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5 minutes with Hannah ...

- Tell us a little about yourself

I talk too much. This is one of the reasons why only sharing “a little” about myself will be difficult, but I will do my best! In spite of my ability to over-share, I am actually an introvert, and I love spending time alone. I live with my husband, my parents and our three young children, so this almost never happens. I love my family to bits, and am ever grateful for their grace and perseverance with all aspects of my personality which include (but are not limited to): compulsive cake eating, craft and creative projects, Netflix and writing books. I am also a comedian, which means I get paid to be a smart-alec. I’m not joking.

- What's your favourite bible passage & why?

Well this is an awful question because how do you choose? What I can tell you is that my favourite verse/passage at the moment is from 1 Kings 19 when Elijah is exhausted and God allows him to just rest and eat. As a person who has been utterly broken in their lifetime and who has ongoing issues with chronic illness and mental illness, it is so important to me that God is gentle and compassionate to those who are exhausted and there are times when it is okay just to rest and know that he is not necessarily asking anything of us in those moments.

- How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?

There are times in my life when this is tremendously difficult to do, not just from mere straying (although, who doesn’t do that?) but because I am someone who battles with both depression and anxiety. For me, when I am struggling mentally, all of the “normal” things like praying, doing a quiet time and going to church become very difficult if not impossible. In those moments, I ask God to keep my heart for himself and to bring me back to him. And he does it. Every single time.

- What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?

There is more than one way to live out your Christian faith in a manner pleasing to God. Don’t let the church or Christian leaders or anyone else tell you how it should look in your own life. Work it out with God.

- What's one thing that you love about your local church?

Compassion. My church is filled with compassionate hearts right from the top tier of leadership through to the muddy trenches. It’s one of the reasons why I find it hard to go to church when I’m barely holding it together because it’s impossible to be anonymous. People actually care and want to know how I’m doing, and it breaks me up every time (in a good way). And we have over 500 people at our church.

- What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?

He is faithful, and when he said that he will not leave you or forsake you, he absolutely meant it.

- What are you passionate about?

Encouraging others. I’ve had a lot of heartache and difficulty in my life, and I know what it’s like to be in the pit. If I can play even the smallest part of encouraging somebody else to get through another day, it gives me the greatest joy.

- What do you enjoy doing when you rest?

What’s that?

Okay, okay, I know a bunch of you will talk to me about the importance of Sabbath … yada yada yada. And it’s true. But seriously, when do mums of young children get to rest? If this is a hypothetical question, I would say that resting for me involves spending time with my husband (if he promises not to talk about work, football or Game of Thrones). If it’s in a spa bath at a flashy resort in the middle of wine-country, all the better! (visit Hannah's website to find out where her shows are)

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