I know that I am not the only one who feels this way but Mother’s Day is always kind of a tough day. I spend the weeks leading up to the day dreading the day that is to come. I don’t do so because I have a rough mother relationship. In fact, my relationship with my mother is fabulous. She is an amazing mother. It’s actually tough because of a longing to be a mother. It’s tough because I see friends and family who are mothers, many have been for years, and want to celebrate them with all that I am but it is still hard.
I’ve read a TON of articles and posts in the past few weeks about Mother’s Day for those who aren’t mothers or those who are mothers but have lost babies. I’m blessed and thankful beyond thankful that I do not fall into the later of those two scenarios but it doesn’t make the hurt not real. I read one post that was “An Open Letter To Pastors (A non-mom speaks out about Mother’s Day)” that really hit the nail on the head about how awkward it can be for a childless woman to be sitting in church on Mother’s Day. I think that the following is an amazing thought:
2. Acknowledge the wide continuum of mothering.
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
I would strongly encourage all to read the whole letter as it is truly a great way to put it.
And then there was the article “To the girl who…is SO ready to be a mama”. This one seriously has me in tears sitting here as I type these words.
“Your heart aches. Not because your sick. Not because you need to get some rest…Your heart aches. Not because you’ve lost a loved one. Not because you need a vacation. Your heart aches…because you just saw that little girl smile at you. Your heart aches…because you just smiled back at the little angel running wild and free through the lobby of the probate office. The probate office where she will be adopted by her foster mama. Your heart aches…not because you’re sad, but because more than inhaling your next breath, you are so happy for her. There are no words to contain the joy that you’ve had getting to be apart of her life. Getting to be the girl she smiles at each morning as her mama drops her off for the day…
There are no words that contain the joy that you have getting to love on that child…
getting to be that favorite aunt to that precious niece and nephew…
getting to be apart of sweet babies lives through that one week on your mission trip..
getting to be the one who is called last minute to babysit those silly kiddos who seem like family now…
but sweet girl, your heart aches.”
My heart does ache for all of these things. My heart aches as I drive away from my sister’s house time and time again and leave those 4 little nephews behind. My heart aches every time my niece gets on that airplane to fly back to Georgia. My heart aches every time a friend posts a new picture of their baby or child on social media. My heart aches when I watch kids be mistreated and end up in “they system”. My heart aches as I spend holidays with “just” me and my parents. And yet while my heart aches, I must learn to take solace in this:
“But for us…for those in the wait…for those who feel like they are SO far away…our walk is unique. Our walk is brave. Our walk is a walk towards the unknown. Our walk is exciting. Our walk is hopeful. Why?
Hannah…the woman with the barren womb. “But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb.” 1 Samuel 1
Ruth…the woman who had been married for ten years and didn’t bear any children.
Sarah…the woman who longed for a child for years. The woman who’s womb had been closed by God.
Elizabeth…the woman who was in her husband’s and her own eyes, way too old to continue hoping for a child. Her time had passed. The Lord had obviously closed her womb.
Samson’s Mama…the woman who’s name we don’t even know. ” There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children…” (Judges 13:2) How many people actually knew that she was barren? How embarrassed she must have felt.
Why is the barren walk hopeful? Why is the barren journey worth walking, sweet daughter who’s hope is fading?
Well, stop for a second and look at these women. Look at their stories. Thousands of years later and we’re still finding hope from their barren journeys. These women are blazing the trails not just for us, but for all of God’s daughters around the world.
Hannah gave birth to Samuel after years and years of waiting…do you know who Samuel is?Samuel was used by God as a prophet to speak to the people of Israel…God’s chosen people. God had insane plans for Hannah’s son…he stinkin changed the course of history.
Ruth was married ten years. No children and then her husband dies. She is left childless and hopeless…but God had other plans for her. She was led to Boaz, who asked for her hand in marriage…and God blessed them. He showed sweet, sweet favor on them and she had a son…Obed. Do you know who Obed is? He is the father of Jesse…who is the father of David. She birthed a son who would continue to usher in the lineage of Christ! There wasPURPOSE in the waiting. There was a PLAN in the waiting.
Sarah…the woman who laughed at the Lord when she was told she would bear a child. The woman who in her old age…felt a kick in her womb. The woman who cried and cried and cried when she came to realize that there was life within her. The woman who birthed Isaac…Do you know who Isaac is? He is the boy God would use to usher in the promise He made to Abraham…the boy whom “more offspring than the stars in the sky” would come from. What she thought was impossible, God made happen. Nothing is impossible with God, sweet mama in waiting.
Elizabeth…Zechariah’s wife and Mary’s relative…Elizabeth, the woman who was known to be barren…the woman who shocked the whole city when she birthed the man who blazed the trail for Jesus. The man we call John the Baptist. Her wait was worth it. Her child declared the glory of God to thousands…HE baptized JESUS…and he too changed the course of history.
Samson’s Mama waited and waited. She walked the barren life, I’m sure many times feelingalone, confused, frustrated. But the Lord knew what he had for her. She would give birth to Samson, who would choose to lose his life in order to wipe out the Philistines, those against the Lord, those who worshiped false gods…because of Samson, enemies were defeated and history was changed.
Don’t you see? God has chosen you. Your walk is not in vain. Your walk is what will one day blaze the trail for generations to come. Don’t grow cold to the Lord’s beautiful plan for your life. Embrace it.
He has spent extra time on your precious story.”
And as I read these posts, I had to remind myself that in my heart I have a longing and that I know God will honor that. I have to remember that God DOES have a purpose in this waiting and that He will use it for a purpose. God doesn’t let things just occur for the fun of it. There is a point to it all. And as I was thinking on these things, I came across yet another post. This one was “For Those Waiting To Be A Mommy On Mother’s Day”. This post put into words exactly what I believe and what I’ve been feeling lately.
“My friend, here is what I have to say to you: you are a mother.
Some women hold babies in their arms, some in their memories, some in their dreams, but all in their hearts. They are all mothers.
The things that make mothers unique are the qualities you already embody: you nurture, you care, you comfort, you love, you help, you encourage, you speak, you support, you trust, you give, you hope. You are all these things.”
I believe with all that I am that there is a purpose to all of this and that some day that purpose will be clear to me and those around me. What I know for now is that my ache is not unseen. I know that my desires are heard and cared about. I know that just because I’m 30 years old and not yet a mother doesn’t mean I never will be. I know that in these times I will simply get more chances to love on my nephews like I have been and that I will soak up every minute I have with my niece when she is around. I know that I will find support from those around me even if they don’t know that they are being that support. I will continue to love the students I interact with and share my mama’s heart with them in ways that they need in their college years. And as I do all of these things, I will continue to treasure my hopes and dreams and share them with those who will listen and care about them.
I’m not saying this will always be easy or the first things I do. I’m not saying I’ll never fall into the trap of self-pity. I’m not saying that I’ll never be upset or hurt or angry. But what I am saying is that I believe that, in the end, it will all be worth it.
So what does this all mean? What’s next? Well, my friends, that is a great question. And it is one that I will answer just as soon as I find the answer.