Jesus Calling Podcast

Finding “Tidbits of Joy” in Seasons of Pain: Mattie Jackson Selecman & Deborah Evans Price

Mattie Jackson Selecman: Jesus is the only hope, not because He’s the only thing left to turn to, but because He’s the only thing that will bring light in the dark.

Finding “Tidbits of Joy” in Seasons of Pain: Mattie Jackson Selecman & Deborah Evans Price – Episode #211

Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling Podcast. If each of us were to share our stories with the world, we’d likely find that they are made up of all different elements—triumph, tragedy, hopes fulfilled and dreams dashed. Our two guests this week are writers who inspire, educate and even entertain by telling people’s stories—and remind us that joy and pain can mingle together in our stories: Mattie Jackson Selecman, and Deborah Evans Price

Mattie Jackson Selecman is a natural-born storyteller, a skill she picked up from her father, country music artist Alan Jackson. After college, Mattie was eager to spread her wings, and her father encouraged her to go find something to write about. Mattie moved to a new state, tried new experiences and a career change, and along the way, met and married a wonderful man named Ben. A few weeks shy of their one-year wedding anniversary, Mattie and Ben were on vacation when an unexpected accident changed the course of their life together. Mattie shares a little of her Nashville upbringing, and how the support of the community is carrying her through one of the most challenging seasons of her life.

Mattie Jackson Selecman: Hey, y’all. I’m Mattie Jackson Selecman, I am a Nashville native, and I’m an avid reader, writer, entrepreneur—crazy, I didn’t plan that, but I am now. And it didn’t feel special growing up in Nashville when I was a kid, but now it feels like, you know, they call us “unicorns” or whatever. 

Looking back, it’s like growing up at the beach. You know? I feel like you probably take it for granted if you grow up with it in your backyard. And for us, especially with Dad being in music, as silly as it sounds, it felt like normal life.They, to their credit, did an incredible job—which I see so much more clearly now in retrospect—of keeping our lives really normal. It also just created a space where you value people for who they are more than what they do, because Dad did what he did because he loved it, and it happened to support our family. 

I grew up in a Christian household, like a lot of people from the South, it was part of our day to day life. We went to church. We did Sunday school. We blessed the meal every night. We said bedtime prayers and that sort of thing. And I say that not at all to be dismissive of it, but when you grow up in this environment, it’s part of your life. It’s what you’re brought into. You kind of take [faith] for granted until you have real reason to buckle down and understand and evaluate, Why is this my faith and why is this not just what I’ve been told and taught?

“You kind of take [faith] for granted until you have real reason to buckle down and understand and evaluate, Why is this my faith, and why is this not just what I’ve been told and taught?” – Mattie Jackson Selecman

Living Life, Discovering Stories Worth Telling

Part of me in my heart was always, I guess, kind of subconsciously looking at what Dad wrote about, and just thought that, Okay, if I do have a gift to tell stories, why not tell the real stories of real people who struggle and who triumph and who have lived this real narrative that’s worth celebrating, rather than just making something up on my own? 

When I graduated, I was fired up. I wanted to be a writer—didn’t really know what, but probably nonfiction or something like that. And Dad looked at me, and he very wisely—and a little bit irritatingly in the moment at twenty-two years old—said, “You are a good writer, but you haven’t lived life. You don’t have anything to write about. Go out there and see what speaks to you and see what inspires and see what hurts you. And that’s going to be the best thing you can ever write and share with other people.” 

And, you know, over the course of my twenties, I kind of just explored. I moved to Austin, Texas, had this whole career in food and wine and loved it, met really interesting people, and then came back home. And Nashville’s always gonna be home. So I knew I was gonna come back, and I started my first business here, which was a restaurant on the west side of town, and I loved it. It was invigorating and challenging and hard and messy and great, you know, all at the same time. 

A lot of what may be looked and felt like failure to me when I closed [the restaurant] was not at all failure, but it was just this sort of boot camp that the Lord was putting me through to prepare me to lead others and prepare me to [be a] boots-on-the-ground minister to women, because I had a staff of young women that came in with problems all the time that they were really struggling with and didn’t have anyone to talk to. And so that in and of itself became the whole impetus for me even wanting to be a voice in the women’s ministry arena. 

Don’t feel like it’s your job to plan out every step of your life—go live it. And what happens to you will be the story that you’ll end up telling. And it has.

