Welcome to Grace and Space, a weekly newsletter from the Deconstructing Mamas Podcast! GRACE for who you have been, are now and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be!
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When I was told my 4-month old needed open-heart surgery, I wanted the God of miracles.
Instead, I found a God who most often does His work through the hands of ordinary people called to the extraordinary.
When I found myself bleeding while 8-weeks pregnant, I wanted the God of rescue.
Instead, I found the God who makes His presence known when the world fades to black.
When I found myself pregnant again with a baby who would require fetal intervention surgery, I wanted the God of fair.
Instead, I found grace--somehow helping me move forward in hope after experiencing the unexpected once again.
Time and time again, I have wanted the God of deliverance. And time and time again I have found the God of Instead.
The Divine may not work the way we want him to. Instead, he surprises us by stepping in with people he puts in our paths. Instead, he surprises us with wrangling goodness out of the unimaginable. Instead, of changing our circumstances, he often changes us.
When I am disappointed that I can’t find the God of certainty, I remember we have a God so big he cannot fit into the boxes we create for Him.
I breathe in deeply and remember this God who broke through humanity and suffered with us and for us. I remember that I am held, I am loved and I am made new by the God of Instead.
--Jillian Benfield (originally published on her website right HERE)
This Week on the Podcast:
Jillian Benfield, author, mom of three, former TV news anchor, and fierce advocate for access and inclusion of all types, is our guest this week. When she and her husband Andy were just 27 years old, they unexpectedly found out their son would be born with Down syndrome. Originally, devastated, they later, through months and years of learning and unlearning, realized their grief was largely tied to their ignorance and unknowing ableism.
It is not easy raising a child with a disability in an inaccessible world. It has been the most difficult and also the most beautiful experience of Jillian's life. It’s a life she wouldn’t trade. The unexpected gave her, heartache, yes. The unexpected also gave her a son. The unexpected gave her back to herself.
This, and more, are what we unpack in this week's episode with Jillian. We don't tie things up with a tidy bow. We lean into the real life struggle of what happens to our faith when our formulas fall apart, when we are on our knees on the bathroom floor confused and angry and grieving. When the unexpected comes into our lives and we are left wondering how we are going to make it through. Give the episode a listen. We won't guarantee you any answers, but our conversation will offer you so much hope for your own unexpected gifts.
You can find Jillian at the following:
Facebook: Jillian Benfield
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What if the unexpected is the beginning of becoming your truest self?
Jillian Benfield was living life in the spotlight as a TV journalist, but after receiving a life-altering diagnosis for her unborn son, she realized no camera-ready outfit could dress up her grief.
Overcoming this unexpected circumstance wasn't an option. She would have to undergo it instead. In doing so, she discovered who she was and who God wanted her to become.
In this riveting story filled with grit and grace, The Gift of the Unexpected, helps you break down the false constructs you've built around God and your identity. You won't avoid your pain, but you'll learn to feel it, in a healing way. And you'll discover how your internal transformation leads to external purpose.
Can't wait until Tuesday and need just a little snippet from our podcast episode. Here's something to whet your appetite and hold you over until then!!
One last thing. We want to remind you that we are so glad you are here. We wouldn't be the same without you. You will always find GRACE for where you've been and who you are now, and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be.
Carry on, our new-found friends. Welcome to the twisty-windy, full -of-adventure faith path that's laid out before us all. Love,
Lizz & Esther
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