About eleven years ago, I sat in church listening to a guest speaker talk about the need in my community for mentors for teen moms.

Instantly, I felt a tug on my heart. 

Being a new mom myself (my daughter was just a few months old at the time), I knew how challenging taking care of a baby could be. I tried to imagine what it would be like to be teenager with a newborn.

I couldn’t deny the pull I felt to get involved.

But, quickly, doubt set in…


A mentor to teen moms?

Who was I to help other moms when I was just learning how to be a mom myself?

I brought the paperwork home and read more about the Mentor Mom program through Youth for Christ.

But I didn’t call.

I held off.

I talked myself out of responding to the need I’d heard about.

Yet the pull on my heart wouldn’t go away…

I remember looking at my daughter asleep in her bassinet and marveling at her–her tiny hands, her rosy cheeks, her little feet.

I thought about the teen moms looking at their babies too.

When Mike was out of town (he had to travel a lot during that time), I sometimes felt alone and exhausted.

And I thought about how alone those moms might be feeling.

It didn’t make sense to me–this tug to get involved.

I felt inadequate.

And the thought of being a mentor scared me.

But I couldn’t deny what was happening in my heart. 

(Have you ever felt that way?)

Against all logic, and unsure how it would turn out, I ended up calling Mentor Moms, going through their training, and getting involved in their mentor program.

Over the next several years in that program, I had the privilege of coming alongside teen moms–moms with different stories, different backgrounds, and different challenges.

And looking back, after all these years, I’m so glad I said yes.

I’m so glad I didn’t let fear and doubt keep me from that opportunity.

I didn’t have parenting all figured out (I still don’t), and I didn’t have a lot of experience.

But I quickly learned that wasn’t what it was about.

It was about being there for another mom–a teen mom–during a hard time. 

It was about letting her know she wasn’t alone in her frustrations and questions.

It was about supporting her as she learned,

and it was about helping her understand how much God loves her.

Sometimes, I think we don’t get involved in things or open new doors in our lives because we doubt our own abilities.

But when we do that, we miss an opportunity to make a difference.

And when we say yes–even if we aren’t sure if we’re qualified or how it’s all going to turn out–that’s when faith comes in.

That’s when lives are changed.

And that’s when, one by one, the world is changed too.

What about you? Do you feel a tug on your heart to get involved in something, but you’ve been holding back? Or have you felt the pull and said yes? I’d love to hear about it!


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  1. Very sweet of you to mentor the teen moms. If I could travel like Angelina Jolie and give to charity, it would be very fulfilling.

  2. Mentor Moms sounds like an amazing thing! I wish we had a program like that around here. I'm sure it's needed.

  3. A friend and I spear-headed a Mentoring Moms group – pairing older women with younger women. I really needed to meet with older women who had been married a long time to find out appropriate expectations in my marriage. For example, do you ever stop getting put out? These women became spiritual moms to me – and made huge difference in my life (my parents were divorced). So glad you acted on your call to get involved.

  4. Great example of how we should follow those tugs in our heart. I have had a tug in my heart for some time and I have been writing and praying a lot about following through with it…. thank you for the nudge!!

  5. Being a life coach, I always feel the tug to help others. Unfortunately, if I helped everyone that I wanted, I would never have time for anything else. It's hard sometimes when women honestly desire to be coached but don't have the money to pay for it. I try to do as much pro bono work as I can though. That's one reason I want to write lots of books, so others can get the information they need for a low cost. I also have the desire to help women in developing countries. That would be extremely fulfilling to me and would give them information and encouragement they may not be getting from anywhere else.Thanks for sharing, Genny!

  6. Pingback: Sometimes a mom… needs to be told she’s a good mom :: Genny Heikka

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