Rebekah Garcia and Kristen Harman
“I was reluctantly willing to try it, I was not confident that the group really had anything to offer me. Plus, it would require actually leaving my house. With my twins. And possibly showering. At the time those were monumental challenges, indeed!
I joke that I’m going to keep having babies so I never have to leave this group, but the reality is that these friendships and experiences will never leave me.”
Almost 7 years ago I transitioned from my professional role as a clinical social worker to being a full time mom. When my baby was born, I was craving community and was invited to attend God, My Parents, & Me. It took me 4 months to finally attend, and when I did, there began the development of my church community, lifelong friendships for my children, and an amazing network of mothers to live into parenthood with.
This group deals with parenting in the raw, and in my time, it has been a container and witness to adoptions, fostering, loss of loved ones, birth blessings, life celebrations, job changes, medical problems, parenting challenges and prayer. 3 children and nearly 7 years later, I can tell you that I rarely miss this weekly Thursday gathering. It sustains me, it challenges me, it keeps me honest, and it makes me laugh…A LOT. And most importantly, this group holds the mission of All Saints at its core.
Anybody on a parenting journey is welcomed here, and because of our differences, we all have a lot to teach each other. I joke that I’m going to keep having babies so I never have to leave this group, but the reality is that these friendships and experiences will never leave me, even when it’s my time to move on. My heart overflows with love for this group, and I am grateful.
My guess is that many parents will agree with me when I say that much of my children’s infancy is now a blur. My husband and I welcomed our twins to the world four years ago and, not surprisingly, it was at the exact moment they said ‘hello’ to the outside world that I said ‘goodbye’ to the outside world. For many and varied reasons, caring for my twins turned my life into quite an isolated existence.
When my twins were three months old, a very dear friend of mine strong-armed me into coming with her to the God, My Parents, and Me group at All Saints. I knew that her concern for my mental, and emotional well-being is what prompted this invitation, and although I was reluctantly willing to try it, I was not confident that the group really had anything to offer me. Plus, it would require actually leaving my house. With my twins. And possibly showering. At the time those were monumental challenges, indeed!
However, attending that first meeting was one event of new motherhood that will never fade into a blur. What I discovered was a group of kindred spirits who welcomed me without judgment. Their open arms lovingly helped care for my babies when I just couldn’t manage it all myself. Their open minds and hearts helped give me the courage to share my struggles and reenter the world in my new role as a completely overwhelmed mother of twins. Four years later, I continue to be so grateful for the love and laughter which greeted me at that first meeting and which has kept me coming back every week ever since.
– Kirsten Harman