In this episode, we spoke with Jenna Griffith about how first responder spouses can find purpose, meaning, and prosperity.
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David Enevoldsen: All right, hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Emotional Embuffination podcast. I am your host, David Enevoldsen, and here on Emotional Embuffination, we are training to become emotionally buff enough to overcome any conflict in life. And at the same time, we are trying to discover new levels of success and happiness and basically just maintain and optimize all those really good feelings in life. This podcast is just one of a number of resources I have available. If you want to learn more about that, check out the Emotional Embuffination website, which is embuff.com. That's E-M-B-U-F-F.com. When you're on the website, make sure that you sign up for the newsletter, which has some quick weekly Emotional Embuffination tips that'll help you on your journey on becoming more emotionally embuffed. On today's show, I have the unique pleasure of getting to speak with Miss Jenna Griffith. Now, purpose and prosperity expert is what she's known as. She's a renowned, certified compassion coach, founder of the Service and Soul Group and an accomplished author. As a former military spouse and current first responder wife, Jenna empowers other military and first responder spouses to find their purpose and embrace their individual skills and passions while still serving alongside their spouse. Throughout her life, Jenna has faced numerous challenges, including being a teenage mother, caring for a micro-preemie baby and aiding in her ex-husband's recovery due to a helicopter accident in 2011. These experiences have shaped her into a caring and empathetic caretaker, motivating her to share her knowledge and experiences with others.
David Enevoldsen: Jenna's passions lie in helping other women discover their true calling and equipping them with the necessary tools to embark on their own transformative journeys. With a strong background in health and healing, Jenna possesses a strong foundation in guiding others toward personal growth and fulfillment. As a current first responders wife, Jenna firmly believes that military spouses have their own purpose beyond their role as a spouse, and she strives to connect with and support others in realizing their potential. With the help of her husband, Jenna makes strides to not only fight, but to put an end to human trafficking. Her passion for doing so stems from her husband's integral role with Aerial Recovery, a disaster relief organization that also helps to recover and rescue the most vulnerable. Together, they are quite the power couple. Through her courses, workshops and upcoming books, service and soul, she empowers individuals to overcome obstacles and embrace their passions. Jenna addresses the common question What do I do now? What's my purpose? And encourages individuals not to feel guilty for pursuing their own dreams while also caring for their spouse. All right, Jenna, thank you very much for agreeing to interview with me today. I guess just to start off, could you tell me a little bit about your background because it sounds like you've had some really interesting challenges in your life that have sort of led you to your current mission. So just tell me a little bit of your backdrop specifically as it led into what you're currently working on.
Jenna Griffith: Yeah, it has been an interesting journey for sure. I was a military wife for ten years and in that time period I've went through miscarriage. I had a micro-preemie 23 weeker delivered who spent the first year of his life in and out of hospitals, surgeries, you name it. And then when we finally got him physically stable and medically stable. Then my husband was in a helicopter accident and we had to go through lots of recovery for that, as well as dealing with addiction afterwards, because unfortunately, he was pushed all the drugs to try and help and struggle with addiction for that. And that ended in divorce. And I now am married to a first responder. And when that piece of our lives started is when I really realized that I needed to do something for the spouses, because when he was offered the job, I thought, there's no way I don't want to live that lifestyle again. I felt like I had already paid my dues in the service world and there was a lot of myself that I lost in that ten year span that I was afraid I could possibly lose again. And I wanted to make sure I was protecting that. And that's been two years ago. It's an incredible organization. We absolutely love being connected to them and partnering with them. But when that all happened, I said, I've got to do something for the wives who are also going to feel that way and feel like they are going to have to put their dreams to the side or put their vision, their goals. But I also learned how many women are longing for that connection and that support for the emotional stuff that comes with that. When you're dealing with deployments or you're dealing with trips and family and children and trying to still be who you want to be, it's really difficult.
