Wednesday, April 29, 2015

4 Brave Mamas

           Oh my goodness Mamas, yesterday was powerful! Four AMAZING women shared their MOPS testimonies, and I balled like a baby. Seriously, I don't even know if I can read my notes, they are covered in tears. What struck me the most when I heard each woman share their unique story, was how much I related to all of them. I was like 'Yay they're as messy as me!' And then in discussion time, I found that others at my table had messy stories too, beautiful messes!
         First to share was the funny and beautiful Mama, Megan. She was so brave to go up on stage and keep it real! I really admired her transparency. She shared her struggles as a new believer, and then as a new Mama. Megan had Post Partum depression and struggled with anger. When she first joined MOPS, she felt the need to "Fake it till I make it," but God kept reminding her to trust Him. Through coming to MOPS, God used some women to rally around Megan through encouragement and unconditional love. Today, she is so thankful for God, her family, and MOPS. Megan shared how she is the youngest Mama we have in our group, but I feel like God has given her great wisdom. Her words of encouragement for us are "Trust God, be honest, and ask for help. He will send the right people into your life, you only need to let them love you."

      Next up to share is the magnanimous Katie. The second I met Katie, her warmth made me feel like I had known her for years. I would have never expected she had such a trial in her life. Katie shared about being separated from her family, feeling isolated and having a marriage that was falling apart. When she first came to MOPS, she had fears of being judged. But no one ever judged her, and she felt loved. She was able to share with her table leader her struggles, and that she was on the verge of packing up and leaving her husband. Her table leader was there for her and gave her godly wisdom. Through counseling and our Great God, her marriage is better than ever today, and her husband became a believer last year! Praise the Lord!
I am so impressed by Katie's trust in God and her ability to share with her table leader. Katie's advice to us is to "Ask for help and open up. Without these moms, I wouldn't be with my husband or have my family." Thank you, Katie, for being so brave!

      Next up is someone I call a friend and was instrumental in bringing me to MOPS. The lovely and sweet Amy. Amy also struggled with Post Partum Depression and feelings of loneliness. Her mentor recommended she join MOPS, and like our sisters above she hesitated at first. But when she came she realized "I am somewhere where people are kind of not okay too." She also shared about her battle as a perfectionist. The Lord revealed to her...."Amy, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of you, it matters what God thinks of you." So true Mama! Amy is on leadership at MOPS. On of the best pieces of advice I thought she shared was that she turned her focus outward to serve others. Instead of looking inward like depression makes us do, MOPS gave her an outlet to serve others and focus on them. Amy's brave advice for us is to "Just take a baby step out of your comfort zone!" and " We are all moms trying to figure it out, all wanting to do the best for our kids." So refreshing to hear!!!

  Last, but certainly not least, is one of the funnest and funniest chics I know. I am thankful that I have been blessed to get to know her this year. She's the wonderful Ms. Teresa. Teresa had a tumultuous childhood that consisted of her parents divorcing, her mother's addiction to prescription drugs, and her step father abusing her mother. As a young girl she would tell God she hated him, and she learned to bury her feelings inside herself. This led to lack of trust, low self worth, and surfacey friendships. Teresa joined MOPS with her guard up. She was beginning to let them down and then she found out she was pregnant with her third child, while her second one was only 5 months old. She was devastated and began to put her walls back up. But you awesome MOPS moms opened your hearts to her and those walls came back down! God is so good! Teresa's last statements were so powerful I just need to share them all with y'all. "We are all broken. We need communities like MOPS to let our walls down." "I feel safe sharing my real self. Never did I think I could have these friendships." And my most favorite of her wise words "He loves me, He never left me. Even in dark days, He never left me!" Wow!

       Sorry I wrote a book, you guys, but I really feel the Lord saying through these Mamas, be open and share your hearts with each other. Each one of these women were apprehensive about joining MOPS. It was scary to all of them. Being real and truthful was scary to them too. But, just think how different their stories would be if they didn't reach out. Look at the Bravery of these women in spite of their fears. And, look how the Lord used their stories to encourage us to reach out. The enemy wants us to stay home and hide our fears deep inside ourselves. But our Great Father provides sisters to share with, give and receive love from, and know we are not alone. That deserves a Hallelujah!

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