Updated: Feb 15
In this episode, I welcome the captivating ‘Mom of TikTok’, Samantha Howsden Ward aka @MONW0102, to speak on her spiritual evolution that began with a God-fearing relationship to religion. Now, she chooses love over fear. Tune in to hear all the juicy bits of Samantha’s life story and expanding belief system, from the positive impacts of divorce to her son changing her parents’ expressions of love. How have YOU Chosen Love today?
This is what we are calling an Unboxing “God” Complete Convo - like we post on Patreon, for supporters, hint hint.
In this UBGCC, we welcome the captivating 'Mom of TikTok', Samantha Howsden Ward (aka @MONW0102). Samantha calls herself a ‘conundrum wrapped in an enigma’, as she has interests all over the place and she is who she is - growing daily and meeting people where they are. I (hey friends, this is McCall speaking!) certainly agree... and I’m sure you will, too, after you listen to this whirlwind of an episode!
Right off the bat, Samantha and I resonate with each other - over our polarizing -‘difficult to get used to’ - energies and personalities. We both love delving into a space of wonder, interest, and acknowledgement that leads to finding oneness with others, even when our faith walks are individually distinct. We are both convinced that, as humans, we can always find some common ground, or Overlap, no matter how different we may seem to be. Connection + Love = the root of our faith journeys.
Samantha shares how she overcame a bible thumping, God FEARing childhood with a Christian and mentally ill (psychotic, and even abusive) mother. She really discovered her faith when going through a divorce and learning to be a strong single woman who is finally okay being fully herself. Freedom, space, and grace flooded in when she 'swiped right' to meet her current husband, who is truly a gift and came along at just the right time. According to Samantha, there’s only one thing we have control over… and that’s our belief in a Higher Power!
“Relationships aren’t perfect, but the key is to find someone who truly makes your life walk a better place.”
Samantha hasn’t yet found a congregation that she feels suits and accepts her fully. Though, even with a bunch of childhood church hurt, she hasn’t pushed it away the idea of God. That’s because of her dad, her fabulous grandmothers, and making peace with her own mother before she died. Hymns provide Samantha great peace and joy -she even sings a bit of her favorite one- church music still brings up fond memories of loved ones.
“Most of my TikTok platform is to tell parents to stop parenting out of fear and parent out of love… when we have “fear-based” anything, we are squelched, and we can’t grow… When we choose our words out of love and if we choose our path out of love, there’s very little that can go wrong there.”
Fearing Hell will NOT help us reach our full potential. Fear shuts down the line of communication with our higher power. Worship and spirituality should not have limitations, as "God" lives far outside of them. Worship can take many forms; it can look like anything you want it to! We must accept the flaws and imperfections of others and let them walk their path the way it’s meant to be walked, which is uniquely different for everyone. We all have a place in this Universe and you never know the growth that’s happening within, until it spouts up. You don’t need to see growth to know it’s happening… and isn't that really what Faith is?
Samantha speaks of seeing her parents realize the value in her and her son’s presence, completely changing the way they viewed their relationship. She got to see them show Love to her son in the way she was never shown as a child. She allowed forgiveness, and learned that the people you want to have a relationship with must be ready to have that kind of a relationship. Samantha loves bibles, and loves to go back to Proverbs when she feels the need for clarity or a reminder on the purpose of life. She wants to read how other people have interpreted the world, based on their unique experiences, in order to understand the similarities and differences in one another. Her relationship with God has evolved throughout the various stages of her life, but -like McCall- it's always been a sort of wrestling match.
It’s important to ask questions, even if -especially when- the answers aren't clear. Look for the mystery in life. Explore. Find the good in others. Be kind. Make changes in yourself when necessary. Lead with Love, not fear.
Samantha would like to leave you with this message: In everything, we have to be lifelong learners and be open to change for the better. Come as a child to whatever you’re learning, without the preconceived notions.
Samantha’s TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@monw0102