The time it takes to write a note, dial a phone number, and unlock the door.
The seemingly small, less meaningful moments that carry the unremarkable parts of our day.
And yet, it is those same fleeting moments that can hold the weight of life-changing circumstances that can single-handedly turn our world upside down.
“It is unimaginable that a life built with such care and intention over months and years can be so fragile and yet we have all seen that exact unraveling firsthand in the collective trauma we have experienced over the last three years.”
What do we do with a reality that doesn’t feel real?
How do we keep moving forward when it feels like nothing is left?
At the point of absolute destruction there are more questions than answers and my guest, Jillian Benfield, is no stranger to the overwhelm of that season. Her raw and honest perspective has met me where I needed it most and I have no doubt it will meet you in the same way on today’s episode of The Mary Marantz Show.
Jillian Benfield is a former TV News anchor/reporter turned author, speaker, military wife, parent advocate, and mom of three living an unexpected life. In the last eight years, she and her family have lived in 5 different states, experienced a NICU stay and open heart surgery for their second child, a miscarriage, and then a rare diagnosis for their third child.
By far, the biggest, unexpected moment came though when, at 27 years old, she and her husband found out their second child, Anderson, would be born with Down syndrome …
…the most difficult and also the most beautiful experience of her life.
In her new book, The Gift of The Unexpected: Discovering Who You Were Meant to Be When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned, Jillian shares how she discovered who she was and who God wanted her to become as she opened herself to the pain of that season. She believes the unexpected can help us live into our God-dreamed entireties- that is if we resist society’s insistence to overcome the unexpected and undergo it instead.
Mary’s new book, slow growth equals strong Roots is HERE! Click HERE to Order your copy today!
Because there can be a gift in the unexpected, you made new.
In 2013, Jillian was well on the path to the life she had dreamed of. The job, the husband, the family, all the makings of what we as a society would deem a successful life. But ever so slowly, everything started to change.
What she believed would be one unexpected circumstance turned into a wilderness of five years of trial. As she said:
“Even before my son’s diagnosis, I was in such a dark spot because of the realization that I was not going to have an enviable life anymore. That was what I put my worth in, what other people perceived about my life. If I had this desirable job, this great husband, these cute kids and we traveled and did all these things that looked good on the outside, and all of a sudden I wasn’t going to have that anymore then who was I?”
Piece by piece, the image she had worked so hard to build was dismantled until finally she was left with just herself. Armorless, honest and open.
This wasn’t a story she could tie up with a bow. The life in front of her was unrecognizable and she was beyond the point of having peace and counting it all joy in the middle of the pain as she felt was required of her.
Letting go would actually be what it took to start her on the journey of transformation…
“I believe one of the reasons Jesus lamented was so that we know how we are supposed to go through pain and that is to bring our full selves to him. We are not required to skip over these little deaths we experience in this life instead we are supposed to go all the way through it with God.”
So today, if you too find yourself surrounded by rubble and ash, Jillian’s healing story is precisely what you need to hear. On today’s episode, Jillian and I, discuss the possibility at the other end of your pain and the four things to cling to when it all goes wrong.
Tune in to hear:
The difference between overcoming and undergoing
Why you don’t have to call your unexpected circumstances good
What our grief can tell us about what we really have propped ourselves on
In the grip of pain and loss, we would give anything to live a different life or change our circumstances so that we can get back to ourselves.
But friend, give yourself over to the process.
Armorless. Honest. Open.
“There will come a moment, as hard as it is to believe right now, when you realize you wouldn’t trade your story any longer because of who you have become through it all.”
I can’t wait for you to take a listen! And if you are looking to give up comparing, performing, and achieving for your worth, I think you’ll LOVE my new book Slow Growth Equals Strong Roots! Available now everywhere books are sold! And while you’re at it, take our Achiever Quiz to see which of the 5 Achiever Types you are….
More From This Episode:
Connect with Jillian on Instagram and be sure to pick up her new book, “The Gift of The Unexpected: Discovering Who You Were Meant to Be When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned“ wherever books are sold.