Sister Stories - Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Sister Stories

This podcast encourages us to reflect on how the Lord has grown and moulded us into becoming more like Christ.

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S4 - 5. Amy B.

In this episode, I am interviewing Amy, who is married to Don and has two children. She works as a teacher at Bedelsford School. Listen to hear about her walk with Christ from her childhood and how he has provided for her over the years.

Transcript (Auto-generated)

Welcome everyone to the Sister Stories podcast.

The aim of this podcast is to marvel at god's sovereignty over each of our lives as women and to encourage 1 another by sharing our stories.

My name is Sophie, and today I'm joined by Amy.

Hello? Welcome.

Thank you.

Great.

Can you start by telling us who you are, Amy? Yes.

My name is Amy Brushhabber.

I am married to Dawn, We've been married for 25 years.

We have 2 kids.

Kaya is our oldest.

She's 20.

Catley is our youngest.

She's 18.

They are both off at uni.

I work at Beetlesford School, which is a school in Kingston for students with complex needs.

And complex needs means 3 or more diagnoses of a met usually a medical something, although we've got genetic disorders, we've got syndromes, we've got epilepsy and gastro ostomies and all sorts of medical things that I never ever thought I would be dealing with in my life.

Yeah.

But I've I've been at Beadelsford for 10 years, and I love my job.

Great.

So we're going to be talking about your walk with Christ, and, we're going to start with your family background.

So tell us a little bit, yeah, how you were brought up and what I was like? Sure.

So I was brought up as the daughter of a pastor.

My father was a a pastor in a Baptist church in the US, and my mom supported him And it it's interesting growing up in that way because I always felt like I had to live up to expectations and fit a certain mold and look a certain way on the outside.

And I remember as a little as a little girl, having my little purse at church in my little dress and sometimes I would take my purse and hit it out at high high school boys.

And and that broke the mold a little bit.

Yeah.

But I I accepted Christ when I was young, probably 6 or 7.

And, then was baptized when I was about 11, but I funny enough, I remember doing it because my friends were doing it.

And, my dad was the 1 to baptize me.

And Looking back, I I I cringe a little bit because that's not the reason that you should be baptized however I was.

It sounds like things are a little bit needy.

So did you have any siblings at home as well? Yes.

I have a younger brother.

He's 3 years younger than me.

Right.

Okay.

I wonder how there was like, obviously, you said a little bit of, having these expectations around you.

Yeah.

What was your home like? Sorry.

What was your home life like as well? Yeah.

You know, I I mean, it was a typical kid growing up in the eighties.

I think we my dad built us a tree house in the in the backyard.

And, we wrote our bike to the neighborhood pool and, didn't have, you know, didn't have phones in that time.

And I remember getting our first computer and, So, yeah, it's, you know, I think my dad was away most evenings with with meetings and church functions and, those kinds of things.

But, yeah, you know, we we attended vacation, bible school, every summer.

And so so it was really immersed in in faith.

Yeah.

Which is good.

It's it's a good thing.

I think I take it for granted sometimes, and and I never was I I never had 1 of these amazing conversion experiences like some people have.

But yet, I'm really, really grateful to have grown up in the church.

And Yeah.

Yeah.

So was your knowledge of Christianity and the gospel mostly from church or where you also reading the Bible together at home or Yeah.

What Yeah.

You know, we used to do family devotions in the evening, and it was it was usually a little storybook and, you know, with a Bible kind of reference.

And, I remember 1 particular.

It was called singing penguins and puffed up toads and, you know, book about animals and and how, you know, how faith relates to that.

I also remember a lot of Christian story books and books on tape.

Yes, that we had.

And what what about school did you go to a Christian school, or were you, mixing with other kids that were not hairy Christians.

Yes.

I went to public school, my whole, primary and secondary school, and then, I went to a Christian university Mhmm.

So that was that was a really different experience in that.

The school was called Bethel University of University.

Mhmm.

And we called it the Bethel Bubble, where you live in this happy little Christian world.

It was a campus all of its own.

So it wasn't it wasn't within the community Right.

Much.

