I couldn’t stop crying. Now, Ashley could have thought, “You have everything I want and you’re crying? See ya. Peace out.” But instead she came to my house. I remember her standing at my stove. She cooked me cream of wheat with brown sugar and butter. I remember the food she made. I remember the polenta lasagna. The reason I remember the exact foods is because I needed that level of comfort and support. And she held the baby while I showered and she prayed over me and she showed up every day. Now, the miracle that happened was in that time that she was coming to my house every day was when she got pregnant. And her doctor said that it was because her hormones aligned with mine because she was around a postpartum woman and her body … It makes sense to me because I had a lot of extra hormones so I had enough for me and a whole group.

Jenn Schultz:

Hormones to spare.

Sarah Taylor:

The way she knows it is because they monitored her levels every week because she was considered high risk. The week that … I think it was maybe my daughter was maybe seven weeks old, that I didn’t need Ashley to come so much anymore. And that was the week that all her levels started to plummet because she wasn’t at my house every day anymore. So they had to give her supplemental injections. Anyways. Nine months after my daughter was born, Ashley’s daughter was born.

Jenn Schultz:

What an amazing story. Wonderful.

Sarah Taylor:

And I just remember thinking, … And she said it too, with tears in her eyes as she’s holding her newborn. She’s like, “Coming to serve you helped me become pregnant.” And that was just the way that the Lord worked it out between the two of us. And I’ve just never forgotten that she could have been the woman in the chapter and I could have been the woman who has what she wants. But she viewed it different and the Lord worked it together for good.

Jenn Schultz:

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Oh my gosh. I love hearing that. It gives you chills. This is what God does. This is how God works. Even in our greatest heartbreak, if we keep going for him and we keep obeying. And that’s something we talk about too in the chapters, it’s just we need to work out our own heartbreaks with God. We need to lay everything out before him. He invites us to do that. But then we have to keep going. We can’t just be stalled indefinitely until he does or doesn’t do the thing that we want to happen. We’ve got to keep going and keep serving, keep doing what he has for us. And usually he surprises us like he did for your friend. That’s so amazing.

Sarah Taylor:

Chapter three, The Woman Who Disagrees With You.

Jenn Schultz:

I share in the book about … I’ve had a number of stories where I’ve disagreed with people, so that’s an easy one. But I actually shared in the book about it was 2020 and a speaker at my church went up in front of the church and said, “I’m going to talk about peace today.” And I rolled my eyes. I was like, “Oh, great. We’re going to talk about peace again.” Because in my mind, peace was like this hopefully we don’t fight anymore mentality. Let’s stop fighting, let’s be nice to each other. And I was just tired of it. I was like, we’re not fighting any less because we’re talking about peace. But the more he dug into it, he was talking about Shalom and the meaning behind it and how it’s just such a rich concept of God that he wants us to be well.

Sarah Taylor:

Dive into it. Dive into Shalom.

Jenn Schultz:

Oh my goodness. He wants us to be well in all the ways. He wants us to be healthy physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. He wants us to be at peace with those around us. He wants us to have what we need and for others around us to have what we need. It’s not like a state that we can be in while everybody around us is struggling. It’s something that we’re all in together. And I definitely was humbled from my first reaction, but just dove into that whole concept of Shalom and was like, God, thank you that it’s not just this silly little, let’s not fight any more thought that I had about peace. There’s so much more to it.

And so that’s what we go into in that chapter is what does it mean to really care about the wellbeing of everyone around us? What does it mean to look at them as a person and not just look at them as an opinion that goes against mine? How can I listen to their story and understand where they’re coming from and even disagree and it to be okay because we care about each other’s wellness. And just what an amazing thing that it is that God doesn’t shy away from conflict either. And he doesn’t tell us to work it out before we come before him. He wants to work through the conflict with us. He wants us to wrestle with him and he’s okay with us doing it with each other if it’s done in a respectful way as our transformed self.

