A lifetime of learning about the Gospel: an interview with Elyse FitzpatrickBy Trillia Newbell | February 28th, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized | 2 comments
by Trillia Newbell
Long before “Women Helping Women” was birthed, Elyse Fitzpatrick (60) began to see the benefits of counseling other women. With a concern for the kind of counsel women were receiving in her church in the mid-1980’s, she began to pursue training to counsel women.
“I became concerned about the kind of counsel the women in my church were-or more correctly, weren’t- getting. I was always finding myself in the position of having women ask for advice and I never really felt qualified to help them. I believed that the Bible had the answers but I didn’t know where or how to apply them,” said Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick received her certificate in biblical counseling from CCEF (San Diego) and an M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. When asked why she felt it was important for women to counsel other when she said, “Well, the obvious answer is that the Bible commands us to in Titus 2:5f. But also because a woman knows by experience the difficulties and joys of being a woman and if she’s learned to apply Scripture to her own life she’ll be more able to do so with other women.”
She has now penned more than 14 books, but it all started with a school assignment.
“My first book was a little pamphlet entitled, ‘More Than Bread’ which actually was the result of an assignment I had for one of my counseling classes. The first widely published book was ‘Women Helping Women’ and I wrote that book with Carol Cornish-and others- as a way to speak with a woman’s voice into the biblical counseling community,” she said.
Fitzpatrick’s books range in topic from Titus 2 ministry, worry and anxiety, eating and idols, to medication, but her favorite has been and will always be the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“I love the Gospel message and how that message applies to Christians. Not just to non-Christians who need to get saved but rather Christian who have believed but have lost sight of the blessedness of Christ’s incarnation, sinless life, substitutionary life, bodily resurrection and ascension. Each of those beautiful truths are necessary for Christians to remember when they face their sins and suffering,” she said.
Though she does not currently counsel full-time she has had thousands of conversations with women and speaks at churches and conferences frequently.
“I’m always so blessed when young women understand how Jesus has loved them and called them to a holy calling,” she said.
One of her newest books, “Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life”, is rich in the Gospel message dear to Fitzpatrick’s heart. But if time to read the book doesn’t present itself, she has also published a devotional book “Comforts from the Cross”.
“The book was spawned by a conversation I had with a woman who said that she loved, ‘Because He Loves Me’ but didn’t think many women had time to read it and wouldn’t I please write something like it that busy moms and women in the workplace could have to remind them of the gospel in 5 minutes or less,” she said.
And this message of the Gospel is the only advice she would give to this generation of women and the next if she could only give one advice.
“Love the gospel. Don’t think that church is all about being good, getting better, working it out on your own, but rather rejoice in the work Jesus Christ has already done for you and then pour out your life in zealous devotion to him and the people God places in your life,” she said.
To find out more about Elyse Fitzpatrick including how to order her books, visit her website at http://elysefitzpatrick.com/.
More about Elyse
She holds a certificate in biblical counseling from CCEF (San Diego) and an M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary, and is a member of the National Association of Nouthetic Counseling.
Elyse is the author of numerous books including: the award winning “Women Helping Women”; “Love to Eat, Hate to Eat,” “Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety,” “When Good Kids Make Bad Choices,” “Women Counseling Women,” (each from Harvest House Publishers); “Idols of the Heart,” “The Afternoon of Life,” and “A Steadfast Heart,” “You Never Stop Being A Parent,” from P & R Publishers; “Helper By Design” and “Will Medicine Stop the Pain?” from Moody Publishers; and “Uncommon Vessels” (Leader’s Guide and Member’s Manual) from Timeless Texts. “Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life” is available from Crossway Books. Also available from Crossway is “Comforts from the Cross: Daily Celebrations of the Gospel,” and “Counsel from the Cross.”
A frequent speaker at women’s conferences, she has been married for over thirty years and has three adult children and six really adorable grandchildren.
Along with her husband, Phil, Elyse is a member of Valley Center Community Church , a reformed congregation in the community of Valley Center. VCCC is a member of FIRE, the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals.