Love Is: Handling Grief and Loss with Kim Sorrelle

Show Notes

In this episode of Faithfully Engaged, Johnny speak with Kim Sorrelle as his guest. Kim shares her journey as an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. She opens up about her experience with breast cancer and the loss of her husband to pancreatic cancer, highlighting how her faith played a crucial role in navigating these challenging times.

Johnny and Kim discuss the process of becoming an author and the inspiration behind Kim’s book “Love Is: A Yearlong Experiment in Living Out 1 Corinthians 13 Love” They also delve into the impact of grief and the importance of leaning on God and seeking support from loved ones during difficult times.

The conversation takes a deeper dive into the meaning of love, with Kim sharing her personal quest to understand the true essence of love. She embarked on a year-long exploration of 1 Corinthians 13, examining each word associated with love and uncovering profound insights along the way.

Kim also reflects on her involvement in humanitarian work in Haiti and how serving others became a powerful source of healing and perspective during her grieving process.

Join Johnny and Kim in this heartfelt and inspiring conversation as they explore themes of faith, love, grief, and the love of God.

Kim’s Links

Love is:

Cry Until You Laugh:

14 Day Love Challenge:

Faithfully Engaged Links






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Johnny Sanders (00:09):

Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of Faithfully Engaged Today. We have a really neat guest on her name is Kim. So let me shoot it to Kim and just Kim, go ahead and introduce yourself to the audience and tell us a little bit about you.

Kim Sorrelle (00:27):

Sure, Johnny, thanks for having me. I’ve been so excited looking forward to this. I love your show. Everyone should have it on the top of their podcast list and listen to it every week. So I’m Kim. I was an entrepreneur, had businesses my whole life, but I have kind of shifted in what I do. I am an author, I have a couple of books out and I’m a speaker. I have a podcast of my own celebrity interview podcast and I have a TV show, a weekly one hour TV show, heart and Soul is the name of that. And I just really love people and I love meeting new people and I love, love I guess, and I love Jesus. So there we go.

Johnny Sanders (01:19):

I love it. So let me start, I sometimes I will kind of break the wall here a little bit and tell the audience these things aren’t recorded live. They’re done in advance. And earlier this morning I actually had, sorry Kim, I’ll be a little biased towards this guest that I had on because this guest was my mom. So she has kind of my favorite guest reward I guess, but she is an author as well, and she was kind of talking about her book process and everything. So since that’s kind of fresh on my mind, I’m kind of curious about your journey of being an author. Is that something you’ve always wanted to do? Did it just fall in your lap? Kind of just tell the audience how you became an author.

Kim Sorrelle (02:07):

Well, I’ve always enjoyed writing, but never dreamed of writing a book. But then I kind of just stumbled into it. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and when I was, my first place I went was the bookstore and everything seemed to be medical, completely medical or very depressing. And I wanted to know what it felt like. Did I have choices to make? What was it going to be like? And so I started writing really kind of as a way to update family and friends as well and going to the doctor tomorrow kind of thing. But before I knew it, 5,000 people were reading the emails I was sending and it was just what I was going through and what was going through my mind. And I continued to write for a little over a, because other things happened in that year, four months after I was diagnosed, my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away six weeks after that.

So I was writing during that whole period and then I had people tell me it should be a book. And I’m like, yeah, right, whatever. But then I had somebody who I really respect tell me that it should be a book. And so that is my first book, cry Until You Laugh, it’s called Because I believe that’s what you have to do. You got to cry and grieve, but you have to give yourself permission to laugh again. And so that was my first book. My second book was much more intentional, but it’s a journey that I took that I would’ve taken, whether it became a book or not, it was a journey I needed to take for myself. And it did become a book and it’s a bestseller. And so that’s been a fun ride.

Johnny Sanders (04:00):

Yeah, yeah, no, that’s always interesting to me, hearing people’s stories, whether it’s about being an author or just anything of how they get there. And just going in into your faith, you have cancer diagnosis, then my husband gets, it dies quickly. I just would imagine your faith was tested in many ways there. So kind of talk with us a little bit about how your faith, specifically in this situation, but really your life in general, how your faith impacted you through these hard times.

Kim Sorrelle (04:37):

Well, it’s very interesting. My husband was the greatest guy. We had a great marriage and planned on being that couple in our nineties, sitting on rockers, sipping lemonade on the front porch. You know, kind of think that you know what your future is going to hold. We’ve just become empty nesters. We were looking forward to that. I’m not sure why, because we love our kids and I don’t even know what empty nesters do, but whatever it is, we were excited to be doing it. And so life, we were in a good place. I was 47 years old and thought I knew what my life was going to look like. And my husband was that guy who’d get up at five o’clock every morning and be on his face before God. He chased God. He just always wanted more and read his Bible, did a devotional every day and just this true blue, incredible guy.

And so one thing that happened is right after I was diagnosed, before anything with my husband, people would say to me, well, why you? And my response was, well, why not me? I don’t think God is up in heaven saying you stole that pack of gum when you were in seventh grade. So I’m going to mite you with cancer when you’re 47 years old. I don’t think it happens like that. I think it can happen to anybody at any time. And yeah, absolutely, it can test your faith or it can strengthen your faith. I think you get to decide. And for me, it made my faith stronger. I didn’t know that it could be stronger, but I think it always can be. And so I had to lean on God, what else is there in a moment like that? You know, can’t just rely on the doctors. There’s a lot more that goes on besides the physical when you’re faced with a diagnosis and the spiritual is a big part of it. So letting God be God and be there and love you through it is an important thing to do

Johnny Sanders (06:42):

That. That’s a really good way to put that because yeah, we like to plan things out. Sometimes my wife listens to the show, sometimes she doesn’t. So when I rail on her a little bit, she may or may not hear it, just don’t go behind my back and tell her when I do those things. But she’s a big planer. She likes things to be very sectional out, going to do this on this day. She buys Christmas presents for the kids in March or something. That’s just the way that her brain works. And when you hear a story like that, that really puts that in perspective, not that we can’t plan or anything, but our plans aren’t always the ones that end up happening and that that’s hard. That’s hard to deal with, but I love how you put that. We can use that and then say, oh, woe is me, why me, all that. Or we can put our faith in God. And that is, that’s very inspiring to hear that you were able to be tested but be strengthened through that time. So walk us through, while you’re writing the book and when you’re just dealing with this grieving process, how did you get to that point where you were able to laugh and enjoy life again?

Kim Sorrelle (08:11):

Well, it was really tough. I think for most things in life, you can find somebody who’s been through the same thing, but I have yet to meet anybody who had cancer. And then four months later, their husband is diagnosed and my poor husband, he started having stomach issues shortly after I was diagnosed and went to the doctor and he said, oh, I take some roll aids because you’re nervous about your wife, whatever. And went back two months later, take some roll aids, went back to a gastro specialist, and unfortunately I was having a complete hysterectomy because of the kind of breast cancer I, I was having that done the next day and a colonoscopy. So for anyone who is at a colonoscopy, you know that you don’t leave your home the day before because you have to be close to your bathroom. And so I couldn’t go with them to his doctor’s appointment and I’m the mouth and he is just this nice guy and if they say this is what it is, he is like, oh, okay.

And instead of saying, wait a minute, run a test, do something. And so he came home from there and the gastro specialist said the same thing, take some roll aids. And so then I had surgery the next day, so I couldn’t do anything about it. But I woke up a week later, exactly a week later, and I’m still in bed at that point in time, recovering and wearing pants with elastic and watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns or whatever. And my husband was in bed, which he never is because he was gone by then and he just was so uncomfortable. And I said, well, that’s it. You’re going to the er. You know, they’ll run a test, they’ll do something, they’re not going to just send you away. And so he did. He went to the er, but he was this rule follower kind of a guy.

So when it said no cell phones, he took that seriously. So I waited and waited for a phone call and he finally called and he said, well, I guess they’re going to keep me overnight. And I’m like, keep you overnight. They don’t keep anybody overnight. So I jumped into clothes the normal people wear, and I hopped into my car and into my Vicodin induced state, drove like a mad woman to the hospital. And I was almost there when the phone rang again and he said, I guess there’s a spot on my liver. I’m like, spot on your liver. I just started weeping. I just started bawling. And I don’t really even remember parking at the hospital. I remember running in holding all parts of my body because everything was sore and because I had also had a complete mastectomy and just everything was sore. And I ran in and they told me where he was and he was behind a curtain and I ran up to it and I weeping, whipped back the curtain and he is just sitting on the edge of the bed, nothing is going on.

And he looks at me and he said, Hey, I am not going to invite you out anymore if this is the way you’re going to behave. And I said, listen buddy, you are not allowed to be funny right now. And with any sort of a diagnosis, it doesn’t happen in moments, it happens in days. And so over the next few days, tests were run and things were done, and then we got the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. And when we did, we know what kind of a diagnosis it was. And by the time it was found in my husband, it was well advanced. And so there wasn’t really anything they could do. And there’s still not a cure for pancreatic cancer. And so it’s a tough one. It’s not a diagnosis you ever want to hear, but we prayed immediately that Lord either heal him like you did the lame, the sick, the blind, or the greatest healing that I think sometimes we forget and it’s heaven going to heaven, but please, please don’t let him suffer.

So that was our prayer the whole time. They thought he’d live for maybe a year and six months in, we had a great six weeks, weeks and six months, I say six weeks. We had a great six weeks watching cash cab and whatever we did, played some chin rummy and just hung out for six weeks. And it wasn’t until the last day he woke up on a Sunday morning and he was in pain and I called the hospice nurse and she came over right away and she gave him some more morphine. And up until then, he wasn’t experiencing pain. It was totally under control and it’s a painful cancer, but our hospice did such a great job. So she came over and I was sitting on, he was sitting on the edge of the bed and I didn’t want him to fall off the bed.

So I’m behind him holding on to him, and as he is just kind of rocking back and forth because he is in so much pain and she is in our bedroom on the phone calling for a hospital bed and whatever equipment she thought that we were going to need and I could just feel his pain and feel his agony. And I just, I said to the hospice nurse, do I call my family? Do I call my kids? I’ve got five kids. Do I call them? What do I do? No, no, no, you’ve got time. You’ve got time. I asked her that a couple of times because he was so miserable. And so I just whispered in his ear and I said, baby, just go. And he took his last breath. That was it. And so the six weeks, it was hard, hard for me, wonderful for him, God’s mercy and grace all over the place.

Our prayer was definitely answered. He did not suffer. We had this great six weeks together and I’ve never been able to be angry about it because he was such a great guy. And at 51 years old to go to heaven and not pay another bill and never be sick again, that’s not so bad. That’s not so horrible. So it’s like, it’s sad for me, but happy for him. And so in the grieving process, I had this mix of emotions because I, it’s the loss of a dream. It’s the loss of my best friend. It’s the loss, the distance between us, the time, the whatever’s going to happen in life and invent, reinventing a whole new life. We were a couple, were married for almost 30 years and then now I was a single, I didn’t plan on ever being a single. It’s not something you plan. And so it was definitely a process to deal with all of it mentally. And I still was dealing with my cancer crap. So I still had to go through my stuff. And so it was an interesting time of life, but I can tell you that the prayers of my friends and the prayers of my family lifted me up and held me together. And the grace of God just wrapped around me made it so that I survived. I survived it and learned how to thrive cause of it.

