#120 – A She’s Still There Story with Kay Warren

#120 – A She’s Still There Story with Kay Warren

How do you believe that you can still be the woman you intended to be after burying your child? Today I’m talking with author and speaker, Kay Warren. Kay Warren is the wife of Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and Pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest California.

In April of 2013, Rick and Kay Warren were forever changed when their youngest child, Matthew, committed suicide.  For over a year they shed tears daily. Kay shares how devastating and traumatic it was to not only grieve the loss of her son but to also see him suffering with mental illness for the majority of his life.

At the tender age of 7, Matthew was diagnosed with depression and over the years he received other diagnosis such as OCD, personality disorder, ADHD, panic disorder and more. His entire life was consumed with illness, struggle, and suffering.

Through her experience, Kay shares with us some of the warning signs of mental illness, how she learned to work through her grief and shares what her journey to finding her “new self” has looked like.

In this heart gripping conversation, Kay challenges us to choose joy when happiness isn’t enough. Allowing herself to feel joy is a decision she has had to make and still has to make, over and over again. Kay has learned that choosing joy has not only helped her to honor who she is now, it is also honoring to her late son, Matthew.

Jerry Sittser, in his book A Grace Disguised, says, “Life will never be the same but it will be good again.” Regardless of who or what you’ve lost,  even if you feel you’ve lost yourself, what Kay has shared will help you to believe that life can be good again. Joy is available but you must choose to receive it.

Highlight from Today’s Episode:

  • Working through grief
  • Warning signs of mental illness
  • Grieving as a couple
  • Grieving in leadership

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Did you miss last week’s fun podcast with my friend, Michelle Lewings?   Check it out here!

Kingdom Woman by Chrystal Evans Hurst and Tony Evans

Let’s Talk!

After you’ve listened to the podcast, I’d love to continue the conversation. Be sure and leave a comment!

  1. Do have a story of grief or tragic loss?  Share your story here.  I’m listening.
  2. How have you changed as a result of heartache or pain?
  3. How is the “new you” different than the “past you”?
  4. While life will be different, it can be good again.  How has your life become “good again”?

Connect with me…

How to Listen to The Podcast

If you’re new to podcasts, think of them like little radio shows that you can listen to at your convenience. They are perfect to listen to and learn from as you workout, fold laundry, wash dishes or conquer the world.

1. Listen right here on the blog. Click the little play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play! – Be sure and subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Also, if you would be so kind as to leave a rating on iTunes and/or write a 2-3 sentence review there or on Stitcher?  Your commentary or rating helps make the podcast more “findable” by others who might not know it exists!

3. Share today’s show –   Email the link to a friend or share on social media. Just click on the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post!

You have been so great to join me on the journey here on the blog, I hope you jump right in do the same on the podcast!

By |2018-04-25T17:00:30+00:00July 10th, 2017|Faith, Podcast|15 Comments
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About the Book


  1. Candice July 10, 2017 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Such an amazing podcast. Yes I am in tears. I’ve been under a rock so I didn’t know her story. I am an “administrator” in the Waiting For Boaz Prayer Closet and I don’t take that position lightly even though I receive no pay. Recently a woman expressed having suicidal thoughts and someone actually posted that “you better not because that’s a one way ticket to hell”. A righteous anger rose up in me like a mama bear. I don’t have patience for judgement or foolishness. I agree with Kay, about the church and the mental illness stigma, especially after being hospitalized 3 times because of overwhelmingness and my “sixth sense”🙂. I’ve never had suicidal thoughts but I have been surrounded by people who have and have great compassion for them. People need to know it’s ok to battle, and that God is not looking down on them with judgement so they feel free to share.

  2. Myrna July 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this! I have lost my sister to pancreatic cancer and 8 months later a sister to breast cancer and a year later my mom to brain cancer. And 5 yrs later my brother to lung cancer. I know pain. In between that I’ve lost a dear friend. I’m not sure I’ve grieved. I am so full so overwhelmed with pain, hurt. I don’t know how to grieve. Family ,and friends think I should be ok. I’m not ok. So I stuff it all and just go through daily living. I’m numb, I’m empty. I know the Lord is with me, but I can’t find the words to pray. Ive pulled away. I just feel different.

