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191: How To Find Purpose In Your Pain By Being Willing To Share Your Story With Christine Handy
Episode 19124th March 2022 • The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller • Dr Brad Miller
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Christine is a talented model and a motivational speaker who also has a family of her own, with her being a mother of two. She is also the author of the book called Walk Beside Me

In this episode, Christine shares with us today her personal experiences in life which prompted her to search for faith and her belief in God.

Christine did not only experience a help-related problem once, but it happened to her four times which poses a real challenge in her life. At the age of 35, she had a colon resection and at the age of 41, she had a torn ligament on her wrist. After that surgery on her wrist, she had swelling in her wrist bones that were left untreated for a while due to her previous doctor.

Not a while after that, she was also diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Episode 191 of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is a must-listen podcast to people who are looking for inspiration to keep going in life despite the challenges that they are receiving. 

“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity, and purpose. 

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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ph/1christinehandy/_created/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/handychristine1

Transcripts

Dr. Brad Miller::

Christine Handy: our guest here today, she had her

Dr. Brad Miller::

share of challenges in her life. She has also had

Dr. Brad Miller::

her share of upsides in her life. And she's tells her

Dr. Brad Miller::

story in her upcoming in our book that it's out now

Dr. Brad Miller::

called Walk Beside Me. I'm gonna let her

Dr. Brad Miller::

unpack restore. But we are certainly glad to have

Dr. Brad Miller::

with us on Beyond adversity today. Christine Handy.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Christine, welcome to Beyond Adversity.

Christine Handy::

Thank you, I've definitely had my share.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Awesome. Well, that's something awesome that you've

Dr. Brad Miller::

had your share of challenges. But even more awesome

Dr. Brad Miller::

that you found your way through those things.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so let's just get into this a little bit here, Christine.

Dr. Brad Miller::

It seemed like you had your life cruising along pretty

Dr. Brad Miller::

good in in your life, when some dark times happened.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And let's just go, Let's just hear your story or bad about you. Okay.

Christine Handy::

Yeah, so I thought I was having, I thought my life was

Christine Handy::

cruising along very well. But there was a part of me

Christine Handy::

from, you know, mid 20s, where I thought there's

Christine Handy::

something missing. And so when I started to have

Christine Handy::

my first health challenge, which was a colon resection

Christine Handy::

when I was 35. And that colon resection is a major surgery.

Christine Handy::

But what happened during the surgery was, the doctor

Christine Handy::

nicked a vein in my pelvis. And because I was a model,

Christine Handy::

and because I had made it kind of a big deal to him to

Christine Handy::

be very careful with the scars and the surgery, he was

Christine Handy::

a bit timid when He nicked a vein in my pelvis to open

Christine Handy::

me up even wider, because of scar issues. Ultimately,

Christine Handy::

he had to open me from hip to hip because the bleeding

Christine Handy::

was out of control. And when I woke up from that surgery,

Christine Handy::

I had a port in my neck and I had been on my second

Christine Handy::

blood transfusion. So that was kind of my first brush with

Christine Handy::

death, so to speak. And along recovery. Now, I I started

Christine Handy::

modeling when I was very young. And that was a very

Christine Handy::

glamorous and very external accolade life. But what I

Christine Handy::

was missing, the parts of my childhood that were missing

Christine Handy::

were the were the parts where I was learning how to

Christine Handy::

develop the inside self esteem self or self love, you know,

Christine Handy::

dependence on faith, spirituality versus materialism,

Christine Handy::

external looks, those types of things, and I missed that

Christine Handy::

whole chapter of my life. So fast forward to 35, I have a

Christine Handy::

colon resection, you know, I start to go Wait, what's missing

Christine Handy::

here because this feels really bad. You know, and then by 41,

Christine Handy::

I had a torn ligament, my right wrist, which again is surgery,

Christine Handy::

but not that big of a deal. And I woke up from that surgery

Christine Handy::

and things seemed to be fine. And about six weeks later,

Christine Handy::

when the cast came off, I had so such severe swelling and

Christine Handy::

grotesque pain that I call my doctor and said, There's something

Christine Handy::

really wrong here. For several months after that call, he

Christine Handy::

bullied me emotionally bullied me and told me that the pain

Christine Handy::

and swelling that was I was experiences was really going on

Christine Handy::

just in my head, like there was a misfire between my brain

Christine Handy::

and my limb. In this case, it was my right arm. And ultimately,

Christine Handy::

I found enough courage after being bullied for months to go

Christine Handy::

see another physician for a second opinion. And within hours,

Christine Handy::

I was in emergency surgery because what I did have the

Christine Handy::

whole time with an infection called osteomyelitis in my

Christine Handy::

bones in my wrist. And by the time the doctor went in, all

Christine Handy::

the bones in my wrist were destroyed. And ultimately, my

Christine Handy::

arm was fused. And six weeks after my arm was fused, I

Christine Handy::

was diagnosed with a aggressive form of breast cancer.

Christine Handy::

So I had like the trifecta health crazy, one thing after

Christine Handy::

another with, you know, severe consequences. And so

Christine Handy::

that's kind of a little bit about the trauma.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And, and just to set the framework just a little

Dr. Brad Miller::

bit, you'd had some some pretty good success

Dr. Brad Miller::

in the modeling world in some other areas of that

Dr. Brad Miller::

before all these health related issues came crashing

Dr. Brad Miller::

down on you. You had a really you're in a pretty good

Dr. Brad Miller::

place. Is that correct?

