Thankful Through the Storm: Jo Contretas
Jo is a 20-something year old, from Queens, NY and is now residing in Florida. She dedicates her life to raising her baby boy Liam. Jo is an incredible Youtuber. Her videos give you insight to her amazing family, cool crafts, costume ideas, and much more. Jo has a love for God, and a genuine love for people.
Tell me about a time in your life where you felt as though you were in a storm.
One point in my life when I felt I was in a storm began in December 2008. I was in a terrible car accident where I suffered from a broken spine, several fractures and lacerations to my face. If my spine would’ve broken an inch higher I would have become a quadriplegic. I was also informed that while in the ambulance my heart stopped beating and I had to be resuscitated. I had to learn how to walk, sit and do other daily things all over again. Aside from the excruciating physical pain, mentally I was suffering as well. I had to hear from several plastic surgeons that from 1-10 my case was 100 and that they rather me see another surgeon. I became depressed and angry at God. I kept asking Him why would He save me when my heart flat lined, with my face like this with people constantly staring, little kids pointing and my body being in a tremendous amount of pain when He could have just let me die right there instead of keeping me like this. This specific storm lasted until 2011.
At that point in your life was being thankful second nature?
Honestly, being thankful through the storm didn't come easy to me. Through the grace of God, seeking Him, Him conditioning me that is what has changed my heart. Now at this point in my life I can say that is what I'm doing. Every morning I decide that no matter what anyone says, or whatever happens that today is the day the Lord has given me and I will rejoice and not take it for granted. Some days my back will give out and I will be in pain but then I look at the bigger blessing. I'm grateful that I can walk and take care of my son. When my son is throwing tantrums, and driving me crazy, I'm grateful for his life and that's he's healthy
When did you find yourself finding hope through your circumstance?
I began finding hope in my circumstance around 2010. Out of desperation I began crying out to God for hope and peace for my life. I also asked God to restore my face if possible. Slowly God started revealing Himself to me. I found a plastic surgeon who promised although it may take years and several surgeries that he wouldn't give up until I was satisfied with my face. I started relying on God and seeking Him more.
How did focusing on the good change your situation for you?
Focusing on the good helped me see the bigger picture and helped me enjoy life again and have hope for the future.
What are you most thankful for now?
Right now, I'm most thankful for the personal relationship I now have with the Lord, my son Liam and my husband Sabino.
What advice would you give to others who are going through the storm?
My advice to others going through storms right now would be to seek God wholeheartedly. First, tell God what's going on then ask Him for His peace. "I can't do this on my own, Holy Spirit help me." Then when you're not reading His word listen to worship music. Fill yourself and your home with His presence. Then thank God, praise Him through your circumstance, it's not easy but when you give God your burden He will give you His peace. Mathew 11:28 "Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
I would like to thank Jo for sharing such a powerful story with us. You can follow her journey here: