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Atheist to Follower of Christ with Stephanie Rousselle

by | Feb 15, 2021 | Q&A | 0 comments

You never know how much of your life can change once you open yourself up to an adventure. If you stay in one place all your life, you will never grow.  You must be brave enough to challenge yourself outside of your comfort zone. Experiencing and learning new things is how you will truly know yourself.

In today’s episode, Stephanie Rousselle joins us to share her journey from being an atheist to becoming a follower of Christ. She also talks about the importance of trust, open-mindedness and experiencing different cultures.

If you want to know how God can transform your life and redefine your definition of success, this episode is for you.

About Stephanie

Stephanie Rousselle is a wife, mother, podcaster, public speaker, Bible teacher, former World Women’s Ministry Director, strategy consultant, and Gospel Spice Ministries founder.

If you want to know more about Stephanie’s mission, visit the Gospel Spice Ministry’s website for more information.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
  1. Learn valuable insights from Stephanie’s journey of being an atheist to becoming a follower of Christ after spending a year in the United States.
  2. Discover how opening yourself up to different cultures is a life-changing experience.
  3. Redefine your definition of success and change your plans for the better just like Stephanie did.

Resources

 

Episode Highlights

[02:23] Stephanie’s Work

  • Stephanie’s goal is to put the spice back in your relationship with God. Gospel Spice Ministry is passionate about making you fall in love with Jesus at a deeper level.
  • For Stephanie, life is much more interesting and better when we follow God’s way. Our life needs that “spice” that God provides.
  • She has not always been a follower of Christ. She grew up in France, where atheism reigns supreme.
  • She grew up in a culture that emphasizes intellectual achievements and self-sufficiency — different from God’s teachings.

[07:44] Growing Up in France and Post-Truth Philosophy

  • Stephanie grew up in a French middle-class family that engages in post-truth philosophy. It entails the concept of having no absolute truth.
  • She realized that her worldview as an atheist was a fraud when she came face to face with a question someone asked her: how can you assess that relativism is absolute if there’s no truth?
  • Stephanie never went to church when she was young. The Bible is assumed as a fairytale or a myth in their culture.
  • She embraced atheism as her worldview when she was a teenager. However, Stephanie admits that it is easy to embrace the culture you’re in when you’re not exposed to other cultures.

[14:15] Coming to America

  • When Stephanie was in her senior year of high school, she came to the United States as a foreign exchange student for a year. 
  • Unexpectedly, she spent that year with a family who are firm followers of Christ. This is her first exposure to the Gospel.

[14:57] The Dogma of Stephanie’s Family

  • Your dogma is shaped by where and how you grew up.
  • Stephanie refers to her family as dysfunctional due to her dad being an alcoholic and womanizer. Her mom has to deal with the abuse that came from her father’s overwhelming personality.
  • Stephanie’s dad is too dogmatic. He views the world as a dog-eat-dog world. He wants her to succeed in business and be a “shark,” even if it means stepping on other people’s toes.
  • Her dad’s views became her definition of success. On the other hand, her mom adopted Western New Age mysticism.
  • For Stephanie, atheism is the outward manifestation of a deeper-seated dogma. It taught her to be self-sufficient, and it is not a problem to eradicate others on her way to success.

[18:42] Finding Christ in Unexpected Ways

  • Stephanie admits that she wasn’t seeking to fill anything with God in her life when she met Him. For her, part of it was her pride, arrogance, and upbringing.
  • She realized what Christianity meant by being with her American family.
  • Stepping out of her culture and worldview allowed Stephanie to embrace the teachings of Christ and question the post-truth mentality of atheism.
  • Experiencing other cultures and worldviews allows you to reevaluate your belief system based on someone else’s experience through their own culture. It’s a very humbling process. 
  • All people have different ways of controlling their environment to cope with uncertainties. For Stephanie, it is through knowledge. 

