The A to Z of the Pastor’s Wife – M is for Mammy


MM is for Mammy

OK before we start, I know ‘what if’ is a bit of a waste of time, especially when there is absolutely no way of knowing the answer to the question.

But…

There are two that have been rolling around my head for a while.

  1. What would my mammy of me being a pastor’s wife?
  2. Would I be better at this, if I was a mammy?

See I told you there wasn’t much point in the questions! So why can’t I get them out of my head?

I hope my mam would like what I’m doing now. When I started down this journey of faith, she wasn’t very happy. She was hurt, and worried that I was not on the path that I’d been brought up to travel on. I didn’t react well to her reaction and so, when it came to conversations about faith, there were a few difficult years. Over time I think she realised it was right for me. She got on great with himself and I know she really enjoyed our wedding day; and travelling to Wales to visit us when she did.

I am not sure what she would think of this development. I hope she’d be happy about this part of the journey too.

As for question 2. Well, the problem there is, I always think I’d be better at stuff if I was a mammy. I’m sure I’d be great at getting up early, more organised, more tidy, more patient, more sociable, skinnier, taller, faster, I’d have shiny hair AND shiny floors… See where I’m going with this? pointless.com!

There’s no doubt I’d have a better understanding of family life and the issues parents face, if I was one. I suppose I’m hoping that whatever the gaps in my knowledge and experience, God will fill them. I pray He will give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may know Him better. (Eph 1:17)

If I have that, then maybe all the stuff I don’t know (what ifs included), won’t matter so much.

13 years ago I didn’t marry my soul mate


On Monday myself and Sir Galahad were 13 years married.

Personally I think we’re lucky to have made it! I often envy people’s FB posts that say, “x amount of years ago I married my best friend, my soul mate!” I’m like… really? Well you’re lucky. Cos I did not marry my best friend and definitely didn’t marry my soul mate. In fact I hardly knew him, but I sure did (and do) love him.

Over the 13 years we have become best friends and I’m not really sure what a soul mate is, but he’s probably the nearest thing to I have to one – apart from Jesus. (Who I think probably wins the prize actually.)

We’ve had 13 years of hard slog. Grieving over lost loved ones, lost hopes of having children, fighting depression and they’re just the issues I can put out on the world-wide web. Email me for a full list if you’d like. (You won’t get one, but it would be good to know who are the nosey-parkers :D)

It’s been difficult and there have been times when I thought… “you know what? I can’t be bothered with this any more…” But thank God I came to my senses.

19th August 2000
19th August 2000

So… you may wonder are we celebrating at all and do we have anything to celebrate?

YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT.

We have made it to another year, another milestone. We know folk who struggle with marriage issues and don’t make it. Many are sad to break up, some are relieved – because it’s easier and just better not to be together.
And I get that – believe me, I get that.

But we are celebrating and thanking God that we have won the latest battle; even though there’s no doubt there are more to come. But for now we trust Him, and we stand together
in victory, weapons ready, armour on.
Cos it’s the only way we are going to make it!

amo and rich 2012
September 2012
somewhere nr Kenmare

Thank you God for another year.
Thank you God for 13 years.
Bring it on!

NB! No husbands were injured in the writing of this post, (Well mine wasn’t, in fact he approved it!)

Looking back… moving on


I’m using journals from a time when I was having counselling, as research for a book I’m writing about… a girl having counselling.

Still a long road ahead,  but I've come a long way
Still a long road ahead,
but I’ve come a long way

As I’ve gone through them I’ve been disappointed with myself, because I’m still struggling with a lot of the same stuff. The journals were only for me, my counsellor didn’t insist on reading them, but she believed anything I wrote down was significant and should be discussed. So no one has read these journals.

I’m going to share an entry here but first I want to give you some background… In 2002 I had lost all hope of having children, I lost my mother in 2005 and in 2007 I thought I was losing my mind with grief and sadness. I ended up on anti-depressants and out of work for a few months.

The ‘promise’ I refer to in the journal entry, came just before I hit rock bottom in 07. I read 1 Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” I typed it out and stuck it on my pc monitor in work and looked at it every day.

