I was having a midlife crisis, and I wasn't even out of my 20s. It seemed ridiculous. While others were moving up the economic and social ladder, I was dissatisfied and feeling empty. I wanted my life to count for something.
I was having a crisis because I'd just left my job to become a mother. I realize now that my experience isn't unique. Many women who have active careers are suddenly moved into a world of diapers and spit up. That doesn't mean they necessarily want to go back to work. They're fiercely loyal and committed to the young life that has been entrusted to them, but they want something meaningful to happen in their days that will make them feel as though they're a valuable member of society. Deep down we mothers know we are, but we don't get to see the fruit of that for years to come and that can be disconcerting.
A turning point came for me when I began to see that I had time to invest in a whole new group of people—other young moms. I was in a neighborhood that was crammed full of preschoolers who were inevitably attached to mothers.
I joined a neighborhood Bible study with other stay-at-home or working-part-time moms. Those in the study were from all kinds of church, family, and social backgrounds. Friendships began to form naturally in the group as women spent time together in other settings. I've always been drawn to those who are hurting, struggling, or wounded, so I connected with a young mother, Gloria, who was from an abusive background. Her father had regularly beaten her, which left her with a terrible sense of worthlessness and lack of confidence about raising her own children.