I’m a mom to 3 kids under 6 – a rambunctious 5 year old boy and twin girls who are almost four. I’m also in full-time student ministry.
Some days this life is exhilarating and gives me the energy of five people. Some days getting out of the house in the morning feels as intimidating as giving up coffee and ice cream all in the same day.
There’s just something different about being in ministry when you’re a mom. It wasn’t a difference I could pinpoint before we had kids; I just assumed I’d be busier. But it’s not just the busy. It’s being the one who carries the mental load of your home, your kids, yourself, your ministry team and your students. My schedule is bonkers, and I’ve had to learn about boundaries and balance the hard way over the last few years.
I had a ton of questions and worries when I was just dreaming about becoming a mom. Would I have to quit student ministry so I could focus on my family? Would I be giving up my freedom to meet with students? Would I still be able to focus on ministry? How would I be able to continue to focus on my marriage? If I stayed in ministry, would my kids grow to resent the church? I went searching for stories of women who had been able to make it work and found precious few ladies who had not given up one for the other.
As with most of my worries, I let them keep me up, journaled about them, googled, listened to the stories of others and finally…after a long while…began to pray. I left my worries and anxiety at the foot of the cross of the One who had graciously given me the calling of ministry and the calling of motherhood. Through prayer, soaking in the Word and more prayer, I did my best to hold my hands open, releasing my dreams to God’s will. And He did something amazing – He gave me my children AND He kept me going in ministry. Sometimes at a snail’s pace, and sometimes with no strength of my own, but by the grace of God, I am still employed, my kids are mostly thriving and I don’t feel like I’m drowning all the time. I know that’s not everyone’s dream and I know that there are people who think I am either being a terrible mom because I choose to work outside the home or who think I shirk my ministry responsibilities in favor of my kids’ needs too much. But I cannot ignore the prompting of God. I am constantly seeking His will, asking “What do you have for me now?”. For the last few years, His answer has been to simply keep going. So I rest in that and tell everyone else thank you very much for your concern, but you’ve been vetoed by my Lord.
Don’t misunderstand me friends, this life is nowhere near easy. Two weeks ago I was sobbing to my friends because my kids had lice and last week I worked late and got into an argument with my husband over my schedule. But for now, this is what God has called me to, and I am grateful.
ABOUT JENNA: Jenna leads the middle school ministry at Orchard Hill Church in Pittsburgh, PA where she has served for the last 10 years. She is a wife, a mom of 3, and a lover of snacks, dance parties and naps with fluffy pillows and heavy blankets. If she has any spare time, she’s most likely to be found wandering the aisles of Target or renovating her home. You can find her on Instagram at @bajuszik or email at jbajuszik@orchardhillchurch to connect, chat or hire her to speak.