Finding a Home in Moms Connect
by Lindsey Bible
“I loved it.” Those were the words I heard my husband, Jesse, say upon returning home following a job interview in Hershey. It was October 2014, and we were living in Pittsburgh for a year while Jesse was completing training for his career. We had been praying fervently about where God would plant our family following our year in Pittsburgh; and having moved from Nashville and being raised in Tennessee, we imagined God would take us back to the south. I thought the job interview in Hershey was just a practice run for the “real thing.” After much prayer, my husband accepted the position in Hershey with a planned start date of early fall 2015.
Despite being confident in God’s sovereignty over the move to Hershey, I still had mixed emotions in my heart because Hershey was not what I had planned. It was far from home and our family. It was far from my dearest “mom friends,” who had become all the more important and influential in my life since having our toddler son, Hank.
I brought many of my concerns to God. Would I find life-giving friendships in Hershey? Would I have a support group of Christian women in a similar stage of life? If so, how long would it take for me to find these friends and establish real relationships with them? My most frequent request to God during the year of preparation for our move was that he would provide rich friendships quickly in my new home.
We moved to Hershey in August 2015 and visited Hershey Free Church on one of our first weekends in town. Moms Connect was listed as a ministry opportunity in that Sunday’s announcements, and I was immediately interested. Two hours every other week of learning, fellowshipping, and eating with other moms while childcare was provided for my two-year-old sounded fabulous. I signed up, unsure of what it would be like and having not met a single other mom in the group.
After the first week of attending, I knew that Moms Connect was God’s answer to the prayers I had said over the previous year. There was an instant connection with the five other women at my table. We quickly bonded over talk of sleepless nights, how to be godly mothers and wives, and the highs and lows of parenting young children. The “mentor mom” at our table provided us with even greater foresight and encouragement, as she continually gave us advice from a mother who had “been there and done that.”
Over the course of the year, Moms Connect became my respite; a place I could go to find laughter, encouragement, friendship, and Christian teaching about things that really mattered to me as a mom (discipline, organization, marriage, and there was even a “spa day”). I gleaned so much information from these topics, which were perfectly designed to foster my personal growth as a wife, mother, friend, and follower of Christ.
As the year progressed, my relationships with the ladies of Moms Connect began to expand and exist outside the boundaries of the bi-monthly meetings. There were invitations to play dates and “moms’ nights out.” There were offers to watch my child when I needed a spur-of-the-moment sitter. There were prayers said, texts sent, and support given when life or mothering got hard and I missed my Tennessee home. There was genuine joy and celebration when I announced I was expecting our second child, and again when I told that my husband and I had finally bought a house after a year of searching.
What a blessing to have found women to journey through the ups and downs of life with! Moms Connect has truly played such a pivotal role in helping make Hershey a place I call home. As I look forward to beginning my second year of attending, I continually thank God for this ministry, which for me has been an unmistakable answer to prayer and a sign of his great love and faithfulness.
Moms Connect meets the second and fourth Wednesday mornings of each month during the school year. Registration for Fall 2016 will begin in mid-August. For more information about Moms Connect, contact Karen Stover.