Welcome to the final episode of season 2. I am taking a short break from the podcast and will be back in September with more faith-filled interviews for you.
In episode 63, my guest is Shelley Swapp. Shelley shares what she hopes her children will remember about her as a mom.
She also gives insights into the challenges her family has faced in the past few years. As a mother, she has watched her children deal with moving, brain injury, physical special needs, mental health challenges and faith crisis.
No Checklist to Perfect Kids
Shelley shares how she always believed there was a “checklist” of things to do as a mom. If she could just check all of the things on the list off, like family home evening, scripture study, attending church and the temple, etc., all of our children would turn out exactly as she planned. But Shelley shares how she has learned that’s not what the Gospel is about. She gives her insights on agency, something we fought valiantly for before we came to earth.
Instead of a “checklist,” Shelley discusses how “The true test of motherhood is who I become and the true test of fatherhood is who my husband becomes and not who my children become.”
She openly admits she and her husband weren’t perfect parents but can honestly say they have always loved their children.
Shelley shares how she has persevered her relationship with her children, especially as some have chosen to leave the church. She shares how realizing our Heavenly Parents don’t sit in heaven wringing their hands has helped her to avoid worrying as well. She knows her children are on their own journey and it’s not about her.
The Power of Scripture
Both the Book of Mormon and the Bible have been huge helps to Shelley in her life as a mother. She describes the Book of Mormon as an entire book about families who were fighting valiantly to keep their children in the Gospel. She attributes the stories of Jesus found in the Bible to helping her get to a place where she can love and accept her children where they are.
Her Son’s Perspective
In preparation for the interview, Shelley spoke with her son who has recently experienced a faith crisis. She shares the advice he would gives to family members who are struggling to understand why someone would leave.
Why Heaven is Close
Ultimately, Shelley shares her testimony that heaven is so close. We can recognize tender mercies and angels here on earth. She acknowledges God’s hand in her life and knows He is helping her and her children.
How to Listen
Light the Fight Podcast with Heidi Swapp and David Kozlowski.
Talk by President Henry B. Eyring, A Home Where the Spirit of the Lord Dwells, April 2019 General Conference
This is the quote by President Eyring Shelley referenced in the interview from the talk above.
“Some have tried with full heart for that blessing, yet it has not been granted. My promise to you is one that a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once made to me. I had said to him that because of choices some in our extended family had made, I doubted that we could be together in the world to come. He said, as well as I can remember, ‘You are worrying about the wrong problem. You just live worthy of the celestial kingdom, and the family arrangements will be more wonderful than you can imagine.'”
Listen to Shelley’s daughter share her story on episode 6 of the podcast, Still Tripin’
Read more about Shelley’s motherhood journey in an article she wrote on the Awaiting Rainbows website.
Listen to a previous episode with similar stories: Episode 62, How to Show Unconditional Love When Loved Ones Don’t Share Your Faith