Meeting the God of My Mother & Now My God, Now My Path
With Rachel Byard
Rachel is a married mum with three children under 7 years old and very much in the thick of motherhood. She is mothering full time and home-schooling her eldest children. Over the last 6 years she has also taken on various voluntary leadership and decision-making roles within her church.
In Part 1 of this episode, Rachel shares her rapidly forming story of motherhood and how it has been the catalyst for a personal relationship with God which has emerged from the foundational faith she received from her own parents. Already she has faced a season of infertility, high risk pregnancy and chronic illness. Through it all she is learning to lean into a relationship with God that is personal and utterly individual.
In Part 2, Rachel shares more about the choices she has been convicted to make in her approach to motherhood and the challenge of negotiating her way through expected norms to follow God's direction for her children and her family. We talk more about the value of motherhood for women, the individual's walk of faith and finding perseverance and strength in it all.
Photography by Aswin
Come to me, all who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.
Though not quoted directly in the episode, Rachel provided the following scriptures which have been important to her through her journey as a mother.
Having then a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let’s hold tightly to our confession. For we don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let’s therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace for help in time of need.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will not be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
2 Timothy 2:22-26
Flee from youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant questionings, knowing that they generate strife. The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but be gentle toward all, able to teach, patient, in gentleness correcting those who oppose him: perhaps God may give them repentance leading to a full knowledge of the truth, and they may recover themselves out of the devil’s snare, having been taken captive by him to his will.
Yahweh, you have searched me, and you know me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up.
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue, but, behold, Yahweh, you know it altogether.
You hem me in behind and before. You laid your hand on me.
This knowledge is beyond me. It’s lofty. I can’t attain it.
Where could I go from your Spirit?
Or where could I flee from your presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, you are there.
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there!
If I take the wings of the dawn, and settle in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand will lead me, and your right hand will hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me.
The light around me will be night,” even the darkness doesn’t hide from you, but the night shines as the day.
The darkness is like light to you.
For you formed my inmost being.
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well.
My frame wasn’t hidden from you, when I was made in secret,
woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my body.
In your book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there were none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is their sum!
If I would count them, they are more in number than the sand.
When I wake up, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would kill the wicked.
Get away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
For they speak against you wickedly.
Your enemies take your name in vain.
Yahweh, don’t I hate those who hate you?
Am I not grieved with those who rise up against you?
I hate them with perfect hatred. They have become my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.