At the end of every Selah year, I ask moms what topic helped them the most. Far and away the most common response is not a topic but rather the blessing of community. Information is important, but on its own, it’s just words. Greater than teaching is the security and strength found by being surrounded by people who understand your day-to-day life. As moms, it’s such a relief to know that whoever is at your Selah table won’t whisper about the bags under your eyes or judge you for how you responded to your child on the way out the door. And we find necessary refreshment in being cared about and prayed for each week. Community is always important but community for moms is even more vital. We can feel so alone, trapped some days, in our own home and our own mind. We talk in broken sentences to our toddler and crave adult entertainment. We feel overworked and underappreciated. And we can easily feel like we’ve lost our identity. When we gather together we find out that we are not alone and that there is worth in what we are doing.
Recently I received this powerful testimony that beautifully describes the healing power of community:
I first heard of Selah from a friend. She told me that it was a great way to connect with other moms.
I had just had my second child when I joined Selah and I was overwhelmed, feeling lonelier than ever and feeling not so great about the way motherhood was going for me. I did not know what to do with a lot of the new emotions and milestones my oldest child was going through and I was struggling with the fact that I could not give my 100% to him anymore now that we had a new baby in the family. A lot of the time I felt that becoming a mom was a big mistake and that I was not meant to be one. I would go to bed at night and cry myself to sleep because I wasn’t the mom that I want to be.
At Selah I had the chance to share my feelings with people that understood and would tell me that I was not alone and that it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. They would listen, give me a shoulder to cry on (and I cried a lot!!) and pray for me. I got connected with other moms and learned great tips in how to deal with a lot of situations like how to control my anger, review my expectations, spend my time with things that really matters and appreciate my kids and other people in my life and that felt great. But most of all, I could reconnect with my kids and understand that God has CHOSEN me to be their mother and no one can do a better job than me. I learned to go to Jesus when I feel overwhelmed or fearful and ask for His perfect guidance. I think every mother should be part of a ministry like Selah, just seeing how much I have grown as a mother and as a wife makes me grateful for having this kind of support.
The power of community happens because this is how God has created us to live. Hebrew 10:24 says, “do not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
On our own we are weak and the enemy knows this! 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Lions attack the weak and those that have been separated from the pack. The enemy knows you are weak when you don’t have supportive relationships so he’s going to do his best to get you keep you from having these. The most common trick he uses is to fill your head with thoughts that sound like your own. The Bible says he is the father of lies. These lies sound like: “Nobody notices me anyway”; “It’s too hard to get out the door”; “I’ll never change”; “My problems are bigger than everyone else’s”; “I don’t need help”; “There’s no point.;”etc. These lies cause us to put up masks and not allow others into our lives. Another trick he tries is to cause mistrust, disunity and bitterness to grow in our hearts. He’ll twist things others have said or cause us to overanalyze others’ response to us so that we feel unloved or unwanted. He may also cause us to think ugly thoughts about others so that we don’t want to be around them.
When you hear those things it’s time to go to war! As it says in Ephesians 6:12, you need to stand strong against the enemy and not let him convince you otherwise. I’m not saying there won’t be days when you legitimately need to stay home, but I am suggesting you double check your reasons when you feel the need to be alone.
There is protection and safety when you are with the pack. The enemy has a much harder time getting to you there. As the saying goes, “there is strength in numbers”. When you’re with the pack they can help you discern the lies from the truth. When you know the truth you can more clearly hear God’s voice and stay moving forward on the path He’s called you to.
Recently a Selah table leader sent me a picture that she received from Jesus while praying for Selah. I asked her for permission to share it with you all because it so beautifully describes this safety.
“I saw a picture of a solitary mom trying to walk through deep, freshly fallen snow. It takes all her effort to blaze a trail through the snow and she is exhausted and ready to give up. She stumbles and cries out to Jesus for help. Suddenly He’s there! He helps her up and begins to walk in front of her, breaking through the snow and making it easier for her to walk. Then the picture zoomed out and I saw all the ladies from my Selah table each walking through the thick snow, really struggling. Jesus begins to call them to come over and one by one they leave their individual paths and start to follow Him in the path he is breaking through. Pretty soon all of the ladies from my table are walking on the same path with Jesus in the lead. When a mom feels weak they can move to the back where the snow is so packed down that they can walk without trouble.”
It truly is better together than alone!
See you at Selah,