I was having coffee the other day with a friend and this story came up from when I was in my 20’s, and she encouraged me to share it with you all..so here goes.
This story was a pivotal point in my journey of motherhood that was extremely painful at the time, but has matured me in countless ways that I am so grateful for! This is a story that I feel all moms can relate to, whether you are a full-time working mom, a stay-at-home mom, or a part-time working mom…we are ALL IMPORTANT and our roles as moms are so valuable!
When my three boys were 4, 3, and 2, my husband and I drove half-way across the country to attend a series of meetings that my husband was asked to be involved in.
We were super excited to attend this meeting so the 17 hours of driving didn’t bother us much. (My husband and I love road trips…even back then when our kids were little). My husband had to leave early for the second day of meetings since he would be actively involved that day. I arrived later with my 3 boys and sat in the back of the sanctuary in hopes that I could keep them quiet long enough so that I could listen to the message that day.
After just a few minutes of the sermon, my sons began making some noise…I was so engaged in the sermon that I honestly didn’t notice….or maybe it’s because I was so used to their noise that I didn’t notice…
Well, suddenly an usher was in front of me and rudely asked me and the kids to leave the meeting. Everyone in the surrounding pews turned and stared at us.
I was horrified and felt so humiliated, but of course I obliged. I quickly rushed out of the sanctuary into entryway of the building only to find that there was visibly no other room for me to take the kids into to keep them quiet, except the women’s bathroom!
I took the kids into the bathroom, fighting back my tears of disappointment and humiliation, and tried to keep them as quiet as possible during the meeting.
After about 30 minutes, when I heard commotion in the entryway, I realized the meeting was over and came out of the bathroom with the boys and found my husband. Literally EVERYONE who came out of the sanctuary was RAVING about how amazing the service was, including my husband. At this point he had no clue why I was sitting in the bathroom (because he had to be in the front for the whole meeting).
Meanwhile, I felt absolutely horrific inside but was still trying to keep it together for the rest of the meetings that day. Not only was I feeling sad and humiliated, now I also was even more disappointed that I completely missed the service where others were encountering GOD!
At the end of the night, a sweet older mom friend walked up to me and said, “Are you ok?”
I quickly nodded yes, in hopes that she would leave me alone.
However, in her wisdom she said, “Really? Because you haven’t looked ok all day…”
At that point, I just burst into tears and sobbed my heart out to her. I told her about what happened and about how disappointed I was that in a community where people preach about how children are a gift from God, how could I be so unkindly kicked out of the service because of a little noise from my kids…and did I mention that we drove 17 hours just to attend these meetings ?! (in case my readers are wondering… I was ushered out by a guy who also has kids, not a single person…).
This kind and seasoned mom of 7 kids, just listened to me, let me cry, and said she was sorry. I am so grateful to this loving friend…
But this incident actually launched me into a journey of healing, where God was trying to heal these broken places in my heart.
I ended up crying the whole next week after those meetings.
I was so hurt and places of pain in my heart were being brought to the surface. I would literally wake up in the middle of the night and my face and pillow were already wet because I was actually crying, in my SLEEP!
When I was single, I was active in ministry and was a leader in our church, so naturally I was very visible.
But after I got married and had a honeymoon baby, my priorities changed as my season of life shifted. And on the weeks when my husband would preach, I would stay in the back of the sanctuary with my son and sometimes have to leave the sanctuary, and sit behind the glass doors so that my son wouldn’t be a distraction. I felt so spiritually dry, but I thought this was normal.
This caused some sadness and disappointment in my heart that I ignored. I realized that I never fully surrendered this sadness and disappointment to the Lord until this incident…and that is what led to my week long tear bath.
I finally could not hold onto my disappointments in any longer, but more importantly God didn’t want me to hold onto that stuff any longer.
This painful incident actually was a blessing!
Because after I forgave the usher and saw what God was trying to bring up so that I could deal with it, there was genuine healing for me.
This incident caused me to face my pain, heal, mature, and embrace motherhood.
It also caused me to learn some other important lessons, here are a few:
- Yes, maybe that usher could have asked me to leave in a kinder manner, but we are all maturing and growing…God has lots of grace for him and for me.
- Up until this point, I had accepted my season of motherhood and the changes it brought, but I had not EMBRACED it for all that God had intended it to be. Once I embraced the season of motherhood that God had me in, He gave me great JOY in it. I now love being a stay-at-home mom. It is a great privilege and I feel honored that I get to be home for my kids while they are young.
- In my immaturity, I did not fully realize that God can meet me anywhere. He can meet me at a church service with the best of preachers, He can meet me at a revival meeting, He can meet me in a prayer meeting, but He can also meet me in the kitchen when I am doing dishes for the thousandth time, He can meet me during the day when I am homeschooling my kids, He can meet me when my kids are sick and my husband is away on a trip and I am wiping my 4 year old’s nose for the 20th time, and He can also meet me in the bathroom (like he did when I was 28), when I had nowhere else to hide…when I was feeling humiliated and sad, HE MET ME.
I am so grateful for the healing God brought to me through this incident when I was a young mom because honestly now, when my husband comes home and tells me about another great meeting he attended, I am 100 % happy for him. And after my husband is done sharing about how God met him at his meeting, I can also share with him about how I met God during my day, where I never left the house, but HE met me.
How about you? Do you have a similar story to share? If so, I would love to hear about it!