Sarah Taylor:

I love this one just because … I don’t know what it is about internet comments, but I’ve never seen so much disagreement in my entire life. Nobody knows how to disagree well in the way that you’re describing. And so I love … That’s a chapter I didn’t really see coming. The first two, I could have predicted that one. And maybe I don’t like conflict, so if I disagree with someone, I just hold it in or whatever. But I like that you went there and I like that you went there with Shalom.

Jenn Schultz:

Yeah. Again, that was totally God. Because I am so conflict averse. I’m like, let’s not talk about it. Let’s not deal with it. God doesn’t want it, so we shouldn’t do it. And that’s the end of the story. And the more that I dug into Shalom, I was like, no, God, if we’re going to be well, then we’ve got to talk about these things. We’ve got to deal with them. We have to hear people out and open up the path for reconciliation because that’s what he wants the most is for us to be reconciled with him and with each other.

Sarah Taylor:

To the woman who’s suffering scares you.

Jenn Schultz:

This was one of those God’s timing moments because while I was writing this chapter, we found out that my mother-in-law was dying. It was such a difficult time. It was just … I can’t even explain it. It just was one of those, we know it’s going to happen, we’re waiting on it to happen at this point. And watching her struggle. It just was so hard. And I remember thinking at the time we were serving her and taking care of her, but I remember feeling overwhelmed at the time. There’s only so much I can do right now, and it’s overwhelming and it’s hard. And there were other people asking what they could do for me and I didn’t know. And I remembered being in those situations with other people where they were going through something really, really difficult and not knowing how to help them and not knowing how to be there for them.

I was thinking about the fact that we can look at people’s suffering as contagious. We can hold them at arm’s length because it’s too much. You stay over there and I’ll stay over here and I’ll pray for you, but that’s all I got it. It was very opposite of what your friend did for you when she came and was like, “I’m going to be there in the middle of this with you.” And so we really talk about compassion in that chapter. We talk about what God’s compassion towards us looks like. And I really dove into … Again, I’m a word lover. I dove into the Hebrew word for compassion and how often it’s used in the Bible to talk about God. And it’s like over 80 times that compassion is used to refer to God. That’s even one of the first ways that he introduces himself to us. He actually does with Moses. He says, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love.” That’s how he wants to be known to us.

Of course he is powerful and majestic and mighty and sovereign and all these things, but he really wants to be known in how he relates to us, and he relates to us in compassion. He walks through things with us. It’s more than just, oh, that must be really hard for you or, oh, I could see why that’s hard. It’s like, no, I’m in this with you. I’m at eye level with you. I’m looking in your eyes and holding your hands and we’ll go through this together. That is God’s perspective with us. And so that was something that I dove into and it helps free me to be more compassionate towards other people. And I hope it does the same for the people who read it.

Sarah Taylor:

To the woman who doesn’t believe.

Jenn Schultz:

Yeah. I share a story in that chapter. Oh my goodness. I was in eighth grade. I did grow up knowing God in case you didn’t gather that from what I’ve already shared. But I became a Christian in seventh grade and really made Jesus Lord of my life. But I still had a hard time knowing what that looked like. And I was going through middle school, so everybody knows how awkward middle school is. But I remember the summer before school started, we were given the challenge to take our Bibles to school and really represent God well in school. So the first day of eighth grade, I am getting ready and I’m like, okay, I’m going to take my Bible to school. I’m going to do it. And I slipped the Bible in my bag, and then I get to school and I look around and I slip it in my locker, shut the locker and walk away.

