This morning I was given the most wonderful opportunity. A true gift that I will tuck away and treasure. I was invited to be part of a group where my dreams were realized and now are coming true.
Ten years ago, I walked through the doors of a local church, and used every bit of courage I could muster to enter a room full of strangers. I had two babies under the age of two with me. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and felt in every way that I was “not enough.”
I had no clue what to expect. I was a lost in the maze of motherhood, and loaded down with expectations that I couldn’t meet. I wasn’t sure who I was anymore or where the person I once was went. I did not know what I doing, or where I was going. Motherhood was hard. My faith life was stale. And I felt like I was being broken into a million pieces.
I was being broken, to be built back up again.
When I sat down at that MOPS table, I didn’t know I was about to embark on one of the greatest journeys of my life. A journey that would allow me to travel alongside others, all on our own journeys but bound together by a thread of motherhood and love.
Over the next ten years, I kept walking through the doors of MOPS groups, sitting around tables, listening to speakers, discussing life and faith. I found my heart and soul, rediscovered my identity, and learned I wasn’t alone. I was fortified by food, encouraging words, and friendship. I was challenged to step into leadership and discover my purpose and calling.
Motherhood was still hard, but now I had strategies, insight, and a community around me. It was a matter of obedience and patience, putting one foot in front of the other, doing the next right thing. It was (and is) about failing, embracing imperfection, accepting grace, and trying again, and again, and again.
New dreams were being formed in me. My faith was sparked into a fire. God was calling me to try things that made me deeply afraid, yet He gave me the boldness to try them. The new things were exciting and scary, and they made me feel alive.
It was at MOPS when I first heard God’s calling to become a pastor to women and families. To teach the Word of God and encourage others in their faith. It was at a MOPS Leadership Event, eight years later, when I finally said it out loud. And it was only a few months ago, when I started my first class at seminary, taking steps forward into my calling.
Today, I walked through those same doors as I did ten years ago. I walked into the same room, filled with different beautiful strangers. This time I walked through those doors as a mom and also a speaker, knowing who I am and filled with joy and gratitude.
As I spoke, I fumbled through some of my words. The light and the warmth that poured through room’s windows took me back ten years ago. Looking around the room at each beautiful face brought me right back to where it started.
I was distracted with joy from overcoming the battles I fought over the last ten years, joy from knowing that hard stuff produces the best things, and joy from being firmly established in my faith and walking in God’s good plans. I was filled with gratitude to have this opportunity to share from a place a little further down the road.
This space, like so many other MOPS meetings rooms and gatherings, is a holy place. A place where freedom can be found. identity can be reclaimed, and journeys are pathways to new dreams. For me, this specific MOPS room and group will always be special as it is where my journey began, and a new one begins.
***To the Leaders & Moms of the Windham MOPS group, Thank you, thank you for your warm welcome and allowing me to join you. Each one of you brings something special and important to the table. And regardless of how you “feel” right now, I believe that through Jesus, you can be FULL OF..
- Faith to believe what God says about you
- Love to reclaiming who you are
- Courage to take the next step forward
- Bravery to say no to harmful self-talk and habits
- Grace to embrace failures and try again
- Leadership to guide your children as they grow
- Perseverance to advocate for my kids and see that they need
- Hope for the future
Press on, my friends, and live abundantly. I’ll be praying for you! ❤
Thank you Shanna for this and for coming today!
It was a lovely meeting and you shared a wonderful Spirit and message! 🤗
Thank you so much, Katie. It was so nice to be able to share the time with all of you. Many Blessings! 🙂