I am the young mom in the pew. I’m sure you can hear us – me and my children. My baby loves to talk to the preacher and to the man who speaks a few words during communion. My son loves to call out each person’s name as they get up to the stage. Sometimes a matchbox car is launched skyward. Sometimes the baby poos… audibly. Sometimes our trail of raisins and goldfish is evident. And sometimes you can hear all our voices, combined in making a joyful noise to the Lord.
I am the young mom in the pew. My children watch you as you thoughtfully listen to the sermon and look up each scripture in your Bible. They see your head bow and your brow furrow as you focus on the words being prayed. They watch your lips and hear you sing unashamedly, even though you aren’t musical. They see that worship and the Great God are important to you.
I am the young mom in the pew. My children also watch as you browse Facebook during announcements or send a text during the sermon. They hear as you sigh audibly, as your foot taps ever so slightly, impatient for this to end. They see your lips move but they can’t hear you sing. And they ask why you aren’t worshipping like the rest.
I am the young mom in the pew. I am sometimes a distraction. I will have to take my children out to discipline them. Sometimes they will go quietly and sometimes they will try to grab and hold onto each pew we walk by. I will have to take the baby out to nurse her or rock her. She will cry and fuss and bury her head in my shoulder as I clutch to my toddler’s wiggly hand. I will be a little embarrassed sometimes. But I know that this is necessary.
I am the young mom in the pew. I often only catch 5 minutes of a sermon. I don’t always sing every verse of every song. I am sleep deprived and I often find my own mind wandering as I try to help my children’s minds to focus on the Lord. But I know that these hard years are important years, that my children are watching me, and testing my own faith to see if it is real.
I am the young mom in the pew. I miss the days when I could stand and chat carefree. Now, I chase small people and keep them from splashing in the water fountain. But those few minutes where you put your arms around me, smile and speak to me mean the world to me. Your experience, your wisdom, and your encouragement are what I need to hear. I need to know that you, too, had sleepless nights and dirty diapers and energetic children. I need to know that you too struggled to get up, to keep coming, to keep serving despite all the obstacles Satan places in our paths.
I am the young mom in the pew. How did you know I needed someone to sit beside me? How did you know I needed someone else to bounce the baby or open a box of raisins? How did you know I didn’t hear the song number and so you turned there for me? How did you know I needed another devotional book to read? How did you know I needed to cry or to laugh or to just be held for a minute instead of doing the holding?
Maybe because one day, years ago now, you, too, were the young mom in the pew. You remembered. And you cared. And that has made all the difference to me.
The Young Mom in the Pew