And we go back to homeroom and the secretary contacts our teacher over the intercom and says, “Hey, we’re going to need your class to come back up. There’s been a mix-up of lockers. Oh, and is there a Jenn in your class?” And he goes, “Yeah.” I’m like, “Yeah, that’s me.” She goes, “Oh, we’re definitely proud of Jenn.” I was like, “What?” We go upstairs. And they had broken into my locker to figure out whose lockers had gotten mixed up and they found my Bible. And so of course, the secretary is telling all these teachers. I’m sure she told a bunch of students. And so silly me trying to hide my Bible and trying to do the bare minimum to be a good Christian, of course it all gets exposed because God’s sense of humor. And so I start there, but I go into like, yeah, we can be so embarrassed to share our faith and we can act so awkward around the people who don’t believe and we worry like, oh, do I have to know all the answers to share my faith with someone? Do I have to be able to help them in all of their problems? I can barely take care of my own problems. How do I do this? So we worked through that in the chapter. It’s not what it appears to be.

And I really loved … I dive into the story of the woman at the well and just how Jesus met this woman who had every reason to put up defenses with him, and she does. And he just breaks down all those defenses and says, “I’m the one that you’ve been waiting for. It’s me. And I want you to have a different life from the one that you’ve been leading. I don’t want you to live protected anymore, self protected anymore. I want you to be able to be an accepted member of your community again, and I want you to spread the word about me.” And it just changes her whole life. And so I love doing that. I love going through that chapter.

Sarah Taylor:

To the woman who has it all together.

Jenn Schultz:

This is the one, right? We think so often we’re stuck in the social media scroll and we’re looking through, we’re seeing everybody’s highlight reels and we’re thinking that I must be the only one who does not have it all together because look, she’s got the house and she’s got the beautiful family, and can take pictures where everybody’s smiling at the camera. I can barely make that happen for myself. We look at other people and think that they have all the answers and have it all together. With this chapter and the next, we talk a lot about masks and the front that we put up because we want to look like we have it all together. There’s a sense of power there that we think we need to achieve by looking like we’ve got it. And there’s really more to that story. I really believe that when we allow people to show up as their full selves, they surprise us. And there’s so much more going on that we don’t even know about.

So instead of immediately dismissing the woman who seems to have it all together, and I could never relate to her, we could never be friends, we can look at her and say, “There is something there. Are you protecting something? Are you trying to prove something? Let’s talk about it.” And one way that we do that is just being the first. Cultivating this environment of I’m not going to protect myself around you. I’m going to share something with you that is hard to say and really hard to admit. But vulnerability is just contagious. Once you start, people are like, “Oh, I relate to that. I didn’t know anybody else related to that.” And it really does break down walls. Again, not with everybody. It’s important to have some discernment in what you share and who you share it with. But I really think that we can start to generate that culture and that environment around us just starting with ourselves, being more open, saying, I’m awkward. I’m the one who compares a lot. I’m going to write a book about it. Start and be the first and see what happens. And generally it creates community that you never expected.

Sarah Taylor:

And that one, like you said, it blends. To the woman who has it all together blends into the next chapter, chapter seven, the woman who has her guardrails up.

Jenn Schultz:

Yeah. It was funny trying to differentiate these two. I feel like the woman that has it all together is more you’re looking at her and she’s trying to prove something. She’s trying to prove that she can do it all and do it all by herself. And sometimes we’re the ones that do that. Sometimes it’s not even looking at someone else. But then so somebody who has their guardrails up, it’s somebody who’s self protecting in some way that feels like they can’t be vulnerable because what if they let someone in and they’re exposed? I liked digging into the concepts of just vulnerability and not self protecting. And not having to prove. Being someone who can say, “I don’t have anything to prove before you. I’m confident in who God made me to be.”

Sarah Taylor:

I’m just curious because of these past two chapters. It’s making me think of the work of Jamie Winship. Have you heard of his work on identity?

Jenn Schultz:

No.

Sarah Taylor:

He’s a guest of few episodes back on The Passion Meets Purpose Podcast. He’s done everything. He has resolved conflict in parts of the world that none of us would ever know and was recruited by the CIA, and he was a law enforcement officer and everything like that. But his main teaching, and the reason that he brings peace to high conflict areas is because he knows that everyone has a true identity and everyone has a false identity. And when you are living in your false identity, you are self-protecting, and you are self-promoting. So self-promoting is the person who has it all together and promoting myself and then protecting is someone who has their guardrails up. And so you’re actually talking about his wonderful ways of helping people discover their true identity in Christ just in a different way. And so I was just curious if you’d heard of his work.

