Stephanie Piacitelli, my guest for episode 60, is someone who has learned to find joy in the middle of hard things.
In October 2014, Stephanie and her husband, Bryant, were living a normal life with their four children. But near the end of that month, everything changed in an instant. Bryant was on his way to work as a police officer when he was struck on his motorcycle by a driver who ran a red light. Bryant was killed and Stephanie was left a widow with four young children.
Losing Her Husband
In the interview, Stephanie shares about her life before Bryant passed away and the details of the day he was killed. She talks about how she shared the heartbreaking news with her children that their father had been killed.
One of her first thoughts was forgiveness for the person who hit her husband. Her second thought was that she and her family were loved. She knew they had so many people around them who loved them.
Stephanie shares the tender mercies she received from God prior to her husband’s death that did not lessen the shock but did leave her with the knowledge she was loved. She didn’t know it at the time, but as she looks back, she can see how God was preparing her and giving her what she needed.
Submitting Her Will to God
During her grief, Stephanie had a pivotal moment when she was able to turn everything over to God. She said, “This was a test for me. Am I really willing to put my trust in my Heavenly Father, in an all-knowing, all-loving God? Am I able to do that?… These experiences that we go through, are for our own good. We may not see it in the moment, but if we will allow the refiner’s fire to allow Heavenly Father to mold us into the person that He needs us to become, we will be better off than what we may have thought.”
Stephanie used the word “liberating” when talking about surrendering her will to God. We discussed the miracle of giving your will to the One who matters most and how surrendering will change your life.
“God will not forsake me” was on repeat in Stephanie’s mind for months after her husband’s death and is how she ultimately got through the darkest days.
Knowing Her Children’s Needs
Stephanie also shares how prayer and relying on the spirit have helped her know the individual needs of her four children who lost their dad. She also talks about how she uses these same skills to help the four step children she is mothering since remarrying.
Joy in the Middle of Hard Things
Overall, Stephanie’s story illustrates well it is possible to have faith and trust, even during difficult challenges. Stephanie knows “Joy is possible, even in the midst of hard things.” God makes this possible.
How to Listen
Other Episodes Dealing with Grief
Episode 2: Navigating Loss, Special Needs and Fostering as a Young Mom with Alie Jones
Episode 5: Choosing Happiness in Motherhood Despite Grief and Tragedy with Maralyn Nava
Episode 7: Turning to God Through Infertility, Adoption and Miscarriage with Kay West
Episode 58: Why Gratitude for Little Things Will Make Your Life Better with Heather Herbert