[27:30] Breaking Down Early Assumptions about Followers of Christ

  • Sustaining a worldview that doesn’t include love requires a judgmental spirit. Like Atheism, it makes you feel superior to other people. 
  • Her American mom and dad welcomed her into their home with love, understanding, and forgiveness. They taught her a different flavor in life: putting someone else above herself.
  • She discovered the trustworthiness of God whose existence she actively denied.
  • Her American family didn’t force their religion on her. Instead, they prayed for her. Feeling grateful for their actions, she came to church and met other followers of Christ. 
  • Later on, she realized that the Resurrection is a historical fact and understood that maybe she was not in control as much as she thought.

[40:50] Her Internal Battle with Christ

  • Stephanie wrestled with God for several months because she wanted to remain in control of her life.
  • The only way she can know whether God is trustworthy is to give him a chance. 
  • Stephanie laid an ultimatum with God, finding an excuse not to believe in Him. For about a week, Stephanie was deciding if she will believe that God is real and trustworthy. If she doesn’t like what happens, she will go back to her old self. 
  • After that week, it was clear that God changed her life for the better, and she never looked back ever again.
  • When you experience intimacy with God, it’s hard to go back.

[48:21] Gospel Spice Ministry

  • Stephanie started to study scripture and accumulate a lot of knowledge about God to reshape her mindset. It took a lot of work and humility to replace her worldviews with biblical worldviews and redefine her version of success. 
  • When God takes hold of you, He gives you His vision for what He wants for you. 
  • While discovering scripture for herself, she is also uncovering a desire to tell others about it. She wants other people to experience the love of God, as well. 
  • Gospel Spice Ministry is all about allowing others to experience the goodness of God through scripture and intensifying their intimacy with Him.

[55:55] The Importance of Experiencing Other Cultures

  • Understanding other cultures requires a teachable spirit. You can’t have a teachable spirit unless you have humility. 
  • You find yourself questioning your upbringing and culture when you step into a different culture.
  • Stephanie lived in different continents. Being a follower of Christ and experiencing other cultures changed the way she viewed her career and future.
  • When she is met with a culture that contradicts the biblical worldview, she gives respect, separates, and reminds herself to be disciplined by reading the Bible.

[1:08:55] What’s Next For Stephanie?

  • Stephanie just sent her son to college.
  • Gospel Spice Ministry continues to expand, with groups in seven countries, the podcast, and collaborating with other Christian organizations. They aim to further educate, spread, and help people fall in love deeper with God.

Stephanie chose the word Create as she loves creating content and watching people fall in love with God. However, Seek and Go both resonate with her deeply as they encapsulate the human longing.

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

[25:12] “The reason why I can say that I used to be a very arrogant and intellectually minded young lady is because I’m none of these things anymore in so many ways. And it takes a path of humility and a lot of humbling to realize that God truly is the answer to all of your needs. And it’s completely outside of yourself, freeing and very humbling.”

[43:05] “And I came to the realization that the only way I can know whether God is trustworthy is to give him a chance of trusting.”

[51:13] “So at the same time that I’m discovering scripture for myself, I’m discovering a desire, a hunger, a passion, to tell others about that. Because the last thing I want is to be mediocre in my faith in the sense of, I want to know and experience as much of God as I can in this lifetime. And I want that for you, too.”

[53:04] “When God takes hold of you, and He gives you his vision for what He wants for you, and you are bold enough, and brave enough, and adventurous enough to embrace it, to actually believe Him and follow Him where he’s taking you, it completely redefines success for you. It’s not the path you were planning on going down, but it’s so much better.”

[58:09] “What culture does is that when you step into a different culture, if it’s a different language, if it’s a different dress code, if it’s different traditional roles for men and women, whatever it is, you find yourself by necessity questioning your own upbringing in your own culture. Because the people are doing things so differently than you are that they can’t possibly be completely right or completely wrong. So it’s not a matter of right and wrong.”

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To growing and becoming all we are created to be,

Tim