Proverbs 27:9-10 (VOICE)
9 The heart is delighted by the fragrance of oil and sweet perfumes,
and in just the same way, the soul is sweetened by the wise counsel of a friend.
10 Do not neglect your friend or your parent’s friend for that matter.
When hard times come, you don’t have to travel far to get help from family;
A neighbor who is near is better
than a brother who is far away.
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting a MOPS meeting in my area to see if it is something that I would want to join. Mop’s stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. It is a nationwide program that has different chapters all across the country. I easily found one in my town by going to their website and putting in my zip code. You can also do this by visiting: http://www.mops.org/ MOPS is a Christian based organization. The meeting that I went to was held at a local church. They had day and night sessions available on different days of the week. They also provide childcare for your preschoolers.
Honestly, I went into the meeting with low expectations. I expected to meet maybe 5 other moms just getting together and sharing stories (which would have been fine with me). When my preschoolers and I arrived, it was pouring rain. I was struggling to walk and keep them under the umbrella. A lady with a covered golf cart came and picked us up and dropped us off in front of the church. I was shocked to walk into a beautiful facility equipped with secure childcare, several tables set up to hold the approximately 40 women attending, A buffet breakfast with coffee (which I’m so sure most of the moms needed, including me), and a podium set up with a big screen behind it, waiting to present that day’s topic.
All of this was very impressive, but this is not what makes this group so special. It was obvious that these ladies connected. They connected on a personal, relational, emotional, and spiritual level. The meeting started out as a big group. They gave away prizes, celebrated each other, and gave announcements. They shared the topic of woman who have lost a pregnancy/baby and how it affects the family and those around them. They did a devotion, gave testimonies, shared scripture, prayed, and even had a counselor come speak and offer her services to those who needed it. We all cried together. The compassion and unity in the room was amazing. After the large group was finished, they gave everyone balloons to release in honor of their baby that is with Jesus or for a baby lost by a loved one.
After leaving the large group session, we branched off into smaller groups. Once they place you into a group, it is yours for the remainder of the year. We sat in a room and discussed the topic on a more intimate level. The counselor went into each room to see if anyone needed anything. The leaders made themselves available for prayer and counsel. I never felt out of place or like an outsider. They all welcomed me and treated me like I belonged.
Often times as woman, we feel alone. We go through things trying to be strong and putting on facades to maintain our image. We think no one will understand, or don’t want to bother people with our issues. The truth is that we all go through things and there is nothing new under the sun. God wants to heal us and make us whole. The enemy loves when we keep our hurt and toxic emotions to ourselves. The reality is that God uses us and others to edify, bring clarity, wise counsel, and strength to one another. When we stay out of fellowship with others, it keeps us from using our gifts, talents, and testimony. It also keeps us from receiving the same from those that God wants to use to bring us victory.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
We must rebuke pride and die to our flesh. Our struggle is real. Whether we are struggling with an emotional, mental, physical, natural, or spiritual need, it is important to have like-minded people around us that can sharpen us.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
These ladies were amazing and I’m so glad that I decided to go.
Proverbs 31:29-30New King James Version (NKJV)
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
The woman that I met deserve to be praised. They are beautiful from the inside out and clearly fear the Lord. I can’t wait to join the group and continue to grow in fellowship with them.
Ladies, if you have been feeling alone, I encourage you to find an outlet. MOPS worked for me and I truly enjoyed it. You might not be a mom of preschoolers. Maybe you have another need that needs to be met. Please do some research and see what your church or community has that can encourage you. You are never alone. God is with you, but He also has others who you can connect with to share your struggles and victories with. The kingdom of God is relational. We all are part of the body of Christ and each of us are significant to the other. We must stay connected and lift each other up to be who God has created us to be.
Father we thank You for divine connections and friends. Forgive us for being prideful and keeping to ourselves. Help us be more relational and open up to receive the healing and wholeness that You desire us to have. Let our testimony bring victory to others as it helps us overcome. Help us be open to connections that we normally wouldn’t consider. Lead us to people that will sharpen us and help us grow. We want to excel in doing well and be praised because we fear You. Order our steps and lead us to a place that will benefit us in whatever season of our lives that we are in. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!