A young mother sat at the end of the last pew, in a church filled with wedding guests. In her lap, a nine month old baby girl squirmed, threatening to destroy the peaceful decadance of the sacred occasion. Alone in a sea of strangers, there to witness her childhood friend’s special moment, the young mother began to wish she hadn’t come. Where does one retreat, in a strange church, with an unruly baby, when every ear is craning to hear the maiden whisper of emotion filled vows?
At the reception later, she planned to stick it out through the receiving line so her friend at least knew she’d made the journey to be with her, when an older woman behind her in the long line tugged playfully at her baby’s foot.
“Is this your only child?”
“Yes, she is.” The mother turned, and recognized the older woman as one who had spoken to their MOPs group about homeschooling. Quickly she re-introduced herself to the tall blonde, and in turn was treated to meeting each of the woman’s teenage daughters.
“Where do you live now?” The older woman asked, resuming their initial socializing.
The line of guests moved along, and the two women chatted like old friends. The young mom went from feeling lost, to deciding to stay longer. Soon a dark-haired toddler tumbled to the floor, landing at her high heels.
“This is Clarissa.” Sheila, the older woman, stooped to steady the little one and help her on her way.
The younger mom’s arms ached from corraling her own youngster the past two hours. She watched curiously as Clarissa’s mom reclaimed her little girl and thanked Sheila.
Surprise heated her face when Sheila beckoned her to come over.
“Mary, do you know Kim yet?” she asked, her kind smile smoothing over any initial discomfort between the two young moms. “Kim is a stay at home mom, out in the country just like you, and Clarissa is only three months older than your little girl. Best of all, you gals only live maybe fifteen minutes from each other.” Leaning forward, she rescued the nine month old from her exhausted mother and departed with her, saying over her shoulder, “I think you two are the answer to each other’s prayers.”
And come to find out, we were. Kim had been praying fervently for a heart-to-heart friend, someone who shared her values and had children the same ages as hers. Right there in the line, with the friendship only five minutes old, she confided to me that she was expecting her second baby and hadn’t told anyone but her husband yet. Our bond forged, we planned a playdate for our little girls and we’ve been great friends ever since. We started homeschooling together; we attended Taste of Home cooking shows together; we’ve canned pickles and peach lemonade together, in her kitchen and mine, at night and during the day; we’ve bemoaned our shabby back porches together and brainstormed parenting issues for many phone hours together; we’ve welcomed each other’s new babies with casseroles and home made baby wipes…and best of all, out of all our acquaintances with kids the same ages as ours, we couldn’t pick any children we’d rather have our own hang out with.
Isn’t God good?
We parents have the great responsibility of protecting our children by choosing appropriate playmates and families with which to form lasting bonds.
Are you feeling alone, wishing you had another mom who loved the Lord as you do, someone to sharpen and grown alongside as you raise your children together? If you have young children and haven’t yet found another family at your pace in life, I encourage you to pray about it. Give the desire of your heart over to the King of Kings. Don’t you think He wants to pair us up with godly friends, so together we can spur ever onward and let His glory be made known?
Maybe there’s another mom out there, waiting around in a wedding line of strangers, and a future God’s got all mapped out just waiting for you both to discover…