by Janet Click
This wasn’t the only surprise Janet had as a new mother, but she soon discovered that God was sowing seeds for a new ministry that flourishes today. Janet first wrote her story for Connections, the weekly newsletter of College Church.
I grew up in a Christian home in the Bible belt, prayed the sinner’s prayer at age four to ask Jesus into my heart, was active in my church and attended Wheaton College. I had a lot of head knowledge, but never truly understood my own need for Jesus and his grace. That’s why my human efforts to reach out to others were ineffective.
In 2010, I was expecting our first child—a little girl we planned to name Lucy Abigail. We painted her room Fairest-of-Them-All Pink, created 100 handmade baby girl announcements and had everything ready.
Upon delivery at the hospital, we were surprised to find out we had a baby boy!
This wasn’t the only surprise motherhood brought into my life. I had expected motherhood to make me feel wonderful and fulfilled, instead I was plagued with numerous infections in those early months and was left feeling sad, lonely, depressed and discouraged. Through this very dark period, God, in his mercy, brought me on a journey that exposed four idols that were keeping me from serving him: performance, people pleasing, self-sufficiency and pride.
I had been self-righteous, focused on my ability to perform well, fueled by the praise and flattery I received from people, puffed with pride at my own self-sufficiency. God used my early failures as a mom to reorient me from myself to God, to illuminate my insufficiency and show me my need for Jesus, to strip me of pride and free me to serve the Lord.
At the same time God was working in my life, he began to bring moms into my path at the park and library, and I realized I was not alone. One mom I met was Jessica. She had gotten pregnant in high school and was a single mom. When she came over to my house for the first time, she told me she’d never been in someone’s home for a play date. She didn’t have any mom friends.
From a nominally religious home, Jessica became more interested in going to church now that she was a mom. She felt she didn’t know how to parent or how to discipline. Jessica needed community, a mentor and a relationship with Jesus. God continued to bring more moms into my life like Jessica, and I began to feel a burden for moms of young children who needed community, encouragement and support.
God was beginning to plant the seeds of a mom’s ministry in my heart.
Through too many miracles to name, in a matter of months, Mom2Mom was born at College Church, a ministry whose mission is to reach young moms for Christ and equip them in their God-given roles for ministry. It has been exciting to see God at work in the moms he brings to Mom2Mom. Some are from different churches or may not have a church at all. Some are followers of Jesus now, but they weren’t raised in Christian homes and are hungry for help to raise their children up in the Lord. Some moms are new to the area and looking to meet some mom friends, while others come specifically searching for a mentor.
Mom2Mom has a few components, including open gym times and mom’s night outs, but the main component is the gathering. This once-a-month, informal, casual, no-registration-required, come-as-you-are, when-you-can, for-what-portion-you-are-able-to-attend get together is meant to offer moms a forum to connect with other moms and mentors.
We have coffee and chat while the kids play and make a craft. Moms enjoy a 15-minute break mid-morning when the kids who are comfortable go with the mentor mom leaders to have a snack and watch a short video and sing songs. During this time moms hear from a mentor about how God has worked in her life since she has become a mom. After this break-out time, we come back together for a time of songs with the kids. Moms have shared how they love learning the songs their children are being taught, so they can continue to sing them at home.
My children love going to Mom2Mom, and it has been wonderful to have the spiritual encouragement as well as the practical tools to help me be a minister of reconciliation right in my own home. God has also used Mom2Mom as a tool for outreach. As I pray for opportunities for the Lord to use me as an ambassador for Christ, I’ve been able to invite the moms he brings into my path—at the store or library—to Mom2Mom.
Pray for Mom2Mom. Pray that God would guide the mentor moms as they seek to disciple the moms who come, that God would be working in the lives of the moms who attend to draw them nearer to Jesus, and that they would be filled up so that they could pour out into their families and communities.