Last week, a fellow Her View writer shared her story of being that mom in the pew at church, handling the souls of her daughters and the exhaustion that comes with it. Although her and I are in totally different places in our lives, I really loved reading her words. And I just so happen to sit behind that mom in the pew last Sunday at church, and I wanted her to hear these words…
Dear that mom in the pew,
I sat behind you in church on Sunday. I have never met you or your family before, and you have never met me or my husband before. You probably didn’t notice me, and that’s OK. You had your hands rather full with a baby, a toddler, your oldest, and your husband. But I want you to know that I noticed you. In fact you need to know that I noticed you. But I wanted to tell you what I noticed, because it probably isn’t what you’re thinking.
I lost track of how many times you apologized to me during the service. You apologized when your toddler had a brief meltdown. You apologized when you had to shuffle chairs to separate the toddler and oldest when they couldn’t quite handle each other. You apologized when you got up to feed the baby. You apologized when you came back from feeding the baby. You apologized when a sippy cup dropped at my feet. You apologized when another crayon fell in front of me. You apologized when a little sea of goldfish was spilled on the floor.
But I want you know that I didn’t mind. I didn’t mind even the slightest bit, because I had a front row seat to a woman so perfectly displaying the love of Christ to her little family. I know you were probably exhausted, and that you would have loved an hour to simply sit and be poured into. But you chose to sacrifice that so your kids could be poured into. So that your oldest could ask you questions about his Bible and listen to what the pastor was saying. So that your toddler could learn to sing and clap along with the worship music. And so that your baby could make adorable faces at the young woman watching you from the row behind.
And so rather than you apologize to me, I wanted to say thanks to you. Thank you for showing love, patience, selflessness, and care in everything you said and did during that hour service. I promise you that it did not go unnoticed. I don’t know what it’s like to wrestle 3 kids to church and I don’t know what it’s like to have a tiny human constantly needing me. But hopefully someday I will. And when that time comes, I pray that there’s a young woman behind me watching, and that she leaves church that day with the same gratitude for me that I felt for you last Sunday.