Serving at the Crossroads of Joy and Pain
For Stephanie Tait, pain has never existed on a spectrum opposite of joy. Pain, with the way it weaves into our lives, families, and work habits, has been the connecting point of grace and struggle that defines her career. As an author, speaker, disability advocate, and trauma survivor, Stephanie aims to do what she believes is sorely lacking in our trending conversations around Christianity – to partner sound theology and practice with the unashamed acceptance of struggle in the present tense. She aims to create space for the reality of suffering, as well as practical tools and experience for its management, in the center of our faith ethic, our communities, and our joy.
The origins of Stephanie’s unique perspective on the intersection of faith and pain can be counted in the stories she tells. As a Lyme disease sufferer, whose 14-year delayed diagnosis led to myriad lasting health consequences, and a trauma survivor who remains in active treatment for her C-PTSD, she speaks and writes about disability and suffering from the perspective of her every day lived experience. As an adoptee from the foster system, and as both daughter and wife to non-citizen immigrants, she developed a passion for social justice and political advocacy. As mother to a son on the Autism spectrum, she became a fierce ally to other parents raising exceptional children. Her candor, transparency, and enduring faith allow her to connect to audiences with an authenticity that our ever-dividing culture both craves and sorely needs.
From her home in Salem, Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two sons, Stephanie has harnessed her experience, writing her intimate understanding of pain into messages that foster healing within the Kingdom of God. Her commitment to equity, justice, honesty, and the theology of suffering make hers a vitally refreshing viewpoint in an industry often overrun with relentlessly positive affirmations. One can serve God and struggle, can celebrate and ache simultaneously, and it’s Stephanie’s hope that her stories and observations will grant others permission to arrive in their lives exactly and fully as they are. We are all dancing daily with the reality of sorrow, but together with grace, we can surround our sorrow with joy.
As Seen On:
Faith & Feminism
WeGo Health Activists Awards
For Every Mom
She Lives Free
The Today Show
The Same Here Podcast
Lighten Up with Melanie Dale