Celebrating Spiritual Mothers This Mother’s Day: Megan Walsh

In the third instalment of our 2022 Mother’s Day series, Megan Walsh celebrates the ordinary faithfulness of her late mother and spiritual mothers in her local church in regional Queensland. In a world that pushes women to strive for significance, Megan invites us to slow down and to see the power of persevering faith and discipleship in the body of Christ.  ​
Megan and her mother, Ruth Walsh
1. Share a bit about yourself!  

I grew up in rural Queensland, but now live in a sufficiently leafy suburb of Brisbane.  I got addicted to opening God’s word with others during my time at uni. Now I get to do this as a job! Both at our multicultural Church, Providence, and in the Hebrew language with my students at Queensland Theological College. In my spare time I love exploring a new camping spot with friends, creating handmade gifts, and exercising my imagination with my niece and nephews. 
2. You grew up in a Christian home! How did your mother lead you to love Jesus more?   
This year will be my third Mother’s Day since my mum went home to Jesus, so thank you for the chance to share. One big way my mum led me to love Jesus was to let me enjoy a daily, front row seat to her faith in action—even in small and ordinary ways.

​I saw Mum’s love for Jesus in the timbre of her voice as she sang to him at church or in our kitchen. I saw it in her commitment to be present at Church, even though it was a weekly feat to wrangle my three brothers and I into the car for the drive to town. I saw it in the way she spoke about her relationship with Jesus and shared the story of how she came to trust him. Growing up, I would see

tonnes of ways that mum said, “Jesus is worth it,” with her daily actions, and later they would add weight to the
evidence of Christ’s beauty that I would find myself.  

“Mum’s ministry of “bringing us along” into Church community was fundamental in giving me opportunities to see Christ’s love for me all throughout my life.” 

The other foundational way that mum nurtured my love for Jesus was by actively including me and my brothers in Church life. There she provided a world of opportunities for me to see the gospel spoken and lived out by the members of our Church family. We were always the youngest ones sitting in the Worship Service after Sunday School had finished, and other families had gone home. Mum would bring me alongside her to serve in Church choirs or as her junior helper at “Girls Rally” as soon as I graduated from the Children’s Program myself. Mum brought us along whenever she visited her friends from church, so that they became people that we looked up to and learned from too. I believe Mum’s ministry of “bringing us along” into Church community was fundamental in giving me opportunities to see Christ’s love for me all throughout my life. 
Megan with her parents and three brothers
3. What are some biblical life-lessons that your mother taught you that you still hold onto today? 

I remember Mum teaching us biblical discernment from an early age. She had grown up in the Catholic Church and sent us to Catholic school. Mum encouraged us to listen and learn from what we were taught there, but to always come back to the Bible to know what is true. Thinking back now, I’m not sure how many of my nine-year-old classmates were listening to the Priest talk about Jesus and thinking that his version didn’t seem quite as powerful as the Jesus who I had seen in the Bible. These lessons have continued to pay off for me when I left home after high school and needed that discernment to find Christian communities who would teach me the Bible faithfully. 

“I cherish Mum’s example of expecting God’s word to give hope, even when she felt her faith was faltering and she could not make sense of her suffering.” 

Mum also taught me about turning to Christ for comfort in the face of suffering, when she experienced many years of mental health struggles. I saw how precious and life-giving God’s word and prayer are, as they gave her the grace and strength to navigate those years. I remember, as a teenager, being given a tape recorder and a long list of Mum’s favourite Psalms to read out so she could listen to them on dark days. I cherish Mum’s example of expecting God’s word to give hope, even when she felt her faith was faltering and she could not make sense of her suffering. These days you can probably see the tear stains in my copy of the Psalms too. 

4. In Titus 2:3-5, older women are commanded to teach and disciple younger women in the body of Christ. In what ways have you been encouraged by older, spiritual mothers in the church, and how has this shaped your ministry to younger women today?  

My impulse is to be quite self-dependent in my faith; to think through my questions or pray through my situation for myself much more readily than turning to others for help. Thankfully God’s impulse is different! He has graciously provided many godly women as older sisters and spiritual mothers to me over the years; who draw me out of the echo chamber of my own ideas, share their hard-won wisdom, and model what is possible in the life of faith.   

I think of my parents’ friends who took the time to see me, often the quiet girl in the corner, and refused to talk down to me, who loaned me a Christian book they loved, or found some small way to encourage me.   

I think of Glady, who played the adopted grandmother to all the students who would move to our university town. She went out of her way to greet me when I arrived at Church and wrote my name and course in her notebook so she could pray for me. Glady would invite me around to her retirement unit to share a meal after Church. She even joined the Young Adults bible study group one year to encourage us, and her faithfulness and prayerfulness rubbed off on us all.  

I think of the women who may have only been a year or two older than me; who invited me to read the bible one-to-one with them or asked me real questions about how I was going in my faith. All these women taught me to love opening God’s word with others, to love praying together with others, to love hearing about how God is working in someone’s life–and that is the shape of my ministry now.  

The multitude of examples of these women in my life encourage me to expect that all of us together as the Church can play a beautiful variety of roles in each other’s lives. I don’t have to possess all the wisdom, energy, and charisma myself, but together as the body of Christ we each play our part in pointing each other to Christ’s grace.  

Currently I see my ministry amongst the women at my Church to be just as much about fostering opportunities for women to serve and share God’s truths with each other, as anything I might do myself. 

Enjoyed this read? Read the rest of the series! 

The Joy & Challenge of Christian Motherhood: Kat Fernandez

There’s a whole extra level of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that I am learning as a mother.”

Kat shares the joys and challenges of motherhood, and how her faith in God makes her parenting distinct. 

The Pain & Hope of Mother’s Day: Cecelia Koch

“I can’t wait to stand with her once again, and with the even more beautiful and glorious One that she reflected.” 

Cecelia shares the impact that her late mother had on her life and how she’s been able to find hope in her grief each Mother’s Day. 

On Being an Imperfect First-Time Mum This Mother’s Day: Patrizha Yeomans 

“Henry already has a perfect parent in God, and I should trust in Him.”

Patrizha shares her struggle with anxiety, sleep deprivation, and feelings of failure, and how through all the challenges, she’s learned to trust in God, the “perfect parent”.  ​

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