“Don’t feel like it’s your job to plan out every step of your life—go live it. And what happens to you will be the story that you’ll end up telling.” – Mattie Jackson Selecman

“He Walked the Way Jesus Walked.”

It’s funny, whenever people ask me about Ben, I’m like, I wonder how long it’s going to take for my physical reaction not to just be to grin? Because honestly, anyone who knew him, he had the most energy. And the way I always describe it is he truly had this childlike joy—not in a lack of maturity way, but in a way that he lived this abundant life that I think we read about in scripture but don’t really think can happen. And it wasn’t because he made a lot of money or he was the best looking guy—he was a good looking guy—but it wasn’t abundant, I think, that we expect. He was content in all circumstances. And he was not just content, he was—everything was phenomenal to Ben. So he always says—my mom laughs about it. “This is phenomenal. This is phenomenal.” I think he really saw the world that way. 

We both went to UT [University of Tennessee], we’re both Vol fans, regrettably. And we met through a close mutual friend, one of my best girlfriends from college. We met one summer, he was clerking for a judge in Davidson County. And we met at a cookout, nothing special. And he asked me if he could take me on a date. And I said, “No.” 

And then he asked me, “When can I ask you again?” 

And I said, “That’s a weird question. I don’t know, a month?” 

And he said, “Okay.” 

It was about three months later, I got a message from him that said, “Hey, this is Ben. You told me to wait a month, so I waited three for good measure. How about a date?” 

And I was like, Who is this crazy person? But I let him come up, and he took me out on a date, and then he drove back to Memphis. And we talked every day since. We dated almost a year, and then were engaged for a year, and were married for just shy of a year. 

He walked the way Jesus walked. He saw people for who they were, and not for what they did, or for something that he expected or wanted from them. And he just, I don’t know, he just exuded this all-embracing, no-holds-barred love and joy for people. And it’s rare to find that in adults in general, but especially a young guy who was an attorney and worked in a really dark space for his job. He brought life everywhere he was, without expecting anything in return.

“He walked the way Jesus walked. He saw people for who they were, and not for what they did, or for something that he expected or wanted from them.” – Mattie Jackson Selecman, on her husband Ben

A Tragic Accident, a Prayer for Healing

We were in Florida when Ben had his accident. Both my sisters and I and their boyfriends and a couple of our good couple friends went down there for a long weekend for my sister’s birthday to celebrate. And, you know, it’s just one of those freak accidents that you don’t know how to explain. 

We had been out on the boat. We all loved fish, and we had gone to eat dinner and dance, there’s a band and da da da. We had a little shower, you know, like you have in Florida while we were there, nothing crazy. And went back to get on the boat to go home, and it was slick. So, like a gentleman, he stepped up to try to help one of our girlfriends on the boat, slipped on the steps the wrong way, and fell back ten or so feet, and hit his head. 

He was conscious for about twenty-four hours, which in retrospect was such a kindness from the Lord, because I got to sit with him. He got to talk to me. I mean, it was not full sentences, but we could converse. And he knew who I was. And, you know, all the little things, like holding your hand the same way, and he popped my fingers and got to tell me that he loved me, and I obviously told him I loved him, too, and everything’s going to be fine. And then overnight that first night, they called and had to go in and do the first brain surgery. And from there it was eleven, twelve days in ICU and in a medicated coma and another brain surgery. 

I don’t know that we ever anticipated it to be fatal. I mean, I know I didn’t. 

Essentially what happened is just his brain swelling continued so much that it continued to sedate him. And again, [they] take out part of his skull and brain surgeries and things like that. But, you know, when you’re fighting that battle, that is exactly what it feels like, is you get up every morning and you put on your armor and you, wear your hope on your sleeves and you go in and you pray the prayers and you sing the songs. And, you know, that’s part of what a lot of our family has struggled and wrestled with is, like, we did all the things, like, we were on our knees in the hospital room, and we asked the surgeons to pray over him before they operated. And, you know, you do all those things, and the part of you that’s human wants to believe so bad that God will honor that and that He’ll give you the miracle because of what you’re doing. But, you know, that didn’t happen for us and that doesn’t happen for a lot of people.

