Click here to read the background of this series.
My first interviewee is a childhood friend who has always, even from a young age, been a model of what a godly woman is. Barely past her mid-twenties, she is already a full-time mom and missionary. She and her husband are missionaries* in a nation where the gospel is suppressed, hence the anonymity of her identity in order to protect them and the community they are working with.
*If you are reading this interview and feel a nudging in your heart to sow into this woman’s ministry, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
1. What are some of your favorite things? (:
Chatting in a café over coffee/bubble tea, playing basketball, watching my little girl smile and laugh, curling up with a good book on a rainy day, playing the guitar
2. Tell me a little bit about where you are/what you are doing now, and the journey that got you here.
I’m now a stay-home-mom, taking care of my sweet 5-month old daughter. Before I had her, I was an English teacher. Growing up, my mom had also been a stay-home-mom. My younger sister and I really benefited from having her at home with us during our formative years. She was the one we could always go to, knowing that she’ll have godly wisdom to impart to us. Since we had this beautiful gift growing up, I too have always wanted to do the same for my children. “What a waste of your abilities!” That’s what I’ve heard numerous times when I told people that I would not be working anymore but taking care of my daughter. But all I can think is, what better person to invest in with the abilities God has given me!
3. When we were kids, we dreamed together about what a great relationship would be like. I witnessed how God has been so faithful in your relationship with Aaron, and now you both have a beautiful baby girl! Could you share a little of your journey
My husband and I met while we were in college. Many ask if it was love at first sight—it wasn’t. We both worked as interns at a youth group along with a few other college mates. We became really good friends. Long story short, we realized that we wanted to be more than just friends and decided to take our relationship a step further.
We have a cross-cultural marriage where I’m Asian and he’s Caucasian. However, whenever people ask us what cultural differences we’ve had to overcome, we realize that we haven’t had too many. Although I’m from Asia, I spent a big part of my life in the U.S., and although my husband is from the U.S., he grew up in Asia. This has given us an appreciation for both the Asian and Western cultures. Another big factor is that we come from similar family backgrounds, and have parents who love our Father and have modeled for us what it means to serve our Father in all that we do. In our walk with God, we’ve both been convicted that in everything we do, we do unto Him. This has definitely helped us be one as a couple as we make decisions together. Now that we’re parents, I’m sure we’ll be stretched even more as a couple as we have to make joint decisions regarding this precious life!
4. Let’s talk a little about fears and insecurities – are there any that you can share about, and how did you overcome them.
I’ve always struggled with fears and insecurities. As a teen—do people see me as beautiful? Where do I fit in? Will anyone ever be attracted to me? As a young adult—Still, where do I fit in? If I speak out, will I still be liked? If I step up and do ______, will I fail? As a mom—how do people see me as a mom? Am I doing things the “right” way?
My most recent struggle with insecurity was after becoming a mom. While I was pregnant, I had the idea that I would do everything right—from my birth plan to how my daughter would be fed. I’ll give birth naturally, no C-section, if possible. I’ll breastfeed for at least 6 months. He had different plans for me. Despite my best efforts, I ended up having a C-section and only breastfed my daughter for 10 days due to complications. I felt like such a failure. It slowly dawned on me that I was feeling this way because I wanted to give people a glowing report to get their nods of approval and pats on the back for a job well done. I wanted to do everything “right” to get the approval of people around me. I did not want to hear the “tsk tsks” and see the wagging fingers of others. I realized that I wanted man’s approval despite knowing that our Father has already given me all the approval I ever need.
As 1 John 4:18 states, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” I’m always having to remind myself that I’ve been given the most perfect love ever, so why should I ever fear mere man’s disapproval? Why fear things of this world when it will bring us pain and insecurity when fearing our Father brings us joy and comfort?
5. Thank you for sharing about your struggles with insecurity as a mum and how you overcame that. Could you share about your struggles (if any) as a girlfriend and then a wife?
When we started dating, I had to work through feelings of jealousy. I never knew I could feel such intense emotions until I had a boyfriend! We had a few emotional talks during our dating days. I struggled with myself over my emotions, trying to analyze if they were justifiable. During that period, a valuable piece of advice my mom had given me resurfaced, “Your joy should not come from your significant other, if not you’ll be disappointed. Your joy ultimately has to come from Christ.” This helped me to realign my focus and see things in a different light.
6. Can you share your personal views on womanhood – our design, destiny, and divine place in the kingdom.
Honestly, I haven’t thought too in depth regarding my views as a “woman” in the kingdom. I’ve thought more of what I’m called to as a person in general. Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created both male and female in His image. So what does it mean to reflect God’s image? Jesus states that the greatest commandments as people made in God’s image is to “Love the Lord your God with all of your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength… Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31). We are designed to love our creator with all of our hearts. As a believer, I’m destined to live with my Father for eternity. While on earth, my purpose is to be salt and light to people around me (Matthew 5:13-16).
As for my role as a wife, I’m designed to be a helper to my husband, as Eve was supposed to be to Adam. Paul mentions a few times in different letters that wives are to submit to their husbands. As somebody wise told me before, submitting is not being a doormat and giving up all your own opinions. It’s communicating your heart, and when opinions still differ, to respect your husband’s decision. True submission is apparent when your husband’s decision falls through, and you don’t look at him and say, “I told you so.” Something that I’m working on!
7. Many girls tend to play the “compare game”. What are some practical ways that you keep your heart at peace and contented?
Read the Word, pray, and always have a heart full of thanks. Sounds very cliché, but so very true.
Playing the comparison game is something I always have to check myself for. There’s always something that I can choose to compare myself with others. I realize that the moments when I remove my focus from Christ, and focus it on myself are when the comparison game becomes the most intense. When I take my eyes off Christ, I forget where my identity comes from—that I’m so precious that He chose to die for me, and that He loves me for who I am, not what I have to offer.
When I face a situation where I find myself comparing myself to another, I have a choice. I can allow my thoughts free reign to create my list of “things-I-do-better” scrambling to think of things that make be feel that I’m better than the other person, or stop myself, thank God for what the other person is able to accomplish, and thank Him for what He’s given me.
I recently heard a pastor say in a sermon that if each of us were good at everything, why would we need the body? We need to embrace the strengths God has given us, and praise Him for giving us others with abilities that can make up for what we lack.
Philippians 2:3 and Romans 12:3 are two verses that always remind me not to play the comparison game:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” – Romans 12:3