Jeff and I staffed several STPs as a young married couple, but my first one as a mom was a whole new experience. In May of 2005 we loaded up our minivan with half our house, our one-year-old son and drove from WI to CO to staff the National Collegiate Program (before it became Global Student Program).
I loved being a mom and having Gabe with us, but I also remember the first few weeks not knowing exactly what to do with myself. I met with a couple team leaders, joined their Bible study now and then, and came to staff meetings – but most of my time was spent alone with my toddler.
One night stands out to me. Jeff had just left for an event and I was in our little room in Aspen Manor feeling down. I asked God, “Why is this so hard?” I knew I wanted to be a mom, and I was already hoping for another baby. So why did I feel so sad about my new position?
What God revealed that night was a turning point for me as I realized I had some deeper core lies at play. One of my big ones was the fear that I was not wanted which stemmed from some early rejections from a childhood family friend. God brought those memories to mind and I prayed for healing.
Before kids I easily controlled situations to avoid this fear – I could always be at an event or meeting and not ever feel left out. Now I had a toddler who needed to be in bed and that meant I was back in my room for the night whether I liked it or not.
As I sat and prayed that night Christ reminded me that He ALWAYS wants me. Whether my fears were justified or not (and I’m sure they weren’t in that case!), He would be my constant. His desire for me was more than enough. This new understanding of my deeper core lies and subsequent healing freed me up to better enjoy my new role at STPs. I still wanted to be as present as I had been pre-mommy-years, but it no longer hurt to not play as big of a part.
That summer as I adjusted to life as a mom at STP one of my favorite mommy promises rang true, He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.(Isaiah 40:11) He shepherded me in my new role, held me close and lead me to new truths so I could grow and be a blessing to those around me.
I went to that STP thinking I would support my husband, enjoy some new friendships with students and hopefully bless those around me. But God gave me so much more. He did an important work in my heart that laid the foundation for many more STPs as a mom! And as the summers passed we attended many, many more STPs and our whole family has grown to absolutely LOVE them.
|Gabe (1yr), Sherry and Jeff “Pioneering” at NCP in 2005
Sherry has been on staff since 1997. She and Jeff have been married for 14 years and have served in WI, SD and now in CO. They have 3 boys ages 6-11and there is never a dull moment in their house. Sherry just recently launched their youngest to K and enjoys writing and encouraging mommy missionaries when she isn’t busy shuttling boys around town.
What about you? What has God taught you as a mom at STPs? Or what are you hoping to learn this summer wherever you are assigned?