November 28

My Faith Tree: Backstory

Heather Mcmahon, photo supplied.

Heather Mc Mahon’s story My Faith Tree was published in our 2022 Stories of Life anthology, Bones and Blue Eyes. 

Q: What is the backstory to My Faith Tree?

My story is an allegory of my life using a house to represent me and a tree growing through the center of my life. It is God who strengthens me as he weaves his roots into an otherwise unstable foundation. The rooms that I take you into are real events that happened in my life and some set the scene of how I feel.


The real version of this story is parallel: I grew up in a broken home where an affair did occur and I lived in a small country town where everyone knew everyone’s business and so my mum and I left to find peace and purpose somewhere else. This was hard.


I am an only child and I believe that this only made life harder for me. I was very shy and insular. I grew up a Christian as my mum sent me to Sunday School from early on which is where the seed was planted and my faith became the one thing in me that I could depend upon. God was my stronghold and the essence of love that helped me keep going. He was my comfort and shelter.


The family structure was destroyed in the middle of my house which should be the strongest structure to build my self-worth and confidence. I was afraid to have a voice and an opinion. This got me into trouble when I had my first serious relationship, I didn’t really choose but my heart felt for this person as he was also broken to which I thought I could do God’s work by helping him. But if you don’t allow yourself a voice or an opinion you end up going along with what already is. It became an on and off situation which was very unhealthy and unhappy. During the off period I met my husband who I believe was and is the answer to my prayer. He was the rope that saved me and took me into the next room.


We have three boys including my son from my first relationship and my husband is a chef. To be a Chef is his whole life and he was dedicated. After ten years of marriage, we got the opportunity to take his talent to a whole new level and we opened a restaurant. Our children were still quite young. During this time, we worked very hard and our kids learned to be independent. The restaurant helped me become more confident in myself and I found that people actually liked who I was.


We had our restaurant for twelve and a half years which in hindsight was too long and it took a toll on all of us as a family. But this journey built me up as a person and gave me resilience. It called upon me to be strong and sometimes stand up and make decisions.


I am grateful that God was present, and still is, through my adversities then and now and I do not begrudge anything that I have come through because it has only made me a better and stronger person.

Q: What has being part of this competition meant to you?

As far as the competition is concerned, it was exciting to be a part of it, but to be honest the best part of this experience was when my story was accepted into the book. I didn’t win the competition, but that did not phase me at all. It was the honour of being chosen to be in the book that won it for me. It has given me a sense of pride that I can show my friends, my name published under my story’s title in the contents page. To some this is a small step but to me this was a big one. It has given me a little boost of confidence that maybe I could try something a little bigger like a children’s story book perhaps.


I would highly recommend that if you have an inkling that you possibly could, just do it and have a go next time around. This experience is not as frightening as you think and you are surrounded by a team of people who care and want to help you achieve the first step in your writing dreams. This opportunity became the first sparkle in mine.

To read Heather’s story My Faith Tree get a copy from on our online bookstore today.

Bones and Blue Eyes is the seventh anthology in the Stories of Life series, true stories of ordinary people experiencing a connection with the divine in the context of their ‘ordinary’ lives. They are electricians, accountants, butchers, mothers, preachers, children; people grieving, people rejoicing, people helping and being helped. In each story we see individuals believing, however shakily, in a God who cares and comes to them. The writers are honest about pain, doubt, poor choices, unjust circumstances, fear… This is not a collection of neat stories, perfect doctrine, and pasted smiles. On the contrary, many are unfinished stories of people who simply acknowledge that, along their way, the God of love meets them. Stories of Life will encourage, refresh, challenge, entertain and inspire you.







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