Faith, Suffering

The Day I Shared My Testimony With the Governor

Me: “On the day we got engaged, I met Brad at the park in my jogging clothes and he was in a full-out tux from the interview he just left.”

The Governor of Nebraska: “Wait, wait. Tux or suit?”

Me: “I don’t even know. Tomayto, tomahto, Governor. The point is he was on a very different playing field.”

I had the opportunity to share my testimony, why there’s hope on hard days and a little bit of sass (I’m from Philly, I can’t help it) with Governor Ricketts this week.

I expected him to talk about what brought me to the state from Tennessee, playing soccer at the University of Nebraska, and why I started my ministry. I was pleasantly surprised when he took it a different direction.

Sure, we touched on those points. But, spoiler alert? We talked a whole lot of Jesus and my thoughts on why God lets seemingly good people endure immense suffering.

Why Is An Apolitical Girl on a Podcast With the Gov?

Don’t get me wrong, I vote. But as far as being well-versed on things going on at the Legislature? Definitely not a strength.

I was absolutely honored to be on his podcast but, in all reality, a bit intimidated because previous guests included Tom Osborne, Larry the Cable Guy, a NASA astronaut, and a US Senator, to name a few.

But for the first time ever on any talk I’ve given, I didn’t look at my notes the entire time.

I straight up preached how I came to know and trust Christ. I didn’t fuzzy the details. I didn’t beat around the bush. 

I just shared what was on my heart and it was one of the most natural podcasts, talks, or conversations I’ve had to date.

Ashley Stevens of Mountains Unmoved on The Nebraska Way podcast with Governor Ricketts

When we were done, I gave him the first signed copy of my new booklet, ‘Let’s Do Suffering Better,‘ I had printed just an hour before the show.

Podcast Cliff Notes

If podcasts ain’t your thing, here are some highlights from questions I answered on the show:

How can a God who loves you allow suffering to happen to people?

“What helps me understand how to answer that better as a mom is I think about my kids. I see them suffering – having hard days at school or fights with friends. But when they have hard days does that change my love for them at all? Does that change me wanting what’s best for them at all?

And the answer, obviously, is no.

The same thing applies to God and us. God wills our good, He wants our good. He loves us and is with us no matter what suffering we walk through.”

What advice do you have for people walking through a tough challenge?

“Know you are not alone in your suffering.

That’s a common lie we fall into: I’m the only one going through this. If anyone’s listening going through a hard spot, know you’re not alone.

Find your people and ask for help. You have to feel comfortable bringing your troubles to them because if you’re not, there won’t be healing.”

How do you find your people, your tribe, when you’re walking through a hard spot?

“Your people before the suffering – that’s your tribe. Until we ask for help, no one knows what we need and people want to support us in any way they can.

When I was stripped of my independence I had to ask for help and I think because of that experience I feel more comfortable asking specifically for what I need. Right now, for instance, a friend is watching my little one while I do this podcast.

People are good and want to help. We just have to admit we’re not Superwoman or Superman and ask for it.”

If you want to hear more of the podcast and my answer of the age-old question of “why bad things happen to good people” check it out here:

Whatever you’re walking through, He is with you friends.

Thanks for having me, Governor Ricketts. It was an absolute honor.