And at the end of the day, what we were praying for Ben happened. We kept praying, “May he be healed and whole.” And he is, he’s just with Jesus. And that’s the most healed and whole you can be. But it is very difficult, and I know this is why a lot of people struggle in suffering is that, you know, God could have stopped it. And on paper, we did all the things we were supposed to do to “get the miracle.” But we didn’t. And part of understanding and processing and finding joy amidst the pain doesn’t come from having that question answered. Like, we want that question answered, and I’ve asked God in very angry tones, “Why did you let this happen? Did you cause this to happen or did you just permit this accident?” And the truth is, if I had the answer to that question, it wouldn’t change anything, would it? It wouldn’t bring him back. It wouldn’t make my heart not be broken. And it wouldn’t change anything about the fact that God is sovereign. His ways are above my ways, and that at the end of the day, He loves me and He’s heartbroken for me and He’s never left my side.

“On paper, we did all the things we were supposed to do to “get the miracle.” But we didn’t. And part of understanding and processing and finding joy amidst the pain doesn’t come from having that question answered.” – Mattie Jackson Selecman

So I think it’s natural beyond human to question, especially when you feel like you’ve done the right things. But that answer isn’t going to heal. I mean, it’s truly only Jesus being beside you, crying with you, pouring His peace on you that will heal. And so, you know, you get past the point of needing to understand, and that is a really peaceful, secure place.

To Find Hope in Dark Seasons, Keep Looking at Him

After he passed, I was open about the situation and my struggles and my faith pretty quickly. I don’t know that I even consciously made that choice. Truthfully, I think it was another thing of the Spirit that emboldened me to feel like what I was going through was going to be a light for other people. And I think a lot of that ended up being a light in my own life that I could feel hope about. 

I don’t think it was so much a conscious choice as it was just this desire for other people to see the light and for this desire for Ben and my marriage, which we prayed over all the time, to be a light to people, to continue to be that even if if his part of it had ended. You know, my part was going to keep going. 

The only thing that really brought solace and peace and really reinstilled trust in the Lord and His plan is that every day I had to surrender something, you know, whether it was, Okay, I’m going to actually pack up some his clothes, or whether that was, Okay, I’m going to surrender to you that I don’t know how to fix this. I wrote them on a little page, and literally put them in my Jesus Calling book that way every morning, even when I didn’t feel like it, I would say, “Okay, Lord, these are yours. I can’t handle it. I can’t control it. I can’t fix it. And I know You can. And I know You will. And I trust You to do it.”

Jesus Calling, I had to look back in the front page of it, because I was like, “This thing is falling apart.” I know I’ve had it forever. It was marked 2008, which was the year I graduated high school. So Mom gifted that to me. And as we can see, I have had the same one since then, which it’s probably time for an update. 

What’s cool about Jesus Calling, I think, is that number one, wherever you are in your faith, it will find you because it is the voice of Jesus. So wherever you are in your faith, He’ll find you. And at eighteen, my faith was nowhere to the depth that it is now, partly because of my age, but partly because of what I’ve experienced. And I think it’s a beautiful gift to introduce people to who Jesus is.

“Wherever you are in your faith, He’ll find you.” – Mattie Jackson Selecman

I think the two things I love about it is that with the daily structure, it helps foster faithfulness in a way that is hard for us. Like, you show up every morning, even if it’s for five minutes, and you allocate that time for God. Some mornings you feel Him and you’re fired up for the Lord. And some mornings you’re tired and you’re just ready to go. But it reorients your whole day to who He is, reminds you that’s the love and support that you have throughout your entire day. And that scripture said, those mercies are new each morning. So whatever you feel depleted from the next day, buddy, He’s going to pour it back into you just enough to get through those next twenty-four hours. 

Narrator: Sometimes it feels easier to find God in times of joy, but He’s also there in our moments of grief, which we’re reminded of as Mattie reads the July 25th entry of Jesus Calling.


As you listen to birds calling to one another, hear also My Love-call to you. I speak to you continually: through sights, sounds, thoughts, impressions, scriptures. There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you. Your part is to be attentive to My messages, in whatever form they come. When you set out to find Me in a day, you discover that the world is vibrantly alive with My Presence. You can find Me not only in beauty and birdcalls, but also in tragedy and faces filled with grief. I can take the deepest sorrow and weave it into a pattern for good.

Search for Me and My messages as you go through this day. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole being.

The only way to find hope in very dark seasons is to keep looking at Him, because if you look at all the rest of it without looking at Him, you’re not going to find hope because it’s a mess. It brings you back to the person of Jesus, the individual, the friend, the savior who wants to sit beside you and cry with you and hold you. And that, in any season of trial, is what you need. 