David Enevoldsen: Yeah, maybe I can explore a little further on your background there, if you don't mind. So in your first marriage, what is it your husband did?
Jenna Griffith: He was a medic in the US Army.
David Enevoldsen: Gotcha. And from a I guess from the perspective of being a first responder wife, what were the I guess, what were the challenges related to that? I mean, I know you mentioned kind of the alcoholism and the helicopter accident, but I mean, were there other things or maybe elaborate on those a little bit?
Jenna Griffith: Yeah. Well, in that ten year span, just military specific we had, he was at a training when we lost one of our children. I was pregnant and was in a car accident. We lost that child and he was gone and could not come back and be with me. I had to really go through that entire experience by myself. I didn't live close to my family. Luckily, my mom was able to fly out and be with me because I had to have a surgery to to deal with all that. And the isolation that you can feel, especially when you are taken to a duty station that's not near family can be really scary. And that was my experience. I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. Our first duty station was Fort Carson, Colorado, which is where I lost the child. And it at that time I was told, you know, your husband can't come back. He's in the middle of training. You're going to have to lean on the FRG, which is the Family Readiness Group. Well, I didn't know anyone in the FRG. I didn't know what the FRG was at that time. There's not an onboarding process for these wives who are marrying soldiers and marrying for love, but not really realizing, you know, what all that entails.
Jenna Griffith: And I would have people all the time say, well, you signed up for it. I said, and that used to make me so angry because I was like, no, I was in love. I was signing up for a marriage and for a commitment, not not being second to my husband's work. So that was a really big, painful experience. So from Mark from Fort Carson, we went to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, and during that time my husband was gone a lot in schools, training schools and getting prepared for deployments. And during that time, me and my son were, um, the we were robbed, not robbed, but someone was trying to break into our house in the middle of the day. It's 11:00 in the morning and, and that was terrifying, you know, to experience that. As soon as that happened, I popped our alarm, house alarm. Scared the guy away, and I loaded us up and we drove to Nashville to to be with my family. And I would say that is one of the hardest parts is just you have to find family within the military community. And some people really struggle with that.
David Enevoldsen: Interesting that what happened in the helicopter accident. So,
Jenna Griffith: Right. So that also was quite an experience because of how everything kind of came about. When he was deployed, it was 2011. He was deployed in Afghanistan and he was in a Chinook. It's the helicopters with the two blades. And they what they were told is they caught a wire like they had hung a wire up and the blade caught the wire. It crashed from about 40ft. So luckily, it wasn't a huge fall, but it did flip the helicopter several times. It knocked out every single person that was on there. And my husband had a TBI from that. And we were stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, at that time. And I received a phone call from a friend who heard about it at a barbecue that she was at. And just, you know, that you have the the risk of getting a phone call like that. But to actually experience it is something that you really can't explain. So when that happened, he was moved to the hospital in Germany. It's pretty typical, moved to the hospital in Germany and then down to a TBI hospital in Georgia. He was having lots of seizures and could not, his migraines were so bad he could not even take a an eye mask off of his eyes, have any kind of brightness of sorts. And he ended up being in an inpatient TBI facility in Omaha, Nebraska. So me and our two children slept in a hotel and stayed out there as long as we could so we could just have them near him. And throughout that time, what was really frustrating was all the pain that he was experiencing but no one else could see. And so they would just keep giving him medication, just loading him up to try and try and make him better. But it it made it worse, unfortunately.
David Enevoldsen: Well, I'm sure that event was pretty traumatic. Did you see like personality shifts after that? I know that happens sometimes with TBIs.
Jenna Griffith: Absolutely, and it's interesting when people ask me about my first marriage, about the divorce, I tell them it's a really sad story because he's not the same person that he was before then. And it took five years of both of us trying to figure out this new experience, this new person, how he was going through life and again, struggling with addiction. It took so long to, so much trying and so much time that eventually we just kind of drifted. And,
David Enevoldsen: Yeah.
