The Healing Power of Conversation: Coffee Shop Conversations

Having a conversation is powerful! I discovered this firsthand while facing a major storm in my life. After seeking wisdom from pastors and counselors–who were heavy on advice and light on the conversation–my situation grew worse, and I felt defeated. Then, I discovered the healing power of conversation.

Pain, Conversation, and Healing

Ten years ago, I was in the midst of a marriage crisis. The advice I received was to:

  • Pray more.
  • Read the Bible.
  • Attend Church.
  • Tithe.
  • And trust God for the results.

On the one hand, these spiritual disciplines are sound advice for anyone wanting to grow their faith. Nevertheless, spiritual disciplines are not marital advice, and these actions had no direct correlation to the specifics of my situation.

At the time, I was married to someone who was facing many challenges of her own—including intense anger and depression. I became the victim of ongoing violence in our home. It consisted of ongoing physical, mental, and emotional chaos. Practicing the spiritual disciplines was not enough, and because I didn’t understand that there were proactive, positive steps that I could take–such as setting healthy boundaries and focusing on my own self-care–my situation grew darker.

Fast-forward ten years. I am remarried to an incredible woman who loves Jesus. The two of us have a fantastic relationship. Jenny and I love our three–soon to be four–daughters deeply. We are a blended family home, and while life is far from perfect, it is amazingly good.

The Power of Conversation

The turning point in my challenges happened when I found wise counselors who understood the power of conversation. These men and women believed that:

  1. People are unique.
  2. Life is messy and has nuances that must be taken into account.
  3. Solutions are rarely black-and-white.

In other words, tools that work well for one family may not work as well for another. A conversation is needed! So instead of providing authoritative advice, we brainstormed together, prayed together, and teamed up to make life work. The solutions didn’t come quickly, but they did come. What it took was an ongoing conversation.

“Discovering solutions to life’s most pressing challenges begins with a conversation.

Psalm 139:14 says you and I are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Unique people require individualized wisdom. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.

This is why I was so excited when my friend Etienne asked if I would join him and his fiance, Chatiela, on a weekly radio broadcast focusing on faith, family, friendship, and, of course, conversation! This live and unedited broadcast features wisdom from hosts with a combination of education in the helping professions, invaluable personal experiences, a passion for honoring Christ, and a desire to serve others.

In our primer episode, we dive into:

  • Our shared passion for conversation.
  • The importance of faith in our lives.
  • We share glimpses of our own stories.

Listen to our Broadcast Here:

You can find us on I-Tunes: In The Author’s Corner, or click on the play button below. If you enjoy the show, we would love it if you would leave a rating and review on I-Tunes–it’s what helps us get heard in a noisy and crowded space 🙂

We would love to hear from you. How have you seen the power of conversation at work? How are your faith and your story leading you to serve others? What topics would you like discussed in future episodes? We look forward to continuing the conversation in the comments below!

Meet the Team

Etienne Gibbs is an MSW, Author, Consultant, and Talk Show Host who blogs at

Chatila Underwood is the author of Eyes Wide Shut and is currently working on her second book.

Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at

13 thoughts on “The Healing Power of Conversation: Coffee Shop Conversations”

  1. This is so good! You are right–each person and each situation is unique, and therefore the advice and counseling must be unique and personalized as well. Thanks so much for this great post!

  2. I totally agree with you on how powerful conversation can be in any relationship!! So many misunderstandings can be rectified if only more meaningful conversations took place.

  3. Sadly not many pastors and ministry leaders are cut out for this kind of thing and the church is suffering for it. Politically correct responses do not work when someone is really struggling. I am glad you are at a better place now

  4. I think one of the challenges these days is that people are so “busy”. Having these conversations takes time and commitment. I am so grateful for the people who have sat with me and invested a lot by having these conversations, helping me navigate life’s challenges.

  5. I think my takeaway from this post was that life is messy and rarely are solutions black & white. This is some great advice. Perfect timing too I was praying about some things this evening. Thanks for the words of wisdom Jed and keep up the great work!

  6. I’ve learned that when we face troubles in our lives, not everyone is equipped to give proper advice. Like you said, what works for one family may not work for another. I think that sometimes, “pat” answers are given, (such as pray more, tithe, etc.) because people don’t know what to say…they don’t know how to advise, or our problem is bigger than they can handle. However, when finding those who are willing to sit down and have a real conversation with us that moves beyond the pat answers, real solutions can be found! I’m so glad you were able to find those people to help you on your journey!

    I’m looking forward to listening to the iTunes broadcast!

    Blessings, Joan

  7. This is great – I agree- people are all unique and each circumstance will have differences, conversation is essential in finding the steps to take to really feel the peace and joy that Jesus fills us with in His Holy Spirit.

  8. Good conversation. Thanks for sharing. Caused new thinking for me about purposeful , personal conversation, listening to understand and be of help rather than just listening to respond. Looking forward to more.

  9. This “conversation” about needing conversations is so…NEEDED! Life is messy at times and simple “answers” can often come off as hurtful from others when we are often desperately needing people to come along side us (in truth), and walk with us through conversations and in the messiness. Thank you for sharing!

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