Finding Healing as We Heal Others

So NaSHEville, my women’s merchandise and lifestyle brand, it’s all apparel. It celebrates women, celebrates Nashville. And that was a huge part of what I call the tailored tragedy of my story in that after I closed the restaurant within a month of that, you know, I had no plan. I just knew that season was over. I knew that the Lord was saying, “Use your gift to encourage and minister to women.” 

My now business partner, Brooke, called me, and we didn’t know each other well. We had a mutual friend who had told her to reach out to me, and she was starting this women’s apparel brand, and she wanted it to bring women together in the city, to encourage them, to minister to them, and to kind of create like a powerhouse girl movement out of love. 

So when Brooke called me and we got together, she poured out her heart of, “This is my vision. This is the community I want to create through this brand. And I need somebody to be the voice for it.” And it was one of those moments where, truth be told, I didn’t want to say ‘yes’. I had just closed my business of two years, which was a wonderful but exhausting experience. Ben and I had been married about eight months at this point, nine months. And, you know, we had a new puppy and da da da. And I was like loving just having the summer off. Anyway, her whole vision was, “I want to be a picture of a biblical woman and a group of strong women who are in the world and not of it, and who love each other and support each other and don’t compete and tear each other down. And I want it to give back to adoption and birth moms. Would you be interested in writing the blog and being the communications and storyteller behind it?”

I was hesitant just because I had just closed this other business three weeks ago, and went home. And, you know, I just said, “Let me pray about it. I’ll talk to Ben and I’ll pray about it.” And it was not twenty-four hours later, I walked into church, and without going into the whole message, it was like a huge neon sign from the Lord, like, “This is where you need to go.” 

And I was like, “Okay, well, I don’t know anything about fashion, merchandise. I don’t really like pink, but like, I’ll do it.” 

So that summer, July of 2018, we started building a company and designing the merchandise. And we wanted to have more than one mission to give back to. So we went back to scripture and where it says take care of orphans, it says take care of widows. And so, you know, I was twenty-eight. She was thirty at the time. And we were like, “We don’t really have any idea how we’re gonna incorporate this, but this is God’s word. So we’ll do it, whatever that looks like.” 

And then we added trafficking. Human trafficking is our third mission, because Ben was a district attorney for the Davidson County D.A.’s office, and he happened to be the one who handled most of the prostitution and drug cases. And he had this huge heart for it, and he would come home and talk about these young women by name and the work that it took as a prosecutor to say, “Hey, they should not be incarcerated for this. They should be protected, and they should have an opportunity to be in these programs where they can heal.” And so he said, “If you’re wanting kind of a broad stroke and an all-encompassing way to serve women, like this is a huge issue here. And you can talk to the women in my office who run these programs.”

So that was really special, particularly now, of course, because he helped us build that foundation and that pillar of who we serve and what we do. And I still get to work with all these women that Ben worked with. 

And so it is such a Divine confirmation that that’s where He needed me to be. And the fact that He put me in that position and that serving widows was part of our mission two months before anything ever happened, you just can’t make that story up. And I mean, it’s not one I would choose for myself again, ever. But God gave me this vehicle that I thought I was going to use to help heal other people that, in turn, has been one of the greatest vehicles for me healing in the last year and a half. 

I hate to oversimplify it for people, but, you know, on your worst day and your most broken moment where you don’t want to leave your home or see anyone because [your loved one] is not there, you have to, as a believer, and especially if the one you love is a believer, you have to come back to, They are healed and whole. They are perfect. They are with Jesus. And if I love them as much as I say I love them, then the joy I feel for where he is has to outweigh the pain that I feel because he’s not with me. And that sounds churchy and whatever, but it is the truth. 

Everything else will get you through and it’ll help you survive, but it won’t bring tidbits of joy into that season of real darkness. God will bring tidbits of joy. That’s what I’ve learned above all else. And I tell people, pain and joy are not mutually exclusive. They can dance in the same scene together. And the pain is not really going to go away. But the joy can temper it and it can give you enough hope to keep going and keep surrendering and keep celebrating and all the things that you need to do personally to work through the loss.

“God will bring tidbits of joy. That’s what I’ve learned above all else. And I tell people, pain and joy are not mutually exclusive. They can dance in the same scene together.” – Mattie Jackson Selecman

Narrator: You can learn more about Mattie’s lifestyle brand NaSHEville and the work they’re doing to help women and children at

Stay tuned to hear our interview with Deborah Evans Price after a brief message about a new Jesus Calling YouTube series!

