40rty is calling to remind you that it's not too late (period) with Shawntel Hebert Clark

40rty is calling to remind you that it's not too late (period) with Shawntel Hebert Clark


Have you ever thought it’s too late to find love, get married, or have a child?

On this episode of the 40rty Calling Podcast, Doctor Rae sits with her girlfriend, Shawntel Hebert Clark, to share the heartwarming story about the incredible year she became a fiancée, wife, and mother. Yes, all in one year!

Shawntel is a seasoned lawyer, who currently serves as a managing employment attorney for Vanderlande Industries, Inc. She is a highly recognized as an employment law advisor and advocate, having been honored as the Rising Star honoree in Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2023 Corporate Counsel Awards, the 2021 Atlanta Business Chronicle's 40 Under Forty, and the 2019 40 Under 40 National Bar Association Best Advocates. But her success did not exempt Shawntel, a proud Louisiana native, Howard alum, and Emory University School of Law graduate, from the everyday challenges of finding love, settling down, and becoming a mother faced by many 40rty-ish women like herself.

Shawntel's story is a testament to the power of trusting God's timing when the world says it's "too late!" And we get into it all in this authentic and inspiring episode about her journey.

“Won’t God Do It!”: Accepting God’s Timing

In the opening segment of this episode, Shawntel shares the short version of her love story. From the unique way she “shot her dating shot” by asking a male friend to send his single friends her way to pregnancy loss, the honest and transparent twists and turns of how she met her husband, Jason, is one that commands reflection about how we embody societal timelines about marriage and starting a family in particular. Shawntel says, “I think just talking about it and remembering that just because you’re 35, just because you’re 40, hell just because you’re 45, doesn’t mean that it’s too late for God to do what he can do!”

It is with this same spirit of resilience that Shawntel shares personal anecdotes about facing challenges related to dating and the very real biological clock. But she credits her unshakeable faith and mindset shifts around what she was supposed to be doing while she waited for God to fulfill heart’s desire for her success at becoming a wife and mother.

“It's Not Too Late”

Being single in one’s late thirties if you want to be married and have a family is a challenge to say the least. In this candid conversation, Shawntel and Doctor Rae emphasize the message that it's never too late to start fresh, chase your goals, update your strategy, or make a change. They also discuss what it means to “have it all” as a professional, black woman in her forties. 

The first step is deciding to embrace this chapter and take ownership of what you have control of regardless of if you are in your mid to late thirties or well into your forties. You cannot just accept what the world says as fact. Time is relative. We are living longer, and the fact is that many women are intentionally making the choice to pursue their education and careers before starting a family, while others choose to forego marriage and/or childbearing altogether. As Shawntel states: “You can have it all, [maybe] just not all at the same time.” And that is okay.

Finding Purpose in Your Wait

During the episode, Shawntel shares the many ways she found purpose and passion during her “waiting period.” It may seem simple, but she shared that something as simple as becoming an avid runner or being a godmother to several children gave her much needed perspective.

Even before she started dating her husband, she realized that she had to take advantage of the opportunities she had both professionally and personally while she was single. This ranged from taking on more professional opportunities and attending networking events to traveling and having a robust social life. She recognized that what she was praying for would eventually limit her ability to do some of the things she loved the most, which allowed her to appreciate and capitalize on a resource that is tough to come by these days – time!

Filled with so many gems about dating, getting pregnant, pursuing career, and exercising patience with Father Time and God, you will surely be inspired by Shawntel’s story of perseverance and trusting the journey, no matter your age or circumstances. Find her on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn to follow her journey.

Be sure to subscribe to the 40rty Calling Podcast on Spotify or your preferred podcast platform for more inspiring conversations and practical insights to help you live your best life. Don’t forget to leave a review and share this episode to help spread the message that it’s never too late for your dreams to unfold.

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