Johnny Sanders (15:55):

Just a really incredible story, one that is certainly filled with sadness, with grief, all of that. And at no point whether you’re in your forties or in your nineties, when you lose a spouse especially or someone close to you, it hurts. But what I’ve really liked about that is for one, you leaned on other people, which is a key tenet to any type of grieving, yet to not do it completely on your own. And two, you both structured your life in a way to be God honoring, God fearing. So when tragedy strikes, when bad things happen, you just pray you that death is going to happen to all of us. So I recently had another guest on recently that was talking about dealing with a kind of tragedy and hard things in life, and he likened it to a football game where if somebody’s running down the field and they see somebody coming at them and they can brace for the hit, it doesn’t hurt as bad.

It, yeah, it hurts, but it’s not like when somebody comes out of nowhere, it just sucks you down real really hard. And in a sense that’s what happened to you. You weren’t prepared for any of that, but not really, even though you weren’t prepared for that one individual situation, you and your husband had faith in God and had faith that he was going to provide even in this incredibly hard situation. So yeah, it hurt, but not to the degree of somebody that I think is unbelieving or a spouse that’s unbelieving, that’s a different level of grief. So what a great story there for the listeners of not saying that you’re going to face what chemists faced, but you’re going to face something. So don’t wait for the bad thing to happen to then deal with it, get your life in order now, and that’s going to help soften that blow when something does happen.

Kim Sorrelle (18:08):

I love the football analogy. I think that is so true, and we did have time. There are accidents that happen, there are things that happen that just out of the blue you lose somebody. And that is such a sucker punch. And my husband and I talked about that a little bit. What, what’s an easier way to go if you’re going to go personally, Lord Jesus, if I could just go in my sleep, I’d be the happiest. That would be the best way. But to know that you’re going to go and for your family to know, so you can kind of say goodbye, say anything you feel like you need to say, I guess, of whatever it is or the accident, the right now you’re gone. And I think for the person, the right now, you’re gone is probably the best way. But to be able to spend that time with my husband was a gift. It was just such a gift from God.

Johnny Sanders (19:08):

And I love the fact that you’re able to see things like that. So often we look at death, and I think some of it is just our own lack of understanding of love, which is going to get into our next conversation there of what love really is, love from God, love to our spouses, to our kids, that we only see it in the temporal right here and now. And if they die, then that love is gone and it’s just the end of the world. And that’s very shortsighted that you, you’re not getting the whole picture. Yeah, it hurts. I will never tell anybody otherwise that it shouldn’t hurt to lose somebody. But we need that full context. So with that in mind, you loved your husband to death, you loved God, but in general, just taking it broad, what does that word even mean? What does it mean to love somebody?

Kim Sorrelle (20:07):

It’s such a great question and one that I wanted to know the answer to because I wanted to honor my husband. You know, see sometimes people getting stuck in grief and I didn’t want to get stuck in it. There are times that I still cry, and that’s okay. If you need to cry, you should cry. We’re pretty good as a group of people, I think especially as Christians, we can be pretty good at judging people’s grief and deciding for them when they should be out from under the depths of it. And everybody grieves differently. And somebody wrote a book years ago on the steps of grief, and people feel guilty if they don’t go through them. And people are upset if somebody isn’t happy right away, mean there are so many things, but I encourage you, don’t judge people’s grief. Let people grieve the way they grieve.

And however that is for them, it is for them. And the best thing you can do is just be around them, help them through it and without any judgment. But so you do have to figure out a way to get out of it, you know, got to come out from under it at some point. And so I wanted to really honor my husband with my life because he honored me when he was here and I loved him dearly. And so I just thought, well gosh, going forward, how do I know that I’m doing everything I can to do it? And I just thought, well, God is love. So if God is love like John says, God is love. If God is love and we’re created in his image, then it would mean that we’re love, that we are love. It doesn’t say God loves, it says God is love.

So love is something that you are would mean. But what is it really? I think you put five people in a room, you might get five different answers to that question, or people really christianize it or verbalize it and say, well, there’s this kind of love that kind of love that kind of love, that kind of love. Well, for the average human being like me, love is, love is love, what does it mean? And so I decided that I was going to go on a year long quest and search of the true meaning of love. And I’ll tell you, I have a hard time committing to an entree when I go out for dinner. So to commit a year to something was a stretch for me, but I decided I was going to do it. And most of the time I did it, I was in Haiti. And I’ll tell you the things that I learned about love are different than I’ve ever been taught, things I’ve never heard before, things that are life changing and world changing. And so now I’m so excited about what I know and what I can share with other people because now I see other lives changing as well.

Johnny Sanders (23:20):

I want to get more into love itself. And I know I mentioned to this to you real briefly, just when we first were talking to each other that I went to Haiti myself and 2010, I don’t remember exactly how long the timeline after the earthquake it was, but pretty soon after. And certainly saw a lot of that, definitely some memories and things like that that kind of shaped my worldview. So I was just curious a little bit more on specifically that trip to Haiti of first off, what was that like for you and how is that still impacting you today?