Ad: Jesus Calling is always looking for stories that might add peace to your life. In that spirit, we’ve created a brand-new video series on YouTube called “Peace for Everyday Life” that features celebrities, authors, and people from all walks of life sharing the ways they’ve been able to connect with God to conquer worry, fear, anxiety during uncertain times. You can find these videos at And be sure to subscribe!

Narrator: Journalist Deborah Evans Price has been writing the stories behind Christian and country music artists for nearly 25 years for Billboard Magazine. She’s had the opportunity to interview beloved stars like John Denver, Don Henley of the Eagles, Smokey Robinson, Dennis Quaid, Loretta Lynn, Carrie Underwood, and countless others. Through the years she’s gained the trust of a network of performers and artists who feel free to speak openly about their lives and their faith with Deborah—and she’s made a few friends along the way as well, who have shown their appreciation for her compassionate storytelling by supporting Deborah through some tough times.

Deborah Evans Price: My name’s Deborah Evans Price. I’m a journalist based in Nashville. I write for Billboard Magazine. I’ve been covering Christian music for them and country music for twenty-two years. I freelance for them now, so that gives me time to do some other things, like writing for First for Women Magazine and Redbook and Woman’s World and some of the country music sites like Sounds Like Nashville. And so I tell people I get up and have fun every day. I get to talk to fascinating musicians and singers and actors, and I feel like God’s put me here to help tell people stories. That’s a privilege.

“God’s put me here to help tell people stories. That’s a privilege.” – Deborah Evans Price

Captivated by Music and Storytelling

So I was born in Virginia in a little coal mining town. And both my grandfathers were coal miners, but my dad, that wasn’t really the life that he saw himself leading. So to escape from the coal mines, he joined the Air Force. And I’m glad he did, because our life growing up was one big adventure. My mom was just a wonderful mother, I’ve got two younger brothers, and my dad was always that way. He worked really hard, but he also knew how to play hard. And we grew up all over the world. 

But throughout all that moving, church and music were always the foundations, they were always constants in a very nomadic lifestyle. And, you know, we were raised going to church. My mom was a Sunday school teacher at different churches that we attended, and faith was very important. I can remember going to a sunrise service with them on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Japan. And I was a little kid, but I just remember thinking, Oh, wow, God’s here! 

We listened to a lot of gospel music, obviously grew up with it, but also country music. Oh, my goodness: Merle Haggard, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride. And remember my parents buying all these albums and those great songs, those great artists filling up the house. 

The first thing that I did even remotely connected to working in media was when I was going to LSU [Louisiana State University]. I got a job at the NBC affiliate running cameras for the local news, which was such a great job because for one thing, we’d do the cameras for the six and ten o’clock news, then there was a lot of time to study in between broadcasts, so that was kind of nice. And I got to hang out with reporters and kind of see how everything came together, the stories and stuff. That was a really good first journalism gig. 

I had picked up a part time job as a disc jockey at a country radio station, which I loved because I thought, This is a perfect gig. I get to talk and listen to country music for a living, like, what could be better? It was a great job. I loved working in radio, and so I just started working the weekends. And then by the time that I got out of college, I’d moved up to work full-time at the station and I kind of made the rounds at all the shifts. I started weekends, and then I did midnight to six, and then I did seven to midnight, and then finally worked my way into midday. But I love country music, and I loved radio, and I can remember reading Billboard Magazine like, Billboard was the thing, you know, I loved reading the reviews and the stories. 

Dreaming of Billboard

And what was funny is I had met my husband prom night in high school. I had noticed him.  He is 6’4”. He’s gorgeous. He was on the football team. I was editor in the newspaper. I hung out with all the nerdy kids, so I didn’t think Gary Price even knew I was alive. But prom night in senior year, we ended up sitting at the same table. He was dating a girl named Eva, and I was dating Mark. So we were both with other dates, but that was the first time we ever actually talked to each other, just chatting that night. 

But thankfully, we had our first date, went out to the lake, and had a great time. So we dated for a year, and then he told me, he said, “You know, I’m not sure that I’m ever gonna leave Louisiana, but I know you want to move to Nashville and I don’t want you to give up your dreams and give up everything that you have planned for your life. I think you need to move.” Which I thought he was breaking up with me, but really, looking back, that was such a wonderful gift. Because I remember him telling me, “If you stay here and don’t do what you were meant to do, you’re going to resent me down the line. I really want to see you make your dreams come true.” 

