This is not going to be a post about weight issues, but one about what is weighing in my heart. I haven’t spoke much about my faith, I have quite a background actually. I was baptized Muslim due to an agreement with my parents, but when they divorced, I went through the crash course to being converted to Catholic at the age of 15. It wasn’t until I started dating my husband when I began to question faith again and became a Christian in June 2003. I’ll have to share my journey for another time. You see, I have often heard of God speaking and moving in people’s lives. I have felt promptings and “whispers” but never acted on them, purely out of fear and being worried about what “others thought.” It all happened on Monday on my way down to Tampa for work. Here is how my day started:
A month ago, I received a twitter invite for Mom Bloggers to experience a morning at the Peninsula Spa in Chicago. Wow! I thought, how in the world did I get picked to do have this fun opportunity? I don’t consider myself an influential person and I just started blogging. I am just someone who purely loves to help folks get healthy and make positive lifestyle changes. I thanked God privately for this invite. It was a wonderful experience. Each service was amazing and the food was made healthy and tasty. I felt relaxed and connected with other local bloggers: Sassy Mom Chicago, Evolving Stacey and Miss Lori (yes from Miss Lori’s campus). I love spas and treatments, I won’t lie, but treating myself is few and far between.
I had a rushed and whirl wind day. After the Spa, picked up my daughter, get to Whole Foods, get her to dance class, catch a cab to O’Hare to get on a flight for Tampa for work. Here is where the story unfolds. How often do you hear a church pastor talking about God’s nudges on an airplane? I always had a hard time believing it until I sat next to a single, teen mom of a 15m old boy on the plane. He was adorable and reminded me of my son. Pudgy, blue eyes and a wiggle worm. She apologized profusely for her son’s behavior in which I replied I have two kids, please do not apologize. I opened up my computer to begin working. I tried to help her a bit in calming her son down, I know it can be tough. It was 7pm, understandably he was tired, cranky. She looked at me and asked what did I do for work? I told her as she was giving her son pop and fruit punch juice. It was hard for me to not say a thing about that. It was not my place. Then our conversation began:
Her: Are you a single mom?
Me: No, but my mom was…and I have great respect for single moms.
Her: Me too, I am moving back to Tampa to start a new life and live with my mom. I have seen her twice in 14yrs (if I heard her correctly)
Me: Well that is great to be able to start fresh for your son. I bet you are excited
Her: Eh, she shrugged her shoulders
I closed my computer and listened to her, her story on what happened, her son being a preemie, the baby’s dad, etc. I will not disclose it all to respect her privacy. But as her son was getting more fussy, she was getting more frustrated… I offered to help and give her a break, she kindly refused. I took a deep breath, went to the bathroom and prayed…my heart was feeling weighted, sad for this young woman and all single, teen moms. Lord, how can I help her? What do I do? You are pushing me beyond my comfort zone and honestly, I don’t like it. I teared up with my head in my hands, the smell of the spa still lingering in my hair, I looked in the mirror and just asked just Him to guide me and I’ll take your lead. I composed myself, deep breaths and went back.
She began to tell me some things about her son’s odd behavior. I opened myself to tell her about my son’s Sensory Processing Disorder and how that looks. I felt compelled to tell her this, because it happens to any child, no matter who you are. And I am not a perfect mom with a perfect family. Her doctor told her that her son’s behavior would pass…frustrated at the poor advice of her doctor, I encouraged her to get a good doctor in Tampa. We spoke more about what she wanted to go to school for and challenged her to think about something in a different way.
At the end of the flight, I gave her my card, wrote down Sensory Processing Disorder for her and told her, here is my card. If you have any questions about anything or need some simple advice, please do not hesitate to contact me and put it in her diaper bag. I wished her well in her new life in Tampa. I do hope to hear from her, I don’t know why, but she moved my heart thanks to God’s plan.
I have not had an experience like this before, but reading the book The Missional Mom in my Mom’s group is making me think more worldly again, to see life outside my “manicured community”. God has a job for us, for each and every one of us and how we use our purpose to honor Him. God cares so much for the poor, oppressed and the at-risk, yet so few of us are worried about those last few pounds, when a single mom is struggle to just put food on the table. I ask, How well are we treating those in greater needs than our own? In society? Are we raising our children in a world that truly reflects society? I’m not…and I consider myself cultural person, at least I thought in my own head. Take a look around your comfy home. Do your kids have friends of different race, color, culture? Are you busy giving them everything they want? What good are we doing about raising the future, when we are not helping those to make a better future?
In my book back in March, I wrote the words Teen Mom at the end of Chapter 4…I didn’t know why, but I served teen moms in my mid 20’s at a local center giving them health talks and just helping them make better choices, even if it was a bad choice. I didn’t have kids back then, so they didn’t take me seriously, until I had to set them straight and share my childhood with them. Many of these teen moms are battered, exposed to drugs early, and do not have the same access to the things we take for granted. It was where I want to serve again and now it is coming full circle.
My day started and ended on a different level. I wish I could have given her my morning at the spa. She far more deserved it than I did.
Thanks God for now pushing me way beyond my comfort zone and I will take your lead in how you want me to best serve You. You have humbled me before and will patiently wait on how You want to use me. Please take care of the mom and her son, may she find a better life, go back to school and find You in her heart.