The doubts that consume me

Jen Bradbury
Sep 29 · 5 min read

Today, I'm linking up with Kate Motaung's Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

This week's prompt: Doubt.

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As a youth worker, Sundays are my favorite day of the week. It's the day when I get to see and interact with my teens as well as their families.

As a mom, Sundays are my least favorite day of the week. Each Sunday is craziness from start to finish.

Last Sunday felt especially chaotic. 

We woke with a start to our 6 am alarm.  Immediately, I sprang into action and fed baby girl.  Afterward, my husband graciously grabbed her so that I could finish reviewing my agenda for my upcoming meeting. I did so, filled with trepidation at the prospect of announcing  an unusual type of mission trip.

An hour later, I descended the stairs to find that Doug had cooked us breakfast. I shoveled it into my mouth, grabbed the baby, and sent him off to shower while frantically getting myself and Hope dressed.

We then headed to church to set up for the day. I made copies while the hubs set up my technology. All the while, I pushed Hope to and fro in the stroller. By that time, she was frantic with hunger. But when I finally started to nurse her, she wanted no part of it.  So we walked into worship, hoping we'd make it through the service.

About half way through, Hope got fussy. So I threw on my nursing cover, not caring what people would think of me breastfeeding in worship. She took a few swigs but not nearly enough to make me feel like she'd last through the remaining two hours of chaos.

I started to panic, doubting I could really do this momma youth pastor thing.

As the closing hymn began, I darted out of worship, praying no one would stop to talk to me so that I could get downstairs and try nursing for a few more minutes.

For better or worse, I got stopped just outside our sanctuary. After a brief conversation, I made it downstairs only to find people already waiting for our meeting to begin. I felt like a failure... At least in terms of motherhood. I was quite confident Hope would go into a rage at some point in the meeting, starved for both food and my attention. 

Within moments, though, parents of my high school students whisked Hope out of my arms, offering to hold her during the meeting and giving me a precious few moments to collect my thoughts before starting.

I looked up once and saw her being passed around. About half-way through my meeting, I noticed that far from raging, she'd drifted off into sleep, comfortably cradled in the arms of a loving mom. 

In that moment, my doubts lifted and peace descended.

Despite the chaos of the morning, I began feeling confident in both of my vocations: Motherhood and ministry.

After the meeting, someone commented, “It looks like this is working out well. You're figuring out how to do both of the things you love.”

I am.

But only because I have a community of people who love and support my family and who, every time doubts threaten to consume me, remind me, “You can do this. You are doing this. And you don't have to do this alone."