Updated: Feb 20, 2020
A couple years back, I joined a mom’s fellowship group on Wednesday nights, mainly to avoid dropping my kids at youth group, only to turn around a short time later and drive 30 minutes back to pick them up. This seemed logical. I’d chat with new friends over a chapter of a book we were studying, and my homeschooled kiddos checked off their box for social engagement.
The funniest part was the upcoming study these moms were about to jump into had something to do with raising teens. Ha, I thought. My four kids are amazing. Not sure what I’ll get out of this book, but okay. I continued with the group anyway, and imagined all the fabulous tips I could share with these lucky ladies.
You know that verse in the Bible that talks about pride going before a fall (Proverbs 16:18)?
Yeah, that was me.
Dust in the face, this mom found herself a few months later sucking up some pretty nasty dirt
as my noggin hit the ground in shame. It turns out that one of my kiddos started to stealthily
rebel. This made no sense to me. I homeschool my children, we attend church Sunday and
Wednesday, and I talk openly to them about sex, society, God, relationships, money—you name it, we discussed it, because I make every effort to cover what they need to know to set them up for success. For goodness sakes, I was the uber-transparent mom, I couldn’t imagine how could I have prepared them better?
I thought I had it all together. I was the read-every-book-on-parenting mom. The praying
mom. The monitor the kids’ cellphone mom. Okay, yes…somewhat of a helicopter mom. But
life happens, mistakes happen, and ultimately, with the right support and much prayer, glorious growth happens.
Not only did my child learn gobs through this rough patch they ouch-ed their way through,
but this momma found herself leaning a tad more on her new group of friends. And as it turns
out, my self-serving motives to join a Wednesday-night Women’s group to avoid driving home
between youth group drop-offs turned out to be the best blessing yet.
Funny how God works this way.
We need people. An assembly of them. Even though I have the most amazing best friend, an
incredible hubby, a loyal sister who listens when I prattle on, I now experienced the refreshingly beautiful meaning of the verse in Galatians 6:2 that tells us to carry one another’s burdens.
What an accurate picture of evenly distributing the weight of life that would crush us if we
shouldered it alone. God created us for fellowship. This is especially true during the parenting years. If we think we can do this raising-kids-thing alone, we are sorely mistaken. Childrearing is hard. We pour everything into our babies when they’re growing up and assume they’ll model what’s been taught. But they have minds of their own, and choices they need to make, and consequences, whether good or bad, they need to experience. And all a mother can do is teach, pray and cling to supportive friends who can lift us up when our weary souls feel beat down.
As the wounded hole in my heart slowly healed each week I showed up and these ladies
prayed over the situation, I imagined this is what the Bible meant about iron (them) sharpening warped iron (me) as wisdom crossed between us sitting around the church office table. I ended up needing their fellowship (and apparently the parenting book) more than I ever imagined. It started with opening a place for them to join in this journey, even if it was just to bounce ideas around about raising teens, because we all had something we were facing in life and praying one another through.
I’m happy to say we’re on the other side of this rickety hurdle, praise the Lord. And guess
what I want to do more than ever? Yes, first celebrate that my child made it through with minor scrapes and bruises, and is much wiser than they were a year ago. That’s something to be thankful for! But girl, do you know how hard I want to pray for these women who helped me carry this burden for months? Any time one of them asks for prayer, you better bet I write it down and petition the Almighty on their behalf each day. I can’t wait to return the favor. Seeing the results of faithful friends only ignites my passion to carry on their loyalty.
We need that type of camaraderie between one another.
In the end, I learned that my teen’s misstep had little to do with what I did or did not do as
a momma, even though I felt like I dropped the ball. My child one day reassured me that I could have talked to them until I was blue in the face, and they still would have faltered. They humbly admitted through fresh tears that they needed to learn for themselves how much this foolish situation stung for them to know what to do if they ever faced a similar circumstance again. And you know what? They did face another conundrum one day. But this time my more mature child stood up for themselves.
Yes, I almost cried the day they told me how they handled the problem. This child had
morphed into a more mature, godly adolescent even in the face of foolishness. I could never have planned this divine scenario.
But He could.
I wish more details could be shared in this story, but what I hope you hear is that the through
much prayer, beautiful lessons were learned, and we all surfaced stronger on the other side with eventual healing, growth, and for me, the sweetest sisterhood of newfound friends.
What about you? Do you have a group of ladies to share life’s ups and downs with? If not,
I’m praying you find your own “Wednesday-night Women” to invest in. Take it from me, they
may be your best blessing yet.