Are you a steward of your pain?

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.


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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30 thoughts on “Are you a steward of your pain?

  1. We love “No More Perfect Moms” at Second Baptist Houston (North Campus) 🙂 We started the study last week, and, wow, we ‘re so thankful to be able to come together & discuss it chapter by chapter. May The Lord Jesus open up our eyes & help us to see who He wants us to be!

    We’re stretching out the study over 13 weeks, with a chapter each week. It started with an intro, and we’re tagging on a mom forum & a week for a brunch!

    Thank you for writing this important book, Jill! Great stuff!

  2. We are starting a study on NPMP’s this week during our Sunday School hour. We have over 20 women signed up! (And one of our dad’s is teaching his own material and calling the class “no more doofus dads.”) 🙂

  3. i absolutely love (& wholeheartedly agree!) that it’s so vital to be good stewards our pain. it’s a passion in my soul, but never have i had that perspective articulated so well. i’m going to remember that! thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Connecting upon FB with a site~Motherless Daughters, named after a book with the same title, has provided me with the blessing of being a steward of pain, for other motherless daughters. It has been most intense, the sharing, reading others’ pain, yet the understanding and safety of such a space, has made a difference for me. Hard to know, what others’ shall go through in this area, and most hard~having lost both my parents, when I was only 25, and mom only 54, dad, 57.

  5. Our moms group starts Sept 17 and we will be using the book for the school year. Currently 17 moms are signed up. We will meet once a month.

  6. I saw that post last week and said a little “Amen”.

    How true… we can’t simply survive, learn and just grow from these experiences… we must go out and use the information we’ve been given to help others. What a blessing it is simply to know “SOMEONE SURVIVED {THIS} STORM?”

    When I read that an estimated 65% of the folks sitting in church with me every Sunday have experienced the same type of hurricane, I sat alone in disbelief wishing, hoping and praying someone would prove it. “Just show me one marriage that survived this!”

    Later, I realized that most who survive the hurricane don’t wish to re-visit it… but I do anyway. The pain isn’t quite as bad the second time around.

    Thanks for re-visiting it… We {must} be good stewards…

    Dan’s Wife (;

    • I agree, J’Lynn. The pain isn’t as bad the second time around. I’ve found it also keeps you humble and connected to the Lord when you revisit that pain with someone else.

  7. Love that you addressed this. A minister once told me “be grateful when someone ministers to you in your crisis. Compassion is born in great pain.”

    My pastor preached this weekend on “suffering for someone else’s redemption” so you are living testimony that those things we feel will kill us….other people survived. However…you are right. You must be willing to share the story and relive the pain.

    I’m also just a little sick to my stomach because I have an experience – on of great pain – that I have only shared with a few private people. I fear the hurt it will cause others and because I haven’t wanted to pick the scab. I have said to myself and others, God will tell me when it’s time to expose this truth. But now between the pastor’s sermon and now your comments…I find myself hearing “its time” and I still don’t want to. Please pray for me to find the strength and courage to write in obedience.

    • Hello, Tina… I wanted to say that while it may be helpful to others to be a steward of our pain/experience, now, just might not be time for you… You can tuck this information away for now and complete your own healing before you consider opening up that wound. I remember hearing “wait two years”. At the time I remember thinking “two years? That’s way too long for the storm to pass” slowly it was about 2 years for my own situation to be notably improved… and I was well enough to share with certain people who needed to hear it. I am now 4 years post “hurricane”… and I survived.

      I’d say give it more time… that churning in your stomach tells me that even if it has been 2 years, right now is not the right time… it’s still too soon.

      For now, consider writing your experiences down… put your thoughts to paper. Write down scripture that helped, things you heard, read or perhaps songs that whispered hope to you during your season… things that helped…

      And know that someday you may be called to use it for His glory, when you are ready.

  8. Our moms bible study at Northwest Christian Church in Decatur, IL is studying No More Perfect Moms this fall. We will begin with chapter 1 tomorrow and do one chapter a week until we finish the book. I am excited to do this book with this group especially since I did it on line with you already.

  9. I recently lost my 15 year old son to suicide. Mom’s who have been in my shoes came out from everywhere to help me through this. I hope one day, I will be able to return the guidance and comfort that I have been receiving during such a difficult time. They were truly Stewards of their Pain and for that, I will always be grateful!

    • Shari, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such a personal example of how powerful it can be on the receiving end of someone who is stewarding their pain.

  10. Hi Jill! I am the Assistant Director of a moms group in central IL called Mom Squad. We are entering our fifth year this year. When the group started it was 7-8 women gathering at a local church and now it has grown to 25-30 women! As the Asst Director, one of my jobs is to lead the study. We do a study lesson once a month and this year I picked NMPM, I will start it this month and we will do one lesson a month throughout the school year. I attended HAH for the first time last spring and loved the book so I wanted to share it with everyone. We would LOVE to have a 30 min Skype with you! Thank you for doing what you do and being who you are. Looking forward to the next HAH conference!

  11. Our Church is going to a small group format and I will be co-leading a group of 8 to 10 moms using this book. I CANNOT WAIT TO BEGIN!! I LOVE this book and I have been convicting on many things. It is really helping me with my children and I am eager for all of our group members to read it!
    Jill you are awesome!!

  12. We are starting on the 11th as a follow up of Real Moms Real Jesus at Harmony Bible Church in DanvilleIA. we will stretch it out over the next school year. Last year we had around 20 and really built a community of moms hope to build more relationships this year.

  13. My Church Mom’s group is looking at No More Perfect Moms as the next study after our churchwide study concludes in mid-October. We are all Moms with children at home who meet weekly for study and fellowship time. We have children of all ages and love having other moms to support us and know that the struggles we face are not just those of our children and families but those that others experience, too. We will probably use the study from mid-October until our break for preparations for Christmas.

  14. Oh how that phrase moves me! God has certainly used my abusive marriage to bring help and healing to others, by urging me to speak out against domestic violence and share my story when and where He’s led me. Recently it’s been in an online bible study, and it has brought the most incredible healing. Thank you for this post, Jill!!! This just confirms what God has been telling me via this current study, that I need to keep sharing my story so that I help others and bring Him glory.

  15. I am starting a community Moms Bible study group, we start 9/17 and will meet 3rd Tuesday of each month through the school year. We will be reading one to two chapters a month and discussing. This is so wonderful, just love the book!

  16. I have been wanting to get a group of friends together to do book studies for a while… and decided No More Perfect Moms is the perfect book to start this new group off! We will be doing a 7 week online study, but will meet in person for kick-off, halfway and wrap-up parties!