2 years later and some counselling, I wrote this – still on the meds at the time…

April 2009 – “I know God has restored me as He promised. He gave that word of promise to me from 1 Peter. He is making me strong and helping me to deal with life.. Who’d have thought that life would turn out like this…?”

Yes I am still struggling with a lot of those issues in the journal entries. But that little gem from 2009 reminds me how fragile I was. How close to the edge I came.
And how far I have come.

If you feel like you’ve stalled take a good look back.
Maybe you’ve come a lot further than you think 🙂

The chorus of one of my favourite songs says this…

Lord lead us through the wilderness,
We trust that you’ll provide.

Be our cloud by day and our fire by night,
and when we reach the other side

we’ll look back,
and all we’ll see
is your goodness.
(Stuart Garrett – guitarist with Delirious?)

Post-operative complications


July 2nd! It’s always a day of mixed feelings for me. It’s the beloved’s birthday, his sister & brother-in-law’s wedding anniversary and it’s also the birthday of the only set of twins in my family, as well as a couple of other family members. So over the years it’s always marked.

But as in many things in life, there is a bitterness to the sweetness. On July 2nd 2002 I had major surgery that changed my life for ever. I had the big ‘H’ and with it went all hopes of having babies. I was only 30 and not yet 2 years married – so as you can imagine it was a blow.

I was very well prepared for the physical post-operative complications and what to do. I remember one nurse saying, “Basically they’re going to chop you in half, cut a section of you away and sew you back up – so prepare yourself, your body is going to be in shock for a long time.” As dramatic as that sounds, it did prepare me.

After a week in hospital I went home. I had months of recovery. I was blessed to have 2 great friends who are nurses and a district nurse living in the house opposite us. We were fed every day by a rota of folk from church and work. We were both cared for by so many people, including regular visits from Ireland. 

After a while I could walk.
It took time but eventually I could sit and stand with ease.
I was able to drive again after a couple of months and around that time I went back to work.
Because my surgery was cancer related, I attended the hospital for 5 years then was officially discharged.
And here we are 11 years on!

sovereign recovery

The problem was, no one warned me that my heart would be smashed into a million pieces and slowly but surely it would have to be put back together. Along side the physical recovery, there would be an emotional one. These days I’m pretty much reconciled to the turn my life took that day. I’ve had my rows with God. I still don’t get it but I’m a big believer in the sovereignty of God 😉 Most of the time I’m fine but the odd time, on day’s like Mother’s Day, I get a stab of pain from somewhere.

I’m always amazed at the body’s ability to recover. Cuts heal as skin knits itself back together, broken bones fix themselves, bruises eventually fade away. All these things happen with the help of medical care, but God has made our bodies in such a way that they can fix themselves.

And guess what?! The heart heals too! It takes time, longer than skin and bone, but it does heal. In the same way that some physical injuries leave their mark, injuries of the heart do that too.
But I promise you… the healing will come.

You may well choose to get there on your own, but I highly recommend you let God help you.

Ask Him for help – He will answer.
x

photo credit: kenjonbro via photopin cc

Saying it out loud!


Last night I was speaking at the Ladies Dessert and Coffee evening in my church.

Ordinary Women, Extraordinary God

There were two of us speaking and my theme was ‘Disappointment and Hope’

I shared the story of how as the baby of 8 children and an aunty to 27 (and a great aunty to 15), how sad it was to find that I could not have children.

I had hoped for a very different outcome in my life. Disappointment doesn’t come near to how it feels.

I talked about the story of the two guys on the Road to Emmaus, walking away from Jerusalam after the death of Jesus and how they ‘had hoped’ for so much more.

They only knew half of the story. The picture is so much bigger. And I take consolation from that.

It was the first time that I had told our story in that sort of setting. It was a bit weird to hear myself say it out loud. And amazing how hard it still is to tell the story.

But even though ‘we had hoped’ for a different story, our hope is in Jesus and I thank Him and praise Him for His extraordinary love and mercy to me… an ordianry woman