Christine Handy::

Oh, yeah. I mean, I was married. I had two young

Christine Handy::

kids, you know, I think to the world, my life looked

Christine Handy::

perfect, right? I was beautiful and successful. And I

Christine Handy::

modeled all over the world. And, and I've been modeling,

Christine Handy::

I'm still a model. I'm actually walking in New York Fashion

Christine Handy::

Week in the spring. But my I was a working model. You

Christine Handy::

know, I was in the catalog, JC Penney, Neiman's. Dillards,

Christine Handy::

I was a catalog girl. And that was my bread and butter,

Christine Handy::

and I did very well. And so, you know, the idea of a scar

Christine Handy::

was very frightening to me. Little did I know that that

Christine Handy::

was the least of my worries was a scar.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But you're literally what your physical scar was

Dr. Brad Miller::

very frightening to you. You're scared?

Christine Handy::

Oh, yeah.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yeah,

Christine Handy::

yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Brad Miller::

That was a part of your livelihood, you know, was

Dr. Brad Miller::

your physical parents, right? So

Christine Handy::

not just my livelihood, but it was my, my whole

Christine Handy::

dependence on my exterior was

Dr. Brad Miller::

your identity was there?

Christine Handy::

Yeah, that was my lifeline.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yeah. Okay. So, so you've had all these health challenges

Dr. Brad Miller::

then and I have to assume that had some impact in

Dr. Brad Miller::

your personal life and business? All kinds of things.

Dr. Brad Miller::

I would imagine that that it did. And a lot of people,

Dr. Brad Miller::

you know, Christine, when they have bad things

Dr. Brad Miller::

happen to them health related relationship issue,

Dr. Brad Miller::

financial reversal, whatever it is, they get stuck,

Dr. Brad Miller::

you know, they are they go into a downward

Dr. Brad Miller::

downward spiral. And that's a problem.

Christine Handy::

Yes,

Dr. Brad Miller::

you're here today, because you may have been in

Dr. Brad Miller::

that dark place for a while, but you didn't stay there.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yeah, what were some of the steps that you took out

Dr. Brad Miller::

of that place? You know, you mentioned being bullied.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You mentioned health issues, you mentioned some

Dr. Brad Miller::

inclination towards a kind of a dark place depression.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so one, what are some of the steps that you took,

Dr. Brad Miller::

so in actions that you took to start to break out of that spiral?

Christine Handy::

Well, when I had some quiet time, which was a fair amount

Christine Handy::

during chemotherapy, because although you have a lot of

Christine Handy::

people around you, hopefully, you know, there's a lot of

Christine Handy::

moments where you're sick, and the bathroom or you

Christine Handy::

know, in bed sleeping, or resting or trying to sleep,

Christine Handy::

where, for me, it was a time of introspection, I took

Christine Handy::

a I took a look at my life for the past 40 years

Christine Handy::

that I just lived in. I was like, Why is this not

Christine Handy::

working? And so I spent that time while sick,

Christine Handy::

trying to figure out how to live a life that was

Christine Handy::

different, and where did I mess it up. And the

Christine Handy::

thing that really resonated with me was like,

Christine Handy::

I my self esteem was not good, it was destroyed.

Christine Handy::

And, and I'm not blaming anybody or any industry

Christine Handy::

on it, it was my responsibility to nurture my self

Christine Handy::

esteem. But once I was able to start nurturing

Christine Handy::

my self esteem during this time, right, and

Christine Handy::

during this transition, then I started to make

Christine Handy::

different choices about my life. I started making

Christine Handy::

different choices about who I was surrounding

Christine Handy::

myself with, what I was listening. Like, listen,

Christine Handy::

when I was, you know, 30, and modeling, and

Christine Handy::

had all these amazing friends and the success

Christine Handy::

and these young kids and, and beauty and all

Christine Handy::

these things, when my friends would ask me,

Christine Handy::

Do you want to go to Bible study? I would say

Christine Handy::

no, I don't have time, I need to go to a yoga

Christine Handy::

class. So my focus was not on faith, my focus

Christine Handy::

was on external things, right? External accolades,

Christine Handy::

materialism, working out, trying to keep my body

Christine Handy::

fit. And but it was all it wasn't for anything other

Christine Handy::

than myself, right? I mean, for my job, or for it was

Christine Handy::

self serving. And so when I was going through

Christine Handy::

chemotherapy, I was I thought to myself, this isn't

Christine Handy::

working. The self serving isn't working, and it's not

Christine Handy::

filling me up, it doesn't feel whole. And so when I

Christine Handy::

started to serve, and I started to lead by example,

Christine Handy::

meaning I started to show up for myself. And then

Christine Handy::

what that showed was my family and my friends,

Christine Handy::

like she's got courage. She's got courage under fire,

Christine Handy::

and what does this look like. And so I started to

Christine Handy::

lead in a way that was serving others, but also

Christine Handy::

serving myself. And so I developed a better self

Christine Handy::

esteem, I started to make better decisions for

Christine Handy::

myself, I didn't allow people to talk, like a bully,

Christine Handy::

I didn't allow a bully anymore in my life. And

Christine Handy::

because of those, because of those past mistakes,

Christine Handy::

I was able to not get into the mode of paralysis

Christine Handy::

where I was stuck, I went into an opposite one

Christine Handy::

totally 180 and decided I'm going to change this,

Christine Handy::

I'm gonna change this cycle. But that takes a lot

Christine Handy::

of courage, right, and a lot of introspection.

