Today’s episode is incredibly special. In honor of Memorial Day, we have two of the most incredible women I have ever met – Ginger Gilbert Ravella and Rachel Faulkner Brown. Please take a moment to listen to their stories, their wisdom and share with a widow you love or someone going through the depths of grief.
I’m Rachel Faulkner Brown, a girl with a past like your worst nightmare and a present that is pretty darn fun. I have lived through losing two husbands tragically in an instant, one to an aneurysm and one in an Air Force plane crash.
I love marriage so much that I took a chance on it again and married the most interesting man in the world who is our rock and our secret weapon on most days. My favorite jobs are being a wife, clearly, I’ve done it three times, and being a mom to my two love nuggets, Davis and Campbell.
My kids are tweens and they are so honest that you want to laugh so hard and in the next moment squeeze their little faces off because you love them so much. What a season of extreme everything we are in but I relish every minute. From recorder torture aka practice to slicked back hair for ballet recitals, it is just pure joy to watch your kids grow in wisdom and stature. My role as a mom is the hardest most rewarding thing I have ever done or will do.
I love ministering to women! Whether I’m on the road speaking or through my ministry Be Still, I especially love the women who are the younger version of the girl I once was. You know the ones….bored Christians who know there has got to be something better, emotionally bankrupt, broken, and great at hiding.
I love freedom more than anything else on earth and find myself saying at least once a day..it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. I really want to be your friend and I would love to take you bargain shopping and walk out of a store in a new outfit that cost us less than a cup of fancy coffee. Jesus, healing, freedom and my family are my jam. I’m so glad you are here.
Ginger Gilbert Ravella is a military wife and widow, mother of five, stepmother of two, writer and international speaker. At 36 years old, she faced the sudden tragic loss of her college-sweetheart husband in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the horrors that quickly followed. Her late husband, Major Troy Gilbert, an Air Force F-16 pilot, gave his life while saving over twenty Special Operation soldiers, defining a true American war hero. His remains were tragically taken from the crash site by Iraqi insurgents, which ultimately led to the most unprecedented and captivating story of recovery in U.S. military history. Major Gilbert left behind five beautiful children, all under the age of 9 years old.
Ginger’s openly genuine testimony of wrestling with God in the midst of despair and depression resonates with those who question their faith and future in the face of tragedy. Their private pain became front-page news time and time again over the amazing ten-year journey of bringing Troy home to U.S. soil. She shares her heart-wrenching story of loss, perseverance and hope. Ginger has appeared in venues such as “The O’Reilly Factor”, “Fox and Friends News”, TIME Magazine, “CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper”, The Golf Channel, USA Today, Air Force Times, Gary Sinise documentary “Lt. Dan Band – For the Common Good”, Stars and Stripes, NRA TV documentary with Lee Brice “This is My Cause”, CMT News, PGA Magazine, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, and numerous national radio interviews.
Ginger works tirelessly to minister to widows through Never Alone Retreats as well as supporting and raising funds to help fallen and disabled veterans and their families. She is an international speaker and author devoted to her God, her family and her country. She is remarried to another widower and USAF fighter pilot, Colonel (Ret) Jim Ravella, who lost his wife to breast cancer. Their profound inspirational memoir, titled “Hope Found”, is a collection of personal stories beautifully woven together with real-life struggles, vulnerable faith and unshakable patriotism. They document their stories of suffering, the lessons they learned, and the path to finding joy again. Their personal mission is to encourage anyone who seeks reconciliation and peace when life hurts the most and to continue to serve their nation by serving others. A portion of the proceeds of their book goes to helping fallen military families and breast cancer patients. Ginger and Jim currently reside in Franklin, TN with their children.
- Ginger’s Book: Hope Found
- Rachel’s Site
- Rachel’s Be Still Ministries
- Never Alone Widows Retreats
- Knights of Heroes
- Folds of Honor
- Gary Sinise Foundation
Photo 1 and 2: In the podcast, we mentioned our dresses and Ginger doing such a great job speaking in front of 5,000 at Sky Ball.
Here’s the incredible GOD moment Ginger talked about when He put Ginger and Jim in Jonathan’s path on the one year anniversary of Wynter’s death. His face makes me want to weep. No doubt he was carried that day.