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In This Episode:

  • When the weight of family circumstances hit… hard
  • How ‘Conversations with God’ started
  • Allowing himself to physically feel the emotions when writing
  • Letting go of the shame of what other people are going to think if you let someone read what you’ve written
  • The importance of having a safe person or the support of a community to share your scars with
  • Remembering to breathe and not miss the miracle of the moment right now
  • John’s ‘being seen’ moment that was tragic and profound
  • Being thankful for the lessons learned every day

Quotations From This Episode:

“I was drawing a bucket out of an empty well.” ~ John Roedel

“The first time I ever mentioned or thought about having depression, I typed it out in this conversation with God.” ~John Roedel

“God responded back to me in a very compassionate way.” ~John Roedel

“What I love about how I write is, I allow myself to feel it all over my body.” ~John Roedel

“Life is real. Life is messy. Life is complicated. People are messy. And people, we’re all people. Right?” ~JennyQ

“I don’t find myself to be that talented of a writer, I just find myself being able to connect with how I feel.” ~John Roedel

“I didn’t know I wasn’t well, because I wasn’t checking in with myself. I was just on cruise control.” ~John Roedel

“Through the process, there has to be a level of nonjudgement for yourself.” ~JennyQ

“You have to get over your own self-criticism and your own shame.” ~John Roedel

“When we breathe, that’s where hope is. That’s where peace is.” ~John Roedel

“We’re all connected to each other by emotion.” ~John Roedel

“I focus on my emotions before any other content, because it’s what separates us from anything else on this planet.” ~John Roedel

“See yourself in the moment and realize it’s all the miracle of life.” ~JennyQ

“I’m trying to look and be grateful for even the things in my life that have caused me to suffer.” ~John Roedel

“I can control myself and how I look at this experience of life. And I’m trying my best.” ~John Roedel

“I believe that lasting transformation starts with self.” ~JennyQ

Biography:

John Roedel is a comic, husband and father of three boys based in Wyoming who began talking with “God” in 2015 on Facebook about his ongoing faith crisis. What began as a flippant way of making light of his doubts in the Divine turned into something he wasn’t at all prepared for: God wrote back. Since creating the popular “Hey God. Hey John.” blog on Facebook three years ago, John has tackled such topics as his journey to mental health wellness, his lack of faith, the joy and pain of raising a child with autism, and grief, all in the form of a simple conversation with God.

Contact:

Website: https://www.johnroedel.com/

Twitter: .@JohnnyRoedel

Facebook: Godandjohn

JOHN'S POEM

my brain and
heart divorced
a decade ago

over who was
to blame about
how big of a mess
I have become

eventually,
they couldn’t be
in the same room
with each other

now my head and heart
share custody of me

I stay with my brain
during the week

and my heart
gets me on weekends

they never speak to one another

– instead, they give me
the same note to pass
to each other every week

and their notes they
send to one another always
says the same thing:

“This is all your fault!”

on Sundays
my heart complains
about how my
head has let me down
in the past

and on Wednesday
my head lists all
of the times my
heart has screwed
things up for me
in the future

they blame each
other for the
state of my life

there’s been a lot
of yelling – and crying

so,
lately, I’ve been
spending a lot of
time with my gut
who serves as my
unofficial therapist
most nights, I sneak out of the
window in my ribcage
and slide down my spine
and collapse on my
gut’s plush leather chair
that’s always open for me

~ and I just sit sit sit sit
until the sun comes up

last evening,
my gut asked me
if I was having a hard
time being caught
between my heart
and my head

I nodded

I said I didn’t know
if I could live with
either of them anymore

“my heart is always sad about
something that happened yesterday
while my head is always worried
about something that may happen tomorrow,”
I lamented

my gut squeezed my hand
“I just can’t live with
my mistakes of the past
or my anxiety about the future,”
I sighed

my gut smiled and said:
“in that case,
you should
go stay with your
lungs for a while,”

I was confused
– the look on my face gave it away

“if you are exhausted about
your heart’s obsession with
the fixed past and your mind’s focus
on the uncertain future
your lungs are the perfect place for you

there is no yesterday in your lungs

there is no tomorrow there either

there is only now

there is only inhale

there is only exhale

there is only this moment

there is only breath

and in that breath
you can rest while your
heart and head work
their relationship out.”

this morning,
while my brain
was busy reading
tea leaves

and while my
heart was staring
at old photographs
I packed a little
bag and walked
to the door of
my lungs

before I could even knock
she opened the door
with a smile and as
a gust of air embraced me
she said

“what took you so long?”

~ john roedel