What it’s like to….. debunk a myth

A few months ago I started a “What it’s like to..” series and I asked a few friends to contribute to this. You can read some of the posts in that series here, here and here– there’s some great stuff!

This one is written by my very good friend, Annwen Stone. She is awesome. Full stop. And as well as being awesome she’s married to a great man, Andy, and they have three wonderful kids.  Together they lead Kings Centre, part of Network Church, Sheffield. I love this post, and identify with so much of what she writes –  I’m sure many others will too!

What it’s like to….debunk a myth

A few weeks ago I took my little girl to school for the first time. Dressed in blue, excited and ready for her first day, she’s taken a big step towards a new season in her little life. As I drove away I shed a tear but not for the obvious reasons.

The tear was not about loss or grief of letting go. After 10 years of juggling three children, working and ministry I’m actually ready to have some more time: time to think and reflect, time to be creative and time with friends where a conversation has a beginning middle and an end! (all those with kids out there will know what I mean!)

No, the tear was shed because I felt immensely grateful for the faithfulness of God in my life.

When my first son was born 10 years ago it was a big adjustment. I remember struggling to find time to read my bible and pray I would turn up to church feeling guilty. Questions like ‘How can I a lead others if I’m not able to read my bible?” would plague me. At the time well meaning older and mature Christians who I processed this with said “don’t worry it’s just a season, lower your expectations”.

Well that didn’t sit well with me; fortunately God made me to be a person with high relationship expectations, and so I pursued. I pursued how to be with God when changing nappies, doing bath time, feeding in the middle of the night, I went on a relentless chase for God and his presence. And by His grace and faithfulness I found that my ‘quiet time’ became ‘all the time’.

I began to hear a God speaking so personally to me  that I started to understand what it really means to be a disciple. And now as I look back over the last 10 years I want to debunk that myth that motherhood is a fallow season. For me it has been a season of “more”. More of God than I ever experienced before; more healing of my heart than I realised I needed (there’s more to come); more journeys of faith and adventure than I thought possible.

Now I’m not saying it’s been easy – there have been many times I’ve wanted to shout, scream and give up but being a disciple is a journey of following. Following him into every season that he gives us. His desire is that ‘we would bear much fruit’. If we choose to follow him into where we are right now ,  more is possible than we can imagine and his faithfulness and grace will carry us.

winnie

 

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9 thoughts on “What it’s like to….. debunk a myth

  1. Thanks, Annwen – I love this post – it is SO true – in so many ways we need to rethink what ‘interacting with God’ actually means and not just having a separate time with Him – He wants all our time! And for years of church history, many people didn’t have a Bible nor could they even read it (we’re working with people here in Peru who can’t read still)- it was meant to be a community approach to sharing His word and reaching out to God personally and corporately in prayer. We have gauged ‘holiness’ on the number of hours spent alone with God or in His word, but that was never the aim! I agree with you – we need to raise NOT lower our expectations of how God wants to meet with us in early motherhood and beyond!

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  2. Hi annwen
    Thats a really insightful blog and speaking as someone who has been through the early season of motherhood and is now entering a new season as an empty nester, I find this really helpful as I seek to see where god wants me and what he wants me to do next and how he wants me ‘to be’. Finding God in the depths is often challenging but always exciting as he reveals more to us of his love and character and its in that place I find we grow in our love and understanding of Him and draw closer to his heartbeat. This is a new season for you and praying it will be just as exciting and even more challenging as you walk this adventure hand in hand with your Father. Thanks for sharing.
    Kay. X

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  3. Yes! Thank you Annwen. That has never sat right with me either, but have been afraid to say so in case I come across as judgemental “we’ll if I can do it then so should you”. Am encouraged to be bolder next time I’m speaking to other mums about this 🙂

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  4. This is great Annwen! As someone who isn’t yet a mum it’s easy to feel daunted and put off having kids when people say that your relationship with God is going to drop off! This is encouraging and challenging for us all to think about how we relate to Him in everything we do.

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  5. Thank you for writing this. Reading, I was transported back in time 6 years, when we moved house with a screaming, colicky newborn and another soon to turn two. I had left friends, a church family and a place I called ‘home’ hundreds of miles away. I was trying to care for my children, love my husband who was struggling to adjust to a new job, get to know a new area and find a new place to belong. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and all the normal methods I had of spending time with God were no longer accessible. The women who relayed the myth to me were well-meaning, they realised that the last thing I needed was to put added pressure or guilt on myself. Thankfully I realised that they couldn’t be right and God in His grace, in time, revealed the truth to me. Honestly, I think that had I believed the lie that my relationship with God had to be put to one side for a season, I would have been in serious danger of plunging into a deep depression.

    I have been a mother for 8 years and I have 3 wonderful children. Those years have included really hard times, and wonderful times of blessing. There have been times where I have felt like I’ve been so thirsty for more of God, living just one small raindrop of grace at a time, and other times when I’ve been dancing in the waterfalls of His goodness. Through it all I’ve learned more about Him, and have grown closer to Him. I currently lead a morning housegroup for Mums, and I have never before had the privelege of being part of a more dynamic, Kingdom-minded, prayerful, genuine group of people.

    Lets commit to encouraging and inspiring the next generation of mothers to grow deeper in their faith during this crazy season of life!

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  6. I read this yesterday and it reminded me of your blog –
    ‘The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different thing, I possess God in great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.’ – Brother Lawrence
    Both of his and your testimonies are a real encouragement.
    xxx

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