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Christian Woman Leadership Podcast

144 EpisodesProduced by Esther LittlefieldWebsite

It's time for you to embrace your God-given gifts, skills, and passions and lead with confidence. Host Esther Littlefield is a pastor's wife and business owner, and she is joined by co-host Holly Cain. They discuss issues related to leading as a Christian woman, and they also interview other women w… read more


105: Finding Hope and Healing After Ministry Hurt with Kristen Joy

Have you ever found yourself reeling from unexpected hurt and pain in your leadership and ministry? As Christian leaders, how can we find hope and healing when the unmet expectations and personal devastation goes beyond what we could have prepared for?

In this episode, Holly and I talk with Kristen Joy about her personal journey through ministry hurt. She shares how this experience impacted not just her, but also her entire family. Kristen also shares how she found hope and healing after the ministry hurt. 

We also dive into some of the things leaders can do to get and stay healthy. Whether you are in full-time ministry or not, this conversation is sure to give you a better understanding of how female leaders can be proactive in finding hope and healing after hurt.

For the full show notes for this episode, visit

  Key Points Discussed:
  • Kristen’s life & leadership journey [4:30]
  • Why Kristen desires to support leaders who are hurting [10:02]
    • Kristen’s story of experiencing hurt in ministry
    • Additional crises in their own family
  • Finding healing and help for herself [25:40]
    • Impact on her marriage
    • Lessons she has learned
  • Healing from unmet expectations [36:06]
    • Boundaries
    • Attending to whole person needs
    • Watching for God
    • Tension between deny yourself and pursuing your passions
    • Learning to be open handed
  • Why leaders don’t set boundaries [51:10]
  • Forgiveness and healing [55:43]
  • How churches can handle hiring & firing better [1:00:05]


Key Quotes from the Episode:

All quotes are by Kristen Joy unless otherwise noted.

  • “Success requires a lot of humility, and a lot of giving up your own agenda.”
  • “The beginning of healing was before it even happened.” 
  • “I had put all of these things--values I had, dreams I had, gifts and skills that I had--and I had put them in a box and put them away.” 
  • “Mental health and emotional health come in the form sometimes of all the small, daily choices that you’re making.”
  • “If your hands are open, then whatever he chooses to place in them is a blessing. And whatever he chooses to take away is also a blessing.”
  • “When boundaries are not there, it’s a recipe for disaster for the organization but also for the individual.” - Esther Littlefield
  • “In the place of hurt… even though you can’t feel it and you often can’t see it, you are still His child… you are still loved… He is right there with you.”


Connect with Kristen Joy:


Kristen Joy is a chocolate-lovin' wife, momma to 6, ministry leader, and wounded soul advocate. As a certified Biblical life coach, she is passionate about people learning to attend to their whole-person health. Growing up as a "PK" and then marrying a pastor, she also cares deeply for the health of Christian leaders and the church as a whole. She believes people best see the love of Christ and the power of the gospel when healthy Christ-followers lead well.  


Other Episodes & Resources Mentioned


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We have a fun way for you to partner with the podcast and get access to exclusive content. Every month, we add at least 1 bonus clip from an interview or from Holly and I to a special podcast for our partners. You can become a podcast partner for as little as $5/month by clicking here.

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