Meet Your Host
Stef is southern by choice, a wife, and Jesus follower. She’s experienced life-changing grief and struggled for years with physical changes, the emotional roller-coaster and spiritual questioning. She asked ‘why’ a million times, went ‘boldly’ (and disrespectfully) to the throne, and was confused by a pain she had never felt before.
Stef dreaded the holidays and didn’t want to be around people, but also felt guilty for not being thankful at Thanksgiving or celebrating the importance of Christmas. She believed she could never be happy again and had all but given up on finding her purpose.
But God! Today she is the host of the Grief 2 Great Day Podcast and helps other Christian women walking through the first 2 years of grief.
“I’m so excited to bring together a special group of women and share this time with you. We all have walked through the hardest time of our lives and want you to know what got us through. You are here for a reason!! Join us and be inspired to make it through the day, the holidays and the days ahead.”
Website – Grief 2 Great Day
Meet Your Experts
Choosing Joy Over Sorrow
Kathy Brasby is an author, speaker, and teacher living on a hobby farm in northeast Colorado.
Asked in 2021 to speak at a Christian women’s conference on the topic of hope, Kathy began compiling stories of people who have remained faithful to God in the midst of very difficult circumstances. As she was finishing up the book, her husband died within six weeks of being diagnosed with cancer.
She found the lessons she had learned from the people in her book helped her move forward in spite of her own devastating loss. She was able to complete the book and dedicated it to her husband.
She writes stories of hope, trusting God as her comfort and presence. She’s faced other losses in her life–two miscarriages, loss of both parents and her father-in-law–and trusts that God has never left her alone.
She writes stories of hope and is also a Bible study teacher and speaker. She earned a BA in English from the University of Northern Colorado and an MA in theological studies at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
Good Grief! and God’s Amazing Grace
Jessica was born and raised in rural eastern NC. She graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 2005 and has dedicated her life to serving others with a career in Human Services. She is employed with the NC Department of Public Safety with over 17 years in state government.
After losing her beloved fiancé in 2018, her grandmother in 2020, and her precious 19-year old son, her “baby” boy, in early 2022, Jessica felt the Lord speak into her heart the need for local support for those grieving the loss of loved ones. Inspired by the boldness of her son Alex, who rests eternally in the arms of Jesus, she initiated a grief support program at her “home” church and serves on the bereavement ministry team at her local church.
Jessica believes that sharing the hope in grief, and the grace and mercy of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is an integral part of finding healing through tremendous loss.
Rita A Schulte
Shattered: Finding Hope and Healing Through the Losses of Life
Rita Schulte is a licensed professional board-certified counselor. She received her B.S. in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Rita has a private practice in Fairfax where she specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, anxiety/ depressive disorders as well as grief, loss, and trauma.
She is currently the host of Mind Matters on KLTT 670am radio, Crawford Broadcasting airing out of Denver, CO and Charisma Media Podcast. She also airs a 1-minute devotional spot, Consider This. She is the author of several books: Shattered: Finding Hope and Healing through the losses of Life (Leafwood Publishers), Imposter (Siloam), Think This not That: (Leafwood), and Surviving Suicide Loss: Making Your Way Beyond the Ruins (2021, Moody Publishers).
Rita is a speaker for PESI, ACA, AACC and many other organizations.
Christian Grief Support
How to Survive the Holidays After Losing Your Child
Courtney is a southern girl, born and raised in Alabama. She’s married to her husband, Josh, and together they have 6 kids.
On July 1, 2017, Courtney’s entire world was shattered when she lost her precious 4-year-old son, Sam. The road that she began walking on that day was one of deep grief, pain, and darkness. She didn’t think she’d ever see the light again, laugh again, feel joy again. But God is so faithful and He’s so very close to the brokenhearted. He was with Courtney every moment, healing her heart with the strength of His love.
Now Courtney has made it her mission to help other grieving mamas know that there IS another side to the pain. Courtney is the host of the Unlocking Joy After Grief podcast where she shares all the things she’s learned along her own grief journey to help you start the healing process over your broken heart. To remind you that God is good and He is faithful. He will never leave you. And He is strong enough to carry you.
the Unlikely Missionary
After ‘Why’…What Now?
This is what I want you to know about me. Just as you I am woman who has suffered loss.
My marriage started with knowledge of my husband’s past addiction to drugs. The past would become present, the present would be our future for many years. Finally, only by the grace of God were those addictions placed back in the past.
What a sweet time!
Then Dan’s appointed time…he completed his race!
No longer a wife, helpmate, caregiver or couple.
Who am I now?
A child of God, a daughter of the King, a joint heir with Jesus, an Ambassador for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Spoken Word Artist
Earnestine Hodges is an eastern NC native and active member of her church.
Earnestine has walked with the Lord for many years and began using her God-given gifts later in life. She endured a battle with an open wound over her Achilles tendon and was referred to multiple specialists with no improvement. Unable to walk at times, she held steadfast to her faith – that she would be healed by the Great Physician. And after 7 years she was!
She is using her talents by acting out the Word of God – bringing it to life as a form of worship!
Website | Instagram
Whatever you want this to say
Opendoor Church, Winterville, NC
O Holy Night / How Great Thou Art Medley
Opendoor Church exists to lead people to become fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ who worship Him passionately and unashamedly by helping them know God, find freedom, and fulfill their purpose.
Our mission statement drives everything we do at Opendoor Church! We filter every idea, program, and budget request through our mission statement. We consider it our highest honor and privilege to see people know God through our Weekend Services, find freedom in Small Groups, and fulfill their purpose by serving as part of the Dream Team.