“In our early years of marriage, my husband Zac and I were seeking worldly adventure, career promotions, building wealth, and living for ourselves. Even though we were plugged into a church and showing up when we needed to show up, we weren’t walking with Jesus.
“I accepted Christ when I was twelve, and I had a lot of people in my life, including my faithful parents, who taught me about Jesus and the Bible; however, I was spiritually immature and had a performance-based faith. I spent the next thirteen years of my life focused on my actions and appearances, rather than surrendering my heart to God to transform me from the inside out.
“When we joined a community group at Watermark, we started to have long conversations and discussions about our beliefs with our group. Equipped Disciple challenged us to align our lives with the Bible instead of just what we wanted out of life. Our community group patiently but consistently admonished us to learn more about God’s Word and allow it to inform our decisions and lifestyle.
“We finally reached a point where we decided that we were going to believe that the Bible is our one source of truth, and a couple of years later, that really changed our beliefs about children and being parents. We were willing to surrender our desires for what God could have for us.
“Psalm 127:3 says, ‘Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.’ This became a very pivotal challenge for us.
“Even before marriage, Zac and I had decided that our professional goals and worldly bucket lists were more valuable to us than making room in our life for children. We wanted to enjoy the finer things in life, and that is what we set out to do. For years, we believed a lie that children were an inconvenience and would hold us back from what we wanted to achieve. But when I reflected on my personal motives and desires, I realized I was selfish, prideful, and reliant on myself.
“God was really kind to bless us with two boys even after we had such a selfish view of parenthood. And, God has been faithful these last five years of parenthood to show us such a clear picture of His love for us, His sacrifice for us, and how He has forgiven us.
“Then, there was still more of my life I needed to surrender. Three years ago, Zac and I felt God calling me to be home with our kids full-time, which meant putting my career on pause. Stepping back from my career was a really big decision for me to get on board with and trust the Lord, but we moved forward.
“For almost ten years, I worked late nights and gave whatever it took to build my career and get to the next promotion. I devoted much of my time and energy to professional excellence, but I didn’t prioritize spiritual disciplines in my life. I had built my identity and reputation upon my own achievements rather than on God’s goodness, mercy, compassion, and grace.
“With more flexibility as a full-time parent, I joined Women’s Bible Study at Watermark. I thought this was the first time I had the capacity to study God’s Word in depth, but the reality I learned was that I had before been unwilling to surrender the other idols in my life to prioritize a Bible study.
“Even though I’d agreed to put my career on pause and be home with our kids, there was still a lot of unrest in my soul because of my misplaced identity. I thought my identity was in my professional success and that it was central to who I was. But the stories we studied in 1 Samuel with Women’s Bible Study really shifted my perspective. I was surrounded by wise women who discipled me and helped me have a heart fully surrendered to God.
“Over the years and through Scripture, I have learned that the Lord’s plans are so much better than mine. I see that even in my kids. Our life with kids is so different than what I envisioned for myself, but they have brought me and Zac such joy and pushed us to depend on God more. While I learn God’s character throughout Scripture, He shows me continually that I need to surrender my plan for my life. Every time, in His kindness, He’s brought me closer to Him.”
Tara and Zac grew in their relationships with the Lord through ministies like Equipped Disciple and Women's Bible Study. Learn more about the equipping opportunities at Watermark.