With an incredibly cute bundle of wiggly energy in her arms, she spent a good part of the weekend conference in the hallway just outside our Kalyn’s Secret booth. This mom missed most of the dramas, music and multimedia-enhanced messages of the Cleveland, Ohio Acquire the Fire event. She knew it was her job to man the hall. And she didn’t seem to mind; her son was worth every moment of her time.
“Thank you for your talk today. It was very helpful,” she softly directed toward me. I remembered seeing her in the parents’ meeting and I was so glad she had been a part of it.
I looked deeper into her eyes and knew there was more she wanted to chat about. As we drew aside to continue our conversation, the space of our generations seemed to fade. I looked at her and saw myself some 25 years earlier, holding my firstborn one-year-old.
We laughed about my two decades of hall duty. I didn’t learn her name, but I knew her soul. And immediately our hearts connected.
She was a mama searching out her role. Unsure of her Christian parenting skills, but passionate in her call. Every new day was a joy, yet every new day was a new question. Would things ever get easier, she wondered?
Could she really be much use to God if all she did was hold her baby and care for his needs? Where was the time to be the pastor’s wife she thought she ought to be? And how could she ever make it if even more children filled her arms?
The span of one generation did not change the questions or the answers. I hoped I could fill the Biblical role of one of the wise, older women.
“Just enjoy the sweet season of today,” I advised, “when diapers and strollers and sleepless night crowd out the fancy women’s ministry plans. For some day, the season will change. Babies grow to teens as your home gains momentum and purpose. Right now you are working on your life message to be shared in the years ahead.”
I looked down at my slightly wrinkled hands next to hers and I chuckled to myself. If only I had listened to my own advice when I was her age.
The seasons did surely change, but my destiny did not. And yet I wish I could go back to hold that tow-headed baby boy named Nathan one more time. That, however, is never possible, except through the eyes of this young mother.
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