Sharing the Pain
By Elsa Fluss, IT Project Coordinator
My boyfriend and I crumpled into a sobbing heap on the floor of the basement bathroom at his mom’s house. It only took one glance at the pregnancy test to confirm what I had feared for a few days: I was pregnant. Questions and fears cascaded through my mind. What had I done? How could I be so stupid? What will my parents say? Am I being punished? What will my boyfriend do? How will I raise a child? How will I tell my family?
I knew right away that I would keep the baby and raise it, by myself if I had to. It took me two weeks, though, to tell my parents, and a few months to tell my friends from church. At the time I was working at a home improvement store, and in a week everyone at work knew. I was terrified of my parents’ reaction, but I knew without a doubt that the people I worked with would love and support me.
Ask: What would your group’s reaction be to this woman?
When a woman is faced with pain in her life, she will often hide it initially. Once it becomes unbearable and she decides to let someone into her secret places of pain, her choice of a confidant might be surprising. It is often those closest to her that she will share with last.
The first people many women turn to with their pain are people who allow her to be anonymous. This is most often true when the pain is accompanied by shame or guilt. These anonymous “friends” include people in online forums and discussion boards, but it is not limited to those distant people. A woman may also turn to someone who has been open with a similar situation in the past, or someone who has stood by a friend in a similar situation.
Ask: Why do you think this is so?
Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. If possible read from several translations.
Ask: What pattern is described in these verses as it relates to comfort and pain? What advice does this passage give your group about comfort in pain? Share how this passage either changes or confirms your thinking?
Many women feel relief simply from filling out an anonymous prayer request card.
Ask: In your MOPS group, how can you make sure there is a way for your moms to share without being identified?
There is a certain amount of expected tolerance and acceptance with someone who has been through the same kind of pain.
Ask: Why is it important to encourage honest sharing within a circle of trust in your discussion groups?