Jenn Schultz:

No. That’s amazing. There’s nothing new under the sun, right?

Sarah Taylor:

Yeah. Yes.

Jenn Schultz:

It’s all from God. I really do strongly believe that when we can root our identity in who God says we are, that changes everything. It changes our whole perspective. So I’m going to have to look into that now.

Sarah Taylor:

I think that you would really enjoy his work because you’re both doing very similar things. Because he says that when you find your true identity … Like the name that Jesus just calls you. And when you know who he created you to be, nothing will stop that at all. And there’s no self-protecting needed because you’re just operating in the name that he calls you. And so yeah. I love that concept. So okay, let’s keep on moving. Chapter eight, to the woman who is too much.

Jenn Schultz:

Yeah. This is the area where we talk about boundaries. And I feel like this was the hardest chapter for me to write because I am just horrible with boundaries. I grew up going to church and really believed that I had to say yes to everyone. That is what it means to be a good Christian is, oh, somebody needs me and I can do it, okay. And if not, I have to have a really good excuse before I would say no to someone. And so I remember entering this chapter. I had already outlined the book, and I knew it was coming, but I got there and I was like, “God, I don’t even know. Where do I start with this? I’m terrible with boundaries.” But we look at God and he has boundaries. He says yes to some things, and he says no to other things. He is very clear about what his boundaries are.

I just feel like God led me to this chapter of the Bible to write about, which I write about in the book. I believe it’s John chapter six. I’m blanking. It’s a day in the life of Christ where he feeds … I think the 5,000. Everybody loves him, and they’re like, “We want to make you king.” And he says, “Nope, we’re not going to do that.” And basically dismisses everybody and sends his disciples on ahead of him and disappears and goes off to pray. And then middle of the night, he walks on water to meet his followers. And this huge miracle that everybody now knows about … Nobody saw really. Just a few people. A handful of people saw him do this. And then he gets to the other side in the morning and everybody from the one side of the lake is there because they want to be fed again and they’re all excited about that. And Jesus says, “No. I’m not here to feed you again. That’s not what this is for.”

And it was such an interesting chapter to go off of for this chapter, for my chapter of the book. But the more I dug into it, I was like, Jesus had boundaries. He knew what his mission was, he knew what his purpose was, and it wasn’t to get all the fame and the glory and be a king here like some worldly king here. It wasn’t that. He could have had it so easily, but he knew that that wasn’t what it was about. And so instead of feeding it or giving into it, he said, no. He shut it down. He didn’t do a miracle for everybody to see. He left it only limited to his disciples who would eventually tell us about it someday. But at the time, nobody else knew about it.

And then he gets to the other side and he says no to feeding the 5,000. Jesus let people down sometimes. He disappointed people. They were expecting to be fed. There were more people that wanted to be healed than he could even get to. He was fully God, but as a human, he was human too, and he could only get to so many people. And so out of all of that, Jesus knew what his priorities were. He knew what he was going for, and so he had limits and he had boundaries at the same time. And so it taught me a lot about, well, Jesus wasn’t perfect. He didn’t say yes to everyone who asked, but he was purposeful. He was aligned with God, and he knew what he was doing.

Sarah Taylor:

Wow. Final chapter, the woman in the mirror.

Jenn Schultz:

Cringe. Is that the cringey one that you meant?

Sarah Taylor:

Oh gosh. Let me look and see what one is the one that’s like that makes my heart palpitate. You go ahead and describe it.

Jenn Schultz:

It depends on who you are and what you struggle with, but this one feels very cringey because it’s close to home. I talk about you never measure up to the woman in the mirror. She’s the one that probably criticizes you the most and has the worst things to say about you. But I even had a friend say recently in response to my book, she was like, “I even compare myself to the woman I was 10 years ago. I’m not her anymore. I’m not the same size. I don’t look the same. I’m not in the same season of life.” And we compare ourselves to ourselves, whether it’s our former self or this idealized self that we will never be. And that’s probably the hardest one to tackle. And we just go into identity really hard in that chapter. Speaking of identity. Going into what God says about us and believing it, holding to it, doing the work of let me know this truth and let me hold to it instead of believing the lies that I tell myself, but really that are coming from the real enemy.

Sarah Taylor:

One thing I love about your book is that it has space for reflection. I think the best books are the ones that are all folded and highlighted and written on in the margin and a spot to write your prayers and comments and everything. And so it’s very interactive, which is what it’s meant to be, right? It’s a way that we can find freedom from these things that hold us back and to step into a new place where you recognized she’s not my enemy. And let’s talk a little bit about an abundance mindset versus a scarcity mindset.

Jenn Schultz:

Yeah. There was so much going into the research of why we compare and why it’s such a big deal for us. And one of them is scarcity mindset. Our culture says there’s only so much to go around. So if she has it, I don’t. And it’s a threat to me. So that’s why comparison feels so scary and can be so toxic is because, well, there’s only so much to go around and somebody else already has it, so I’ve lost it. But we look through scriptures in the Bible and our God is a God of abundance. He is not a God who is stingy and only gives so much to so many. He has a plan and a purpose for every single one of us. He created us with intention and calls us good. He chose us. He adopted us. He is abundant. He doesn’t run out. He’s not scarce. And so it directly conflicts with what the world tells us. And it’s so important to just know that that’s a lie and be able to call it out, because otherwise we really do get caught up in the toxic comparison of it all.

Sarah Taylor:

I’m also curious if you noticed any of this in your research. Sometimes the area … I see this … Even with my own daughter I see this. She’s in the high school age where all this stuff happens as a teenager and a teenage girl. And I remember when she was young, one of my daughter’s biggest giftings is she’s very musical. Taught herself how to play the piano. Has a gorgeous singing voice. She loves drama. And I remember when she was, I think maybe seventh grade … Oh, junior high years. And one of the teachers was teaching guitar and so she learned to play guitar. And then that teacher has a heart for those junior highers to lead worship at their school. And so he asked my daughter if she would be up on the stage, and she said yes. And so she did a couple of songs with a group and received great feedback on that. Well, feedback was so great that some other girls in her class who are also musical decided they wanted to learn to play guitar, and they wanted a chance to lead worship.

And I remember that I found my daughter in her room so sad because, “Well, that’s my thing.” And I was like, “Oh, buddy. Oh, let me talk to you about, that’s my thing because I have done this work and what I’ve learned is usually …” And tell me if you’ve noticed this. Usually when God gives you a gifting, there’s some moments where he’s like, okay, what’s more important to you, the gift or me and my kingdom? Will you hand that gift back, basically? And I said, sweetheart, if you learn at this age to share a stage, if you learn to look at your friends and say, “That is so cool. Yeah, let’s do this together, or you do next week.” And you cheer her on. If you learn how to genuinely cheer her on and be happy for her, the Lord will take the gifting he’s given you, and he will probably give you a larger platform in the future because you’ve shown him you’re trustworthy.

It’s not a guarantee. It’s not like you cash that in for something else. But I’ve just seen it so many times in my life that he’s looking at your heart. And we’re talking about leading worship here, not a concert. But have you noticed that? Have you seen people be almost … I don’t know if tested is the right word, but just have you seen people be challenged in an area where they are naturally gifted and the Lord is calling them to lead, and then they have to watch somebody else go first?

Jenn Schultz:

Gosh. I’m sure. I know I’ve felt that way. As well, this is mine. This is my thing, and she’s doing great at it now. Something that I believe I talk about in the book, but if not, it’s something that I share a lot, is just whose kingdom are you building? Are you building God’s kingdom or are you building your kingdom? Because of course, if you’re building your own kingdom, it’s you versus her. There’s only so many resources to go around. It’s a battle. You’re at odds. But if you’re building God’s kingdom and she’s doing what you hope to do, if the goal is we’re going to worship God and we’re going to help others to worship God, then if she’s succeeding at it, amen. You do it. You take the thing and run with it.

