We’ve never met in person, but I feel like I already know our guest today. It has been such a joy getting to know Mara through this interview! I know you are going to be so inspired by her life! So get ready! She is a woman on fire for the Lord, and she is unashamedly Mara Warner!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are you all about?
I am 21, living in central IL, and in absolute love with husband of 3 years, Aaron. I grew up as a pastor’s kid, as did my husband, and we have responded to the call of God by planting a church.
I am all about authenticity. I’m always interested in knowing people’s stories and who they are, the good, bad, and ugly. I am also a lover of anyone and everyone for their authentic personalities.
When did you become a Christian?
I became a Christian in my early childhood (6 or 7 I believe). Growing up in a Christian family, I always knew who God was and what he was able to do, but I did not “truly” decide to follow him until I was 14 when I rededicated my life to him at a youth camp service.
I had been battling fiercely with self-image and had come to the place where I just thought I was not worth anything to anyone. One night at the service, the pastor opened the alter for anyone in need of prayer. The sermon was irrelevant to what I was experiencing but I knew I needed something and trying to figure it out on my own was not working.
So, I went down to the altar and a man came up to me, prayed for me for a couple minutes, looked at me and told me that God had been telling him all week to tell me that I was beautiful. I had had many men try to lure me through my vulnerability-so I was highly guarded when it came to men- but I knew in that moment that it was directly from God and that he was telling me,
“I hear your cry, I am with you, you are beautiful, but so much more than that to me”.
After you became a Christian, did you embrace your identity in Christ? What has been your journey with identity?
After my rededication, I would say yes. I knew who God was, who I was, and who I was in Him: His, precious, valuable, treasured, His child, His friend, set free, worthy of dying for, LOVED and LEAST of all, Beautiful. God has continued to elaborate on these, as the years have passed, confirming my identity in him, time after time.
You married pretty young compared to a lot of people in our society today, how has marriage affected who you have become today? Was there anything related to identity that you had to wrestle with in marriage?
Marriage has definitely affected me for the better. It has taught me how to love deeper than I ever knew imaginable and how to be selfless. I was married ten days before I turned 18. being so young, many people did not agree with our marriage, but we did, and God did. We learned to fight for each other very early in our relationship so I believe that we are stronger than most at 3 years of marriage.
Marriage has also taught me that I am worthy of a deep, pure love.
Through our relationship, we had gone through trial after trial but we have always come out of them closer to each other, but more importantly, closer to God. God knew what he was doing when he created the unity of marriage and I could not be more thankful for it.
What do you believe is your kingdom purpose?
In a world where society constantly tells you that everything you do, you do for yourself, God has revealed to me that I am my husband’s helpmate. Yes, the bible speaks of this but it is different when you truly feel it is your purpose. God has made this very clear to me through many, many circumstances.
He has also revealed to me that I am much more than just a helpmate-that He is going to open doors for me- such as the opportunity to do this interview or the book club that I am going to be starting next year. I also believe that I am to uplift and support other women. Whether it be a handwritten note or a comment on facebook, I am to uplift the women around me, strengthening the female bond for God’s glory.
How is God growing and challenging you right now?
He is challenging me through church planting. My husband and I left our jobs, church, friends, family, and everything that was familiar and comfortable to us, to plant a church in a city where we only knew a handful of people. It has been a challenge, and we only see the challenges growing in the near future, but we hold onto what is true and we know that God is with us.
In our culture today it seems like there are so many pressures to be so many different things-godly or not. Have you come across any pressures as it relates to who you are? If so, what kinds of pressures are they and how have you combated those pressures?
Being a preacher’s wife, there are all kinds of pressures (or at least I thought). You have to be a good spouse, mom, prayer, teacher, cook, you have to be able to sing, play an instrument, etc, etc,(P.S. my mom is the definition of the perfect pastor’s wife and fits all of these categories).
I dealt with this for an extended period of time (and still do) but God has been teaching me that all I have to do is love Him, love people, speak biblical truth, and be the best Mara I can be because that is all that matters.
I am messy, I am imperfect, but I am exactly who God created me to be and that IS enough!
Woah! Guys! Is it just me or are there so many pieces of inspiration throughout this whole interview?! What stuck out to you about Mara’s story? What can you relate to? What encourages you in YOUR becoming story? Comment below!
I can’t help but hold on to Mara’s final words… Because we’re all messy. We’re all imperfect. But God made us exactly the way He wanted us to be and placed us exactly where He wants us to be. So let’s take Mara’s words to heart and live in the freedom that comes from being all that God created us to be!