While singer Calee Reed appreciates the holidays as a time to celebrate and remember Christ, as someone who has faced loss and divorce, she understands what it's like to go through difficult times during the holidays. In this week's episode, All In host Morgan Jones talks with Calee and her husband, Jon about how they've found hope in the midst of their biggest trials. Calee also shared an experience that led to greater understanding as to why we experience painful things as having lost her own mother gave her the ability to relate to her husband's son early in their relationship.
Morgan Jones: I have heard you, Calee, talk before, I think it was Time Out For Women, you shared an experience where you kind of realized for the first time that you could relate to Jon's kids. Can you share that?
Calee Reed: Yeah, questions. that's usually where I start that is just by saying that I have so many questions that I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out with God. And for whatever reason, he has not found it that are necessary to answer my questions. And some of my questions center around my mother and like why so much suffering had to happen if He knew she was going to die anyway. And I had this really beautiful experience with one of my sons when Jon and I first started dating that helped me see just this—it was like this little glimmer of like beauty in having had the experience of losing my mother." And it was, I think the first time we went to church together, so we had all five kids and I for sure thought we were going to break up right afterward, just because five kids on one pew, like the thought of it like made my brain explode. And it turns out it's not that bad. It really depends on your kids, I guess. But we were sitting there all together and one of the boys who was just five at that time, Oh, and they're so cute. I wish you guys could see them, like these big blue eyeballs and his really long eyelashes. Oh, he's so precious. And he came and he was sitting right next to me and I had my arm around him. Jon and I hadn't known each other that long, I think it had been like maybe three weeks. And this little guy looked up at me just in the middle of the meeting and he whispered to me, "Do you know where my mommy is?" And I know. And I looked down at him and said, "Yeah, she's in heaven." And he kind of went back to, you know, to what he was doing. And I'm sitting there like, just my insides are like, ugh. This like little boy, and you think about what his experience is with this and like how hard. And anyway, I had this thought that came into my mind and I looked down at him and I said, "Hey, do you know who's there with her?" And he like shook his head and I said, "My mommy." And he smiled, and then he went back to what he was doing. And it was just this moment of connection. And I think that that is so much more important than I value on a daily basis, like this connecting with other people and for he and I, it was like this common ground where we could meet in the space of like shared heartbreak and grief and sorrow. And it made me feel so much more connected to him. I don't know if it was that experience for him, do you know what I mean? It's like a five-year-old, He's like, "Do you have my blue crayon?" But it was so precious. And that's something that's become like a platform for us and our family that we can talk about. We can talk about when my mom died, we can talk about when your mom died. It's this really beautiful, safe, space that has been like created that I am so grateful for.
Jon Adams: We talked earlier about trials and if you think about the first two commandments, love God and love thy neighbor, it's amazing what a trial or what something hard, long-suffering will do of turning your heart towards God. And then also, that shared experience of other people that are going through this mortal experience, that empathy that's created, that love that's created for your fellow man, that having gone through hard things, you now can empathize and mourn with those who mourn and really meet those two great commandments.