Kim Sorrelle (24:00):

Yeah, well, I run a nonprofit organization and I did before I was diagnosed and stepped down from that position because it’d be too, I couldn’t have done what needed to be done for the organization and go through the things I was going through. And so when I was able to go back to work, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go back into my businesses, but I had people running them. I really didn’t have to. I didn’t know what this life was going to look like. And so I kind of wanted to take things slow. And I happened to run into a man who was running an organization. My father and I had started 10 years before, and I said, Hey, do you need any help? What about bookkeeping? And he’s like, oh yeah, gosh, yeah, we could use bookkeeping. And so I started on January one of that year as part-time bookkeeper, and 12 days later there was an earthquake in Haiti that killed 200,000 people.

And I went from part-time bookkeeper to 24 7. And within a couple weeks I was in Haiti. And then for the next several years I spent at least part of every month in Haiti. And I’ll tell you one thing about going back to grieving for a second is I’ve never been told this or read this, but man, service is the greatest healer of grief. It is the greatest healer of grief to get out of yourself and out of your head and serve other people. Oh my word. There’s so much healing in that you can’t, God, you can’t. It’s impossible. I’m curious, Johnny if you feel the same way, but when I’ve gone, when I go, when I work and I serve and whatever, you can think, oh my gosh, well, I’m serving, I’m helping, I’m giving. But what you get in return is so much greater than what you can possibly give. It’s like you just cannot give God. And so there’s such healing in that. Did you experience that as well?

Johnny Sanders (26:09):

No, I ly both from my trip there and in Haiti and I, I’ve been on some other mission trips as well. And honestly, even taking it outside of Haiti just in general and even financial giving, we, we’ve been talking about this in church quite a bit, that we don’t give money or go to a trip or whatever solely to get what we want out of it or whatever we don’t want that means. But boy is it a wonderful kind of side effect from that. And I see that in my own personal life of just that gratitude and just impact of serving really. Does it make me feel better? And it’s great to see what God is doing in all these ways that are way above my comprehension. And I loved what you were saying about grief, and we can see this, and I see this with some of my clients, not just with grief, but also with depression and just kind of mental distress in general, that I try to be careful with my words here because I don’t mean it in a derogatory way, but depression, grief, things like that.

They are self-focused in nature. And I don’t mean that of somebody just, oh, they are asking depression on themselves or they are asking for grief. They’re just feeling sorry for themselves. I’m not trying to say that. Just, it keeps you trapped in your head. And that’s where, that’s the anguish of grief and depression is we’re we feel like a prisoner up in our head and that we don’t want that serving, like you’re saying, being involved in other people’s lives. What a wonderful healer to be able to get me out of my head and realize there are other problems out there and it’s not just me that’s going through a hard time and I can impact other people. So yes, I answer your question. I absolutely saw that in my trip to Haiti, but also in other aspects of my life as well.

Kim Sorrelle (28:12):

Yeah, yeah. So that’s why Haiti I, I happen to be working in Haiti. That’s where I was when I decided to do this year of living love, figuring out love. And I took first Corinthians 13, love is patient, love is kind, does not envy, does not both. And I decided I would take one word a month and figure out, well, what is love that is patient? What is love that is kind. And the first thing I figured out is there are 14 is and isn’t of love in that chapter. And so it took me a little longer than a year, but I did it. And I also figured out that every single one of those words, when you put love is or love is not in front of it, it totally changes the meaning of the word. And so every month I was blown away.

And so I wrote and I would write at the beginning of the month what I thought it was going to be. We know what patience is, we know what kind is whatever, what I thought it was going to be, what I thought it was going to look like. And then I write the story of what brings me to the conclusion of what that love really is. And it’s like God had to hit me over the head at the end of the month. I’d be looking for it all month and looking and looking, and I’m sure it was right in front of me, but something big would happen. I was chased by a motorcycle gang. I slept outside with tarantulas and snakes. I mean something big would happen and I’d go, oh, okay, now I get it. Now I get it. It was crazy, crazy time.

Johnny Sanders (29:54):

Yeah, I think that kind of a principle from that is yeah, don’t tell God that he can or can’t do something or that kind of, the big one is don’t pray for patience unless you really want to experience that and he will show it to you,

Kim Sorrelle (30:12):

Right? Yeah. And yeah, you hear that a lot, but patience and love that are as patient are so different from each other. Patience, you’re not mad because your five year old can’t find their shoes and you’re trying to get out the door for church on Sunday morning or you’re not stomping your foot because you’re ready to go and your wife’s still putting her makeup on or whatever. That’s showing patience. But love that is patient is different than that. And we’re supposed to love everybody. I mean in Leviticus it says it. It’s not just something Jesus said, but that was his big message was love and peace and we’re supposed to love each other. And so love that is patient would say that when you love somebody with love that is patient, you recognize that this is the most important moment of your life. What’s in the past is in the past, and what’s in the future is yet to come.

This is the most important moment. And so when you love with love that is patient, you are fully there, you’re fully engaged, you are actually listening. And I’ll tell you, I stunk at this. I was horrible at it. I thought I was this great multitasker. I could be fully engaged in a conversation thinking about a meeting I had later and who needed to go to soccer practice and what I was going to make for dinner and be fully engaged at the same time. And I am not that super woman. I don’t have that superpower and I don’t know that anybody does. But when I trained myself, because man, this took a lot of practice, this took me a lot of practice. But as I practiced it and got better at it and learned how to be fully present and fully engaged and block everything else out, I learned things like my ears opened up, I heard things I never would’ve heard.

