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Episode 175: Nothing is Wasted: Processing Tragedy and Loss (w/ Davey Blackburn)

When loss, grief, hardships, or tragedy hit our own lives, most of us are ill-prepared to deal with it. 

Davey Blackburn experienced an unbelievable tragedy when he came home to find his pregnant wife had been shot during a home invasion. She would pass away just 24 hours later, leading him on a journey of learning to process the loss and grief he felt at the sudden loss.

While Davey’s story isn’t directly about foster care or adoption, it is about a topic that I think affects many of us in the foster care community. This is the question of what we do with pain and how we handle traumatic events.

In this conversation, you’ll hear Davey’s story, truths he has learned about the healing process, where many of us need to shift our view of God, and much more. I hope this episode is as meaningful to you as it has been to me.


1. We are not immune to experiencing pain and loss.

There is a misconception we can hold as Christians that if we seek to follow God’s will and obey Him that we will be protected from all harm. However, the Bible says the exact opposite! Jesus Himself warned us that we would experience trouble. Tragedy, loss, and traumatic events can happen to anyone. It is a by-product of our broken world.

“There was this whole idea that I had of God that, as long as we were in the center of God’s will, our family was going to be completely protected.”

2. Negative emotions are signals we should pay attention to.

God designed our emotions to let us know what we should turn our attention toward. When we are processing pain and loss, our emotions are indicators of what areas still need to heal. Instead of running away or pushing down these emotions, we need to lean into them.

“These negative emotions are things we actually need to lean into. These are actually invitations or indicators from God that there’s deeper healing that needs to happen.”

3. Presence matters.

When someone we know experiences pain or loss, it’s hard to know the best way to help. This is when we primarily need to practice the ministry of presence. During the conversation, Davey shared that he doesn’t remember what everyone said at his wife’s funeral, but he does remember who all was there. Showing up and being there for someone experiencing grief is a meaningful way to support.

“I remember the people who drove or flew to come in and support us. They didn’t have to say a word. There is power and a ministry of presence that we can’t underestimate.”


We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

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Meet Our Guest

Davey Blackburn is a former lead pastor, podcaster, speaker, coach, and founder of Nothing is Wasted, a ministry dedicated to helping others navigate trauma, tragedies, and major life transitions. Davey was led to founding this ministry due to his own tragedy. In 2015, his pregnant wife, Amanda, was shot and killed during a home invasion. Through the grief, Davey came out the other side with a desire to intercept inner-city kids and teenagers before they turned to a life of crime. Davey lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Kristi, and three children.

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

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