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The Opposite of Certainty with Janine Urbaniak Reid (ep. 268)

Janine Urbaniak Reid

John O’Leary welcomes Janine Urbaniak Reid to the Live Inspired Podcast to share how she managed her reluctant journey of unexpected chaos.

When you flipped the calendar from December to January, what were you certain was going to happen this year? Maybe a family vacation, wedding, simply going to the store as often as you needed! And then…

Borders closed. Events were canceled. Online learning became the norm. Dining room tables, pets and children replaced offices and coworkers.

Today, Janine Urbaniak Reid shares her own reluctant journey with unexpected chaos – hers is in the form of mothering a son with cancer. But the truth she shares is applicable to all of us navigating these uncertain times:

This crisis can pull away the distractions and leave you with focus on only the essentials; clarity on what truly matters.  Now that is a gift.

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  • At a young age, Janine learned to hide secrets of abuse + alcoholism from others.
  • “Every big transformative moment comes from the simple word help.”
  • Janine hoped that her overprotective parenting style would protect them from similar trauma she faced as a child while also re-parenting herself.
  • Her youngest, Mason, was in kindergarten when his hand began to shake before suffering migraine headaches. They’d later learn this neurologist misdiagnosed this “normal tremor”.
  • Boze Grozi: What did you do to make God so mad at you?
  • Tree roots under a sidewalk: Mason’s slow-growing tumor had wrapped itself around essential brain structures making it irremovable.
  • “We are ordinary people called to do extraordinary things and push beyond our limits.”
  • “I’d rather be anything but powerless.”
  • While orbiting an unpredictable tumor, Mason faced numerous setbacks and Janine saw it as a balance board of surrender yet do everything possible.
  • Courage is not feeling like Wonder Woman. Courage is asking for help, surrendering and prayer.
  • “I don’t want to live a life I hate while living circumstances that I do.”
  • Instead of waiting for a crisis to be over, Janine found simple ways to find God + take care of herself including calling friends + going on walks.
  • “Love is always enough. Strength is enough. You are enough.”
  • Get Janine Urbaniak Reid’s book The Opposite of Certainty.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Willams and anything by Anne Lamott.

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Fearlessness.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? The painting that became the cover The Opposite of Certainty.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Mary, mother of Jesus.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “You’re doing it. You don’t think you can do it, but you’re doing it,” and “Don’t give up.”

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Don’t be so afraid of making mistakes.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? God is good and life is good.


My new book IN AWE is now available… and became an instant bestseller! Learn how to rediscover your childlike sense of wonder to unleash inspiration, meaning and joy. Visit ReadInAwe.com today! 


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