And as it turns out, after I’ve been here about a month, he came up to Nashville from Louisiana and told me, “I don’t want to be without you. I’m going to sell my place, quit my job.” And he moved up a few months later. And now we’ve been married thirty-three years.

God’s timing is always wonderful. About the time our son Trey was five years old and getting ready to start kindergarten, I got offered a full-time job at Billboard, and that was like my dream gig that I had always aspired to. 

I spent ten years on staff full-time. And that was a great time. I’ve always been really blessed to be in an environment that was creative, with great coworkers supporting each other and really great companies. But after ten years, Billboard had massive layoffs in Nashville, Chicago, L.A. and London. And I was one of the casualties. So I went back out into the freelance world. 

I can remember coming home that day, I just cried, and I was just heartbroken. And Gary’s like, “No, this is going to be great.” 

And I’m like, “No, no. What are we going to do?” We had just been in our house for about six months. Finally, we bought our dream house, ten acres of land. I’m like, “What am I gonna do?” 

Gary walked me out on the deck, and he said, “Look at that. This is the sun’s setting. We’ve been in our house for six months, and you’re always at work at Billboard. You’re never here with me to see the sunset. And now you’re gonna be. And God’s going to take care of everything. I’m not even gonna worry. You’re gonna make more money. You’re going to have more fun.” And he was right. He was. I still write for Billboard and love them. Some of my dearest friends are still part of and Billboard Magazine. 

Community Support in a Time of Need

In 2003, I had cancer, I had uterine cancer. I had just gone in for a routine procedure, and they found it, and they called me over the phone. I remember that first week, I got the news on a Friday and cried all weekend. I just didn’t want to leave my husband and my son. But by Monday, I just had that peace that surpasses understanding. I just felt like if it was my time, I was ready. Look out, I’m going to see Jesus and my grandma. I thought, If I get to stay with my husband or my son, that’s awesome. I just really felt this peace. 

It’s hard to be vulnerable and let people see when you’re hurting. And boy, that’s one thing about the Nashville community. I’m sure everybody’s community, your hometown, is the same way. But people just rallied and prayed. And I’ve never seen so much food in my life. Alan Jackson and his wife sent flowers. How precious is that? I have a dear friend that works for Charlie Daniels, I guess she makes the world’s best banana pudding. I tell you, nothing will help you back like a good banana pudding

“It’s hard to be vulnerable and let people see when you’re when you’re hurting.” – Deborah Evans Price

The Devotional of the Stars

So many of the artists that I interview. And not just Christian artists—country artists, actors and actresses—are different people from all walks of life, and nearly everybody—one of the standard questions was, “What do you read? What do you do to help you stay closer to God?” And I can’t tell you the number of people that gave Jesus Calling as the answer. 

It has impacted so many people, and not just Christian singers, not just Christian artists—country artists, film/television actors, people from all walks of life. This has meant so much to them. What Sarah Young has done in the lives of so many people through her work, there’s no way to measure it. 

I just wake up every day thinking, You just don’t know what God’s going to bring in your life or what exciting door He’s gonna be opening. Every day is a new adventure. I’m thankful for all the good things that He’s led me to.

“I just wake up every day thinking, You just don’t know what God’s going to bring in your life or what exciting door He’s gonna be opening. Every day is a new adventure.” – Deborah Evans Price

Narrator: You can enjoy the writing of Deborah Evans Price in several magazines, including our own Jesus Calling Magazine! Check out her interview and story with country music legend Loretta Lynn in our July 2020 issue—available to read online at And be sure to subscribe to receive our next issue in your mailbox, absolutely free!

If you’d like to hear more stories about finding moments of joy in hard times, check out our interview with author Dawn Barton.

Narrator: Next time on the Jesus Calling Podcast, we talk with Victoria Damone, the daughter of 1950’s Big Band crooner Vic Damone. Victoria and her sisters spent much of their childhood in their father’s care after their mother died, traveling with him on the road. She recalls one of the most important lessons her father ever taught her.

Victoria Damone: He really did kind of help build the scaffolding later, to try to show us what things were important. And even though we all fail miserably, we can aspire to do the best we can. But I think that’s when God walks in,’ and you find that you need something more than just your parents to shape you. 

Narrator: Want to hear more inspirational stories of people who have been changed by a closer walk with God? Then subscribe today to the Jesus Calling Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. And please be sure to leave a review, which helps us reach and inspire others with these stories. Plus, if you like seeing our guests as well as hearing them, you can find video interviews available on our Youtube channel at, on Facebook, and on the Jesus Calling Instagram page.