A really powerful part of YoungLives is watching the young teen moms step into new experiences. This year all things aligned to bring two of the teens into the Nurture ministry at ROCKHARBOR. Nurture is a ROCKHARBOR ministry intended to enfold mothers into a community that is characterized by authenticity, grace, love and support. Nurture moms meet weekly and are placed at a table with a designated table leader and mentor mom. The morning consists of breakfast, prayer, discussion, biblical encouragement and opportunities for growth.
We asked one of the teen moms, Natalie, a few questions about her new experience:
:: It’s typically scary to start something new, what made you take the chance?
“I knew Nurture would be really good for me and I really wanted to join but I was absolutely terrified walking in the first day. I remember being way too early and not knowing where to go or what to do. I remember telling my little girl Zoey ‘I think I’m more nervous than you!’ Zoey then replied ‘it’s ok momma, I’ll see you after class.’ I knew after that things would be ok! I was still very nervous once I had to separate from Zoey, but in a good way. I knew this was gonna be something new and exciting. I really needed this in our life. I have become so much closer with God since starting Nurture and have really come out of my shell when it comes to talking to people.”
:: What’s your favorite part of the Nurture mornings?
“My favorite part of Nurture would be all the lovely ladies at my table. I may be biased but I have the most amazing table and all the women are so inspiring. I look up to them very much, they give me such wisdom and strength. Every time I have a stress or something I need help with these ladies give me the most amazing answers and help me more then they probably know!”
:: How has your time at Nurture effected your walk with God?
“My walk with God since starting Nurture has became stronger then ever. Every time I walk into Nurture I just feel His presence with me ever so much, when I’m writing in my journal I just feel Him speaking through me. There are times where I feel so stressed and I’ll just ask Him, ‘God what am I supposed to be doing? Am I a good enough mom?’ Then I just feel His love and comfort within me and just remember how great my Zoey is doing. He reminds me that I’m being the best mom I could possibly be and that I’m doing all that He wants me to be doing.
:: How has your relationship with God grown?
“My relationship with Him has grown in so many aspects! Not only me but my Zoey as well. I always talk to God and write to Him in my journal. My favorite time with Him is at night when Zoey and I read a story and pray before bed. Zoey always wants me to say a prayer over us and then help her do her own prayer, it just makes me so happy that Zoey and I are growing so much with God and going on the path He has made for us. Sometimes I’m scared I’m not doing right but He knows our whole life. He has already been everywhere we will go and has us exactly where He wants us. We are in his hands, safe and sound.”
Ashley with teen moms, Natalie and Courtney
Natalie’s Table Leader, Ashley Novotny, who is also a YoungLives volunteer, shared what it’s been like to have the two teen moms at her table. “Motherhood isn’t just for the
mid-to-late 20s or 30s, as motherhood is linear. Once you become a mom, you’re a mom and each new phase requires prayer, support, and accountability! Having these two younger moms helps us to remember to see the simple joys in our own parenting. They are so mature for their ages (a baby has a habit of doing that! Haha!) and the love they have for their kids is incredible to witness. They have accepted their role as mom and though they face some really challenging stuff, they have a boldness and fierceness that is inspiring. I love hearing them share their hearts and dreams for not only themselves, but for their children, too. They dream big, love big, and fit right in at our table. We love our YL moms!!”