Jenna Griffith: It just became exhausting for both of us.
David Enevoldsen: And do you have kids with him still, or?
Jenna Griffith: Yeah. Two children. So one of them was who I was talking about earlier. We lost the child and then we had our youngest, who's 15 now, but he was born really early and has had a lot of medical, medical issues. And he's he's doing really well now.
David Enevoldsen: Okay. So that marriage ends and then you met your current husband and he at that time was not working as a first responder? He'd kind of already done all that or.
Jenna Griffith: Well, so he was a 20 year Air Force retiree. And obviously I have a type. Okay.
David Enevoldsen: Right. Getting that impression.
Jenna Griffith: Yeah, exactly. But he was a custom home builder at the time.
David Enevoldsen: Okay.
Jenna Griffith: And I loved that he had the military discipline and experience. But I was I loved even more that he had a, quote unquote, normal job.
David Enevoldsen: Yeah. And so you figure you get the type, but he's in a safer job, so you're not going to have to live that lifestyle again.
Jenna Griffith: Exactly. And and like I said earlier, when he was offered the job with this recovery group, I was super resistant to it because.
David Enevoldsen: Well, can you elaborate on that? So what was the job with the recovery group that he got offered?
Jenna Griffith: Yeah. So it's called Aerial Recovery. And they respond to manmade natural disasters and they also combat human trafficking, human trafficking globally.
David Enevoldsen: I see.
Jenna Griffith: And like I said, when he was approached for that job, I was resistant to it. But when I sat down with the owners and really heard their hearts and what they were going to be doing with this non-profit, we were we both were like, we have to do this. And that was two years ago.
David Enevoldsen: Interesting. So what is it exactly they were asking him to do?
Jenna Griffith: Well, he's was their first hire, so it he had to commit to a minimum of two weeks a month possible traveling, deploying at the last minute, making connections to help with fundraising efforts and really just growing the company overall. So he's been to Pakistan during the flooding, Turkey during the earthquakes. They've done anti-human trafficking missions in Colombia, Mexico. There, he has been all over the place with this job, but they've saved so many people. It's been really incredible. Just got back from Maui to help with all the fires.
David Enevoldsen: And and when all this happens, are you going are you staying in the US?
Jenna Griffith: I am not going. I'm staying. Yes.
David Enevoldsen: Okay.
Jenna Griffith: Yes.
David Enevoldsen: So I imagine that invokes some of the same challenges you were experiencing previously, the isolation and the.
Jenna Griffith: Exactly.
David Enevoldsen: Fears about what's going on and all that.
Jenna Griffith: Exactly. And this company specifically repurposed his veterans because that's another thing that we don't really hear a lot about in the military community is these soldiers are getting out of the military and trying to find what their purpose is and figure out what are they supposed to do with their lives now. And I said to my husband, I said, the wives are having a much different emotional experience because we're thinking, like I said earlier, we're going to have a normal life now. He's going to be home all the time. But what often, unfortunately, ends up happening is you now have a husband who doesn't know himself, doesn't understand his purpose, and now you're emotionally taking care of him or emotionally dealing with maybe his PTSD. And it can be even more isolating because there's this part of you that understands and and can only imagine what they're experiencing. And then there's another part of you that's like, come on, man. Like, help me out here. We, this is our time. And and it can be really difficult.
