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Justine shares her compelling story of the journey of overcoming heartbreaking and crushing trials and what the Lord has taught her through loss. She is a certified counselor that is spending her time now focusing on speaking and writing about truly seeking the Lord and finding joy in the midst of life’s hardest moments.
She is an advocate for speaking unspoken shame and choosing to thrive when life doesn’t turn out how you hoped, dreamed, or planned. Her spirit helps others to feel seen and empowered to change their own lives, no matter what hand they’ve been dealt and to ultimately do the work of happy.
Justine shares intimately about her and her husband’s walk through infertility, which ultimately led to a life with no children. She speaks about the roles that the Lord has opened up in her life in spite of having children. One woman even spoke wonderful truth over Justine in saying she is a “mother to mothers”. She reminds us that there is more to what the Lord has called us to than the roles we play in other’s lives. The Lord has a specific calling for our individual selves, not just to the “wife” or the “mom” or the “full time employee” aspect of ourselves, but rather specifically to our being and who He created us to be.
We speak on the process of grief, and I think everyone needs to listen to this episode simply for Justine’s insight on the journey of grief. Grief is a part of life and it is something that “does not necessarily go away, but it changes”. She gently tells us to have purposeful grace in our losses. Justine speaks on being able to sit in our grief to begin to heal, but not to dwell in grief forever. She so beautifully says that “grief is like a wound we have incurred. We must treat it in order to not leave it a gaping wound”. The scar will always be there as a reminder of what has been, but the Lord did not create us to go through trials to sit in them and never move again. She reminds us that our calling is the great commission and that we cannot encourage others to intimately know our Heavenly Father if we are not believing and trusting in our Heavenly Father and setting that example for the lost. We are the ones letting the world know that there is hope in loss. How can we be the example if we first do not believe that for our own lives? There is a beautiful balance with trials and the hope for tomorrow.
We talk on the importance of embracing these conversations of infertility and loss, because the number of women that are experiencing issues with infertility are staggering. We have hurting husbands and wives in our communities and they need to feel there is someone they can talk to about it when it seems to difficult to bear. We also discuss the difference between sympathy, empathy, and how to combat victimization with trust in who the Lord tells us He is.
Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Daring Way™, Dare to Lead™ & BOLD-A Courage Building Program for Adolescents Facilitator (based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown) with 19 years of experience in mental health. She is the author of her best-selling books, Ever Upward and The Mother of Second Chances. Justine’s newest book, The Complicated Gray, released Fall 2018.
During the Summer and Fall of 2017 she was blessed with her Rising Ever Upward tour where she offered workshops and intensives in eight cities across the country. In 2017 she spoke at both TEDxUMDearborn and TEDxLaSierraUniversity.
Justine currently lives in Saint Louis with her husband, Chad, and their three dogs. She enjoys her childfull life by spending time with friends and family, practicing creative self-care, laughing (many times at herself) and building butterfly gardens on her acre of land, which has made her an accidental butterfly farmer.
I pray this episode truly encourages you, as everyone has walked through a loss of some kind. I am so thankful for Justine and the story the Lord has given her to share.
- Coming soon…