Christine Handy::

And so while I was doing that, and while I was

Christine Handy::

nurturing my self-esteem, I was able to kind of

Christine Handy::

get myself out of those old habits. And that's

Christine Handy::

how I got myself out of it. And ever since I

Christine Handy::

was, well, I took my story. And I decided to

Christine Handy::

write a book and I decided to teach people

Christine Handy::

you know, kind of from my mistakes, what

Christine Handy::

not to do, don't depend on the external

Christine Handy::

accolades, don't depend on materialism.

Christine Handy::

That's fleeting, that's building your life on

Christine Handy::

sand. We need a better platform, I needed

Christine Handy::

to build my life on concrete, which for me, is faith and God.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yeah. Well, let's go there in just a second

Dr. Brad Miller::

here, but just want to clarify some things I

Dr. Brad Miller::

heard from you, Christine, it helped me

Dr. Brad Miller::

a farm or, or not, but I'm hearing you said

Dr. Brad Miller::

some of the actions that you took, were

Dr. Brad Miller::

going inward to really reflect on what was

Dr. Brad Miller::

happening to you. Because before you were

Dr. Brad Miller::

just kind of so busy and so focused on the

Dr. Brad Miller::

surface level, you had to go inward, you

Dr. Brad Miller::

chose to write, you chose to break old

Dr. Brad Miller::

habits and start new habits and you

Dr. Brad Miller::

chose to teach others. And then you

Dr. Brad Miller::

also part of that teaching was to serve

Dr. Brad Miller::

others. Is that accurate? And what I'm

Dr. Brad Miller::

hearing you say some of the actions that you took.

Christine Handy::

yeah, so I just started to walk through life differently.

Christine Handy::

I started to try to figure out a way that I could inspire

Christine Handy::

and help lead other people. And for that, I love to write

Christine Handy::

I never been a writer before, but I thought okay, I'll start

Christine Handy::

this new craft. Actually, right now I go to Harvard, I'm

Christine Handy::

getting my master's degree in writing. And so I wanted

Christine Handy::

to take that even a step further and get better at it.

Christine Handy::

So wrote the book. And I always said to you know,

Christine Handy::

as far as like my faith, I would say, Okay, God,

Christine Handy::

if you want this book out, get it out. Like it's your

Christine Handy::

purpose. It's your will not mine. And so I decided

Christine Handy::

that it wasn't in my control so much anymore. It

Christine Handy::

was in God's control. And so I was just a facilitator.

Christine Handy::

And if it was going to be successful if it was going

Christine Handy::

to help other people, that's what you know he was

Christine Handy::

going to do. And so I started to write, and I started

Christine Handy::

to just choose differently, I started to talk to myself

Christine Handy::

better. I started to change who I was surrounding

Christine Handy::

myself with, you know, relationally. And I just started

Christine Handy::

choose, you know, what I looked at, what I listened to,

Dr. Brad Miller::

yes.

Christine Handy::

And then, and then everything in my life change.

Christine Handy::

I wasn't so dependent on the bags and the

Christine Handy::

materialism, I wasn't so dependent on the

Christine Handy::

external accolades, which is really hard in a

Christine Handy::

day like today where we're dependent on

Christine Handy::

social media. And so I think my message

Christine Handy::

message is so important, because so many

Christine Handy::

people look at social media, and they go,

Christine Handy::

Oh, well, the her life's perfect, or her life is

Christine Handy::

better than mine. And there's this whole world

Christine Handy::

of comparison. Yes. And I and I'm out and I'm

Christine Handy::

out there screaming from the rooftops. Like,

Christine Handy::

that's not how you live your life. You can't tell

Christine Handy::

what's going on inside of somebody, everybody's

Christine Handy::

got a story. And there's no way that I mean, people

Christine Handy::

wouldn't look at me and say, Oh, that girl has been

Christine Handy::

through 28 rounds of chemo 23 non elective surgery,

Christine Handy::

that girl is not in chronic pain. And I am.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yes,

Christine Handy::

So we can't judge and compare?

Dr. Brad Miller::

Well, you, you've touched on some really

Dr. Brad Miller::

important things here. And what you're

Dr. Brad Miller::

talking about is kind of the, the Connect, or

Dr. Brad Miller::

the disconnect between the physical and

Dr. Brad Miller::

the spiritual and the in the inner life. In as

Dr. Brad Miller::

much as a true life transformation takes

Dr. Brad Miller::

place. Not only on the exterior, you know,

Dr. Brad Miller::

but also on the inner life and choosing to

Dr. Brad Miller::

make a connection there. And you've mentioned

Dr. Brad Miller::

your faith journey, a little bit here already.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And I'm a big believer that to have true transformation,

Dr. Brad Miller::

you got to have the outward thing, which is kind of

Dr. Brad Miller::

the physical, taking the action, that kind of stuff.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But you have to connect with a higher power.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And tell us a bit about your background that way,

Dr. Brad Miller::

if you had any faith background, and then what,

Dr. Brad Miller::

when you did make some choices here to go.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You know, you mentioned to people via your

Dr. Brad Miller::

Bible studies, things like this, what were some

Dr. Brad Miller::

of the ways that you did connect to to a faith

Dr. Brad Miller::

journey for something greater than self greater

Dr. Brad Miller::

than surface, that were part of your

Dr. Brad Miller::

transformation process, your faith story here?

Christine Handy::

Well, and also greater than this world, what

Christine Handy::

this world could offer. So I started to me, I

Christine Handy::

was raised Catholic, so I always believed in

Christine Handy::

God. But I believed in myself more I believe

Christine Handy::

that I was in control more than God, because

Christine Handy::

I hadn't really learned faith from another

Christine Handy::

perspective other than Catholicism, which

Christine Handy::

by the way, for me inflicted a lot of shame.

Christine Handy::

And so I kind of left Catholicism, and when

Christine Handy::

I was in my 30s, and my friends who were

Christine Handy::

Christians would invite me into that, you know,

Christine Handy::

Catholicism is Christianity, but it's, you know,

Christine Handy::

theirs was a little bit different. And so when

Christine Handy::

they invited me into that, I was a little bit

Christine Handy::

hesitant, because I thought, I've got this,

Christine Handy::

I've got a career, I've got a family, I've got a

Christine Handy::

life. I've got, you know, resources. I'm good.

Christine Handy::

And what I was more comfortable laying on

Christine Handy::

my yoga mat trying to center myself then

Christine Handy::

going than speaking to God, like in a prayer way.

Christine Handy::

Well, when everything unraveled, right, when

Christine Handy::

everything was stripped away, including my

Christine Handy::

beauty, everything that I was dependent on

Christine Handy::

everything that I thought I had control over

Christine Handy::

when that when I was that completely taken

Christine Handy::

away, like stripped completely away. I was

Christine Handy::

like what's left, right? If I was like, There's no way

Christine Handy::

I'm in control here. And so I was led to a higher

Christine Handy::

power. And I had a choice, right? I could have

Christine Handy::

gone right back to materialism, I could have

Christine Handy::

gone right back to the false idols. But I was like,

Christine Handy::

that didn't work for me. And so I chose differently.

Christine Handy::

And it's been profoundly like, the profoundly

Christine Handy::

different my life. I'm in chronic pain, I'm in

Christine Handy::

constant pain. But I, I felt great happiness in my

Christine Handy::

life before cancer, but I feel joy now. Because

Christine Handy::

the act of serving the act of giving, that's joy,

Christine Handy::

right? That brings me joy.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Well, that's awesome. That also indicates

Dr. Brad Miller::

how this transformation took place whereby

Dr. Brad Miller::

the choices that you made, to connect to

Dr. Brad Miller::

God to faith to a higher power, and to choose

Dr. Brad Miller::

these different approaches to it to maybe what

Dr. Brad Miller::

you grew up with, or where you are so centered

Dr. Brad Miller::

on self, you know, on yourself, value and you

Dr. Brad Miller::

were looking for some ways to enhance that

Dr. Brad Miller::

yoga, nothing wrong with yoga. But you

Dr. Brad Miller::

understand, there the whole meditation

Dr. Brad Miller::

thing is part the only goes so far, in my

Dr. Brad Miller::

belief, you have to have the meditation

Dr. Brad Miller::

which has to lead us to the Holy Spirit in

Dr. Brad Miller::

our life, which can fulfill us ultimately.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And so that's awesome. Thank you for

Dr. Brad Miller::

sharing and that takes some courage to to

Dr. Brad Miller::

share that especially coming out of a

Dr. Brad Miller::

background that's kind of centered on

Dr. Brad Miller::

something different than that.

Christine Handy::

Right

Dr. Brad Miller::

Let's talk for medic, Christine about how

Dr. Brad Miller::

these new habits these new, I'm going to

Dr. Brad Miller::

talk to you about the change of mind. And

Dr. Brad Miller::

what implement here is habits, disciplines

Dr. Brad Miller::

of patterns of life that you may have done,

Dr. Brad Miller::

you know, some people talk about journaling,

Dr. Brad Miller::

for instance, are a whole different ways of

Dr. Brad Miller::

approaching things. What changed for you?

Dr. Brad Miller::

And what how were these kind of new cognitive

Dr. Brad Miller::

patterns imprinted upon you. Now compared

Dr. Brad Miller::

to where you're at now, what are some of your

Dr. Brad Miller::

habits that you have now?

Christine Handy::

Well, I think so much of it, the choices that

Christine Handy::

I make, and the habits that I have are

Christine Handy::

dependent on my self esteem. So when I

Christine Handy::

had a very low self esteem, and I had built

Christine Handy::

my life on sand. The choices that I made

Christine Handy::

were to impress people, because I needed

Christine Handy::

those accolades, right. And so my choice

Christine Handy::

would be to maybe go out to lunch and

Christine Handy::

have my friends tell me how pretty I am

Christine Handy::

and get dressed up versus now, where I'd

Christine Handy::

rather be interviewed, I'd rather be on social

Christine Handy::

media talking about my story to help other

Christine Handy::

people, I'd rather go to school and study at

Christine Handy::

Harvard than go out to a gala or a function,

Christine Handy::

I'd rather model with a flat concave chest

Christine Handy::

because I had breast cancer, then model

Christine Handy::

with, you know, the chest and the beauty that

Christine Handy::

I had before, because now it's a story. Now

Christine Handy::

I'm trying to help the people that have concave

Christine Handy::

chest or flat chest and say to them, this is just

Christine Handy::

as beautiful. It's just different. But that stems

Christine Handy::

from a solid self esteem, right? My self esteem

Christine Handy::

is rooted in faith, it's not rooted in this world.

Christine Handy::

And so the choices that I make are completely

Christine Handy::

different. I mean, I've had to had, I've had to,

Christine Handy::

sadly, release a lot of relationships, because

Christine Handy::

those relationships that I was dependent on,

Christine Handy::

a lot of them were, were feeding that low self

Christine Handy::

esteem, right? We cover ourselves with people,

Christine Handy::

many times that where, if we're feeling bad

Christine Handy::

about ourselves, the people around us are

Christine Handy::

making us feel bad. But it was a choice for me

Christine Handy::

to get myself out of that.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yeah.

Christine Handy::

I can't blame it on them.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Of course, of course. But there are such things

Dr. Brad Miller::

as helpful and unhelpful relationships. And there

Dr. Brad Miller::

are even toxic relationships. And there are even

Dr. Brad Miller::

seasons of relationships, you know, where

Dr. Brad Miller::

it's good for our season, but something new

Dr. Brad Miller::

comes into your life. And so let's go there from it.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And this is the emotional part, I believe kind of

Dr. Brad Miller::

what the teaching I do have regarding transformation

Dr. Brad Miller::

means that you got to have a spiritual element,

Dr. Brad Miller::

you got to have a physical element, you got to

Dr. Brad Miller::

have a cognitive mental element, but you also

Dr. Brad Miller::

have to have an emotional element, which most

Dr. Brad Miller::

often connects to, or relates to other people in

Dr. Brad Miller::

your life. So you mentioned how you had to

Dr. Brad Miller::

let some people kind of go in your life. And

Dr. Brad Miller::

you mentioned kind of a bad relationship

Dr. Brad Miller::

with the doctor. That was a part of the bullying.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And that's, I believe, that's if we get a little deeper

Dr. Brad Miller::

in that that's probably some sort of a story there

Dr. Brad Miller::

with other bullying type episodes, perhaps.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But let's talk about the power of relationships,

Dr. Brad Miller::

for healing and for wholeness and for

Dr. Brad Miller::

transformation, who came to who came alongside

Dr. Brad Miller::

you? Or perhaps what who were mentors in your

Dr. Brad Miller::

life? Or maybe what were some influences that

Dr. Brad Miller::

helped you in this emotional part of this journey.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And then we're talking a little bit about how that

Dr. Brad Miller::

got accepted that I met. But let's go there for a second.

Christine Handy::

So it's interesting that you asked that because

Christine Handy::

those same people that were asking me to go

Christine Handy::

to Bible studies, they're the ones that showed

Christine Handy::

up, when I was diagnosed with cancer, there's,

Christine Handy::

they're the ones that made this calendar of

Christine Handy::

people to show up at my house every single

Christine Handy::

day. Because I was paralyzed for about

Christine Handy::

the first month when I had cancer, I had

Christine Handy::

just come off with come off of this terrible

Christine Handy::

situation that happened to my arm, and

Christine Handy::

then I was diagnosed with cancer. And I

Christine Handy::

was like, I quit. My life is not worth living.

Christine Handy::

I'm it's over. And so they came and they

Christine Handy::

surrounded me every day with love and

Christine Handy::

compassion and faith. And they listened

Christine Handy::

to me, they listened to the darkness. And

Christine Handy::

they used to, they used to tell me, they

Christine Handy::

used to say, this mountain of women,

Christine Handy::

they used to say, not only will we never

Christine Handy::

forsake you, God will never forsake you.

Christine Handy::

And there will be purpose in the story.

Christine Handy::

And after a while, I started to believe them.

Christine Handy::

And they kept showing up. And I used to say to

Christine Handy::

them, Why would you show up for me? I can't

Christine Handy::

offer you anything. Because right, I used to

Christine Handy::

live in this transactional world.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yes.

Christine Handy::

And, and they would say to me, we're not

Christine Handy::

looking for anything. We're just being the

Christine Handy::

hands and the feet of God. And I used to say,

Christine Handy::

well, this is another season of pain. This is the

Christine Handy::

third season of pain, and that didn't bother them.

Christine Handy::

And so I saw them show up. And I and they they

Christine Handy::

modeled for me what I was ultimately going to do,

Christine Handy::

right? So they were my teachers. And it wasn't

Christine Handy::

anything of it didn't take anything from their

Christine Handy::

life for them to serve me to use their resources

Christine Handy::

to help me and my family. And I was watching

Christine Handy::

this going, wow. Like I've lived this life of self

Christine Handy::

involvement and that was not fulfilling and

Christine Handy::

now these women are giving up so much of

Christine Handy::

themselves and it's fulfilling. I just needed a

Christine Handy::

different, you know, perspective and They

Christine Handy::

taught me that. And so had my friends not

Christine Handy::

shown up for me that way, I'm not sure that

Christine Handy::

I would have completely changed. I, they were

Christine Handy::

definitely the leaders of the pack. And so but

Christine Handy::

then they said to me, when your journey is done,

Christine Handy::

then you will do this for other people. And I took

Christine Handy::

that job very seriously.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yes. And we're gonna get into that just a second.

Dr. Brad Miller::

But I just want to key on one key phrase that you said

Dr. Brad Miller::

there, Christine, I think it's so important, that is

Dr. Brad Miller::

fulfilling, fulfilling that, prior to this, that what the

Dr. Brad Miller::

story you painted for us was, it was less than fulfilling.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And now with your friends, and with your faith, and

Dr. Brad Miller::

the actions that you took, you had much more fulfillment

Dr. Brad Miller::

in life and, or a meaningfulness. And I just don't

Dr. Brad Miller::

believe that we live a time where

Dr. Brad Miller::

meaninglessness is toxic, and is,

Dr. Brad Miller::

you know, you know, a pandemic

Dr. Brad Miller::

of its own right, we've dealt with

Dr. Brad Miller::

the physical pandemic of COVID,

Dr. Brad Miller::

we have a pandemic, of people with

Dr. Brad Miller::

depression, and all kinds of things,

Dr. Brad Miller::

which has made it less less. And that's

Dr. Brad Miller::

why some of what you share, you share

Dr. Brad Miller::

from this perspective, you know, you come into

Dr. Brad Miller::

the modeling background, and some

Dr. Brad Miller::

success and so on. And now

Dr. Brad Miller::

you're sharing your story to others,

Dr. Brad Miller::

because others have surrounded you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So let's talk about that for a minute.

Dr. Brad Miller::

You've written a book called walk

Dr. Brad Miller::

beside me. And I love that title, by

Dr. Brad Miller::

the way, because it kind of tells

Dr. Brad Miller::

me little bit about those friends that

Dr. Brad Miller::

you had and your faith and that kind

Dr. Brad Miller::

of thing, even even in even in the title,

Dr. Brad Miller::

who do write this book for? And what's it all about?

Christine Handy::

I think the originally the reason I wrote it

Christine Handy::

was to show female relationships, the

Christine Handy::

unity of female relationships, and how

Christine Handy::

powerful how life saving those could

Christine Handy::

be. It was almost like a love letter to

Christine Handy::

my friend saying, you know, thank you,

Christine Handy::

and let's teach other people. But there's

Christine Handy::

so many other things that came out of

Christine Handy::

that book, because I was so vulnerable

Christine Handy::

and sharing my story, that people felt like

Christine Handy::

they weren't so alone in their pain. And a

Christine Handy::

lot of people read my book and said,

Christine Handy::

Wow, if she can get through that I can

Christine Handy::

get through what I'm going through.

Christine Handy::

And so it's had a grand effect in many

Christine Handy::

other ways. But I think that's originally

Christine Handy::

the reason I wrote it.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And when people pick up this book,

Dr. Brad Miller::

what are they going to find? What

Dr. Brad Miller::

are they going to learn? Because I think

Dr. Brad Miller::

there's, you know, obviously, a lot of

Dr. Brad Miller::

parallels to your life. But what are they

Dr. Brad Miller::

going to learn that maybe apply to their life?

Christine Handy::

Well, I think it's an important story because

Christine Handy::

of the transformation, right? You see, this

Christine Handy::

person that looked like to the world had a very

Christine Handy::

successful life, but really was so empty. And then

Christine Handy::

you see all this pain and all this trauma. And

Christine Handy::

you see how she reacted and how she changed.

Christine Handy::

And so I think all of us, there's nobody that will

Christine Handy::

not have trauma, right? We're not immune to

Christine Handy::

trauma. And so I think it's an important message

Christine Handy::

that people can look at and go, Okay, well,

Christine Handy::

after the trauma, after the chronic pain

Christine Handy::

after the diagnosis, there's hope. And

Christine Handy::

what does that look like, right? And so

Christine Handy::

it's, it's a narrative, it's a fictional story

Christine Handy::

of my life, but it's the good and the bad,

Christine Handy::

and the ugly. And so it's not a story like

Christine Handy::

social media, we're just paying it's one

Christine Handy::

picture of oh, look at all my friends,

Christine Handy::

they showed up and look at how

Christine Handy::

beautiful life is. It's no these, this is

Christine Handy::

what happened on the darkest days.

Christine Handy::

This is how I got through it. And this is

Christine Handy::

what it looks like on the other side. And it's messy.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yes. And it's a process, it's, it's not an

Dr. Brad Miller::

instantaneous thing. You know, it's not

Dr. Brad Miller::

a, you know, there's no magic thing here.

Dr. Brad Miller::

It's not like, you know, putting on makeup

Dr. Brad Miller::

or putting on a new outfit or anything,

Dr. Brad Miller::

where it's just surface kind of thing. It's a

Dr. Brad Miller::

process and you met, you know, the

Dr. Brad Miller::

healing process, the physical healing process,

Dr. Brad Miller::

when you have massive surgery and things

Dr. Brad Miller::

like that. You just don't get over it overnight.

Dr. Brad Miller::

It's a process and, and so let's talk about

Dr. Brad Miller::

that process here for a second in terms of

Dr. Brad Miller::

the influence that you've had on people you

Dr. Brad Miller::

mentioned here, Christine, about how, you

Dr. Brad Miller::

know, things were cruising along, then you

Dr. Brad Miller::

had these massive health issues, and low

Dr. Brad Miller::

self esteem and so on, and the the things

Dr. Brad Miller::

that you did to break out of that and you're

Dr. Brad Miller::

fronted by friends, and your faith and so on.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And that's awesome. Now you've written

Dr. Brad Miller::

this book, and you've got some other things

Dr. Brad Miller::

on your website, christinehandy.com, which

Dr. Brad Miller::

people are going to find helpful. But I'm

Dr. Brad Miller::

interested right now, Christine, if how you

Dr. Brad Miller::

how you're teaching you you've mentioned

Dr. Brad Miller::

being sharing your story and serving others,

Dr. Brad Miller::

how your story has influenced other people,

Dr. Brad Miller::

you know us many people come around you

Dr. Brad Miller::

tell us a story or some sort of a testimonial

Dr. Brad Miller::

about either through your book or through

Dr. Brad Miller::

your teaching or through maybe just

Dr. Brad Miller::

someone you've had some influence

Dr. Brad Miller::

on that you've seen someone who's

Dr. Brad Miller::

kind of ahead of their own aha moment,

Dr. Brad Miller::

their own moment just her life. Tell us about that.

Christine Handy::

But I have many, but I do like this one in particular.

Christine Handy::

So I speak in the prison system in the state of

Christine Handy::

Florida, which is where I live. And ironically, I

Christine Handy::

was only hired to speak in male prisons, which

Christine Handy::

I thought originally when I was speaking to

Christine Handy::

male prisons, what what could I possibly bring

Christine Handy::

to the table? And so my message is a story of

Christine Handy::

hope. And so I would speak at this one particular

Christine Handy::

prison, and there was probably 800 inmates. that

Christine Handy::

would come listen to me. I did it like three times at

Christine Handy::

this particular one. And you know they can prisoners

Christine Handy::

can email you if you allow them through this app.

Christine Handy::

And so this one particular prisoner would email

Christine Handy::

me and he, he just took a liking to my story.

Christine Handy::

And he was on his own faith journey. And he

Christine Handy::

was getting out of prison after he had seen me.

Christine Handy::

And so when he got out of prison, he reached

Christine Handy::

out to me on social media, and he said, would

Christine Handy::

you meet me at this pizza place? I have this

Christine Handy::

idea that we could collaborate on doing

Christine Handy::

something together. And I was like, Sure,

Christine Handy::

no problem. So I had a lot of people who I said,

Christine Handy::

I'm going to meet this person or at this pizza place.

Christine Handy::

And they said, Don't do that. That's dangerous, or

Christine Handy::

whatever, right? Like, that's the worldview of

Dr. Brad Miller::

sure

Christine Handy::

somebody coming out of prison.

Christine Handy::

And I was like, That's ridiculous. Like,

Christine Handy::

are we supposed to forgive? And aren't

Christine Handy::

we supposed to be accepting and why are

Christine Handy::

we judging and all these other things.

Christine Handy::

So men might meet with this gentleman,

Christine Handy::

and I got there and he was dressed in

Christine Handy::

a suit. And he had a briefcase. And he

Christine Handy::

opened up his briefcase. And he had all

Christine Handy::

these ideas. He had all journaled all these

Christine Handy::

ideas about starting a nonprofit in the town,

Christine Handy::

city of Palm Beach County, and how to

Christine Handy::

change the rate of recidivism. And he

Christine Handy::

had an idea. And he said, I think you can

Christine Handy::

help me do this. And so fast forward three

Christine Handy::

years, we have a thriving, functioning nonprofit

Christine Handy::

with 12 board members. And we are literally

Christine Handy::

changing the focus of, you know, men who are

Christine Handy::

getting out of prison system in Palm Beach County,

Christine Handy::

and we are changing the landscape of recidivism.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Well, that isn't, that's awesome, because that

Dr. Brad Miller::

just share tells us that this has even now your

Dr. Brad Miller::

journey hasn't been just for you, either. It's

Dr. Brad Miller::

been for others. That's why you've written

Dr. Brad Miller::

the book, you have this nonprofit that you've

Dr. Brad Miller::

mentioned here that you're writing with, and

Dr. Brad Miller::

you've got, you're working on a film that

Dr. Brad Miller::

we're of your life that'll come out whenever

Dr. Brad Miller::

it comes out. But just some cool things

Dr. Brad Miller::

happening with you and, and that's an

Dr. Brad Miller::

awesome, awesome thing. But the journey

Dr. Brad Miller::

doesn't stop does it? It's an ongoing process.

Christine Handy::

It doesn't stop, especially when you know,

Christine Handy::

when you're faced with trauma. And listen,

Christine Handy::

now all this sounds really easy and fine. It's

Christine Handy::

not, like you said, it's a process and it takes

Christine Handy::

a lot of time to change your to change your

Christine Handy::

focus, right, which mine was different before

Christine Handy::

takes a lot of time, a lot of patience and a lot

Christine Handy::

of difficult choices. It's worth it. But you again,

Christine Handy::

you you lose like certain people in your life.

Christine Handy::

But it's also it's, you end up trying to figure

Christine Handy::

out your own life. And it takes a lot of time,

Christine Handy::

and you end up being alone in that space

Christine Handy::

for a long time. And so for me, it was, you

Christine Handy::

know, you don't faith based journeys are

Christine Handy::

not always the easiest choice, wright? You

Christine Handy::

know, because what the world tells us is just

Christine Handy::

go by this or just go watch this or just go to

Christine Handy::

this or if you get this many likes, or this many

Christine Handy::

comments on social media, everything will be

Christine Handy::

. But I only knew I knew that wasn't the case.

Dr. Brad Miller::

There's no easy button is or that like they had

Dr. Brad Miller::

one commercial use to be there's no being easy.

Christine Handy::

Yeah, well, and working on your self esteem is hard.

Christine Handy::

And I still work on mine every day. And it's a process.

