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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Apr 10, 2024

My guest this week is the incredible Mattie Jackson Smith. Mattie is an author, podcaster, and speaker whose life took an unexpected turn when she tragically lost her 28-year-old husband to a traumatic brain injury just weeks before their first anniversary.

Her first book, Lemons on Friday, offers a raw and honest account of her journey through grief, providing solace and guidance to others navigating the lonely and difficult path of widowhood. Outside of her writing career, Mattie is the host of the podcast In Joy Life, where she encourages her listeners to choose joy in any season or circumstance.

We dive deep into Mattie’s story today as she transparently shares what it looked like to wrestle with God in life’s darkest moments, ask hard questions, and bring her hurt and doubts to Jesus. She has so many powerful things to say about finding God in the questions and navigating life after loss. I absolutely loved getting to spend time with her in this episode and know you will too!

2:21 – Mattie 101

  • Born and raised in Nashville in a country music family
  • A passion for creative writing
  • Owning a wine bar in Nashville
  • Losing her husband after a brain injury
  • Mattie’s memoir, Lemons on Friday

14:04 – Honesty in Grief

  • Sitting in anger with God
  • Biblical examples of emotions and suffering
  • Embracing your emotions instead of suppressing them

24:45 – Finding God in the Questions

  • Lamentations 3
  • How writing helped Mattie begin to heal
  • God's invitation to bring our questions, doubts, and struggles to Him

36:09 – Navigating New Beginnings

  • The secondary losses that come with grief
  • Redemption is not a replacement
  • Navigating dating after experiencing loss
  • Honoring the past while embracing the future
  • Connecting with Mattie


“I lived my life and the worst thing I could have imagined happened. And through that God not only has worked miracles in me through the grief and healing process, but he fulfilled this desire that he planted in my heart at 19.”

“God not only can handle it but invites me to bring it to Him.”

“What I hope people see from my life is you do have agency to choose joy, even in the worst of the worst of it.”

Learn more about Mattie:

Get your copy of Lemons on Friday

In Joy Life podcast

Mattie on Instagram

Mattie on Facebook