We are delighted to introduce you to Board Member, Julie Sheridan-Smith. Julie officially accepted our Board invitation with the words, “my heart is leaping with YES!” She is Associate Minister of Northshore Congregational Church in Fox Point, WI, and a long-time friend of Cindee’s. We’ll let her tell you the rest in her own words.
My name is Julie Sheridan-Smith. I am a mother, wife, and an ordained minister. My husband and I have three children, who are now young adults, attending college, graduating or pursuing a PhD. I became personally aware of chronic pain when our daughter began experiencing constant and excruciating back pain, resulting in surgery when she was in middle school. Yet the pain continued and other unexplained issues began – nausea, stomach pain, and inability to keep food down. During her senior year in high school, our daughter became gravely ill and depleted. She spent much of her senior year in and out of the hospital, diagnosed with gastroparesis, a condition in which her stomach cannot empty correctly. The quest for relief and solutions, the ongoing struggle of chronic illness, and the anxiety that accompanies both has drawn me to seek to know and speak toward God’s presence in and through the reality of chronic pain – both for the one experiencing it and for those who love them.
There is joy in shared relationship – comfort and healing, purpose and grace in the stories and the lived experiences that we bring to each other and offer up to God.
Radical hope. Compassionate change. Equipping those affected by chronic physical and mental illness through community and education rooted in Jesus Christ.