Originally published in 2011. The number of my kids may have changed, but the sentiment is the same…
At church today, a friend led the congregation in prayer for Mother’s Day. She prayed:
…for all the women who will one day be mothers… I remember all the Sundays honoring mothers as a young girl and asking God, “Some day, can I be one,too?”
I look at my daughters now and hope I can model motherhood well for them.
…for all the women who have lost children or long for children… I remember one Mother’s Day when the baby I carried was dead and nobody knew it but me. A well-intentioned and un-informed member of church met me at the door with a daisy and said, “Happy Mother’s Day! You can have a flower this year!”
My throat burned and my instinct was to crumple on the stoop of the church and sob. Instead, I ducked my head to hide the tears and sheepishly took the flower. I worried it to withery bits in my hand through the whole service.
Because I wasn’t going to be a mother after all.
And I remember the following year, my arms still empty, when I stood in the pew and cried, “When, oh God, when?”
…for all the women who miss loved ones… On this one day, it’s never possible to be in the presence of all the women I love. I miss my mom. I miss all the women who have in birth, in marriage, or in spirit, mothered me. I want to keep them all in my pocket where I can ask advice and feel their arms around me. I have been surrounded by a host of women who have held me up and raised me. And there are never enough ways or chances to tell them thank you.
…for all the mothers who are waiting to adopt their babies… Last year, I stood in church and felt so blessed to have my arms full of children. But I knew I was not complete. I had a daughter I’d never met, halfway across the globe. I felt that separation acutely on Mother’s Day.
…for the mothers who pray for patience every day… I want to be kinder, I want to be more patient. I want to smile more at my kids. I want them to remember me as “she who laughs at the days to come.”*
There are days when Andrew has gone to work and I stand alone, wearing my mantle of motherhood. Six voices surround me and I feel overwhelmed, broken, incapable. “No one is coming to rescue me.”
But that isn’t true. I’ve already been rescued. God’s grace in redemption, His gentle preparation for this work He’s given, His promise to never leave me… He saves me.
My friend finished her prayer. As soon as I heard the first chord of the next song, my watery eyes filled full. It was the song I sang over and over while I had my little meltdown in front of the passport office in Uganda. I hadn’t heard it in church since we came home.
As You have been,
forever You will be
Great is your faithfulness
Always, oh Lord, to me.
So this Sunday, I stood in church on Mother’s Day, surrounded by my favorite wiggly bodies, my daughter nestled under my chin. She was gnawing on my brand new Mommy Necklace that held SIX! birthstones to represent my children. Tears ran down my cheeks as I nuzzled Mira closer and sang about God’s faithfulness.
God’s faithfulness, in times of loss, in times of waiting, in the company of women He gave me for support, in Mira’s adoption story, in every moment of my motherhood journey, is never-ending.
His grace allows me each breath, each step with my children. It is when I am broken and on my knees, begging for wisdom or mercy or both, that He shapes me, makes me a better mother. And at all times, in all things, He is faithful.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!
(And a special shout-out to Andrew, who stands beside me, even when he goes to work, and who loves our children as fiercely as I do. Thanks for being the daddy so I can be the mommy.)