Rebecca Abbott is Eternity‘s senior writer and (almost) the proud co-host of Eternity‘s new podcast, Run Like a Woman. She is mum to three teenage girls and wife to a children’s minister/ chiropractor. And she is slowly learning to embrace the messiness of life this side of heaven.
It feels like I’ve been in labour for two years. The idea for a new Christian women’s podcast first landed in my lap in October 2019. As a writer, I cradled this unfamiliar embryo much like an unschooled, first-time parent – awkwardly.
During the first months of gestation, I consulted with Eternity‘s podcast experts. I tried to stretch my mind around how to craft content into listenable chunks. I learnt about slicing up episodes with ad breaks, moulding episodes into seasons and shaping seasons to fit yearly calendars.
Next, I entered the recording studio, where I brushed up against editing software. And I tiptoed into microphone territory to learn a few techniques.
Perhaps God was saying he didn’t want this project to go ahead. Or was he saying not yet?
Then it was time to face the cold, hard truth of podcast creation: good content does not guarantee listeners, and it also does equate to financial sustainability. It was time to seek sponsorship.
In September 2020 we secured some funding for the podcast through Christian women’s foundation Anglican Deaconess Ministries. It was a blessing that others saw the value of our vision. It was also nerve-racking – the pregnancy was public and others were invested in seeing it brought to fruition.
For the next six months, it was full steam ahead: creating a schedule of episodes, inviting guests and starting work on scripts. But then, doors closed. Perhaps God was saying he didn’t want this project to go ahead. Or was he saying not yet?
These podcast pains hit at the same time as the COVID-19 Delta variant hit Sydney. Everything seemed difficult. The same supernatural energy required just to go for a walk during Sydney’s long lockdown was also required to continue watering my podcast seedling.
Just when I felt it might be time to close the door on the dream, reinforcements arrived. Radio professional Penny Mulvey (who is also Bible Society Australia’s Chief Communications Officer) stepped in and podcast editor Bella Ann Sanchez returned from maternity leave. They were excited and enthusiastic about the scrawny seedling I had endeavoured to nurture. And they wanted to help it grow.
As the last two years of the pandemic have taught us, things don’t always go to plan.
By the time 2021 nudged Christmas, ten episodes of the women’s podcast had been recorded. Several episodes had also been edited. The graphic design had been created and a release date had been set.
So as 2022 begins to unfurl, one of the things I am most looking forward to is the launch of Eternity‘s Run Like a Woman podcast, with the first episode dropping on Thursday, February 3. My hope for this year is, of course, that this podcast will be successful – not just in terms of the number of listeners but, more importantly, in encouraging women in their life journeys with Christ.
But, as the last two years of the pandemic have taught us, things don’t always go to plan. The podcast could tank. Listeners might hate it. We might run out of time or money after the first season. All these possibilities might come to pass – or they might not.
And so, just as a pregnant, unmarried Mary pinned all her hopes on God, I remind myself to do the same this year. As in the words of the well-known song by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, In Christ Alone:
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand.