Have you ever felt like the journey of healing from losing something – or someone – dear to you was NOT what you hoped for?
Do you often find yourself feeling confused, unsure and lacking direction?
Would you like to see that someone else has walked this path, so you can? Me too. There is a way to embrace change.
My name is Susan Burfoot Mead and I’ve been blessed to be married to my soul mate, Holt Mead, since 1979. I think the first 35 years we spent working on learning what soul mates are…Or should I ask him if we are still working on that?
I’m the mother of two sons, Matthew, who lives in South Louisiana and Kyle, Forever 20 and in Heaven, where he is doing a Dance with Jesus. Kyle’s been there since March 29, 2008. March 20 is Matt’s birthday. I love you dearly, Matt. Always have. Always will.
Have you ever written an answer to a Bible Study question that took longer than the two lines provided? I did – and it became the book Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace. The question Henry Blackaby posed in Experiencing God was what does God want you to do, right now?
I heard deep in my spirit, “Sing My love song.” And laughed out loud at God.
Seriously God, You will have to send me a bucket, because You KNOW I can’t carry a tune. Then the next deep spiritual nudge was, “What’s in your hand? Use it.” I was writing in the workbook, so a pen was in my hand…
I swept away the workbook, got out a clean journal and out the story poured. At 5:30 am, I looked up as I wrote the last words. The very first email I read later that day was from Proverbs 31 Ministries about their upcoming SheSpeaks 2013, a speakers and WRITERS conference.
Seriously God? You WANT me to DO something with this? OK.
So the story begins…
Disclosure: Though much of what I talk about here is psychological and physiological in nature, I am not an expert or a professional in the field of counseling, even though I am an Ordained Minister with a Doctor of Theology Degree. I have been trained to know how and when to refer folks to professional resources. With that said, I am a mom who has walked the path of grief that led to grace. I’m simply committed to sharing my story of healing and what I’ve learned along the way as God gently took my hand in His gracious hand and led me down the path to wholeness. God put network marketing in my path as I was healing. So what’s my job description now? Helping others be transformed as they embrace change.
WHAT I WRITE ABOUT
- Stepping out confidently
- Engaging others
- Rekindling faith
- Valiantly create success
- Impacting many
- Courageously move forward
- Embracing change
MY FAITH WALK
I grew up in a Christian home, where we went to church every Sunday and Wednesday night Choir practice, even though I can’t carry a tune at ALL, mom and dad still took me with them to choir practice. God bless all the dear folks who had to hear my croaking as a kid in the choir.
Mom taught me as a child that I am never alone, as Jesus is ever-present and will hold my hand, if I will hold His. I held His hand as a teenager, yep, even during those days that were rebellious rather than reverent. Thank God, He hung onto me, too! Psalm 91:11 is my favorite verse. For He orders His angels to protect you wherever you go. PRAISE GOD! The angels He assigned to me may have had a full time job.
I wonder…do the angels STILL have to run so hard after me???
Marriage (to a Methodist preacher’s kid no less!) was followed by the births of two boys and multiple moves throughout the South, up to New Jersey and back to the Lone Star State, my home state. I’m a Native Texan. I love bluebonnets, the Lone Star flag, Six Flags over Texas, gardening, cooking, reading and SWIMMING in the summer. Now we are in my husband’s home state of Louisiana – in the middle of nowhere on a beautiful lake. What a gift we get with each sunrise and sunset.
Early one Tuesday morning, Mom called and asked if Holt had told me she had called the precious evening. No. No big deal, I thought, until Mom said Bette killed herself yesterday.
Oh, God. My precious sister, a brilliant PhD nurse, had bought a gun…and committed the unthinkable.
In that moment, I felt a physical caress across my broken heart and HEARD, OUT LOUD, such exquisite words of His love followed by being encased, embraced, encircled (are there adequate earthly words to describe a heavenly experience?) by the “peace that surpasses understanding.”
Have I experienced anything like that beautiful holy moment.
My Heavenly Father stroked my broken heart.
He told me a truth no man or woman can deny I heard out loud.
He encircled me in His exquisite peace. And peace is of God.
My faith went from believing there is a God, to knowing God. This is the pivot point of my life to pursue knowing God intimately. How gracious is my God and King!
Up close, personal, immediately, my faith became unshakably strong. How He knew what I needed to hear continues to amaze me and the fact that He cared enough about me to intercede in my life at that moment changed my walk with God. You see, He took my hand in His gracious hand and began the slow walk with me into a deeper reliance on Him. He helped my find calm in the chaos of life and embrace change. How beautiful is that?
About four and a half years later, Matt called on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning. My world split open and I fell into a black abyss as Matt wailed, Kyle died last night. Oh. O H. OHHHHHHHH. NO!
You don’t even want to imagine how any parent feels upon hearing those words.
But God…gave me a gift – a beautiful gift.
The morning of Kyle’s service, I had a dream. Kyle was wearing blue jeans, his Scooby Doo t-shirt, a blazer and was dancing–getting way down low. Two hockey sticks were crossed behind him…and JESUS was way down low, dancing in a mirror image just like Kyle! Jesus turned with His arm outstretched, pointed to me and said, “This is to bring you joy. I taught him how. I taught him how to dance.”
So where is Kyle? Dancing with Jesus! Awesome, thank you, Father. What an exquisite gift from You.
Three days later, we were in South Louisiana for a memorial service for Kyle for his college friends who were unable to join us for his funeral service. One of his friends had all the kids download their cell phones and cameras and had a banner made of the pictures to present to us.
Can you imaging my surprise…and delight…when just to the right of center I saw a photo…
There was Kyle in a picture wearing blue jeans, his Scooby Doo t-shirt, a blazer and was dancing–getting way down low. One hockey stick was behind him…No mirror image. Just him. Dressed just like the dream. Three days LATER.
And the story continues as God reveals Himself over and over and over again. I remain in awe of our great God!
A year later, the gift of network marketing was added to my life. What a difference as the products produced results, the opportunity allowed me to retire from corporate America 10 years early and the relationships formed remain some of the deepest friendships in my life.
On March 31, 2015, Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace released into the book stores and reached #1 Hot New Release on Amazon – that day!
In December, 2016, Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace received two Reader’s Choice Awards from the 2016 Christian Literary Awards.
Don’t Go Through Life Naked: How to Clothe Yourself in God’s Power followed in February 2018, achieving #1 Amazon Best Seller and earning multiple awards including the 2018 IPPY Gold Medal Award in Religion and two 2018 Christian Literary Awards, including the honor of the top award in Motivation, the Henri Award and a prestigious 2019 Silver Illumination Book Award, along with other authors like Pope Francis, Anne Graham Lotz, Bob Goff, and Lysa TerKeurst. What an honor!
Want to preview or get Susan’s books? Here’s the link
MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE
Though I am a Medical Technologist with an MBA who spent over 22 years with Johnson & Johnson, I was able to retire at 55, a full 10 years early as a result of my network marketing business. My husband Holt lost 123 pounds and gained lean muscle, I lost 5 sizes and we both gained the energy we had 15-20 years earlier. Other people wanted similar results, which allowed us to share products with them, earn income and pay off 6 digits of debt in 3 short years. What else did we gain? Freedom!
Things get broken, discarded or replaced, yet people matter.
I had to create time for the people who mattered most to me. I believe God gave me this gift of time to do what He wants me to do. Make His name known. Hold the hand of others as they walk a path of healing towards hope. Help others be transformed as they embrace change.
In 2014, I was ordained as a Sr. Chaplain with the International Fellowship of Chaplains, Inc. (IFOC) and certified by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Critical Incidence for Stress Management (CISM) in Individual Grief, Group Grief and Grief Following Trauma.
In 2018, I was ordained as a minister with the World Healing Fellowship. In 2019, my dissertation, The Power of Love, was accepted for graduation with a Doctor of Theology degree from Newburgh Theological Seminary. Guess you can call me Doctor Susan!
Armor. Feels like God wanted a heavy plate of armor wrapped around my heart as I begin walking with others through their grief to a place of grace to be healed, healthy, and filled with joy.
Yet many ask the question, “How do we get there?”
