On Thursday, I flew to Florida to spend 3 days with a friend going through the same crisis I walked through over a year ago.  It was hard to relive some of the emotions, but it was good to allow God to use the broken places in my life for His good.

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I posted on Facebook about my trip and a Facebook friend said, “Jill, thank you for being a good steward of your pain.”

Her comment caught me off guard.

I’ve never thought about being a steward of pain. It’s certainly not a statement that is said very often.

A steward is someone who looks after something that has been given to them. We often use the word in conjunction with money–that’s where the word stewardship comes from. However, it can apply to anything we’re given responsibility for.  And yes, I suppose we are to be responsible for allowing God to use our pain for His good.

I had to ask myself…what would the world be like if we took the concept of “stewarding our pain” seriously?  As I tossed that around in my mind, I concluded that if we were more intentional about stewarding:

  • We would not be afraid to share about our failures, our hurts, or our disappointments.
  • We wouldn’t feel alone when hard things happen because we would hear other people’s stories of pain more often.
  • We wouldn’t fear being judged in difficult seasons because we would know many others who had also experienced the same things.
  • We would likely have more hope in the midst of hard, because we would know that others have survived and even thrived after hard places in their life.
  • We would look for God’s redeeming work more readily in our lives.

When we’re in the middle of pain, we have to feel it, live it, and grieve the hard parts of it. But when we begin to get to the other side of the pain, we have a gift to offer others. We can share lessons learned and hope discovered.  We can also extend empathy and compassion to someone in a similar situation because we really do know what they are feeling and struggling with.

smaller cover NMPM editedI also determined that if we were all better stewards of pain, I probably wouldn’t have needed to write No More Perfect Moms.

What I’d like to believe, though, is that No More Perfect Moms is opening the door for more moms to steward their pain.  I’m already hearing that it is bringing about honest conversations between friends and in moms groups.  It’s normalizing challenges and uncovering the real stuff of life. More than anything else it’s allowing moms to embrace authenticity.

When more of us experience authenticity in relationships, we are stewarding our pain. I love the thought of that!

To celebrate this level of authenticity, I’m doing a Skype Q & A conversation giveaway to any group that is studying/reading No More Perfect Moms this fall.

Are you doing No More Perfect Moms in your church, your moms group, or just with a group of friends this fall?  Maybe you’ve gathered some friends online to do Google Plus or Facebook study of the book.  No matter the size of the group, if you’re studying No More Perfect Moms this fall in any way, leave a comment on this post sometime in the next 7 days (yes, that gives you time to organize a study and get in on the fun!).

Tell me about your group, when you’re starting your study, how many weeks it will run, and when it will end. I’ll put all the names in a hat and draw a winner for the Skype conversation!

Oh and whether you’re studying the book or not, may I challenge you to be a good steward of your pain?

It will bring about purpose in your pain and provide hope to someone who desperately needs it.

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