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Just Call Me Mama Bev

"God can use you anywhere." That's what my good friend Cynthia keeps reminding me since I returned to the workforce last year. Sometimes I do believe she's right. But then there are other times when I question if God is actually using me there to bless others or trying to make me see the error of my past ways.

On the job, some of the young people call me "Mama Bev." Obviously they recognize that I am older and yes, I wear being a "boomer" "old school" proudly on my chest. At the same time, however, I am nurturing as I listen to them share their stories. In the year since I've been working, I have adopted dozens of new children---young people not much older than my own daughter---who have felt comfortable coming to me to share their joys, sorrows and drama. And trust me, they all have plenty of DRAMA!

I have seen the face of domestic violence in a young co-worker's eyes and have prayed with and for her. I've kept secrets of infidelity and even blushed at some of the stuff these young people tell me. I acknowledge their pain and struggles but also give them a "you need to get back up after you fall down" speech.

This week I had a young lady confide in me that she was pregnant. Now the mothering part of me thought she was about a month ago and I asked her point black but she denied it. I asked her if she and her boyfriend were happy about it. She told me they weren't ready for a baby financially and she didn't know what to do. And then she popped the question: "Miss Bev, will you take my baby and raise it as your own? I know you would be a great mom because you are so nurturing." WHAT?! Now you know I didn't hear that coming! Initially I thought she was joking until I saw the tears swell up in her eyes.

All kinds of random thoughts immediately went through my head.

Why ask me?
I'm almost 60 years old!
Why not ask her own mother?
What would Nate think?
I love the way newborn babies smell

I told her I had finished raising my child but I would do what I could to support her.

Sometimes being Mama Bev is a tough job.


It's a testament to you that these young people feel comfortable coming to you with their concerns. Obviously, they value your wisdom and advice. I think God has put you exactly where he needs you right now. Sometimes it's hard to remember that God's needs are not necessarily where we see ourselves.

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