This week we will feature a different woman from #theFives as she shares her heart with us. In an attempt to break down walls and promote unity among women, we will uncover the real lives of those we haphazardly label and judge.
Here is the story of Stephanie Sutton, a stay at home mom who chooses to homeschool her children:
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth,” Stephanie said, quoting the fourth verse of 3 John.
It’s the reason she left her job to become a stay-at-home mom and homeschool her children.
“Several things truly aligned within a matter of days, and the Lord couldn’t have been any more clear about what He wanted from me,” she said.
At that time her office was plagued with sinful behaviors, her daughter was struggling in school and her son’s separation anxiety made daycare drop-offs torture.
“The first few months of being a stay-at-home mom, I loved every minute of it and never doubted any of it,” she said.
But even though she knew the importance of following her call, she struggled with the value of her role as the newness wore off.
“As time went on, I found myself becoming discouraged, and when people would ask what I did, I would say, ‘I’m just a mom,’” Stephanie said.
The book, “Called Home,” helped give her perspective, and Stephanie said she began praying for the opportunity to not only make an impact in her children’s lives, but also in the world around her.
But it can be tough in a world that labels homeschool households.
“I’ve heard many things,” she said. “‘I hate or disapprove of the public school system,’ ‘I dislike public school teachers,’ ‘She must have it together to be able to homeschool,’ ‘She’s crazy! Why would she want to be with her kids all the time.’ There is the perception that I have all the time in world because I’m a stay-at-home and we homeschool (which I don’t.) My children also tend to get labeled as the ‘weird homeschool kids’ and honestly there is nothing weird about them. They are the most outgoing, Jesus-loving, funny, caring kids.”
And overcoming the label has taken a dedication to praying for Christ to use her where she is.
“I remember about a year ago I prayed for the Lord to put people in my family’s path while we were out so we could minister to them,” she said. “We wanted Him to use us in the season we were in.”
She said the same day, she was out shopping and heard a woman begin screaming after receiving a phone call.
“I immediately turned around and asked if there was something I could do,” Stephanie said, adding the woman then explained her pastor had been in a serious accident. “I asked for his name and told her I would pray for him. She then grabbed our hands and said, ‘OK, let’s pray now.’ I had no time to even process what was going on, but there we were, standing in the middle of Sam’s Club, praying to the Lord.”
Stephanie said the key is being willing to be used where God places you.
“I don’t let my label stop me from doing what I feel the Lord is leading me to or what He may want me to do,” she said.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? Share your story below.
We hope you can #findyourtribe here with us.
*All stories featured in the#FindYourTribe series were collected and written by Sarah Gooding. We love her so.