Sis. Eva Wojcik
Eva Wojcik is originally from Jacksonville, Arkansas. She graduated from UCA with her masters in speech language pathology. She has been married to the love of her life, Aaron, for 14 years, and they call Gallatin, TN, home. They have three beautiful children: Oliver, Stella, and Hazel. Together they serve at FAC Nashville on the senior leadership team where they are over small groups. Eva has been a voice of reason and encouragement in my life. I am confident that you will be encouraged and challenged by her words.
What is a piece of advice that has affected your life?
One thing that has really stuck with me was said during a marriage conference. One of the preachers’ wives was talking to us and she said, “If there is something that you don’t like about yourself, pray about it, and let God change it.” I know that sounds so simple, but I have felt before that if you are a certain way, that’s just who you are. So, I started reading about this topic and found myself in 2 Corinthians where it says if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Now I feel like if I am naturally a worrier, or jealous, or impatient, I don’t have to say, “Well, that’s just how I am.” I don’t have to learn to accept those things about myself because those things aren’t of God, they are sin. That means I can take those things to God and say, “I don’t want to be a worrier.” I don’t want that to be my first reaction to things. Then because I have God in me, He can change those things about me. I don’t have to receive things about myself that I don’t like or that cause me pain; I can just take them to God and let Him work on them. However, that doesn’t mean that those natural things about our personality that we inherited won’t still be there. That doesn’t mean that I won’t naturally tend towards being a worrier or that I will never worry again, because I do think that we have to be conscious of those things and die daily to our sin. But I don’t have to classify myself as a worrier and accept it, because I know I can take my issues to Jesus and allow Him to work on me. That changed things for me.
What is a great piece of advice you were given as a mother?
This is something I tell all mothers because it really was lifechanging for me. It’s this: motherhood is just hard. I know that it’s not very encouraging. But when I had my first child, I remember thinking I’m not very good at this; maybe I am just not cut out for this. It looks all nice and easy when you are watching others do it, but when it comes down to it, motherhood is just hard. There are a lot of hard things about it, especially in the beginning. When someone finally told me that the first 6 months are just hard, I thought, okay, so I don’t stink at this. It’s just a really hard thing. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone to know that this is how it is for everyone. It helped me to know that the hard times I was going through were for a season. Not that every stage of motherhood doesn’t have its challenges; it’s challenging. Parenting is on the job training; that is the only way you learn. No one has any clue what they are doing, no matter how much experience you have with kids. When you have your own baby and you’re responsible for it 24/7, it’s different. Just know if you are doing your best and you are submitted to God, that’s all you can do. It’s hard, but God will give you the grace you need.
Is there a boundary in your life that is non-negotiable?
For me, this was a ministry boundary. I came to know Christ in my college years, and when I jumped in, I completely jumped in and wanted to do it all which is great because we need to be serving and working for the Lord. However, when you have a family, it really changes things. The older I get the more I realize that my family is my ministry. They have to be my ministry first, and I am okay with that. But because of that, I kind of felt like I was disappointing other people and not meeting their expectations. But when I started talking to the Lord about it and asking him what he wanted me to do, I remembered that as long as I am pleasing Him, that is all that matters. I can’t try to meet everyone’s expectations and let my own family down. If I am not investing in my own children or my own marriage, just so I can say yes to other people, that is not necessarily improving my relationship with God or His work in His kingdom. I had to say that no matter what my relationship with God comes first, and then my family. I have found that ministry is not just what I do on Sunday. God has showed me ways to minister while I have young kids in ways that don’t involve Sunday. I believe that we need to come together, encourage one another, and have body ministry, but more than that...we are the church. All of those things that I have found to do to minister, to pour into people, and meet the needs of people that God places in my path, those things are more important that what I do on Sunday, in my opinion. I won’t feel guilty of an obligation if I don’t feel like it is something that God wants me to do. What good will it do if I pour into other people but don’t make disciples out of my own children?
What scripture have you stood on in your life or has meant the most to you?
Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. I need it all the time. It makes me humble and keeps me growing. If you can’t admit that you need a new spirit and allow God to correct you in your own spirit and mind, then He can’t do anything with you. I feel like I need to say that scripture all the time to myself.
Where do you pray? What are your study habits?
I do best if I get up early in the morning. I’ve tried other things, but my day is infinitely better if I get up before my kids and have my quiet time. I am not a super disciplined person; in fact, that is an area in my life where I need a lot of growth. I am really praying that God would help me be consistent, and I will keep on working on it. With three small kids at home, I just pray out loud when I think of someone or something. I might look a little crazy, but that is okay. If something is really pressing on me or if I feel a certain way, I will just start talking to God about it. I will simply pray about things when I feel them all throughout the day, because if I try to remember them to pray about at night…by the nighttime, I’m done. As far as studying, my favorite thing right now is the YouVerison Bible app. I am currently doing a study plan that reads through the entire Bible. I can read it or listen to it in my airpods. As soon as I wake up, I put my airpods in and play it while I am getting my coffee. Then I get my study Bible out and make notes. I like having a Bible where I can make notes. I even write some of my prayers in my Bible, or ideas that come to me during reading. I also listen to a podcast that follows along with the reading plan. It is by a Bible scholar who sums up the reading and helps you understand what you read. The podcast is called “The Bible Recap.”