David Enevoldsen: That's interesting. You know, it's funny, I've thought a lot about and talked a lot about the impact of vets in particular, especially when they've seen combat and kind of coming out of the service and kind of what happens to them in the aftermath. I work as an attorney and we've done things in Arizona here. We have what's called Vet Court and various levels, and they do kind of different things. But a lot of times you'll see a vet that comes out, just as you said, seems to lose all purpose. Sometimes they're dealing with some sort of PTSD or other traumas or whatever, and then oftentimes their lives start unraveling, criminal activity pops up or there's drug issues or just a whole range of awful stuff that happens. And they just they seem lost. And to a certain extent, it almost seems like the military has just thrown them away and they're like, okay, we're done with you now move on. But the aspect of that I haven't really thought much about is kind of the what happens to the spouses, you know, and the impact on them. And obviously that's going to have a huge impact if your husband's coming home and he's a train wreck and he's addicted to drugs or he's running around violently committing crimes or whatever. So I can that's an interesting angle that I just really hadn't thought too much about, which is part of the reason I wanted to talk to you because I think this is so, so interesting. So, okay, so you you ended up getting on board with Aerial Recovery. You talked to the owners and you said, yes, we're going to do this. Are you taking an active role in the Aerial Recovery or are you just kind of running support for your husband?
Jenna Griffith: I did in the beginning. So I obviously support super supportive of the organization. And when there's local disasters, you know, we had horrible tornadoes and flooding here in the last couple of years.
David Enevoldsen: Yeah.
Jenna Griffith: I do respond with the team for that and also just helping out with the spouses. So every what's really great is they have a program called Heal the Heroes. And every quarter they take 22 veterans through an intensive healing experience and then they coach them on entrepreneurship for a full year. And these soldiers, they're helping them find that purpose again. They're teaching them who they are and how worthy they are within themselves, and not because they're having to be attached to some military group. And what's been incredible is seeing the wives and their response to this healing that their husbands are going through because it's it's healing that they've been praying for for a long time. Like what I experienced was just completely at my wit's end. And and you do get to a point where you have to decide. Am I going to fight for my own happiness and for my own journey in life? Or am I going to just stay and hope it gets better?
David Enevoldsen: Yeah.
Jenna Griffith: You know, it's it's really scary because you risk so much emotionally in that way.
David Enevoldsen: Yeah. So at what point did you kind of transition into the work that you're presently doing, you know, specifically focused on working with first responder wives and spouses?
Jenna Griffith: So that happened started kind of trickling in the past couple years. But I really committed committed to it earlier this year. And I wrote a book for the spouses that's going to be coming out Veterans Day weekend called Service and Soul and starting to just coach these women and love on them. And I've met incredible people in veteran communities and veteran nonprofit organizations. And every time I ask them, well, what do you have for the spouses? They, like you, they're like, well,
David Enevoldsen: Yeah, never thought of that.
Jenna Griffith: And we need stuff. They need stuff too.
David Enevoldsen: For sure. Interesting. So obviously you're still supportive of the idea of being a first responder wife. Is that accurate?
Jenna Griffith: Absolutely.
David Enevoldsen: Okay. And obviously, they're doing important work. You know, they're out there fighting for the country and making sure people are safe, protecting people, etcetera. How do you how does somebody strike that balance then? I mean, how do you act in that supportive role to the first responder husband and then somehow carry on your own life, figure out your own mission? I mean, I guess there are several steps involved in that, I guess. Number one, how do you juggle those two?
Jenna Griffith: Well, that's that's the trick is you don't want to try and juggle because that's what brings overwhelm, anxiety, stress. What is really helpful and why it the partnership that I not only have personally with my husband, but with the organization and me helping with supporting the spouses, is it is a partnership that when you have both you and your husband focused on the greater good, if you will, it it works flawlessly. So don't hear me wrong that I don't still have times where, you know, he's gone and I'm overwhelmed with stuff at the house and wishing that he was here. But we have been able to have such amazing conversations about things that I expect when he's gone. Ways that I can be supportive of him while also making sure that I'm tuning in to the things that I'm working on and the things that I need. Ways that he can support me when he's gone. Communication is a huge part of that. It's something that we are working on all the time. Because what's different with this work versus when I was a military spouse is they don't have guns anymore. It's a completely different type of service. So the energy and the emotions around the work that he does is completely different because when he's gone, there's obviously still a fear factor of his safety.
David Enevoldsen: Of course,
Jenna Griffith: It's just not as strong as it was before. And I'm able to see the result of the people that he's helping and saving.
