By Marilyn Stewart, Regional reporter
The sold-out crowd of 1500 women at Celebration Church, Metairie, cheered when Jennifer Rothschild, noted author and accomplished singer, took to the stage for the recent women’s event Fresh Grounded Faith. With Rothschild were actress Karen Abercrombie, “Miss Clara” from the film War Room and Stormie Omartian, bestselling author of the Power of Prayer series.
“It’s God’s love that makes you lovely,” Rothschild told the crowd of women from all backgrounds and age groups.
Blinded at age 15, Rothschild is the author of 11 books including the bestselling Lessons I Learned in the Dark; Self Talk, Soul Talk; and the recently released Invisible: How You Feel is Not Who You Are. Rothschild is the author of the popular Me, Myself and Lies Bible study and the 7-session DVD-driven study, Hosea, carried by LifeWay.
Trials and failures do not define a person’s value, Rothschild told the crowd.
“Who you are and what you struggle with are not the same thing,” Rothschild said. “The Lord values who you are, not where you are.”
A wife, mother, speaker and accomplished singer with six albums to her name, Rothschild has been featured on the Today show, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, and the Billy Graham Television Special.
“Jennifer is the kind of person you just know you would enjoy spending time with if you had the chance,” said Vicki Gordy, Celebration Church member. “She radiates peace and a love for people and has a great sense of humor that seems natural rather than scripted.”
Despite accomplishments, Rothschild admitted she struggles at times still with feelings of inadequacy. Rothschild told of a radio interview where she overheard during a break the host’s extravagant praise for the guest that would follow her. When the interview ended, Rothschild said she had to spend time in with the Lord to be reminded of where her true value lies.
Rothschild said she spent a lot of time listening to “wrong voices” and trying to find her identity in her abilities and accomplishments or in approval from others.
“I couldn’t find myself because I was already found,” Rothschild told the crowd. “God is the source of our identity.”
Drawing from Gomer’s story in the book of Hosea, Rothschild reminded the women they are loved, accepted, complete, and known by God, using the acronym LACK.
Rothschild urged the women to see themselves as loved by God “because He is love,” adding that women must receive God’s unconditional love in order to pass it on to others. She reminded listeners that acceptance before the Lord is not tied to performance. “His grace is enough.”
Drawing from Colossians 2:10, Rothschild told listeners that “completion” and satisfaction are found in Christ, not in accomplishments or earthly relationships. Using Psalm 139, Rothschild pointed out that believers are known by God.
“You are loved; you are accepted; you are complete; you are known,” Rothschild said. “You lack nothing. Whoever has the Son has everything.”
Vicki Watson, wife of Celebration Church pastor Dennis Watson and women’s ministry leader, said lives were changed because of the event.
“Many women who attended the conference have shared with us that they were greatly encouraged by the testimonies [of the speakers] and healed from many emotional hurts by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Watson said.
Abercrombie told of her own “war room,” a spare bedroom where she kneels to pray, telling that she gave birth to a son at age 39 after praying for years for a child. Abercrombie’s dramatic recitation of the story of Rahab illustrated that acceptance can be found in God.
“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or what’s been done to you,” Abercrombie said. “God is willing to forgive all.”
Omartian told of a childhood filled with abuse and neglect that led her into alcohol abuse and experimentation with the occult. As God healed deep wounds step by step, Omartian said she came to see each falter backwards as God leading her to new levels of deliverance rather than failure.
“In all my dark times I’ve gone through, I’ve learned that the treasure you find in darkness is Him,” Omartian said. She urged listeners to devote themselves to prayer. “You can’t be free of your past, live successfully in the present, and move into the future until you make prayer a way of life.”