A Mother's Touch
It was a whirlwind of emotions the first time I brought my newborn to youth group. I'd been so overwhelmed with the diaper changes, feeding schedule, and lack of sleep, that preparing for our normal activities became a distant thought. This made me feel guilty.
There was also the constant fear that my baby would disrupt the group, so I’d find myself retreating to the corner of the room to hide. Even if I tried, it felt impossible to engage with the youth, let alone make an impact on their lives.
This caused a question to rise inside of me: had I exchanged my calling in ministry for motherhood?
The following months I wrestled with the idea that I'd “lost my touch.” I mean, I could hardly get out the door without having anxiety, it felt valid I was questioning my place in ministry. It wasn't until a friend and mentor of mine made an off-hand comment that changed my perspective.
“A mother is perfect for the job! The youth kids will feel more comfortable and be more open since you have a baby,” she said.
This was a breath of fresh air. I’d been so focused on the negative changes like having no time, the baby crying, and pure exhaustion that I failed to acknowledge the positive change motherhood brought for the ministry. Being a mother (even with a baby at my side) could open the door to a more comfortable and natural relationship with the students.
I believe God has entrusted us moms with the ability to be more empathetic, supportive, and caring to those around us, also known as the motherly touch. I’m talking about that deep desire to cherish, protect, and nurture our little ones. We can let this wonderful emotion overflow and enrich our day to day activities. As my friend pointed out, there is something about the presence of a woman with a baby that’s inviting.
One of the best examples on how to be a witness through our day to day is the Woman of Noble character found in Proverbs. The verses talk about how she is a hard worker, a merchant, craftsman and more. It isn’t until the end of the chapter that it’s revealed she’s a mom, but all throughout the verses are hints of her motherly touch. It seems everywhere she goes she’s “clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise and she gives instructions with kindness.” (Proverbs 31:25-26)
You might be thinking “Oh, I can’t possibly do as much as her and keep my head on straight.” You're right, I don’t think I'd be able to either! Thankfully, we don’t have to take on everything, the point is to let God use us where we’re at.
If your story is anything like mine, take heart Mama, you haven’t lost your touch. Just as God equipped the Proverbs 31 woman through all she did, He will equip you. It doesn’t matter that the house isn’t clean, or the laundry is half done, or you’ve had no time to prepare properly. Simply display the qualities motherhood has to offer and it will bring opportunities for a beautiful and impactful day of ministry.