Your account

Question & Answer with Emma Rutland

Question & Answer with Emma Rutland

Who have you written Stretched for? 

I have written my story for a varied audience, but largely I think it is a story that will bring hope and encouragement to families. My story should relate to most mothers as they will relate to the challenges of being a mother and the level of sacrifice that is required. My story will be particularly helpful to families who have children with additional needs, whether they’re physical needs or learning challenges or mental health issues.

Stretched addresses the impact of child loss and the emotions involved when such a tragedy happens.

Anyone who is going through a trial in life would benefit from reading Stretched and I anticipate that hope is imparted to them in being victorious over their situation.

Why did you decide to write the book?

I want to help others to see that they can get through dark times and come through them as stronger people and that there is joy on the other side of sorrow.

I wrote this book because of a prompting in my spirit that told me to write it, so it has been an act of obedience to that prompting, so I can glorify God.

You have had to look back over some painful and traumatic moments throughout your life in order to write this book. How was that experience and have you discovered anything new about God and your life journey in doing so?

Writing this book has been a challenging process! Firstly, because I have never had any training in writing and secondly, because it has meant revisiting some very painful moments in my life. 

Each time I have sat and written, I have asked the Holy Spirit to help me, and in the 4 years it has taken me, I have felt that I have not been alone during the process. Some days I struggled to know what to write, but slowly the story came together. The process, at times, required a box of tissues beside me as I relived the pain of that moment. I think this has led me to a stronger place and made me grateful for all that I have.

Recounting the pain also showed me the faithfulness of God in providing for all my needs and the victorious power of redemption. I see life from a different perspective now. Writing the book has shown me where my experience lies and it has led me to see that I have an ability to journey alongside others as a mentor. 

As I neared the end of writing Stretched, I sensed God saying, I know you’ve found this hard, but I will take care of the publishing, expect it to be easy. And it has!

Do you view your writing as a spiritual practice? 

I have found journaling very helpful in my spiritual walk. It’s given a space where ideas have come and has provided an outlet for unloading my jumbled thoughts. Reading back through those journals has also provided proof of how far I’ve come and reminded me of God’s promises and faithfulness.

What is the most memorable part of your faith journey?

Probably, the time I asked God for a rainbow and Zoe came into my room with her toddler book!! 

So much has been memorable, but a couple of years ago I went on a prophetic ministry week in Denmark. This was an area I knew very little about and I wanted to stretch my faith. Here my faith took on a new level. I saw pictures for people which were encouraging to them and ‘fitted’ their life story. The rainbows had shown me that God speaks, but I realised on this trip that there is so much he wants us to know. It’s been so exciting hearing from God; hearing his voice guiding me, reassuring me and loving me.

The guidance God offered you through times of hardship is evident through your writing: do you have any daily reminders of his presence in your daily life?

I’ve created a habit to check out my ‘You version’ bible app every day, so I can learn scripture. I also do Beth Moore study books, which have really helped me apply scripture to my life and helped me grow. 

My daily life consists of me thanking God for everything. I’m often asking God what he thinks about life and asking him for his favour over the situations around me that cause concern. My favourite conversation is when someone asks me about God!

My daily walk has led me to believe His promises with greater certainty than I did! I’ve learnt how to decide to be under the shadow of Gods wings rather than live in the fear of what life might throw at me. It is a daily challenge.

What encouragement or advice would you give to anyone who is struggling through the pain of baby loss or challenging parenting issues?

If you’ve experienced losing a baby, allow yourself to grieve; your baby was a gift to you for the short time you had together, and their loss is very real. Talk about your baby with people who care for you. Try not to isolate yourself but get a balance of time alone and time with people who allow you to be yourself. Be patient with yourself, the pain will ease and your heart will heal in its own time. Try to find things to be grateful for, gratitude is a great positive energy booster and is a great combat to sadness.

Something I’ve learnt along the way is that the things in life that I see are so small in the grand scheme of time, and because I believe in life beyond here, I sense there is treasure being stored ahead of me. I believe I’m going to see Daniel again and there will be a purity about him that will be sweet to behold. 

Parenting a child with special needs and having lost a baby has shown me that life is a gift. I can’t control it or own it. I can’t decide whether I have breath in my lungs, but it’s my responsibility to decide what I do with the life I have been given. Having this belief has enabled me to hold both life and death as precious entities.

I would encourage you, if you’re a parent of a child or children with special needs; to remember that you are stronger than you think. 

I would encourage you to pray for your child and try not to give up.

I’ve had to learn to slow down in my interaction with Jasmine which has gifted me with more of a chance in being patient.

Be vulnerable about how you’re coping in getting help. Pray for help to be available, it’s a competitive world and help can be difficult to find. God has great resources.

Be kind to yourself.

If you could give a message to your past self as she was experiencing the events you describe in “Stretched”, what would you say to her? 

Dear Emma,

What a journey you are going to travel! It’s going to be an adventure. You’ve been designed to do this. You have all the resources you need to navigate your future life. You’re going to meet some incredible people along the way. The one you marry and the ones you give birth to will be among them. You knew from an early age what it was to be lonely and because of this you will have great thankfulness for the friends you will make as you grow older. People will be precious to you.

You will meet pain, but you will have an ability to deal with it and you’ll always know how to come back to joy. This pain will teach you many things and you will grow an ability to hear your heavenly Father’s voice with clarity and he will show you what to do. You will never be alone; there will always be someone to champion you and help you back up when you fall.

There will be times when you don’t understand, but you’ll be ok; you’ll know when to ask questions and when to just hope.

There will be times when you feel so lost, but don’t worry, it will just be a feeling, you won’t really be lost, there will always be a way ahead.

You will see some amazing things happen Emma, things you wouldn’t expect to happen naturally and these things will bring faith to your soul. You will feel energised and your faith will be fuel to even more amazing things. 

You will be ok Emma, keep holding on to faith, to hope and most importantly to love. I’ll be with you all the way!

Love Emma xx

Rainbows are a recurring theme through the book – what is their significance to you? 

Rainbows signify the promises of God to me. Promises are the final word and can be trusted. Promises make me feel safe and fill me with hope.

What effect do you hope “Stretched” will have on the reader? 

I would like the people who read this book to feel empowered. To be inspired that they too can navigate their storms and be victorious in their own battles. I hope that Hope is implanted and that for even just the one person who feels that they can’t fight any more, that they can pick themselves up and brush themselves down and fight for one more day.

Add your own comment

Comments

You must be logged in to comment.

Products mentioned in or related to this blog post
Stretched (Paperback)
Rutland, Emma
Retail price: £9.99
Your price: £7.99

Categories