There are so many amazing people in our community, going through hard stuff, navigating life, and making a difference along the way. We want to introduce them to you so you can be encouraged, inspired and above all, know that you aren’t alone.
Meet Joe Padilla. Today’s featured Wednesday Warrior. Read along to hear more of his powerful story and how God has been “reframing” it along the way.
What life challenges have you/are you overcoming?
I’ve learned how to integrate neuroscience, psychology, and Biblical values to help my wife overcome 8-10 years of suffering from her debilitating mental health condition. Then, turning all that insight into a non-profit, The Grace Alliance, to provide practical resources to help others overcome life burnout, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions! We make it unique, innovative, and easy to use for anyone in the journey.
What is something that most people don’t know about you, but you want them to know?
It’s not really all that important or that I want them to know, but it’s what most don’t know. I grew up in a broken home (mostly poor and low-income housing), at 17 I dropped out of high school, left home and was homeless going from couch to couch ending up living in an abandoned house, drugs/alcohol and eventually led to a failed suicide. It failed because I had a unique life altering encounter with Jesus. Afterwards, a divorced Christian father took me in (into his family) and related to me as if I was one of his own. He practically guided me to restore my life, family relationships, and supported me through a long road to graduate from high school and later with a university degree! It’s similar to a “Blindside” movie outline! Overall, that experience has eternally shaped me to deeply understand others who simply just need the same chance!
How has God helped you “Reframe” your perspective along the way?
When my wife’s life fully fell apart from her mental health condition and the impact it made on our five kids – the suffering reframed and reformed my view of God’s love and grace! I literally began to experience God in reframing/reforming ways that challenged the conventional church teachings I had learned. His love was so healing and it gave me energy and the Word came alive in a new way! Then, as I studied all the science to learn how to help my wife, it was like a light went off seeing how all the science supported the Bible. It was like I was discovering a new depth of His love integrated in every part of my world that I had not seen before!
What is your super-power?
Not sure, but maybe I would say it’s my constant curiosity! I love to explore forward-thinking perspectives. Thus, I’m that nerd type that loves to learn anything neuroscience, psychology, physics, business, and theology! The stuff I read and listen to probably makes others yawn – but I love it!
What good has come out of your trial?
First and foremost, the restoring of my best friend, my wife and my kids! Our marriage and family is so much deeper and more fulfilling than ever! Second, that we got to take our experience and translate it into simple resources to help the Body of Christ have the same opportunity to see life be enriched and have hope … grace made practical!
How has your faith changed along the way?
Hard to sum this up, but I would say overall that my faith has more wholeness, meaning and a depth of being loved, graced, and being at rest with Jesus … and how that translates to everyday life. I often share, “We are on a wholeness journey, not a brokenness journey.” There is truly a difference!
How has God used your story?
I think my story with my wife and family is really about other’s stories. It has really provided a voice for others who are experiencing the same thing and need hope … and practical grace to make life work, today!
What is a highlight of your story?
After a year and half of working with my wife to overcome her mental health condition, she finally said, “I feel like myself again.” After 8-10 years of suffering, there was this hope that, even though life was not perfect, our marriage and family could heal and improve! As a friend with OCD put it best, “Sometimes it’s a slow miracle with picking up jewels all along the way.”