Dottie Camak:           Hi. Welcome to Convos2Connect. I'm your host, Dorothy Camak. This Blogcast is a space to discover peace in the present through the connecting power of conversation. On today's episode I am chatting with Susan Mead. Susan is the author of the book Dance With Jesus, From Great to Grace. She knows firsthand devastating loss, including her sister's suicide, the tragic death of her son, and was a witness to the Boston Marathon bombing. I talk with Susan today about how to get un-stuck from paralyzing grief. She shares about the power of looking up, and looking out. Her thoughts of finding calm in the chaos are essential for living settled in an unsettled life. I'm so glad you're joining me today to embrace more ways to find peace in the present. Enough of this introduction. Let's get to the conversation.

                                    Hello everyone. Thank you for joining me on my first video conversation with my wonderful friend Susan, Susan Mead. I have been dying to introduce you guys to Susan. She is a special, special friend of mine, and she's just great. When she told me that she was coming to South Carolina and passing through this area and invited me to dinner, I was like, "Heck yes. This is going to be fun." My second thought was, "I wish that my friends, my tribe, you guys could feel her energy and be at dinner too." I thought this would be the perfect way to let you guys in on the conversation, and just more than a blog, more than a link to other words, but just to get her energy. [00:02:00]

Susan Mead:             Was I there immediately? No. Your world turns black, your brain stops working, and in that first little bit, yes I had a son, 23. Yes I had a husband. How do you take care of them when you don't know how to take care of you? If somebody says most marriages end in divorce after there's a death of a child, it's right. About 75% end in divorce, because you're so broken, you have no idea how they're supposed to grieve because you don't know how you're supposed to grip. You don't know how they need to heal because you don't know what you need to heal, and if you start telling them to do it your way, you've got friction.

Dottie Camak:           Right, because everybody processes different too.

Susan Mead:             Yes. Even though we've experienced suicide, they're both very different. I can't assume to know how you felt, other than devastated. I understand loss, but I don't understand your loss.

Dottie Camak:           You said it's a journey, it doesn't happen overnight, so when you are in that paralyzed state, it's clear God I think does give us little navigational things.

Susan Mead:             Absolutely.

Dottie Camak:           You saw those.

Susan Mead:             Yes.

Dottie Camak:           What encouragement would you have to someone who feels like, "I don't know what to do." Do you have tactics?

Susan Mead:             Absolutely. Honestly, on my website I have Tell Your Story.

Dottie Camak:           Yes, and we're going to put the links and everything.

Susan Mead:             One of the things that was critical for me was to take what was in my head and on my heart, and put it on paper, because the only way I was going to get my healing was to find hope, so those 4 H's became critical. What I knew was instead of looking into myself, [00:04:00] because when I'm in that dark, broken spot, I'm actually looking down at the enemy. His word says, "We're standing on the head of the serpent, he's under our feet." Well if I'm looking down at him, where's my focus?

Dottie Camak:           Let's get our attention off that.

Susan Mead:             I had to look up to the light of God, I had to look to others who'd walked that path, and I had to renew my mind. That meant when I had those bleak, dark, broken moments, I had to get into his word Dottie, to renew my mind.

Dottie Camak:           That's what he tells us in Romans. When our heart doesn't feel in it, our bodies don't feel in it, he says, "Renew your mind."

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                                    Renew your mind. Daily.

Susan Mead:             It'll get down to the other. The word, and you mentioned community, others. I think that's so important.

Dottie Camak:           I had 2 friends who had lost sons before me, so taking my attention off myself and looking at others, and if they could do it, by Go I could.

Susan Mead:             Yes.

Dottie Camak:           If I looked to the word of God to be the light, it shined and renewed my thinking, and renewed my hope, and filled me up, and I could walk that path. All I needed was a little bitty light, and the first step. The first step. Not the whole path, because you're not going to get that. He told Moses go and do, he didn't say go where, he said go.

Susan Mead:             Preach! Yes.

Dottie Camak:           We're just supposed to trust that. Is it easy?

Susan Mead:             Heck no.

Dottie Camak:           No, but healing is possible. The difference is, when we look to God, he promises to heal our wounds. Promises that he will comfort us, and he commits to that. He doesn't break his promises, he cannot lie. The reality is, we've got to put our focus where he wants it to be. On him. [00:06:00] And each other.

Susan Mead:             Exactly.

Dottie Camak:           By the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony, we change lives. If we don't share our testimony, the enemy wins. That is not an option for either one of these girls.

Susan Mead:             Not what we want, no. Not at all. Thank you, that is so true, and I think it's a continual choice that we make every day. Just like his mercies are new every day, and he strengthens of. We were just watching a video of an interview you did with this phenomenal 10 year old. Susan and this young man were discussing the armor of God and putting it on. Tell us what you said about you don't want to go to work not fully dressed.

Dottie Camak:           Don't go to work naked. God speaks and he just drops stuff like that in on me.

Susan Mead:             I love it.

Dottie Camak:           Y'all laugh along with me. When he said, "Don't go to work naked," It was like, "What?" If we fail to put on the buckle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and picking up the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit, and the word of God, and putting on the gospel of peace, and cladding our feet, and protecting our mind, and praying continually, don't forget that 7th one, to pray continually, we're naked. When I was going through that scripture a couple of months ago Dottie, I was trying to remember. "Okay God, how am I going to remember these rulers, and authorities, and principalities, and [inaudible 00:07:34]?" He said, "Read it again." Rulers. That R popped out. Authorities, that A popped out. Principalities, that P popped out. Spiritual forces of evil, and that E popped out. Literally in my Bible, R-A-P-E. Spiritual rape. Put on the full armor of God and protect yourself [00:08:00] from the evil forces, because he's given it to us, and it's our choice whether we go naked, or we armor up.

Susan Mead:             Let's armor up. Let's armor up. Yes. Thank you so much, Susan.

Dottie Camak:           You're welcome.

Susan Mead:             I cannot wait for all you guys to buy her book and read it and [inaudible 00:08:17].

Dottie Camak:           Amen. [inaudible 00:08:20]