Instead of making assumptions about what somebody was going to say based on some label you put on them or what you think they’re going to talk about, whatever it is. Because love has no labels by the way, but I was actually hearing what they were actually saying and not making assumptions. And it changes everything when you really listen and if you think about it, it changes everything when you really listen to, because if someone’s distracted when you’re talking to them or if they’re really there for you and love is there when you are truly there for them and they’re really there for you,

Johnny Sanders (32:52):

No, that is a very important piece there and love and all types of relationships, whether spouse or kids or friends, whoever. Yeah, you can tell that difference. I see that in my work all the time being a counselor that oftentimes all that client really needs in that time is just to be heard. I may not give a lick of advice or we may not fix anything, but they feel heard. And that is really what spurs on that change. And it, it’s convicting to me sometimes knowing that, and I, I’ll be honest here, knowing that, experiencing that in my job, but I have to look at myself on my phone when I said I was going to read to my kid, but I really listening to what my wife said was, or was I just kind of blocking her out? That’s convicted to me as a counselor too, that I’m not perfect at that. And I think that’s great about going to the scriptures. That is, that’s a constant wake up call that we’re not perfect, but God is. And that’s where we need to glean that love for him,

Kim Sorrelle (33:57):

Right? If this is a concept that had I stopped at the first month, it would’ve changed my life because this alone changed my life. But there were 13 more to do. But I think about if I would’ve known this when I had little ones running around and you’re at the stove and you’re stirring whatever it is you’re making for dinner or you’re on the phone and your little one is trying to get your attention and you’re just kind of a minute, just a minute, just a minute. And my son, Luke, I’ve got five kids, but my son, Luke in particular, he would just stand there and poke my arm and poke my arm and say, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom. And I’d be like, Luke, I’m making dinner, Luke, I’m on the phone, whatever it is. But looking back, I really believe that if I would’ve just stopped for a minute and looked my son in the eye and said, Luke, what is it that you need? He probably would’ve said, this truck is red and ran away. It probably would’ve taken no time at all just to let him be heard because he had something to say. And so I wish that I would’ve acted like that as a mom. I wish that was something that I did and I didn’t. So I encourage other moms to do it. Just listen to your kids.

Johnny Sanders (35:20):

Now, on that practical side of things, I know, goodness, we’ve already gleaned so much in a very short amount of time about one of those. What would you recommend to a mom, to a dad, whoever that wants to learn more about love, what would you recommend to them? Should they just go do the same thing you did going through Corinthians right there? Or is there something else that they could do instead? What would you say to them?

Kim Sorrelle (35:48):

Well, I would say, you don’t have to go to Haiti for a year. I wrote a book and everything’s in the book, all the revelations that God gave me and all the stories of the things that happened. And I think that there’s other ways to figure out the true meaning of love, but I think it starts with maybe recognizing that you might not know the true meaning of love. Think about where are we taught love? We’re taught our parents, our grandparents, whoever who are taught by their parents, their grandparents, and not everything done in the name of love or is called love, really is love. And it’s certainly not the kind of love that God is and that we should be to others. And so figuring out even just the what love really is, we like to think of it sometimes as an emotion, a feeling, right?

But you watch a scary movie that night, you go to bed, you hear every creak, every bump, every everything, and that you’re scared, right? It’s dark and you’re scared because of fear, because of the movie, but you don’t live in that. You don’t live in fear, but you live in love. Love is who you are, who God is, and it’s who you are. And so it’s all encompassing. It’s not a feeling, or we talk about falling in love, right? Oh my gosh, you meet the person of your dreams and you just can’t wait to marry them. You can’t wait to walk down that aisle and say, I do. And it’s so in love. And then you go on this great honeymoon and everything is wonderful and you get home and then he leaves his dirty underwear on the bedroom floor and you’re thinking, why did I marry this barbarian?

What was I thinking? Do I really love him? What is that? Well, because we associate sometimes love with what we get out of it, what people, other people’s actions. Well, he is still the guy that you love. He’s still the guy that you said I do too. That’s who he is. He’s not throw my dirty underwear on the floor guy. He’s Tom or whoever he is, that’s who he is, the man that. And so you got to separate that, understand what love really is, and don’t withdraw what you think is love because of what somebody does, because your kid makes you mad or your spouse makes you angry or whatever it happens to be you. The love shouldn’t leave. The love shouldn’t be affected, you know, might not like what somebody does and you might not like somebody, but loving them is different than that.

Johnny Sanders (38:50):

That really takes it into a more deep level to, it’s more in depth to look at it that way instead of the individual actions. Your dirty underwear story kind of hits home a little bit with my wife and I earlier on that it was socks, but I had lived either alone or with some bachelor friends for several years. And of course when I had dirty socks, if they made it in the dirty clothes hamper great. If they were close, that’s fine. That’s just the way I was kind of used to living. And I, I’ve shared this story several times, but my wife that was annoying her and I had no idea that it was annoying her. I wasn’t thinking about it. I’m not giving myself an excuse. It just legitimately didn’t cross my mind. And instead of what you’re saying there of man, Johnny’s just this big slob, how could he be this way?

All that. I give her a lot of credit that she looked at that as a behavior that she didn’t like and said, Johnny, can you make sure to not ball up the socks and just put ’em in the dirty laundry? And I’m not going to say I’ve been perfect at that since then, but a whole lot better than I was. But that took her understanding of this is an action I dislike and I’m going to tell ’em about it. And lucky there, it’s not that big of a problem, but as long as that was a bit of my character and who I am, I’m just this dirty slob that would’ve impacted our marriage. And how sad would that be about something so minor to have such a big rift? But that absolutely could have happened.