Christine Handy::

And self talk is hard. Because we have to really

Christine Handy::

stop and take our thoughts captive and go,

Christine Handy::

did I just say that about myself? Um, but

Christine Handy::

you have to know that in order to stop them.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yeah. And no one is big, big part of it. and

Dr. Brad Miller::

I are the audience of beyond adversity as

Dr. Brad Miller::

folks who have had their challenges in life.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And but they want to get better. They want

Dr. Brad Miller::

to break out they want to do something

Dr. Brad Miller::

different about it. They don't want to stay

Dr. Brad Miller::

stuck, or in that downward spiral. Let's just

Dr. Brad Miller::

say you're talking to a woman right now.

Dr. Brad Miller::

And who's listening to our voices? who

Dr. Brad Miller::

just needs a little bit of encouragement

Dr. Brad Miller::

or needs a little different direction?

Dr. Brad Miller::

What can they learn from, from Christine?

Dr. Brad Miller::

Or maybe from the resources you have in your

Dr. Brad Miller::

website? Or from your book? What kind of

Dr. Brad Miller::

things can they learn from you that be helpful

Dr. Brad Miller::

to them if they're in their own dark place?

Christine Handy::

Well, I like to say this a lot, because it is true,

Christine Handy::

but there is no u haul behind the hearse.

Christine Handy::

And so if you're focused on the things

Christine Handy::

and you think that's going to bring value

Christine Handy::

to your life, I would get rid of those that

Christine Handy::

thought and that mentality and that focus.

Christine Handy::

Um, you know, I still feel paralyzed in some

Christine Handy::

ways. Some days I do get anxious about

Christine Handy::

getting cancer back and that exists in my

Christine Handy::

life. But when I have those thoughts, or

Christine Handy::

when I have those fears, or I go back into

Christine Handy::

that anxiety, I literally stop myself and

Christine Handy::

say, let go and let God and again, it's

Christine Handy::

not a simple equation, but the more

Christine Handy::

you do it, the more habit based it

Christine Handy::

becomes. And so you're like, I'm not

Christine Handy::

saying that my wife doesn't have adversity.

Christine Handy::

It does and has a lot of traumas still have

Christine Handy::

chronic pain. But my focus is as long as it

Christine Handy::

remains on Scripture based things over

Christine Handy::

long as I'm pouring into serving other

Christine Handy::

, and teaching and leading, then I'm

Christine Handy::

good with myself. And I can sleep easier

Christine Handy::

at night and anxiety. It's not that goes

Christine Handy::

go away completely, but it's lessons.

Dr. Brad Miller::

So what the what does that person go

Dr. Brad Miller::

to find at at your website or how's

Dr. Brad Miller::

the best way that person can find out

Dr. Brad Miller::

more about you?

Christine Handy::

Well, my website offers a lot of interviews

Christine Handy::

and motivational speeches that I've done,

Christine Handy::

that are just teaching people, you know,

Christine Handy::

kind of what I've learned and how I've done it.

Christine Handy::

And hopefully, they can take some value

Christine Handy::

ads from that. I, you know, I don't like

Christine Handy::

push my book on anyone because some

Christine Handy::

people don't like to read and they get it

Christine Handy::

better from audio stuff. So you know, just

Christine Handy::

doing what you're doing is incredible,

Christine Handy::

because you're offering up stories of

Christine Handy::

people who have real life issues and

Christine Handy::

trauma and, and that makes somebody

Christine Handy::

not feel so alone in their own difficulties.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Well, that's, that's awesome for you to

Dr. Brad Miller::

share that and I want to share them

Dr. Brad Miller::

that your your website is christinehandy.com

Dr. Brad Miller::

C,H, R, I, S, T, I, N E, H, A, N, D, Y.com. Lots of

Dr. Brad Miller::

great resources there that you provide. And,

Dr. Brad Miller::

and you got a great story to tell and needs to

Dr. Brad Miller::

be told it needs to be, it needs to be told. And

Dr. Brad Miller::

I'll just say that this struck me just today, when

Dr. Brad Miller::

I was looking through some my own social

Dr. Brad Miller::

media, Facebook and that type of thing, a

Dr. Brad Miller::

person that I know was dealing with a family

Dr. Brad Miller::

member, a young woman who was dealing

Dr. Brad Miller::

with depression, and considering ending

Dr. Brad Miller::

her life, and this was kind of a cry for help

Dr. Brad Miller::

from a parent in this type of thing. I don't

Dr. Brad Miller::

know the whole story, but I would not be

Dr. Brad Miller::

surprised at all if there was, you know,

Dr. Brad Miller::

social media and Instagram and all kinds

Dr. Brad Miller::

of stuff involved with that. And

Christine Handy::

yeah

Dr. Brad Miller::

we just need perspective. You

Dr. Brad Miller::

know, you got to have perspective

Dr. Brad Miller::

that and occasionally to get perspective,

Dr. Brad Miller::

we have to be brought down a notch

Dr. Brad Miller::

or two in order to build ourselves up

Dr. Brad Miller::

and let your story and appreciate your story.

Christine Handy::

Yeah, my pleasure. Thank you.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Yes. Our guest today on Beyond Adversity

Dr. Brad Miller::

with Dr. Brad Miller: has been the author

Dr. Brad Miller::

of Walk Beside Me, Christine Handy.

Dr. Brad Miller::

Thank you for being our guest today on

Dr. Brad Miller::

Beyond adversity.

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