Encouraging the Encourager
Do you ever feel like no one ever gives you any thanks for what you do? Do you feel like you are juggling 18 different balls, and you are doing your very best to keep them afloat, fearing that if just one thing – just one- goes wrong, all the balls are going to come tumbling down around you? If you are a mom, then the answer is yes. If you are a mom AND lead in ministry in any capacity, the answer is double yes!
First, thank you. Thank you to all of you for answering the call of God on your lives to minister to those around you -- whether it be babies, sisters, single moms, special needs, or someone else. I know is not easy to minister. I know there are days when you just want to give up or throw in the towel. There are many days when you may feel that you are inept and ill-equipped, and you just do not know what you are doing. You spend sleepless nights lying awake, wondering if you are doing it right, and still feel like quitting. That is EXACTLY how Satan wants you to feel.
When I first stepped out to minister to single moms, I was so insecure and afraid that I could barely move. I felt that I did not know enough of the Bible. I feared they would ask me a question that I was not sure about or simply did not know the answer to. Feared they would even judge me for my past! I was supposed to be LEADING! It was awful. Initially, those insecurities made me feel like I did not have many people to talk to about those feelings. I just did not know anyone else who was doing a single mom’s ministry.
It is important for the encouragers in our Body of Christ, our churches, to receive encouragement. The work you are doing is important. It is changing lives every single day. There are those in your life who may not commit suicide because you do what you do! There are some who will make new friends because of your faithfulness. There will be some who will come to know the Lord more deeply because you have carried the burden for them for years. Do not give up! The list goes on and on and on about the impact you are making in the lives of others. You may not ever really know how much of an impact you have made on this side of heaven!
If you only impact one life for the next 10 years --- how valuable is a life?! To that one person, it saved them, set them free. It gave them the ability to see God through your hands, your feet, and hear Him clearly through your voice. So, be encouraged today if you never get a thank you, never hear the end of the story. You are planting seeds and impacting lives.
Be aware that Satan’s ploy is to kill, steal, and destroy. Literally, it means he wants to kill your confidence, steal your joy, and destroy your desire to lead others in ministry. Always be aware. You may have a bitter mom who has made it her mission to become critical of you. Maybe your pastor or accountability partner says something a little too harsh to you, and you take it the wrong way and become defensive. You may get frustrated with the volunteers who said they would help but did not show up. All of those things are tactics used by the enemy to kill, steal, and destroy. He wants you discouraged so that you will quit. Why? So, that single moms will walk alone, their children will become statistics, and that you become helpless.
Greater is He that is in us than he that is in this world! Praise God! When it gets hard, and it WILL get hard…know that Jesus is near. Know that you are enduring for a reason. Know that a mom needs you to be strong so that she can be strong. You may never know how you have changed a life, but it does not matter. Just do it anyway. One day, all will be revealed, and someone will surely thank you later!
Jennifer Maggio is a national voice for single mothers and hurting women. Her personal story has been featured in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Daystar Television, The 700 Club, and many others. She is CEO/Founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, a national nonprofit that works with churches to develop single mom’s programs and currently serves more than 1,500 churches.
The Life of a Single Mom has served 406,000 single mothers over the last decade and counting. Maggio is an author of several books, including The Church and the Single Mom. For more information, visit www.jennifermaggio.com.