So so I'm grateful for that.

But again, I think I grew up a very sheltered life.

Too.

You know, not a lot of exposure to the world.

Yeah.

Unfortunately, No.

Even at school with friends, oh, before for you to Some.

Yeah.

Some.

But but I think the world today has changed significantly.

And it's much more pagan now.

Yeah.

Okay.

That makes sense.

Yeah.

Okay.

Yeah.

I think let's just carry on with your story.

And, so you said that you got baptized at 11.

That perhaps that wasn't the best time for you to give baptized.

Can you elaborate a little bit more? Yeah.

I I think I just wish I had been older to really, really understand that commitment and to make it for myself instead of I'm just going along with the crowd.

I if you have to go the crowd going in a Christian way is a good thing.

Yeah.

So so, yeah, I mean, I I was involved with unbanned in high school and I really didn't stray much I think that was maybe out of fear.

However, that that I I needed to fit into the perfect little mold and Yeah.

Yeah.

So I think rebellion was a scary thing for me, so I never did it.

I see.

Was that was that, I mean, not that I would want to reflect badly on your parents or anything like that, but was that because you were scared of disappointing your parents or other people? Yeah.

And I I've always been a fairly driven person, but but part of my worth has come from achievement.

Mhmm.

And that is not what god has for us.

I think he, you know, he loves us for who we are not for what we do or how we appear to others.

Or Yeah.

So that's that's something It's it's been a journey for me.

In in 99 2000, I was working on a master's degree.

And in my prideful, sinful self.

I I needed to be the first 1 in my cohort done with my thesis, you know, on early, not on time early.

And and And that, I did that at the detriment to my health, really.

And it was it was god really taking a brick to my head to go actually stop it.

Yeah.

So so, no, it's definitely been a journey, and I know that that work for me is a coping mechanism.

And But, yes, a way to receive worth, and I know that that is wrong.

And so so, yeah, that's been a a theme and a journey through my whole life, really.

Yeah.

If we go towards, I guess your understanding of the gospel when you were young, especially Yeah.

And maybe building up to your baptism, How I mean, it might be, hard to describe now, but, how do you feel? How well do you did you know the gospel at time when you got baptized, would you say? No.

I like I say, I've I've just I've grown up in the church from the day that I was born.

So I think I had an an understanding of what of what Jesus had done for me on the cross, I think it hasn't even been until more recently that I have truly faddomed what that was and and the ramifications of it.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Even in this last year, I've been studying John with Bible Study Fellowship, and that has really Mhmm.

That Christ willingly went to the cross for us.

Yeah.

So, you know, as a as a kid, you know, you know, the facts, but but the heart change, I think, is very much a journey and it comes throughout your life, really.

Yeah.

When would you say, When would you say you started to have a more, maybe, personal relationship with Christ, then when did that come? Would you say? I think it was probably even when my I know.

I would have said even when my kids were born, So 20 years ago because then you realize the the role of the father and the child, and that's you have a different view of god Yeah.

Than as our as our good father and what he wants for us as his children.

And and I think having kids, you fully realize your dependence on you know, woah, this is out of my control.

And and actually, our kids belong to god first before he just gives them to us temporarily.

Yeah.

That's right.

So yeah.

Great.

Thank you.

I going back a little bit, I guess, but, yeah, can you tell us a bit when you got married and, I guess, the chronology of things Sure.

At the university.

And so so Don and I disagree on when we met.

Tell you, it's when we were in, year 2.

Oh, really? Wow.

I would say I didn't actually meet him until high school.

So we went to secondary school together.

Yeah.

And and then we went to university together as well, and the Christian university and However, we didn't start dating until after we had graduated from there.

We were married in 1998.

So 25 years ago, and then Kyle was born 5 years after that.

Oh, great.

Nice.

So That's the timeline.

Yeah.

And then when did you move over to the UK? Yes.

So Oh, goodness.

It was 2013, so 11 years ago.

And again, that was that was god really chipping at me and teaching me the value of material possessions.

Because when we moved here, it was going to be was going to be for 2 years, a year or 2, and that turned into 3, turned into 5, turned into, 10, and And when we moved, we ended up getting rid of a lot.

