Have you ever wondered why being served is so hard to accept? How asking for help makes us feel inadequate? I don’t know if this is true for you, but it’s true for me. For me, the root of the answer to those questions is pride. Currently, my pride is hidden in “mommy guilt”.
We live in a world driven by Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and the list goes on of social media sites driven by the perception of perfection. We are surrounded by pictures of what motherhood looks like in “Once Upon a Time”, but rarely are we exposed to the reality of the down and dirty of being a mother, being a parent. This fake reality tends to first rear its ugly head the second our sweet babes are born or upon initial adoption. We have this ideal picture in our heads of how the babies are supposed to function and how we are supposed to do more than merely survive those first few weeks and months.
Truth is, those times are hard, like really hard.
As moms, we find solace in a 3-minute shower and get excited when we get to brush our teeth on the same day as the shower. We deny help from other women in the church, though, because we “should” be able to do this thing called motherhood and if we can’t, then we must be a failure, not only as a mom, but as a Christian, because isn’t motherhood what we Christian women “do”? Often times the reality of spiritual warfare shows us just how inadequate we are and mostly speaks in whispers to us in the middle of the night when the shadows close in and illuminate those whispers.
Oh, but grace, my friends, there is sweet grace.
There is redemption in the middle of the night when the baby is screaming and hasn’t stopped for an hour even after you’ve tried every trick in the book. There is redemption in the daytime when you have been spit up on for the fifth time in 30 minutes and your other child just helped himself to some milk and cereal which is now all over the kitchen floor. Redemption? Yes, remember, you are not alone.
There are women in the church, in our church, who have been there or who are currently there or who are about to be there. We are called to live in community outside of the cultural norm. We are not called to live in a false reality full of rainbows and babies that don’t wiggle their way out of a swaddle. The word “fine” should not be in our vocabulary. We are called to live in a gospel-centered, real, in your business because I love you, community.
The Journey Companions is a group of women at Exodus who have been there where you and I are, in the middle of the night when the whispers come, and women who have served lovingly alongside another who has been there. The Journey Companions group was established because there are those members in the church who have seen and want to stop the lies that women are being served and the darkness those lies can bring to the lives of those who hear them.
It’s a little strange being on the receiving end of a Journey Companion to be quite frank. I’m similar to most other women in that I like to be the one serving because I feel like that is what I am “supposed” to do. There will be time for that once again. For now, though, I am allowing myself, and my family, to be served in a time where we are vulnerable, tired, and appreciative of food as well as moments to shower.
If you or a family at Exodus that you know of are in need or want of somebody to walk beside you just as a friendly reminder of community, please don’t hesitate to contact us, a community group leader, or an elder. We would love to walk alongside you through this special, but honestly, hard time in your life. Also, this is not limited to biological children. If you are in the process of adopting or have recently adopted, we would love to walk along side you as well.
Remember, his grace is sufficient for you and me, but grace won’t always show up with a big red bow; sometimes it shows up in ways we least expect. Let’s live in community in a counter-cultural way and show the rest of the world the gospel lived out.