Kim Sorrelle (40:29):

And it’s easy when you’re first married, when you’re newly into it, it’s so easy to get annoyed over things. We all go into relationships with habits and the way we do things and the way we want, the glasses and the cupboard and the way we want the dishwasher loaded or the toothpaste tube squeezed or whatever it is. And you learn to work with each other and it’s a learning curve there. It takes a minute to get used to each other, get used to living together and being together all the time. And so showing each other the kind of grace that you want to be shown is a good idea.

Johnny Sanders (41:16):

Absolutely. And again, just another personal example that we’re feeling that more so not as much in the marriage, but as with kids, as you well know, kind of the example you said with your son, I kind of haphazardly and I came back and corrected this. My daughter was kind of having just a fit. She’s three, if you haven’t had a three year old, they have fits. That’s just part of what they do sometimes. And I kind of haphazardly said this joke just to my wife of saying, if only we could take that, I forgot exactly how I phrased it, but that iron will, that she has that strong spirit away, if only we could do that, then we’d be fine. And I quickly corrected that because one, that was kind of a bad joke to say, just kind of not good taste even with her out of the room, but it’s not true.

The problem is the fit that we’re having. The fit that was, I don’t even remember what it was. It was something really silly, but look at that. God gave her that strong will, and I think God is going to use that strong will and a lot of great ways. The problem wasn’t her strong will. It was how she was using that strong will. And it’s our job as parents to be able to shape that strong will and to something that will be productive down the line. But if I have that narrow focus of love, that narrow focus of what my role of a dad is, is just to yell at her and why are you beating the door or whatever she was doing, and then that call that good, we’re not getting at the heart of it. And that’s what I love about what you’re looking at there with love is don’t take the cheap, easy Hollywood route that they kiss each other at the end and yay, everyone’s happy. No love. Love is so much more than that.

Kim Sorrelle (43:08):

It is it. And going back to the things we’re taught about love, one of the things that you hear is that love’s a two-way street. You hear that and it’s not true. Absolutely not true. Love is on you period. It is on you period. When you bring that baby home from the hospital, you remember the days you bring the baby home, you have a hundred percent control. You decide when the baby eats, when the baby takes a nap, when the baby has a bath, you know have a hundred percent control. But 6, 7, 8 months later, all of your Tupperware is all over the kitchen floor. Pots and pans are banging. You realize you have lost all control. And I’m here to promise you, you will never get it back again. You will never get it back again. You only control yourself. You have no control over anybody else.

And so if you are giving love with the expectation that you’re going to get love in return, first of all, it’s probably not going to come back to you the way you think it should. And so right away you’re behind the eight ball, but you are just setting yourself up for heartbreak and sadness and loneliness. You give love because that’s what we’re supposed to do. You give love, period. If I give you money and you give me a pair of jeans, that’s a transaction. Love is not a transaction. Love is one way you give it. Now it’s special in that a lot of times when you give it, you get it back, but that’s not why you do it. You give it whether you get it back or not. You, it’s, it’s up to you. Your love is 100% on you.

Johnny Sanders (44:58):

Your example there. I often, and when I’m with my clients, I give a extreme answer on purpose just to kind of test out the logic and show that, okay, I’m not saying what’s going on with you is what we’re talking about here, but the logic here is what’s going on. And I’ve had a client and we we’re talking about boundaries and I agree there are boundaries that we need to set on other people, but we’re talking about that very thing of I’m not getting anything back in return. And I used an extreme example of with my kids. My son is not two years old yet. There’s not a lot he gives me, gives me some hugs and stuff, and that’s nice. He certainly doesn’t help me out financially, I’ll tell you that he doesn’t help me with his dirty diapers. There’s a lot of things he doesn’t help me with, but I love him like that.

That doesn’t give me a right to just, well, you’re not giving me anything, so I got to Chevy you out of my life. Now granted, I acknowledge that’s an extreme example there and other relationships, maybe there are other boundaries that get formed, but that proves your point there, that love is not that transaction. I don’t wait for the day that my son can pay me back for all the finances that we give into him. No, I love him because he is my son. That’s it there, there’s no nothing else that he earned that love. He’s my son and I love him. And we need to think of that too, of us being God’s creation. We have worth not because of these great acts that we’ve done, because we’ve proven our love. No, we’re have worth because he made us. And how wonderful that not only did he make us, but as Christians, we believe he sent his son to die on the cross and die for our sins. Incredible. That gives us worth, that gives us love. Let’s point in that direction instead of the woe was me, they treated me bad, so therefore everybody hates me. And not to dismiss that bad things happen or that we can’t be frustrated at other people, but again, that kind of turns inward real quick. And we look at myself, my needs above everybody else. And again, we’re not getting love in that situation. At best, we might be getting a transaction like you said,

Kim Sorrelle (47:30):

Right? And God doesn’t love us because we love him back. I mean, we don’t all love him back and we don’t all love him back every minute. So if we’re talking about the love that God is being that love it, it has to just go outward. I had this moment in my marriage early on. I had a couple kids and diapers, whatever, they were young, and I was doing everything. I was doing all the laundry. I was making dinner every night. I was changing every diaper. I was taking care of the house, I was doing it all. And my husband would come home from work and he would go sit on the couch, put his feet up, and then he’d wander over to the dinner table when the food was on the table, and then he’d eat. And then he’d wander back over on the couch, maybe lay down, take a nap, turn on a football game or something.

And I’m thinking, well, what the heck? He’s just given me more work because he is given me more laundry. Who is he to me right now? I was looking at him, he was just a paycheck. Where was his value? What was he giving me? What was he adding to this relationship? And maybe my life would be easier without him. Maybe that relationship had runs the course and I needed to walk away. I mean, I really thought about it because I was doing it all. I was overwhelmed and doing it all, but then I stopped and I thought, I want a great relationship. My parents did not have a great relationship and I did not want the relationship my parents had. I wanted a great relationship, I wanted a great marriage. And I knew that if I wanted one, that it’s up to me that it’s up to me.

So I decided in that moment that I was going to do everything I could to make my husband happy no matter what it was, everything I could. And I didn’t put a timeline on it. I didn’t say, I’m going to do this for four weeks. And doggone, if he doesn’t shape up, then he’s out of here. I didn’t do that. No timeline, nothing. I just decided this is what I was going to do. I was going to make him happy. And so I’d write a little note before work or I would buy his favorite tree to the grocery store, just kind of whatever it happened to be. And things changed and it didn’t take that long for things to change. And of course he saw that there was a difference. He felt the difference. Even if he didn’t know the difference, he felt the difference.

And his heart softened toward me. But the biggest change was me and my heart because I loved doing things for him, because I love him. I loved doing those little things. I loved doing that. I loved creating romantic moments. I loved all that stuff. And he always said that he wasn’t romantic because he was left-handed. I don’t think that’s really an excuse. I just think some people are and some people aren’t. And sometimes you need, I want romance. I love romance. So I at first begrudgingly I was the one to create it. And then I realized, no, I love it. So it’s so fun to create it, and he really enjoyed it when I did. But he was happy as a clam, just cuddling on the couch, watching tv. He didn’t need the candles and the rose pedals, he was fine without it. I needed it.

So I was the one to create it. But I loved my husband so deeply after that, after making the decision to do it, to really just be that one way, love that, that love him. So often, you know, talk about turning inward, right? Things that are inward and in our head, not in our head, they don’t exist. But being in our own head. And it can be so easy to say, well, what am I getting back? What? What’s in it for me? And when you go to work, you do that. You say, well, what’s in it for me? And they say, well, you’re going to get this much pay. And you go, oh, okay, then I’ll do it. But love isn’t like that. Love. Love doesn’t work that way. Love is just something that you give. And when you do live love, it’s happy, it’s joyful. It’s not begrudging. Love doesn’t. Envy doesn’t boast it. It’s not proud. It doesn’t easily anger. None of the, doesn’t keep a record of wrongs, all those things that love doesn’t do. But what love does do is love. And it’s just such a happier, more freeing way to live.

Johnny Sanders (52:40):

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely it is. And I think that’s a big point there too, is it’s freeing. It’s actually freeing to get out and to serve others, to love others because we’re not that, we’re not in chains in our head like you’re saying there, and I think that’s something that as spouses, if you’re in a marriage, but again, not just in marriage, that love goes well beyond just marriage. But as asking yourself, what can I do about it? What’s something I could do to make the situation better? So much healthier than just living in your head of, oh, why didn’t they do this? Why did they do that recent book I read, it’s actually kind of a compilation of sermons by Martin Lloyd Jones, it’s called Spiritual Depression. And he has this wonderful line there that talks about we need, instead of listening to ourselves, we need to talk to ourselves.

And what he means by that is instead of just listening to all those thoughts in your head of all those emotions, oh, I can’t believe he did that. I can’t believe she said that. If we trust our hearts and believe all things in our head, we’re going to get somewhere nasty pretty quick. But instead talk to ourselves, what do we know that is true? What scripture and aligns with what love is you have lived that you know what that is. Talk to ourselves, talk that truth into ourselves, going to lead to far better results than just that typical kind of do what you love, trust yourself, all of those things that doesn’t lead to very good results.

Kim Sorrelle (54:31):

Right? It’s so true. And I love that line too. I love that. I love that you should talk to yourself. I love that. There are times though that love would say, walk away if you’re being abused, if you’re an abusive relationship, if you’re in a dysfunctional relationship that is not healthy by staying, you’re enabling the person that you’re with to continue in that behavior. You’re not allowing them the space to grow. And so there are times that love would say, walk away because you love them, you walk away, which is counterintuitive. We think we have to stay, especially as Christians, oh my gosh, you can’t get a divorce or you can’t leave them, you can’t, whatever. Or if you’ve got a problem with an adult child or whatever it happens to be, we think we got to stay. We stick it out, we’ll pray for them. But if you’re being abused, if things are that unhealthy for you, walk away and give the person the freedom, the space they need to be able to change if they’re going to change. Because if they change, it’s on them, it’s up to them. But by loving them, you walk away and there are times when that’s absolutely the thing you have to do. But that’s love, that’s not love.

Johnny Sanders (56:03):

I’m glad you bring that up because so often when we we’re talking about the things we’re talking about, that’s the quick reaction and I don’t want to dismiss that. That absolutely does happen. It does. Abuse is an awful thing that is certainly not love in any way, shape or form. Oftentimes those attacks are levied in a sense of really just kind of lo lobbying grenades at Christians and trying to just almost like the abortion debate of, let me come up with this extreme example to show that, oh, that’s a wonderful thing. Let me come up with an extreme example to show that divorce is always the right thing. Now that’s extreme. And that’s not what you’re saying though. You’re saying there’s times that because love is so important, because marriage is so important, I’m actually giving them the opportunity to change if they’re going to, because this is not love and there needs to be either consequences from sometimes from the state if there’s an arrest that’s warranted from the church.

I think this is a big thing that the church needs to do a better job of. If you’re being abused, like tell your pastor about it. And if your pastor’s not doing anything about it, or your church isn’t doing any discipline, it’s probably not a very healthy church that we need to take abuse extremely serious and instead of just, Nope, that’s love, I need to be abused. I shouldn’t ever even talk about any discipline because that’s not love. No, that is not, that’s not scriptural. That’s not what true love is. So I, I’m really glad that you speak to that side, which I certainly pray no one listening is going through that, but statistically probably somebody is. And we need to act in those situations and not just sit there and take it because that’s, that really isn’t what love is,

Kim Sorrelle (58:06):

Right? And love doesn’t judge, there’s no judgment in love. There’s no judgment. And so when you’re a Christian and in the church and it’s til death to us part and you walk away that you can be judged, well, who cares what other people think You, if somebody’s hitting you that that’s not good. Even if you don’t tell anybody, it’s not something you have to live in. But we feel like we have to stay. I mean as women in particular, we feel like we have to stay and I’m giving you permission to not stay, don’t stay in the abuse walk. It’s okay to walk away. Love would say, God would say, walk away.

Johnny Sanders (58:56):

And this is something that’s important on the male side too that I want to pay attention to. I don’t think any male just decides, you know what? I feel like beating my wife today. That generally is not a conscious decision that someone just decides to do. It’s unchecked anger, unchecked grief. Maybe you had some bad examples growing up, but regardless, there’s, there’s no excuse and you need to get your heart checked on that. And ideally, if you’re listening, your husband, get your heart checked before anything bad happens. This isn’t on the spousal abuse side of things, but I remember when my daughter was born, our first born that at the hospital, they made us watch this video and it was called Purple Baby, I believe is what it was. And remember watching it and essentially one they called it, or no, it was purple screams, I think is what it was.

Basically what it was is a baby that has horrible sleeping and just screams and is just really hard to deal with and essentially was telling parents, don’t shake your baby. That’s very bad. And I remember watching that and I was like, oh, of course I’m not going to shake my baby. I don’t need to watch a video to be told that. Then I had my firstborn who was a horrendous sleeper, and I remember there being times at three in the morning or whatever that I never had that desire like, oh, I’m going to go shaker. But I remember being humbled of realizing, I get it. I get when you’re sleep deprived and you’re in this horrible spot in life of why you might do something like that again, it’s horrible. Don’t advocate to do that. But I was glad I had some of that education beforehand and being able to talk with my wife of, Hey, it’s time for us to just let her cry for a few minutes and get our own wits about us because, and be able to see that in each other that we need to cool ourselves down because we didn’t want to be put in that position.

So husbands, dads, even moms in those type of situations. Again, kind of like with grief, don’t wait for a moment for you to snap, deal with some of that anger, that frustration, whether it’s towards your spouse or your work or whatever, deal with it well before it gets to that point. Because if you’re too prideful to think, you would never be at that point. I’m not saying it will happen to you, and I hope it doesn’t, but none of us are above doing some evil things. So get that taken out quickly and don’t let it take root.

Kim Sorrelle (01:01:46):

Yeah, good word. Good word, for sure.

Johnny Sanders (01:01:50):

Okay, well, Kim, great conversation on both grief and serving and love, I would love for the audience to be able to stay in contact with you and find some places that they can continue to engage with you and your books and everything. So for the audience, how can they stay connected with you after this episode?

Kim Sorrelle (01:02:15):

Well, I am literally the only Kim Sorell spelled my way in the entire world because it’s ridiculous. It has so many letters. There’s two R’s, two E’s, two L’s, but my website is kim sorell, s o r r E L L And I do have a free 14 day love challenge on there. And if you do the Love challenge, you sign up for it. I’ll send you for free a ww l d what would love do wristband, because if you can answer anything that way, you’ll be doing the right thing. But my book is Love is it’s available on Amazon, it’s available in brick and mortar stores. It’s available everywhere. It’s a dark blue cover with a great big white love is, and it’s available audio, Kindle and paperback. And I love people and I love being in contact with people. And so reach out. Anybody wants to reach out, please reach out to me.

Johnny Sanders (01:03:16):

Awesome. Well, I’ll have all of that included down there in the show notes, so definitely encourage you to check that out there. And thank you once again to Kim of being on the show, sharing her incredible story of grief and incredible story of love and just really appreciate the conversation today.

Kim Sorrelle (01:03:36):

Yeah. Well thank you. I really appreciate you and I really appreciate the opportunity and I feel like we kind of ended on this downstroke, but love is a beautiful thing that does not judge. There’s no room for racism or ageism or any kind of an ism. It just loves that. I think sometimes about the Mona Lisa that it is, if it ever went up for sale, who knows how much money someone would pay for it. Elon Musk, millions and millions. I, who knows who would buy it, how much money? Well, it’s because it’s one of a kind masterpiece. And so there has never been anybody exactly like you. There never will be anybody exactly like you are the only you ever, ever, ever. And there’s something really special and wonderful about that, that God made you to be You so love yourself, you recognize that God created you to be exactly who you are and you are one of a kind Masterpiece

Johnny Sanders (01:04:46):

Had recent episode where we talk about God being an author, God being creator. That’s it. We have our worth because of God, because we are made in his image. And as you’re saying there certainly don’t lose sight of that. That is a big deal. We didn’t do anything to earn that to, but we are in his image and that that’s incredible. Okay, well, thanks again for being on the show. Thanks again for everyone listening, for continuing to listen, being engaged in this show, and let’s just continue to fight for truth and I’ll see you on the next episode.