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The Messy Middle: Believing Hurt and Hope Can Coexist

By January 25, 2021Podcast

To kick off Season 10, meet Toni Collier. Toni experienced a lot of brokenness in her home life growing up and is now the Co-Lead Pastor of Hillsong Atlanta and the Founder of Broken Crayons Still Color. I love this ministry! In today’s conversation, she shares openly about tending to our own brokenness, finding hope in the midst of pain, learning to value excellence over perfectionism, the importance of community, and a whole lot more. I believe this conversation will encourage you today and remind you that hurt and hope truly can coexist.


1. Brokenness is a badge.

Toni shares with us that God has truly designed us to carry both the greatest joys of life and the greatest pains. We serve a God who is in the hurt with us, who wants to use our story, and whose call on our lives transcends our experiences. But moving forward requires healing. It requires us to tend to our wounds. And it requires us to be honest about the story our scars tell.

“Hurt and hope can coexist.”

2. It’s not about how much we can achieve; it’s about how much we can surrender.

If we’re honest, this is something many of us need to consistently remind ourselves of. Toni shares that perfection is often an idea we fabricate of an expectation that no one has actually placed on us. Excellence, however, is doing the best we can with what we have. When we focus on excellence over perfection, we recognize our limitations and the reality that we can’t “have it all together” on our own. That requires surrender.

“Our closeness with God is contingent upon how much we can lay at his feet, and how much we can surrender.”

3. Intentional, diverse community brings our life such richness.

Community is such a crucial piece of foster care. When we have a strong community, they can support us, encourage us, challenge us, and expand our perspectives. None of those things can happen in isolation. As foster parents, we’re asked to carry the stories of kids who have experienced trauma, which is why it’s so important to have people around you who can deeply identify with what you’re going through, even without all the details.

“There’s something so beautiful that we learn with community that looks differently than us, believes differently than us, and identifies differently than us.”


We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

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Meet Our Guest

Toni Collier is the Co-Lead Pastor of Hillsong Atlanta. She’s also the founder of an international women’s ministry called Broken Crayons Still Color that helps women process through brokenness and get to hope. She is a speaker, host, and consultant that has helped organizations with creative marketing, leadership, student ministry and strategic planning.

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

Special thanks to Resonate Recordings for their knock-it-out-of-the-park podcast production services! If you have a podcast or want to start one, reach out to our friends at Resonate!

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