Why She Does It: Abby
We're thrilled to be interviewing another member of the MP Core Team today - it's Abby! Abby is our Operations Manager, and we love her passionate approach to life. Abby's interview below is filled with wisdom and candid honesty about her life and seeking to live for Jesus. We know it's going to inspire you today to keep going, and keep stepping into the adventurous life that God has planned for you (even if it's not quite what you expected)! MP Team x
£10 treat: as many DVDs as I can get from CEX
Dream holiday destination: The Maldives
Favourite Psalm: Psalm 77 (especially verses 11-12)
Item that’s always in my cupboard: Paprika spice - I put it on most things...
Tell us what you are up to at the moment? What does a typical day/week look like for you?
I work in administration for a psychological therapies service in the NHS called IAPT. My typical days begin early with a cycle by the canal en route to work and then lots of sitting at a desk all day. Evenings are a mixture at the moment. I moved to a new city in January to be with my (now) fiancé so we enjoy going to people’s homes and building relationships in the church family. I’ve just finished another Biblical Counselling module with BCUK so there’s been lots of studying for that lately. And of course, as of a few weeks ago, there’s lots of wedding preparation to be done! Life is very busy at the moment.
What’s the highlight of your week? Which parts of your everyday life do you love most?
Other than curling up in bed to go to sleep, I also love the mornings. I love getting a big cup of coffee and having some time in quiet. Whether that’s reading a book, reading my Bible, planning the day, or catching up on emails… I just love that time before the world has woken up and the day has really begun, to just get my head on straight and ease into life.
Why are you doing life in the way you are?
God has blessed me with a compassion for the messiest and most broken of people. He’s made me intolerant of those who are weak being treated unfairly, and determined to make institutional change for the better. There is a tension between the world of biblical counselling and secular psychology - a tension that I do not pretend for a moment to have smoothed out in my own mind. But if we stay away from secular psychology, as Christians, and exalt our own perspective then there will be no Christian psychologists and an entire area of healthcare will be without ambassadors for Christ!
God has placed me in the context of those who deal with the vast majority of mentally ill and struggling people in order that I can see what they do well, and see where they fall short of Christ’s standard of love. God has made me intelligent and hard working, and I intend to use those gifts to pursue an understanding of how we are to care for those who suffer psychologically to the very ends of all the dimensions.
What is the one big thing that you think God is teaching you at the moment? How is He challenging and encouraging you?
God has brought me out of all my comfort zones lately and pushed me to (what I thought were) my limits and beyond. He’s chipping away at the pride in my heart and it hurts a lot. I graduated last summer having worked hard at university and been rewarded with a good degree. After that I moved to America to study and really struggled without my independence. I couldn’t cook for myself, travel without someone driving me, or host anyone. After America, I moved to Nottingham and spent a few months unemployed living in a friend's spare room. The generosity shown to me in that time was immense, and but I struggled so much to accept it.
I’d never realised how proud I was of my academic, professional and domestic skills. I felt like a failure and it’s been a real lesson for me to see that a person's value is not found in their capabilities. Quite the opposite in fact - "when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Ironically, this bible verse is tattooed on my foot and yet I completely disregarded it's truth for months.
When life is busy, how do you make time and space to focus on God? How do you try to keep Him at the centre?
A year ago, I would have said I can’t live without my quiet time, regardless of how busy life is. But I was a student then, and I didn’t know what busy really meant! These days, I often say a prayer as I get into bed, looking back at the day and my concerns for the next day. It’s helpful to recognise what God has been up to in my heart that day - particularly if I have been quite emotional or stressed. I also enjoy saying grace before meals, even if it’s just Domino's on the sofa! It forces me to identify out loud where my focus has drifted in the day so far and ask God to realign my priorities with Him at the centre.
Looking back at the last year, what encourages you about how God’s been at work in your life?
As I said, the last year has involved a lot of major change. New city, new job, new relationship, new house, new church, new friends. All changes I have faced time and time again as a minister's kid and travel junkie, but God’s been teaching me how to build roots. He’s been fostering in my heart a love of home, wherever home is. This year was the first time I’ve ever felt homesick for England, the first time I’ve ever missed my bedroom in my parents’ house, and the first time I’ve struggled without my closest friends physically with me.
God has been teaching me that it’s not cool or impressive to be tough and independent. It’s encouraging that, despite my distracted focus being on myself in this year of change, God has been focusing so much on growing and changing me. He is not going to let this time of transition go to waste, but Has long-begun huge works of grace in my heart.
Abby joined the More Precious team a year ago as Operations Manager, overseeing series such as our Mental Health Awareness Week project. Abby is passionate about helping girls to grow in the knowledge that we are all broken and needy, but that we have the comfort and strength of Christ overflowing in us.