Today was hard… Really hard. I felt the crushing bricks of defeat. Being a mother on any good day is difficult. Being a mother on a BAD day is so painful… shame-filled… and lonely. I have readily believed and have been completely and utterly alone. Situations like today have made me want to run and hide because of shame or run into the fight with a fist up and destroying my enemy… AGAIN… alone. Fighting my own battles or retreating in defeat. Either scenario brought ZERO resolution but more pain. The pain of not doing enough, being enough, or being too much… Sadly I have spent too many years alone. With no real community, no real friends… just alone. I was a young mom who didn’t fit in groups… I was too young, I would not be welcome in the married couple group with the way my husband traveled, not divorced, I wasn’t military, and all the girls my age were in college and finding themselves… I was home changing diapers, nursing babies alone… The first few years of motherhood I would beg God to send me a friend, a mentor, a mother.. a band of women who I could seek guidance. Women who would love me, my family. Who prayed for us. I wish I could say that as soon as I prayed for that, it happened.. for me, it didn’t it took years. Way too many years…
I prayed that prayer for almost four years. I would drive to every church service sit on the back row with two babies in my arms. I would plead with God… PLEASE PLEASE JUST ONE WOMAN. I JUST NEEDED ONE. After each service I would put my babies back in my car and drive 30-minutes back home, babies crying and tears streaming down my face.. asking GOD WHY? What was so wrong with me that I deserved to be so isolated. Why?????? I so desperately needed people.
I will forever be grateful for the day I met my first prayer answered friend and mentor. After years of rejection, I almost let the opportunity slip away. I couldn’t understand why this lady would want to pursue me. WHY DID SHE KEEP CALLING?? Why would she want to spend time with me? After four years of total isolation why now… I had almost given up. I needed her, and she came at just right the time. Today… I have had many women who have come into my life at the right times. Many who have mentored me, befriended me and loved me. Women who valued me and saw my worth. God had finally given me a band of women. There have been several seasons since. Some of the same women are still there and a lot of new. Thankfully since that time, there has been a woman. One woman’s invitation to friendship broke off shame and rejection of being alone. With that invitation opened the doors to relationship and sisterhood. I hope today she reads this and knows how incredibly thankful I am for her life and her response to God when He directed her to me
Back to today, sitting in the conference room at work. I had a group of woman around me. Mothers, grandmothers, mothers who have adopted, mothers who have lost children, mothers who have lost husbands, mothers who have been single mothers… mothers who have lived life.. hard things.. real things… and when I received news that shattered my heart, I had this band in front of me. Instead of running to my office to soak in my pain I turned to a Mother. I let her know what was going on. She brought more mothers in.. mothers who were ready to war. Prepared to engage in this. Women affirmed my value… who didn’t shame me… But encouraged me, and who loved me. As mothers gathered around me prayed for my heart and my child’s heart I felt empowered. I am not alone anymore. I don’t have to give in or retreat. I have people. Good people. PEOPLE WHO HAVE ENCAMPED my life. While they prayed, I realized that every single one of us had hands and arms linked. I was a fighter with numbers now. I am not alone. I am empowered and strengthened by my band.
I so desire that Crowns Restored becomes a collaboration of women, mothers, students, career woman, married and unmarried. A community that is online or offline but banded… Joined together… An invitation that lets you know you are not alone and your story matters. A place to struggle, thrive, create, and belong. For your heart to truly be known.
YOU ARE VALUABLE. YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE LOVED. YOU HAVE PEOPLE. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.