David Enevoldsen: Yeah.
Jenna Griffith: And because he and I are equally passionate about that, that helps as well. I'm able to keep in mind, keep focused. What is he doing? And you know, he's doing his thing and his purpose. And I'm living in my purpose and we're very lucky that they can come together and and marry together themselves. But there are lots of steps that I do teach when I'm coaching women. I've got a lot of free stuff on my website to just to try and help these women who have possibly dissolved into their husbands jobs. It's very easy to lose yourself. And the biggest thing is worthiness and women feeling like it's selfish for me to want something for myself. It's selfish for me to want anything that's not related to this grand gesture of serving the world or serving our country. And that has probably been the biggest roadblock that I have seen with these women, is not feeling like they are deserving of having any sort of support or help.
David Enevoldsen: Yeah, I feel like that's almost just a human theme. Like there's this insecurity seem to lack of worthiness and a lack of sense of confidence and self I think creates so many problems in so many different ways. In other episodes I've talked about kind of my my themes that even when you have like an abusive dynamic, I think insecurities kind of abound. They manifest in different ways. They're kind of popping up like the abuser, for example, I think is deep down very insecure and therefore needs to say to his spouse or significant other like, I'm better than you because I feel so fragile. I need to prove I'm better than somebody. And then that, you know. Anyway. Yeah, I think worthiness is such an important thing to fuel and something to really work on. How, let me talk about the purpose end of that. So how how do you find what your purpose is? Do you have thoughts on that? And I know that's probably a huge topic, but,
David Enevoldsen: Yeah.
Jenna Griffith: How did you find your purpose? Maybe we could start there.
Jenna Griffith: The best way to find your purpose is to write out your eulogy.
David Enevoldsen: Ah. I like that.
Jenna Griffith: That's, my mentor took me through that earlier this year, which is what led to me fully committing to this life, this this vision that I have because she had me write out my eulogy. And then we categorized different pieces of the eulogy into ways I'm affecting the community, what my health looks like, what my relationships look like, what my money looks like. And we got very specific on those different categories. And then she taught me how to map that out for five years and then one year and then each quarter and then each month and each week. What needs to be done so that when you die, which will be when I'm 95.
David Enevoldsen: Why so early?
Jenna Griffith: Yeah, right. You're dying doing what you wanted to do. And so many of us get it backwards. And we start planning from the beginning to a hopeful ending. But when you know what ending you want, you actually can plan it backwards. And that's so when we had the eulogy the common theme for mine was fortification. I love empowering people and strengthening people in their their walk with God, their finances, their own purpose, you name it. And that's when I was like, my purpose in life is to fortify.
David Enevoldsen: And so from there then you reverse engineered into, okay, the way that I'm going to fortify is to support first responders spouses. Is that,
Jenna Griffith: Yeah.
David Enevoldsen: Okay. I like that. I like that reverse engineering idea from the conceptual to the specific. Part of the reason I really like the idea of purpose and, Man's Search for Meaning. Viktor Frankl. I mean, he talks a lot about logotherapy and finding your purpose and that having such a massive impact on how people function. I mean, he talks in there about, have you read that book? Are you familiar with it? You should check it out. It's a really fascinating book. Like the dominant theme there, as I interpreted it was that in essence, having purpose makes a huge difference. And he lived through Auschwitz and a couple of other horrible experiences in the Nazi occupation. And he when he came out, he was a psychologist and so one of his main focuses became all about finding your purpose. And he developed this thing he called Logotherapy, which was all centered on that. And he describes things like when people in the concentration camps seem to lose their sense of purpose, like they would almost immediately pass away, you know, and they would die. And so I feel like especially having read something like that, which is kind of a profound book to me, like that purpose, that sense of I know where I'm going or I have a mission or something like that becomes so critical to people in terms of their happiness and well-being and productivity and all of these things, which is which is a big part of what I'm preaching through my Emotional Embuffination message. So that's why what you're talking about resonates so much with me. I like this concept. When somebody comes to you and they say, okay, I'm a first responder spouse, maybe you have them write their eulogy. Like, what exactly do you offer? I mean, do you do like coaching? Do you just have a support group? Like what can do with people?
