“42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
There is a lot in the Bible about church community, but this is perhaps my favorite passage. The fellowship of the early church was selfless, Christ- centered, and without want. It was full of life and wonders. I would love to go back in time and view it from a nearby hilltop, just watching the joyful interactions and conversations. The number of Christ followers was increasing daily, which means there would have been people of all ages and walks of life joining the church, including mommas and their kids! This early model of church community is exactly what us moms need, people to come beside us, lift us up, love us, and care for us.
When I had my first baby, I needed community more than anything else. While I love my firstborn to the ends of the earth, he was not an easy baby. He didn’t sleep and wouldn’t tolerate being sat down for more than a minute or two. We had issues breastfeeding and my ears were filled with screams instead of music during car rides. There were so many sleepless nights when I was holding him in my arms and we were both crying. It was so hard and I was so sleep deprived that there are holes in my memory for those few months. Seriously. Someone was talking about how they came to visit me for Christmas that year. I have to take their word for it.
Through this time in my life, my husband and my church community made sure I was loved and surviving. Friends came over to hold the baby so I could sleep for an hour. They did my laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, cleaned my bathrooms and pulled weeds in my garden. They brought me lunches and dinners and chocolate. I would not have survived if it wasn’t for them. I felt so much love. I was blessed to be a part of a community that mimicked the early church.
Thankfully the second time around was not nearly as tough, but no newborn is a walk in the park. The first month was hard as my new baby figured out that days were for waking, nights were for sleeping, and my toddler was adjusting to sharing mommy and daddy with his sister. We moved across the country in between babies, so we didn’t have the same community that we had with our first, but our new church family brought us dinners and my amazing father-in-law stayed for two months helping with household chores and entertaining big brother. Again, community is the only reason why I’ve kept my sanity during these transition times. And there are so many more examples of when this has been true in my life: family emergencies, major life decision moments, big moves, and more. As our children grow, we will always have moments where leaning on others will be easier than doing it ourselves, so why would we try?
God designed us to need others (Genesis 2:18). Sometimes we need others and other times we are the ones who are needed. We are equipped to comfort others with the comfort God shows us (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). I encourage you to pray that you would recognize those times in your life and that opportunities to model the early church community wouldn’t be missed. It’s such a great way to serve God’s kingdom.
Do you have a community that mimics the early church? If not, what can you do to make it so? And if you are not a part of the body of Christ, pray about finding a church home soon. If you’ve had a bad experience in church, I’m truly sorry. Each and every Christian is a sinner and we all make poor choices that hurt others. Don’t turn away from the awesome family he has given us in the church. Put the past behind and give it another try. It will be one of the best things you do as a tired momma.
This is part of a series called The “I’m Exhausted” devotional. To read more of the series, click here. Messy Tired Love devotionals connect everyday mom moments to the truth of the gospel. Learn more here.