However, we had storage unit in the US that we had.

All of our was packed full.

You know, 10 feet by 10 feet.

All of our earthly possessions in there And every month, we're paying Yeah.

To store that stuff.

And finally, 4 or 5 years in, we looked at each other and thought Why we could have purchased these things, although all new again.

Yeah.

And and so we we have since gotten rid of most of that.

Mhmm.

And then yeah.

So it's it's god just teaching me that he will provide, and it's not about collecting material possessions.

Yeah.

So so, yeah, we've lived here 11 years.

Do you want me to chat about this last year and what that has looked like? Actually, before we do that, really, How did you hear about Cornerstone and and the right here, really? Yes.

So Cornerstone, what we you know, you kinda googled the statement of faith for a church before you go and visit.

And Cornerstone at that point in time met at Beatlesburg School.

Oh, yes.

So it was right around the corner from the house that god provided us, fully furnished house that god provided us, which was around the corner from the school, the 1 form entry that both of our kids were provided a place at.

Yeah.

So that was, again, god's provision of all of that.

And god provided us Cornerstone Church.

Mhmm.

And he knew that we desperately needed Cornerstone Church because we came and we new nobody.

Yeah.

And that's a really, really hard place to be.

Pardon me thought, oh, they speak English.

It's fine.

It will be fine.

Anticipate.

Yeah.

We got here, and I dropped the kids at school for their 1st day and realized that I was alone and knew nobody, and that was really hard.

But I remember our first Sunday at Cornerstone.

We came in and, Kim and Rory Bell.

We're all over us.

Because we had kids the same age.

And, they invited us over for lunch the first day.

And I went, what? What is this? And didn't know where they lived, and I didn't know how to get home.

And I didn't I it was it was, like, overwhelming grace, actually, that god.

Gave us our first friends in Kim and Rory.

And, yeah, we laugh about that story to this day, but Cornerstone has really been our family Yeah.

Here.

You know, when things are hard, god has provided amazing, amazing people at Cornerstone, and I'm so so grateful.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Well, we also have you as well.

Yeah.

So thank you.

Yeah.

It's been just a privilege to be a part of that family.

Yeah.

That's great.

So, yeah, as you said, if we move on a little bit and, if you talk us through anything you've learned in the recent years, couple of years, maybe or last year.

Yes.

Yeah.

Oh, there's loads.

There's there's so so much.

So in in the last year in the last 2 years, Don took voluntary redundancy in April of 2022.

And you took some time off, and he was paid in a very healthy way because had been at the company for a long time.

So he took a little bit of time off and then started looking for work.

Mhmm.

And it wasn't coming and wasn't coming, and he was working so so hard and applying for different things.

And, this was the beginning of our journey Mhmm.

In this season.

This god made it very clear to this past December.

Don had an interview and had worked really, really hard on it, and he came second by 1 point in this interview.

And that that was really god saying this isn't what I have for you anymore.

Yeah.

And it was very difficult, kinda just to take that in and swallow it, but, god has had a different plan for us.

So again, we get rid of all of our possessions.

Exactly.

We made a plan for Don to go back to the US in February.

And Ketley is in university in the US, and Kaia is in the University of Exeter.

So so we've made a plan for her to this is god's plan, not our plan, really, for her to stay here, and god has provided indefinite leave.

Great.

For her, But John went back to the US in February.

And within 7 weeks, he had found a job.

That's great.

And and that is just god opening the door to go here you are.

This is the new thing that I have for you.

And it's so, so important to be in his will is what we've found.

So Don's job is in Boston.

He had been living in Denver with an aunt of mine.

And god has provided a new place for us to live there.

And I know that god will provide a new church and new, you know, new prayer partners.

It won't be the same as what I've had here, but Yeah.

Yeah.

We look to god's provision Yeah.

From that.

That's right.

Yeah.

And I find it really interesting how I mean, I'm very similar to you in in wanting to achieve things and and how god just kind of scraps everything that we have planned in a way, and you don't know, like, you've been here 10 years and then suddenly things change so dramatically.