Sarah Taylor:

Oh, it’s hard.

Jenn Schultz:

Because it’s hard. It really is hard to get there.

Sarah Taylor:

Yes and it’s hard.

Jenn Schultz:

Oh, gosh. I feel that. Exactly. Yes and. There’s both. We can hold both, right? I feel it in publishing. I’m like, I’m not a super big success. I’m not speaking on stages in front of thousands. I see other people doing it, and it’s my decision. Am I going to look at that and say, “She has what I want. She’s taken what I want. How do I beat her at her own game?” It’s that divisive selfish ambition that they talk about in James. James talks about. They talk about. James talks about in the Bible. It creates every kind of … Oh, gosh, I’m totally blanking on the scripture now. He says, “Selfish ambition and envy create every kind of discord,” I believe. But I’m totally butchering that. I’m saying it for myself. It really is. It’s when we go after our own pursuits that we’re not doing what God calls us to do, and we’re not building his kingdom. We’re building our own kingdoms. But if it’s us and her, like me and her, and we’re doing this thing together, and we’re just trying to get people to know God through our words, amen. Praise God if she’s doing well. Let me cheer her on and not let that be a threat to me. But again, yes and. It’s very hard. It’s something that we keep repeating to ourselves until we start to believe it honestly.

Sarah Taylor:

And just to complete my little story full circle, I watched her wrestle with that. It wasn’t one of those sitcom wrap it up in 22 minutes where she’s like, “Thanks, mom. You got it.” I watched her wrestle with it. And the cool thing is is now those girls, they’re not in seventh, they’re in 11th. What is that? Five years later. And the two girls specifically were the ones that I could see the fork in the road. I could see where they all three saw each other as competition because they were all gifted in the same area. Wouldn’t you know that those three cheer each other on in their auditions for drama and found out that they each … One’s an alto, one’s a soprano, and one’s whatever else there is. And so when the three of them sing together, their harmonies are unmatched, and they are the ones that the school goes after for every homecoming game to do the national anthem, and they always want all three.

Jenn Schultz:

Oh, wow. Mm-hmm. That’s amazing. God’s like, yes. Let me prove it to you what happens when you cheer each other on. When you’re generous with your gifts and excited about somebody else. Oh yeah. He’s going to do incredible things. Things we could never have done on our own. That’s so awesome.

Sarah Taylor:

Well, your book is a gift. It’s like a sigh of relief because you’re able to be like, okay, I’m not the only one that struggles with this, and yet there’s a better way. And so thank you for the work that you put through in this book. And why don’t you let everyone know how they can find you, because your Instagram is also a gift. I was just talking behind the scenes with a couple girls here. We love the content that you post on the daily, so let people know where to find you.

Jenn Schultz:

You encourage my soul. Thank you. Yeah. I am on social media. And I actually like to be social on social media so say hi to me and I’ll message you back and forth. I’m @JennSchultzAuthor because there are too many Jenn Schultzes, so it’s not just Jenn Schultz. Jenn Schultz author. I had to distinctify it somehow. But that’s where I am on Instagram, on Facebook, and on Threads. I’m not so much on Twitter anymore. But there’s that and then I’m at jennschultzauthor.com, and you can find my book wherever. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book. It’s actually on the sale at Amazon right now, so you might want to-

Sarah Taylor:

And it’s called, She’s Not Your Enemy.

Jenn Schultz:

Yeah. She’s Not Your Enemy: Conquering Our Insecurities So We Can Build God’s Kingdom Together.

Sarah Taylor:

We’ll link up to all of it in the show notes. Jenn, a pleasure. Thank you.

Jenn Schultz:

Thank you so much, Sarah.

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