The Lord leads us to His calm in the chaos of life when we study His Word and follow His Way. For Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He invites us, “Follow Me.”
Would you join me as we follow Him?
32 thoughts on “About Susan”
There is such raw beauty in your words because God is using you to show others that grief can look like a journey straight into His arms where love abounds and comfort surrounds. Thank you for this story of God’s grace and everlasting love. Blessings!
Love abounds and comfort surrounds… Mary, those are pure music to my soul. Somedays we simply need to relax into His big old arms and be comforted…Kinda like sitting in a rocker with my granddad. Pure love, safety and joy.
Susan, thanks for sharing and for been a passionate woman sharing Jesus. Sharing faith and hope! Thanks for sharing and connecting with this link up. Blessings
Thank you–your words blessed me just now Tayrina.
I prayed for you today. Loss is tough, but I know your eyes are on our Great Comfortor. God bless you and your sweet ministry Susan! It is a #DanceWithJesus for sure.
Oh Jenny, thank you for praying for me today. God sent you just when I needed it most. Interesting how we start wondering if we are going God’s will as event approach. YOU confirmed it! THANK YOU
They’ll triumph by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony… (Rev. 12:11) Susan, He is using that testimony in powerful ways. Those who have had to face grief are surely blessed by your presence and encouragement, your understanding. I’ve not walked that road, but I’m surely blessed every time I read your posts. May God use the words in Dance with Jesus to touch and change lives in a powerful way. Blessings on its release.
Kristi, oh, thank you. Praise God that you haven’t had to deal with grief so far and thank you for the blessings for the book release. That touches my heart…DEEPLY. Thank you.
Tears just filled my eyes as I read this. How, oh how, do we survive such heartache. God must be the only answer. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. So many will be touched with your story – Kyle’s story. I am excited for you on the book launch! I hope we get the opportunity to meet at She Speaks this year.
Happy birthday Matt! My daughter will be 30 this year. The 30’s are a beautiful time of life.
Carmen, thank you. Dang I’ve got tears rolling now! Kids in their 30s…WOW. Both of us. We WILL meet at SheSpeaks this year.
Susan, I love how you tell your story. And God knew that others would to and so He put it there on your heart and at the tip of your fingers! Write on. Love you!
Thank you Christy! That means so much to hear write on from you. Stories to tell. Both of us! Write on-you too! Susan
Your story is truly a blessing to me…I fear losing those closest to me quite often. To hear how our Lord “showed-up” in your life at the moments you needed Him most reassures me greatly. I know God is all we need and how utterly awesome to hear these stories where He proved this to you! Love it! God bless you, friend!
Stephanie, He shows up in the most beautiful ways. Trust Him for that. God is faithful…even when we are not
Susan, I don’t know if I’ll be able to read your book…I cry every darn time I visit your page!
This is so beautiful. My heart just aches in love recognition because of my own two boys. I stopped in my tracks for a moment because my birthday is March 29th and my first son came into the world in 2008. Your story became very personal and I had to gather myself!
It’s such an intimate thing to walk with others through grief, to joy, and during the roller coaster of emotions in between. I’m a family therapist and facilitated grief groups in cancer center and church settings. Your ministry and ability to speak about really painful things is such a gift. That you extend it to others, is lifesaving.
I really look forward to your release and I thank you a with deep affection for your ministry to all of us. Praying for you and thanking God that you said, yes!
Oh Meg, thank you. POWERFUL connection there. Thank you for sharing those stopping points for you with me. The fact that you have facilitated grief groups makes me truly treasure your words. You never KNOW if you are on the right track…so THANK YOU.
Susuan, thank you for telling your story of Dancing with Jesus and encouraging us all to do the same. So excited for your upcoming book release!
Kim, thank you! We each deserve a dance with Jesus~actually a dance thru life with Him would be rather divine…!
I just love you, Susan! Every single time you share your heart with us, we are changed for the better and I thank you for that, sweet friend! Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂
Tai, oh sweet friend, your words bless and encourage me. More than you know. Thank you. Thank you! Tell your story. Each one of us must tell our story. How can others know unless we share? Love u!
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