I sat there blinking back tears. I never thought I would see myself in that place again. After over a decade of living outside that life, I somehow managed to be a part of a Moms of Preschoolers group, even though both of my kids are nearly grown. Just the day before I had taken my oldest back for her second year of college. I cried then too.

As a Minister to Preschoolers and Families, it only seems natural for me to be a mentor to those sweet moms. Moms of preschoolers buzzed around me. Each one talking about sleepless nights, cleaning up puke, and the relentless begging for food and attention. They were tired, so glad to be among moms in similar seasons and each one thankful for a place to be accepted during this time in their life. I was honored to be part of their conversation, that they would share a glimpse of what their lives are like with me…what mine used to be like.

I found myself longing to be back in those shoes for just a moment. Back when my kids needed me. I could do without the puke and the constant whining. But what I wouldn’t do for another chance to read another bedtime story, share giggles over chocolate milk, or enjoy sweet summer play time in the back yard wading pool. Now I am just lucky if they are home at the same time.

Eighteen years ago I sat in the very same room sharing similar stories of carpool and picky eaters, and wished away the time I spent wiping noses and changing diapers. I wished my kids would grow up and become independant women so I could have more time for myself. Just one moment alone. That’s all I wanted.

I wish I hadn’t wished for that.

But, as sad as I was last weekend to drive off and leave my oldest on her college campus one more time, and as much as I wish my youngest would rather spend time with me than with her boyfriend, I can’t help but smile at the sweetness of God. Every part of my life is woven together so perfectly, like a beautiful celtic knot. So many intricate pieces to create something marvelous.

God creates so much good out of all the mundane things we take for granted and He never wastes anything. I sat in all those MOPS meeting years ago soaking it all in just so I could one day squeeze it all back out and shower other moms with hope and encouragement. Who wouldn’t want to be used in that way? Who couldn’t get excited to see God working tangibly like that?

I got home that night and cried some more over that realization and it gave me so much peace. Every trial we face and  every hard thing is preparing us to turn around and bless someone else from the other side. Multi-faceted grace. That’s our God.

 

Bethany Donham

Bethany E. Donham is married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of two beautiful teenage girls. She is a full time Minister to Preschoolers and Families, but has a passion for guiding others to see the world with a Biblical perspective through her writing.

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