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Journey of Hope
Seasons of Womanhood
Joyful in Hope

Seasons of Womanhood
stories of despair and hope

An East Belfast wild child who left home at seventeen to live with her paramilitary boyfriend. A lead singer in Christian band, Iona, enjoying great career success but desperately longing for a child. A devoted wife nursing her beloved husband through a degenerative illness. An apparently disparate group who share one vital thing – a relationship with God.

SEASONS OF WOMANHOOD brings us the stories of ten women – all at different stages of their life journeys - facing life with courage and faith. There is Karen whose husband took their youngest child to school one morning and never returned home.
No one who knew him could believe that this church elder, home group leader and worship leader had decided to leave his wife and children to live with someone else.
From the depths of despair, Karen gradually realised that God could step into the mess of her life and give her a whole new ministry. Elaine grew up among Protestant paramilitaries in East Belfast, her teenage years lost to alcohol and antisocial behaviour. When she left home at the age of seventeen to live with a prominent paramilitary, she achieved instant status in her local community. She soon discovered the true meaning of the word terrorism however, as fear became the dominant emotion in her life. At the age of twenty three, her decision to change direction and follow Christ had deep repercussions on the rest of her life.

The wide range of women’s profoundest experience is visited in this book – the joys and pains of motherhood – infertility, miscarriage, post-natal depression. The trauma of a broken marriage; anorexia; the struggle of caring for a beloved, chronically-ill relative. Nor are the challenges of later life overlooked. Grandmother, Hilary, continues a meaningful life into retirement and Alzheimer’s sufferer, Jean, in the frightening confusion of her memory loss, still holds onto her faith and looks forward to being with her Lord.
Wendy Bray writes of Seasons of Womanhood, ‘There are no celebrities in this book; no guaranteed happy endings, comfortable career choices or stories of star-struck success. Instead, there are real lives of real faith in a real God who show up in the toughest of circumstances for the most ordinary of women.’

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