    • Chrystal Hurst July 14, 2017 at 6:48 am - Reply

      Myrna. I was speechless reading your comment. You have endured so much. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing your story. I am praying for God’s healing grace to pour out to you today and everyday. Life will never be the same but life can be good again.

  3. Holly July 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this interview! We have a family serving in our church right now that has faced more heartache in the last month than I have room here to recite and you gave me a place to start ministering to them! Mrs. Warren gave so many good building blocks to healing. Thank you both so much!

  4. Carletta July 10, 2017 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this podcast.

    Although, it’s about the death of a child with mental illness who committed suicide. Having 3 children myself… I can’t even imagine Mrs. Warren and Pastor’s Warren pain through this…

    I love social media because it gives everybody access! This encourages me and I hope others to do podcasts because no matter our leadership roles or no roles at all, in the Kingdom, we all have a story to tell, stories that brings God glory and can be a blessing to so many people. We truly are our brother and sister keeper!

    Again, thank you for the courage of Mrs. Warren to share out of personal matter but she is willing to do so to help the masses of people and bring awareness to the issue of children and mental illness.

    Unprovoked Tragedy!
    Grief is a serious and sensitive time and we all know a part of living this life. Even so, as I write this to you a co-worker is experiencing another type of grief, a deep sorrow, heart broken, angry, experiencing so many emotions as a result of a dear girlfriend who recently had her home totally burned/destroyed because of a domestic situation of someone else, because of where she lived, too close to a neighbor, and so, thanks be to God everyone got out of this house without it being fatal, but they’re displaced along with others; and thank God, family and friends are helping but my co-workers eyes have been red all day from crying so much..so please pray for my colleague and her girlfriend’s, the other family who were all affected by this tragedy but for her girlfriend, it was no fault of hers but just because her house was too close to the other; but so many people are affected…and it’s tragic…. thanks be to God that no one was killed as a result of this domestic ordeal.

  5. Chrystal Dowty July 10, 2017 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for the transparency and emotional nature of this podcast!!! Kay’s story provides hope for anyone enduring with any sort of trauma. I agree in that I hope for the church to begin to extend more understanding for mental illness, specifically children and younger folks who might be dealing with discouraging teachers, learning problems, bullies, etc. Thank you so much Chrystal and Kay!!

  6. Holly July 11, 2017 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed your podcast with Kay Warren. I also lost a son to suicide that was around their sons age he died at 19. Their story was one that I was referred to as I was struggling with my faith at the time. I would totally agree with Kay and that I am not the same person today as I was the day before my son died. I will also say that the grieving process is different for everyone. It’s been almost 2 years and there are still days that I cry like it was just yesterday. What I can say though is that some of my tears are now tears of joy versus tears of sadness. I am glad my sister told me to listen to this podcast.

    • Chrystal Hurst July 11, 2017 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      I’m glad you listened too. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Donna July 12, 2017 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for being obedient to God and writing this book. I so admire the strength Mrs. Warren has and know it is only through God. This was an heart felt interview and I listened through tears. Again thank you and Mrs. Warren for opening up your lives to others.

    • Chrystal Hurst July 14, 2017 at 6:47 am - Reply

      Yes. This was a heartfelt interview. I chatted with Ms. Kay through tears too 🙂

  8. Diana July 12, 2017 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. As a mother, my heart and mind can’t even imagine your journey. God bless your ministry as I know God is using you to help others. God bless you.

  9. Carmen July 17, 2017 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    THANK YOU! I lost my son 8 years ago, when he was 8. The anniversary of his death was last week and it was very difficult for me because I recognized that I’ve crossed over to spending more time without him, than with him. This made me very sad and this podcast affirmed all of what I’ve felt since losing my boy. Thank you for featuring Kay’s story. God is faithful.

    • Chrystal Hurst July 18, 2017 at 11:28 pm - Reply

      thank you for listening. praying that God’s healing hand continues to be a comfort to you.

  10. Maria August 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Thank You for this. My baby passed away 3 months ago at 9 months of age. This was very encouraging. It is nice to know someone out there knows how I’m feeling.

  11. […] Dealing with grief? Check out this podcast with guest Kay Warren. […]

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