Jenna Griffith: We have a support group on Facebook called Service and Soul. Everything that I offer for military and first responders is free to them because I really am passionate about serving them and helping them. And we have virtual Hangouts every other week on Zoom so we can all come together and support each other. And it's been really incredible because these women are are seeing that they're not completely by themselves. And hey, it feels so refreshing that I can come to the group with this issue or this fear or this emotional experience. And I don't have to explain why I'm going through this experience because it is being a first responder and a military wife is such a unique position that people who have not experienced it will never understand. And there are times when we want to reach out to someone or we want to have support from someone who hasn't experienced that and we feel selfish or guilty, you know, for feeling feeling like, well, I just hate that he's gone right now. Or why couldn't someone else go? You know, why did he have to go? Or he hasn't called me all day because to an outsider, it's like, well, he's saving people. He's doing this. And and you just want to be able to have a minute to say, you know, he hasn't called me all day and I'm really angry about it. And it's okay that I'm angry and I'll move on in five minutes, you know?
David Enevoldsen: Right. Interesting. Okay. So you said you also wrote the book Service and Soul and that that's coming soon. Like, what's the substance of that? Is that, I guess what we've talked about here? What is it about
Jenna Griffith: It is. It's a guidebook to purpose and prosperity for military and first responder wives. And it's really just the foundational work that I've gone through that I've coached other women through on how to shift the mindset from the supporting actress to the main character in your own story.
David Enevoldsen: Nice. I like that a lot. What, can you elaborate on the prosperity end of that message? Like how does that interface with all this?
Jenna Griffith: When you're living in your purpose, everything around you starts to align into that vision and you end up learning how to move in such a flow that it does prosper. You see things growing, you're meeting people you would have never thought you would meet, or you're having people put into your lives and into your experience that either help you grow personally, financially, spiritually, all the different ways. And prosperity has different meanings for different people. So it can mean a lot of money in the bank. It can mean moving freely through life without too much resistance or even having better relationships or strengthening your marriage. And so for me, in these talking about the book, Purpose and Prosperity is living a life that you have been wanting. Living the life that you have envisioned for yourself. Because for me, I was 28 years old thinking, is this really my life? Is this what I was put on the earth for? I mean, I've got toys all over the floor. I haven't washed my hair in three days. My husband's gone. I'm not sure when he's going to be home or even where he is in the world.
David Enevoldsen: Right.
Jenna Griffith: What am I doing? Where, when do I get to do what I want to do? And there's this unspoken message of your job as the military spouse specific to military is you stay home, you take care of the kids. That's why they pay you extra when you're married. You get paid per dependent. You get paid to live off post. And so you think to yourself, or at least I did, this is just my role right now. This is what I have to do. And I only did it for ten years. Some women do it for the full twenty and then experience what we talked about earlier when their husbands feel like they have no purpose and then you've got a husband with no purpose and a wife with no purpose. And that breeds resentment. That breeds competitiveness, depression. You're not communicating. And that's why so many marriages are ending in divorce in the military, because these the wives are getting stressed out and they're just done. And that's what that's what happened for me. It happened in a doctor's office when he looked at me and told me, you just need to know this is going to get worse before it gets better. And this was 3 or 4 years after his accident. And I said, I can't do worse. I have done worse. I've been doing worse. And that was the moment that I was just like, I, I can't do this anymore. I was dying. You know, I was emotionally dying.
David Enevoldsen: You referenced earlier, I think, or at least I was extracting from what you said, some thoughts on faith. I'm gathering you're Christian. Is that accurate? How does your faith play any role in all of this?
