Welcome back to Feature Friday!
This week, fellow writer and Christian mama, Erika Jarlock, is opening up with us about how motherhood radically transformed her life and how through her journey God gave her clarity in her purpose, even when at times, she felt like her vision was a little foggy.
Have you ever been there?
I wanted to share a little bit about Erika before we dive into her beautiful and inspiring guest post. Erika and I actually serve together on the worship team at Church of the King and met at a get together for the women on the team. She is a small town mama and has a big passion for Jesus; she also serves in our church’s production and works to support her beautiful little girl, Rosalie.
I will definitely say I was instantly drawn to this mama’s positive energy and loved how she was so quick to open up not only about her passion for essential oils and natural remedies, but we actually both connected about our struggles with our skin!
Our conversation was so refreshing, and I am so excited about her guest post today and cannot wait for her to share her big reveal with y’all! Below I have linked Erika’s Instagram account where you can further connect with her!
Instagram | @justmumthingz
Enough of my rambling, here is Erika Jarlock!
Perserverance to Purpose
We all have that one jarring life experience that sets things into balance for us. For me, that was becoming a mother.
When I became a mother, it was in no way planned. This news came with joy later on but at first, fear. I remember crying for over an hour not knowing anything except for how scared I was. Scared of what my life was about to turn into.
My future had been layed out before me, now suddenly changing all too quickly. I wasn’t ready for this; I didn’t want to be ready for it.
I think there is a serious problem in our world with people telling girls in similar situations statements like, “babies are blessing- you should be happy” or “get over it”.
Of course, I was sad! Not trying to constantly cry woe is me here, but it is rude to down play someone elses pain or grief; no matter what the circumstances are. My grief was for the life I was losing, not for the baby I was gaining.
I found myself too often curious of what all God had in store for me. Do you ever just sit and ponder that? I would sit and beg for answers. I tried to see past the obstacles of each day, trying to find some sort of dots that would connect me with the future that I was desperate to grab hold of.
What I didn’t know was that God had an answer for me from the get go; I just wasn’t looking for it. Typical how God always gets to prove us wrong, huh?
Fast forward a year into motherhood, and I gave up on school. Many surprise circumstances interrupted my ability to finish my education; I didn’t have a passion for it anymore. I knew that even though I loved it once before, I could never do what I wanted to before. That’s the funny thing about being a parent, you constantly think of what your child’s life will be like with every step you take.
As a theatre and dance major with no way of finishing my degree online, my other option was to major in English and minor in my art forms. But then what could I do with that other than teach?
Not that there is anything wrong with teachers, it just isn’t what I want to do. Things were looking grimm for me.
I gave up my hopes of ever getting out or falling in love with school again. I hadn’t even asked God or prayed for an answer in this, because I didn’t think that there was one. But one day, I stumbled upon one of my now favorite verses, Ezekiel 36:26.
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take you out your stony stubborn heart and give you a tender responsive heart.” (NIV)
I realized my approach to the entire situation was filled with anger and lack of hope. I didn’t want to have a shallow faith; I wanted my faith to be strong for I know that the Lord brings hope with him and all that He has done for us to THRIVE.
It was then out of the blue that He answered me. One Sunday, my pastor spoke about purpose, and it was the best wake up call I’ve had in a long time. To be honest, I can’t even tell you what he exactly said that gave me such a zing, but from then on, I knew what I was meant to do.
I was so filled with joy in this moment my eyes flooded with the left overs. A purpose had been given to me.
I know what some would say that my purpose is “motherhood”, but I have to disagree. Is being a mother a part of it?
However, it isn’t the ONLY thing that God wants me to do.
I struggled with this for over a year. What else would I do for the rest of my life other than be a mother? He answered with my most forgotten passion: the one I do everyday but never give a second thought to because it’s just a part of my routine.
I couldn’t tell you what exactly He wants me to do with this yet, but for me this is enough.
He answers; He always answers. I’m only sorry that I have ever doubted it, but I’m grateful He did not let me give up when I wanted to, because I know He has something truly amazing in store for me.
I can feel it.
I’ll leave you with this; keep your heart open and deepen your faith as much as you can. Let him be your guide and living hope, because I promise you that He is.
Thanks for reading!
Real quick, and I’ll share what I got out of Erika’s post. If you aren’t signed up for my email list, then you are missing out on exclusive content and updates from Sarah.Mozingo.com and a great source of inspiration and encouragement throughout the week!
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OKAY, LET’S GIVE THIS GIRL A HAND!
Like where do I even begin? I love how Erika was so transparent, so brave, and so REAL in this post. I just wanted to sincerely thank you Erika for your incredible vulnerability, and I love how you shared your amazing testimony with this community of women.
I found myself resonating so strongly with so many of the themes you shared in your post. Christian and I actually did not plan having our beautiful boy at the time we did, and God really has led us on such a remarkable journey of parenting as well. Like Erika, we also experienced big changes in what we thought our lives would look like. But we know that God has given us each and our family a great purpose, and it’s our job to preserve through the challenges of life to fulfill the destiny He has given us.
I also loved how Erika shared that she doesn’t have all the answers for how God is going to use her through writing and is just trusting Him in this season for the next step. That obedience and willingness to be used by God is all we have to have for God to do great things through us.
Have you been struggling with purpose in this season of your life?
I’d love for you to share your thoughts below in the comments!
To stay connected with Erika Jarlock and stay tuned to how God’s going to use her writing, make sure to follow her Instagram account linked below!
Instagram | @justmumthingz
If you like what I share, please follow @sarahfordmozingo on Facebook and Instagram!
If you’d like to read more about getting clarity for achieving your goals in, head to my post about my 2019 goals from this past year “2019: The Year of Clarity.”