My faith didn’t start growing until my children did.

I didn’t sing hymns to my first baby while he was in my belly.

I didn’t have a ready-made list of Bible verses I couldn’t wait to teach him.

The only Bible I had was the small pocket-sized one someone gave me, which was lost in a pile of other books I’d never read.

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My baby wasn’t a newborn, or a baby, or a toddler the first time I handed him over to a nursery worker.

He learned his ABCs before Jesus Loves Me.

He didn’t pray for years because he never saw me do it, either.

And when I did—when I started praying in bed and singing the songs and learning about the things I’d been missing all along—

The devil never skipped a beat in reminding me of how I’d “wasted” so much time.

Of how I’d failed, so far, to “bring him up in the way he should go”.

How since I didn’t “start him off right” I might as well give up on it all.

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I wasn’t the mom with the heavily-highlighted Bible.

I wasn’t the mom who could say a pretty prayer without awkward pauses.

I wasn’t the mom whose child walked with God because he didn’t have any lead to follow.

But the best part? It wasn’t too late at all.

If I’ve learned one thing—it’s that we grow WITH our children.

And the moms I felt so intimidated by?

They probably also felt unprepared to answer their little’s burning questions.

The truth is, we’re never ready enough ALONE.

To the mom whose faith didn’t grow until her children did: it’s not too late.

Don’t believe your children aren’t impressionable just because they’re older.

Don’t throw in the towel just because it isn’t seemingly as white as hers.

Don’t, for one second, believe that now isn’t the right time.

God is the One with perfect timing; don’t carry that weight alone.

Because once you’re on this journey, you’ll realize the sound of your hymns and state of your Bible never had much to do with it anyway.

You’ll realize you spent time worrying when you could’ve just given those burdens away.

You’ll realize your kids will love you for sharing your walk and will soon forget a life where they didn’t know the love that they know.

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You’ll watch your faith and your family get bigger and bigger, and thank God, as your heart will also grow.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog

Whitney Ballard

Whitney Ballard is a writer and mom advocate from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, where she writes about motherhood, marriage, mental health, and more. Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holing a Master’s degree; she writes about that journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens. When she’s not writing while on her porch swing or cheering/yelling at the ballpark, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.