July 16, 2014, was quite possibly the worst night of my life. As my husband and kids slept, I paced incessantly back and forth throughout our house, feeling as though my pain, sorrow, guilt, fear, and anxiety would burst through my skin. I was “bottoming out,” the culmination of several months of misery. I had been barely hanging in there for the previous 18 months. My relationship with my husband suffered and as a mom of a newborn and a small child I had very few other mom friends nearby, and spent most of my days starved for adult company.
I came to MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers Ministry) in the fall and immediately felt welcome. Women greeted me warmly, made me a nametag and a cup of coffee, and encouraged me to pray and fellowship. I felt such relief at knowing I was not alone and that there were other moms in my community who would offer support, encouragement, and love. During the next several months, MOPS would encourage me to work on my marriage and hone my skills as a mother. My weekly meetings were like a “booster shot” for the soul. The MOPS childcare workers welcomed my hyperactive son, and they greeted my (still fussy!) daughter with open arms. A month after starting at MOPS I became pregnant again. I was terrified, but my MOPS family prayed and supported me through the pregnancy. They gave me clothing for my daughter and offered to babysit during OB appointments. They inspired me to care for myself through exercise.
When baby #3 was born, I enjoyed daily visits from other MOPS moms who brought food and kind words. The MOPS leadership team reached out to me and encouraged me to return to meetings ASAP. The spiritual foundation of MOPS also rekindled my relationship with Jesus, and I love that meetings begin and end in prayer. All of the work that MOPS does, points to our value as women and moms in His eyes. I am grateful for MOPS’ constant focus on Christ’s love and grace.
I cannot thank my MOPS group enough for what they did for me during that terrifying year. They were truly the body of Christ during that time, healing my soul (and feeding my body!) as I swam out of a deep sea of isolation and depression, and I will always be thankful for their kindness and grace.