Jenna Griffith: It plays the role. It's the leading role in all of this. You know, when I got divorced, terrified, I hadn't worked. I had an online bachelor's degree in marketing, but no resume for that, because if you remember special needs child, he had seven therapies a week I was taking him to. It was terrifying. And there was a lot of you know, I don't I've only met one person who had a smooth divorce. It's it's hard to get divorced, right? And I just remember every time,
David Enevoldsen: Do you mean, divorces generally or do you mean divorces specifically with first responder spouses?
Jenna Griffith: Oh, general, generally, yeah. No divorce, no matter what realm you're in. Um, and.
David Enevoldsen: And sorry to interject that, but I will confirm. So I spent over a decade working as a family law attorney, and it was pretty infrequent that I saw smooth divorces. I did see a few, but they're definitely not the norm. And even when I thought they were going to be fine, it was almost like people expected it to be a nightmare. I remember watching like family members who would jump in and get almost upset that it wasn't a fight. You know, it was really fascinating dynamic. But yes, I'll confirm what you're saying, that most divorces do not go smoothly, for whatever reason. Sorry to cut you off.
Jenna Griffith: I remember I was seeing a counselor at the time before we had officially split up, and she had worked with a lot of couples who she helped them navigate through divorce. And she said to me, you need to prepare yourself to see him like you've never seen him before. He's going to be, he's going to pull out, stop. And it wasn't just because of who he was. It was just what her experience was with divorces. Even couples who go into it thinking this is for the best. We can just be friends. We're going to agree on this, that and the other. And then when you get to it, it's like, well, no, I want the house. Why should you get the house or whatever the case may be. And and so she told me that I was going to be accused of, she said, you're either going to be accused of taking his money, having an affair or being a lesbian. I was like, what? And you know what? I was accused of all three. All three. And I was I it was funny because I chuckled when it happened. I was like, she told me this was going to happen. And when she said that, I thought, there's absolutely no way because that would be crazy, right? But anyways, all that to say is all these attacks, all these accusations, all these things are coming in. Like you said, you got family members, you know, oh, did you cheat on my child? You know, and I just kept repeating over and over in my head, "God rewards those who are faithful. God rewards those who are faithful." I would lay in my bed and cry and I would just be like, "God rewards those who are faithful." And my son at the time was 14 and one night, and he never has even raised his voice at me. One night he just started screaming at me, "How can you walk around like everything's okay? How can you be so happy when our lives are falling apart?" I mean, and I'm just like, listening to him just unleash all of this pain that he was holding onto.
David Enevoldsen: Yeah.
Jenna Griffith: And that's when I realized I needed to show my children the realness of what I was experiencing, too. And I was a child from divorce, and I wanted to be sure that I wasn't putting my kids in any more emotional distress than they already were going through. And fast forward five years later when I got married to my now husband. He's 19 years old and he gives a speech at our wedding and he brought up that night and how he felt that night about me and how he was witnessing how I was responding to everything. And he said, and now I know it's because she had faith. And that was so powerful for me as a mom, because when you're in it and I mean, I'm repeating that over to convince myself of it, you know? And repeating it over to help calm me, help me feel that it is going to be okay, but you don't feel like it's going to be okay. Really, like my body didn't feel I had anxiety all the time. And those are the moments that people don't talk a lot about. And that's why I feel like a lot of comparison happens in our world because someone like my son is like, she just seems okay. She's just doing great. And it showed me that my vulnerability is what is going to connect me to other people. And that's what's really important in this group as well. But when I committed to, I was I was hesitant to work with military and first responder wives specifically because I didn't see how I could have it as a successful business because like I mentioned earlier, they're not spending money on themselves. They don't feel worthy enough to go through self care or to go to a retreat or to join a or hire a coach. And my mentor told me when I said that to her, she said, "You and I both know that when God puts something on your heart and you follow it, he will provide for you." And in that moment when I committed to it, it's unbelievable. The people that have come into my life, the opportunities that have come into my life, where I can provide this for free for these wives and still make a business out of it. It's just incredible to watch.