What do you think makes a strong woman, and is there a woman who embodies that quality to you?
Meekness makes a strong woman. It’s harder to be slow to speak, slow to react, and slow to judge. Meekness is not silence, but it is the ability to use wisdom in the manner in which you respond. It’s about how you respond. This totally goes against my nature. Aaron says that I was raised by a pack of women because all of the role models and influences in my life growing up were women. That is true; I was raised by a single mom, and I surrounded myself with women I admired. However, I don’t consider myself a feminist and here’s why: I feel that God created man and woman differently for a purpose. I embrace my feminine qualities and I think that makes me strong. I am a nurturer, emotionally driven, and sensitive to other people. I don’t believe those are weaknesses, I think they are strengths. My husband doesn’t have those qualities; he has other qualities that God gave him for a purpose. Even though my answer is meekness, don’t get me wrong, those who know me know that I am outspoken. However, if you know my sisters, I am actually the least outspoken. I do speak my mind, and I have strong opinions; I have just learned that when and how I express them makes a difference.
Do you make free time for yourself? If you have free time what do you do?
Yes. As a mother with three young kids, I struggle with guilt about it. No matter if you are a stay at home mom or a working mom, you have mom guilt. It’s just a thing. I don’t know how to make it go away. I pray for time for myself and then when I am away, I miss my kids. It makes no sense at all. When I do get away and then come back, I am a better wife and mom. I just need some time by myself. At this stage in life, just being alone at any place is life giving! Whether it is at the grocery store, eating lunch out by myself, running errands, or even the bathroom (because even that is a place that I rarely find myself alone.) Pandemic free time means a drive through lunch, sitting in my car and eating and listening to something that is life giving to me (sermon, book, etc.). Sometimes I love to get lost in a fiction book that takes me somewhere interesting that is not my house. Audiobooks and podcasts are my friends. Pre-pandemic, I would go to dinner by myself, put headphones in, read a book, or get on Pinterest. This is strange, but clipping coupons is therapeutic to me for some reason, even though I will probably forget to use them.
Besides Christianity and marriage, what was the best decision you ever made?
Choosing to forgive. Forgive others from your past, forgive people who aren’t sorry, forgive yourself when you fail, forgive ignorance of people who harm others out of their own pain, forgive those who don’t know Jesus like you do, forgive the world for being broken and ungodly, and allow God to forgive you. Just forgiveness. It makes life a million times easier. Don’t carry around a bunch of stuff that is not yours to carry.
Was there a season in your life that contributed to your strength?
I would say my college years. College is where I found the Lord. It was where I became desperate enough to find Jesus and get to know Him. It’s where He set me free and set me on a path to grow. College was the beginning of my Christian walk, and it was tough; but I don’t regret any of it because it brought me to where I am now. I am grateful for that time because it really drew me toward him.
Strong women just know who they are in Christ. To me the most enviable women in the room, the “It” girl, is the one who knows and is comfortable with who she is in Christ. It’s not the prettiest girl, the smartest, the best dressed, or the most successful. It’s just the one who is submitted in God’s covering and is comfortable there. If you can start believing what God says about you instead of what you say or others say or what the enemy says about you, the sky is the limit.
Wow, wow, wow. It’s okay if you want to go back and read her words again; I did. As I typed her words, I stopped multiple times just so they could settle in my spirit. I appreciate women who are transparent and honest, like Eva is. She genuinely cares about people and their lives. In her interview, I asked her about the best decision in her life excluding Christianity and marriage. I can’t exactly tell you what I expected her answer to be, but I was blown away by the answer she gave. It was simple, yet so powerful. “Choosing to forgive” is a decision. It’s your decision. Take it from Eva, don’t carry around a bunch of stuff that is not yours to carry. I want you to read her words again, “Forgive others from your past, forgive people who aren’t sorry, forgive yourself when you fail, forgive ignorance of people who harm others out of their own pain, forgive those who don’t know Jesus like you do, forgive the world for being broken and ungodly, and allow God to forgive you.” There is no end to what the power of forgiveness can do. Forgiveness is the enemy of anger, hatred, pride, and bitterness. Matthew West said it best in his song “Forgiveness,” the prisoner that it really frees is you. Give forgiveness, accept forgiveness. Whether those words apply to you right now or not, someday it will take everything you have to say, “I forgive you,” but do it anyway. Forgiveness is a decision, and like Eva, it could be the best decision you make.