Janet Johnson is a pastor, author, speaker, mentor in spiritual formation, and free-lance writer whose passion is helping others draw closer to God in all of life’s situations. She finds joy in the “little things” of life and knows it is God’s love that has sustained her on her life’s journey.
Formational in her own growing deeper in love with God, was her journey in grief. In addition to the loss of her parents and several close friends, Janet and Richard lost a son in a car accident, Janet’s brother was murdered and her brother-in-law committed suicide. Through the pain and grief that accompanied these tragedies, Janet found God’s
unending love permeating each situation bringing healing, inner peace and joy into each day. Her life passage of scripture is from Nehemiah 6:8, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
She and her husband Richard (a 30-year veteran of the Air Force), along with their four children, experienced living in many areas due to frequent military moves. Each move brought excitement and new adventures, including new schools and friends, but also brought the pain of leaving friends and family behind. Through the many transitions, Janet leaned on God as her strength and comfort. Now retired, she writes a regular column for the Journey Christian Magazine, helps others draw strength from God through Spiritual Formation, draws joy from the love of God and ministers in the power
of God’s Holy Spirit.
Her first book, a devotional, Grief the Unwanted Journey, Reflections to Help Navigate Your Way through Tragedy and Loss. Janet helps her readers to recognize the stages of grief, the emotions connected with them and how God’s faithfulness can help us find joy on our journey.
Her second book, Surviving the Holidays While Grieving, Practical Tools for Experiencing Joy When Facing Grief and Loss brings tangible ways to honor a loved one who is absent while making new memories from old ones. It is a toolbox of encouragement for all who grieve and includes ideas for all ages, including children.
Janet has a BA from the University of Evansville in sociology and psychology, BA in Education K-12 from Black Hills University, MSW from Rutgers University and a MDiv degree from United Theological Seminary. Additionally, she completed the Academy of Spiritual Formation, the Pastors of Excellence Program, a Duke Endowment program, and the Methodist School of Supernatural Ministry. She worked as a medical social worker with both in-hospital and day treatment psychiatric patients, a psychologist’s assistant, a home-school coordinator for elementary school students and a lead elementary school teacher before God called her into full time ministry in 1996.
She has served congregations in Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina from where she retired in 2016. Her passion for making God’s love and joy palpable to others brought encouragement and healing to many.
In addition to writing and ministering, Janet serves on the Board of Aldersgate Renewal Ministries and is the Community Spiritual Director for the Blue Ridge Walk to Emmaus.