Hello my friends! Well, here we are! Episode number 52. That’s one episode for 52 weeks - one full year. Can you believe it? I really can’t. I can’t believe I’ve been sharing my story of brokenness and the journey God has had me on to mind, body, and spirit wholeness. When explaining the podcast to people, I tell them it’s basically a slow-roll-out of my story and how I’m finding healing along the way. It’s an ongoing process, and I’ve been doing it now for a year. Wow.
In the very first episode, I set out the vision for the purpose and hopeful outcome of this podcast. My desire was to communicate how I've found peace in the midst of chaos and truth that dispels the lies. It certainly has been cathartic for me, for sure. And it has been my complete thrill and surprise to hear how it’s had a profound effect on men and women alike, young and old, people who have lost loved ones, as well as all kinds of other people with all kinds of challenges in life - big and small. I hope you are one of those who have been touched in some way. And Another Beautiful Life podcast is being listened to in over 35 countries. Who knew? I’m so blown away and honestly humbled by it all. Thank you for listening, friend. I so appreciate you.
So, I’ve been reflecting on recording this podcast this past year, trying to identify what I have learned. There’s always something to learn, right? One thing that was formative was understanding that choosing to be open and vulnerable about sharing my story gave others permission and courage to share their stories, too. Which gave me more courage to be more vulnerable and share more. People are people at the end of the day, and everyone just wants to be seen, known, and loved, and accepted for who and where they are. They’re looking for hope in a difficult world and just need to see something real sometimes. And I’m definitely in the camp that there are enough fake personas that lead us to believe we’re permanently broken and without redemption. Nope! There’s hope for you, my friend. Just like there’s hope for me. Always.
And, I’ve had the privilege of receiving some brief testimonials of some of those amazing people over the past year, and I’d like to read a few because, well, they’ve blessed me like crazy, but I’m hoping they’re an encouragement to you, too.
Here’s one that just gave me chills and tears, all in the same few minutes of reading it. She says,
“Hello there. You don’t know me but we have several mutual friends. I live in a neighborhood near you and used to frequent your floral shop (I loved it by the way!). I remember when your husband passed away and i remember thinking how awful this was, how devastating - I could tell by your post on the FB shop page that you were very much in love, true life partners. I couldn’t imagine losing mine - until now…… My husband died suddenly April 2020 and about 6 months ago I started listening to your podcast - I think it was referenced in another podcast or maybe a widow blog I follow…. But I had no idea who you were and never made the connection at the time. I’ve been listening to the episodes randomly and not in any kind of order. Today I listened to one and I was so surprised when I heard you mention your former flower shop as “Deep Roots”! I kid you not - I cried right then and there and my eyes are still wet as I type this. I’ve been so encouraged by your episodes and now, knowing even just a little more of your story, it makes me feel like I can get through this. God has been my constant support and I wouldn’t be here at all without my faith - and I think it’s no coincidence that I stumbled across your podcast. He is good all the time. Anyway, I just wanted to share how much you and your story have impacted me - and I’m sure many others. Thank you for what you do.”
And this one from a Pastor in Ohio that’s become a friend.
“Tricia, thank you so much for having the courage to start Another Beautiful Life Podcast. I remember the very first time I heard one of your earliest podcasts and you spoke the words, "I believe that God is extending out his hand, offering each one of us the opportunity to be guided into restoration. I also believe that with restoration comes freedom, adventure, and great hope." Your words brought such reassurance, encouragement, and hope. From that day forward, I have listened to every episode, receiving blessings, insight, and enrichment from each and every one. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your journey and for being willing to become part of ours. Keep offering your message of hope to the world! God bless you, and may the best days be the ones that lie before you.”
This one so blessed me:
I just listened to your podcast, #27 What’s Love Got To Do With It?, and I really felt like God spoke to me in it. See, it’s the 27th anniversary of our wedding, and recently I’ve been feeling a little discontented with my marriage. I’ve been irritated with my husband and having a hard time showing him love in a tangible way. But your podcast changed all that. Listening to you talk about love languages and your own relationship with your late husband made a real shift in me. My heart has been renewed, and I have a genuine love and appreciation for my husband that just came over me. Thank you for sharing your life with others.”
Now, this one blew me away. I just was in such awe at how God was using this podcast. This is from another pastor that has also become a friend:
“As a pastor in the state of New York, I often find myself feeling discouraged and emotionally drained. I discovered "Another Beautiful Life" on a podcaster discussion page and I'm convinced that this was a divine appointment, and not merely a coincidence. I just binged on 5 episodes of your podcast. I want you to know that it really encouraged me. I have been wanting to quite the ministry lately, and certainly quit my church. But I think I have an idol of wanting results I expect, the response I expect. I was really inspired by the Hudson Taylor quote and his selfless service to those who didn't always respond how he would want. I realized that I am saying, "I trust you God, but let me paddle still and kind of direct things. You just help me out." I realized I need to engage in the silence to let God speak to me and silence my overactive, results driven mind. I really mean it, God really used you to get through to me. Please keep doing what you are doing, because God is behind what you are doing. God is using you to touch lives, including that of a battle worn pastor in Buffalo, NY. Keep using the gift God gave you. Keep honoring the name of your husband by blessing others through that tragedy. Your spirit truly brings God glory and exemplifies the verse, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’”
I could never have believed that my story would reach across the US, much less the entire globe. I feel like this is just confirmation that Brian’s death was not in vain. Not in the least bit. God is redeeming this story and working all things - everything that I’ve been through, everything I’ve had to face and overcome - He’s working it all for my good, just as my pastor friend in New York said.
So, as I reflect over the past 51 episodes, I think one thing that has really helped me personally has been to be able to go back to a particular message and listen to it and to get my own mind and faith back in check. Seriously! I’ll listen to myself and will be like, oh yeah, that’s good, I needed that. And, of course, that makes sense because the message of hope was given by the Holy Spirit for my edification then, so why wouldn’t it be inspiring truth again the second time…or third time. So for those of you who have told me you’ve listened to a particular episode more than once, I’m with ya. And here’s the thing, why wouldn’t we think that we’d need a message more than once? What I know is that truths are building blocks that give us foundation to stand on more truths. We’re just constantly making our foundation deeper and stronger.
Okay, so I have people ask me all the time about how I come up with episode content. I believe in the intro episode I explained this a little bit, in that I would be taking the journal entries of a couple of years that led up to Brian’s death, as well as the years afterwards. Then at some point, I caught up to the present, which was not long ago, and I started talking about what I’m experiencing and things I’m going through right now. It’s also given me an opportunity to speak into the topics that I see come up regularly with my clients as a Life Coach. It’s interesting that there are all kinds of people with different backgrounds, experiences, and circumstances, but the one thing we have in common is a human brain that tends to want to get in our way with lie-based and limiting beliefs based on our perception of those experiences and circumstances. And that includes me. So, it’s been so great to get to talk about all the things that keep us, as humans, stuck, fearful, and in confusion and overwhelm. We’re all a part of one big family. And how fun is it get to help others find a way to breakthrough all that mess to freedom! I love it!
For you that wonder about the technical process of this podcast, I literally record the episodes in my bedroom closet. Yep, right now I’m standing in the back of my closet with my Blue Yeti microphone hooked up to my Mac computer. All the clothes soak up any echo. I love telling people this because now as you listen you can just imagine me in my closet, talking to you about all my very personal stuff. And Maybe I just ruined it for one listener who says that as she listens she imagines us sitting across from one another having a cup of tea together. So sorry, friend. I also edit and produce the whole thing myself. I love every bit of it! But here’s something you might be surprised about, at least I was. There are many times when I start outlining what I want to say in a particular episode, and I struggle so hard. I struggle about what exactly to say. I worry about how it should be communicated so that it’s understandable and helpful. I wrestle with wanting to be completely raw and vulnerable, yet wanting to honor specific details of my story, and Brian’s, out of respect for my family. But every single time, I walk away from a recording knowing God gave me the exact words to say. It’s usually confirmed by someone’s text message or email or just mentioned in a conversation. And I love hearing how God’s bringing more and more redemption to it.
So, there we go. One full year of podcast episodes. And I’m pretty proud of myself for doing it even when I was scared to sometimes. But I also feel like it’s my duty. Second Corinthians 1:4 says that God comforts us in all our troubles so thatwe can comfort others when they are troubled. He has come to my aid in so many tangible ways, and I’m continuing to experience His comfort and peace every single day. I hope that as I continue on with this podcast, you will also be encouraged and experience His presence in your time of need. That is my prayer for you, my friend. Let’s continue on, shall we?