Sometimes We Struggle With … Parenting

by Erica Blevins Nye, Oakland Township, MI
From the Peace Colloquy 2013 session: “Singing Through Life in Community”

yaplenary13One year ago I worked for Intl. Headquarters as our Young Adult Ministries Specialist. On any given day, a year ago, you could find me at my desk busily connecting with Community of Christ young adults to lend ministry and support. You could find me at an airport, traveling to meet with young adult ministries around the globe and to hear their vision for the future of the church. And the staff meetings! I loved the meetings (if you can believe it,) because at our best we would discuss how we could influence the mission of this church I love.

Now, one year later, on any given day you can find me reciting my alphabet. Or frantically scrubbing crayon off my furniture. Or cutting peanut butter sandwiches in to little bite-sized squares. Or hurrying back and forth to a little potty chair.

In the past year I have transitioned from full-time minister to full-time mommy.

This journey has been a joy for me! But it has also brought its share of grief. While it is rewarding to spend my days caring for one of God’s precious children, it has required a good deal of “letting go.”

Letting go of career and ministry expectations.
Letting go of my personal plans, priorities, and timelines.
Letting go of some ego.
Letting go of part of my identity.

Erica and Allison Sept 2013This life shift isn’t an uncommon one, especially for young adult women, but it still hasn’t been easy for me. I have been learning to re-center my life off of my own hopes and onto those of someone else. It’s scary and it feels a little out-of-control. It is dangerous business investing so much of oneself into someone else. To love and invest so deeply in another lays a person open to receive authentic joy; but it also leaves one exposed to the potential of searing heartbreak. I have discovered that my own welfare is deeply, inextricably linked to the welfare of my little child. I now understand the power of this concept in a way I hadn’t before.

Though this new journey has been a challenge for me, I am learning and growing. I’m gaining fresh perspective on the nature of a God who is Creator and Caretaker. And I’m gaining insight into what it means to be a disciple in a faith community called to live in service to others.

O God, You Call, Create, and Lead

O God, you call, create, and lead. Your plan provides for every need.
Speak through us to this child, we pray,
and to all children every day.

U.S.A./England (L.M.)

Words: Jane Parker Huber, 1926–2008
Music: Henry Percy Smith, 1825–1898
Words © 1980 Jane Parker Huber (admin. Westminster John Knox Press)

OneLicense: 74431
A Community of Christ Sings resource
**Due to copyright restrictions we are unable to post the entire song lyrics. Please refer to the song number listed in your Community of Christ Sings hymnal.


3 thoughts on “Sometimes We Struggle With … Parenting

  1. Linda Brenner says:

    Well said, Erica. Your experience reminds me that many women of The Community of Christ have struggled with how to be faithful to their parenting committment and to being a faithful disciple in this church which promotes our heart’s desire: the growing of God’s Kingdom of Peace. You are a great example of this wondrous, painful journey. Keep us posted !

  2. Sally says:

    As a now retired grandmother, I totally understand your post. I struggled when I made the decision to leave a career and stay home with two little ones. I struggled when I tried to re-enter the field and found it difficult to do so. A move to another part of the country made re-entering the field even more difficult. However, looking back with eyes that are older and seeing the journey from farther away, I will say it was the right decision for me. As I look at two young adults plus their spouses raising their children, I see things that look differently as I look from a distance. And, yes, I did re-enter the field which I left. Hang in there. The do quit writing on the walls AND they do end up potty trained. 🙂

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