David Enevoldsen: That's that's really good. I have several thoughts out of that. One is, I mean, you're talking about kind of this this counselor, I forget what the title was, was kind of saying, here's all the things that are going to happen. I, I cannot count the number of times as a family law attorney, I had somebody come to me and say, we agree on everything. This is going to be the smoothest divorce ever. I just need you to write it up. And I'd be like, okay. And then, you know, two years later, some crazy fight. It seemed like what it would always happen is people would come together and say, we have this sort of general idea, this is where it's going to go. And then when they start putting pen to paper and they start having to figure out, just like you said, wait, you're getting the house? I thought I was getting the house. And like, you really have to start getting the specifics. And when things start to become real, because I think there's a difference between like, oh yeah, we're going to get divorced and it's actually happening. I think that reality also really shakes people up. So I've seen that shift a lot of times, so I'll confirm that one as well. Um, the other thing that you touched on there was just kind of your son looking at you and thinking everything's, you look like you're fine, you're just happy and you're just strutten' through your day. And in the inside you're, like, falling apart. Um, that is one of the big things I think I walked away from family law about was I saw people that from the outside I thought were totally fine. You know, I saw these marriages I thought were people I knew that had seemed like they were in super happy marriages on the outside. And then I start talking to them as an attorney on the inside and I'm like, oh, there's been this affair and you've been upset for ten years about whatever. And there's all this strife that I never knew about. And like, you just never know what's going on behind the scenes or within somebody's heart or soul, you know, that they're not vocalizing, even if on the outside they look like they're totally fine. Um, so at any rate, those are some thoughts that popped up when you were describing this. If somebody I'm going to ask you one more substantive question. But if somebody wants to reach out to you, learn more about the group, learn more about your book, visit your website, contact you, how do they do any of that?
Jenna Griffith: Yeah. So all of my tools are free online at jennasfreegifts.com and you can find me in contact me on Instagram. It's just my name, msjennagriffith.
David Enevoldsen: Okay.
Jenna Griffith: And our group on Facebook is called Service and Soul.
David Enevoldsen: Okay. All right. My last question of substance here, and this just ties into kind of my emotional embuffination theme. I ask everybody this. If you can offer just one piece of advice and only one piece of advice to people out there about emotional health or emotional strength, what would that piece of advice be?
Jenna Griffith: Make it your number one priority. Number one priority. It is your oxygen mask. You cannot show up and serve the world or even yourself if you're not taking care of yourself.
David Enevoldsen: I 100% agree with that. That is very good advice. Jenna, thank you very much. I very much appreciate your time. I appreciate you coming on and talking to me. I think that your mission is really cool. I think this is like we said before, I think this is a niche that I've not really even thought about, but it's obviously an important one, and there's a significant number of people out there that are kind of fitting this problem. And so I think this is a really amazing mission that you've picked out and and you're working on. So thank you for coming on. Thank you for talking to me. I appreciate your time and I'll let you go there.
Jenna Griffith: Thank you so much.
David Enevoldsen: All right. That's going to bring us to a wrap on today's show. I hope that you found this useful and interesting and there was something you could take away from it to make your life just a little bit better. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter on the Embuffination website, which is embuff.com. Remember, keep becoming more emotionally embuffed. This is something we keep working on every day. You don't go to the gym one time and say, I'm buff forever. You go on a regular basis. You keep doing it to maintain and to continue to build strength. The same thing is true with Emotional Embuffination. You keep going, you keep working on it. You keep doing things to become more emotionally resilient, to make sure that you're optimizing those positive, happy feelings. At the end of the day, I want you to be emotionally strong enough to go from saying things like, "The struggle is real," to saying, "What struggle?" Thank you all for listening. I hope you've enjoyed this. Have a great week and I'll see you on the next show.