And you You end up going back to the US, and you'd probably never expected that to happen.

Maybe.

Well, it's it's funny.

I thought it would have happened 9 years ago.

But but got, you know, every 2 or 3 years, our visa has changed.

And and we go, okay, lord, what what what this time and he's provided.

And I've I have carried the visa for the last probably 3 years.

So I've had to work full time at Beetlesford.

Mhmm.

And that's been hard, but god has taught me definitely humility in it.

Sometimes I I joke that I wipe noses and bums professionally.

And, I've definitely learned so so many things from Beatlesford too.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Can you expand a little bit on that? Yeah.

Absolutely.

So at Beetlesford, I've often seen So kids are are complex needs disabled, you know, developmental delay.

So cognitively and physically, disabled, but it has been my absolute privilege and pleasure to to be, I started as a TA and then became an SDA and then a teacher.

And and I've learned that it's so so important to love kids, kids at school, and and this is actually transferred to my own kids as well.

And to people, I think we can make a generic to all people that it's important to love people for who they are.

Yeah.

Not what they can do, not in And, again, that is god beating my head with a brick to say, come on.

Learn this lesson.

He knows us so well, doesn't he know exactly what we need to hear.

Yes.

So so, yeah, just loving people for who they are.

And then I think in that, I have been able to look at the kids that I work with, and we celebrate small, small, small steps.

You know, you can with a fork.

Amazing.

That's amazing.

And we celebrate those little things.

But in that, I've really learned to count blessings.

Yeah.

And and I'm I keep a list on my phone and the reminders of, you know, here's my blessings for today, and it can be as simple as hearing the birds outside and being reminded that god looks after the sparrows.

How much more valuable am I? It can be as simple as a a I looked yesterday, and there was a puppy dog tail wagging at the pub through the fence.

And and that is that's just a reminder to me that you know, god brings us joy in the tiny, tiny little things of life.

And sometimes we have to look really hard for them.

Yeah.

But they're there.

So we count our blessings.

That's for sure.

Yeah.

And lastly, if you had any advice to give to younger Christians, I mean, that is great advice.

She she had anything else to add.

Yeah.

I I think Something that I have learned in the in the last year with this move is that it's like the song my soul finds rest and god alone.

And this the the first time we moved from from the US to the UK, I was a a a mess, a stress mess, trying to to do and to manage it all myself and to, you know, okay, I I had a whole notebook full of lists and lists and lists of things to do.

And and I still am wired that way.

I'm driven that way, but but this time around, you know, with Don, not having work, and I have been able to not worry and not be anxious about anything and completely put my trust in him.

And what a difference that has made in, you know, my well-being, physically and mentally, and No.

I've been able to give it all to him and to go, lord.

You provided all of these things 11 years ago.

I know that you will provide again And so, yeah, so just resting in his provision has been something that, again, I had to learn the very, very hard way.

But, yeah, remaining in him is so important and being connected like the so Psalm 62 says my soul finds rest in god.

My hope comes him.

And then, yeah, we rest in that.

Yeah.

And it's it's interesting how, as you say, we've got so many examples in our own lives or people around us, or in, obviously, in the Bible as well, of God's faithfulness, and we we so easily forget even if it's been faithful to us this past week, really.

And it's so easy to just not see that.

And as you said, to just rest on our own achievements or or abilities to do things.

Ourselves.

Yeah.

And, yeah, sometimes I wonder whether it's just because we see that around us so constantly of people who are living like this or if you just purely our own hearts to just produce this constantly of wanting to be in charge, really.

Yes.

Totally both, poorly both, but, Yeah.

It's very encouraging to hear how he's provided for you.

Yeah.

All this time.

Yeah.

I mean, and for all of us, obviously, but yeah.

Yes.

Yes.

And it's You know, every every step, every day is a new day.

Good thing.

But it's a journey.

It really is a journey.

Yeah.

So thank you so much for sharing your story, Amy, with us today.

And thank you everyone for listening.

That's all for today's episode.

Sister stories.

So if I join us again next time.

.

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