If you experienced Mother’s Day in any kind of way on Sunday, this note is for you.
I love sending flowers or gifts to my mom and mother-in-law, and wishing others a Happy Day. I love encouraging young moms to keep going, and thanking older moms for their example. Hearing of how other moms were celebrated makes my heart happy, for the gift of Motherhood is a gift indeed. It is a gift that in it’s purest form is one of strength, of perseverance, of speaking truth, of loving in the hard places in life, in walking alongside those brought into our paths. It is a gift that is like no other.
The actual celebration of Mother’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. Why? Because my family dotes on me. I love celebrating the togetherness of our family. I love being a mom and honoring one of the hardest, most rewarding, never-ending “jobs” there is. I love taking pictures with my kids, watching them grow from the very first Mother’s Day we celebrated together, and I love watching their handwriting change over the years as they sign cards they’ve picked just for me. Mother’s Day empowers me, encourages me, refreshes my spirit to continue putting myself forward in the mothering department. It has challenged me, shown me things about myself that hurt, taught me to be selfless, to watch my words, to move beyond myself.
Mothering is a physical experience, but it is also one of great spirit. Something undefinable and intangible.
The Spirit of Motherhood runs deep. It is bigger than a physical birthing process. It courses in our spirits and gives the ability to love on others, to go out of our way to get a job done. It’s motivates us to stay up late at night, and work for the sole benefit of another.
The Spirit of Motherhood is something intangible. It is defined, yet undefined. It is all encompassing. It works hard to make life for others. The Spirit of Motherhood runs deep, but it is not solely for those who have birthed biological, living children.
I’ve been blessed to birth two thriving children, but if you know my story I’ve also said goodbye to three. Three I never got to hold in my arms or love on or kiss or make memories with. That fact isn’t lost on me, whether it’s Mother’s Day or any other random day in the year. It’s not lost on me that there are others who struggle with Mother’s Day. I get it. I get that there are those who have to endure Mother’s Day, those who have buried their own mothers and want little else but to give them one more hug. There are those who have never birthed their own children. There are adoptive mothers, surrogate mothers, child-less mothers, mothers who have had to say goodbye to their own children much sooner than we would choose, mothers who have lost pregnancies, mothers and children who do not speak to each other. There are those women who can’t have children, some who choose not to have children and others for which the very idea of celebrating Mom only revives memories they would rather not relive.
I know it’s hard. I know you have silent tears that you’re afraid to shed, or maybe you’ve cried all you think you can cry and feel like there are no tears left to shed. I know you have memories you’d rather avoid. I know you have thoughts that perhaps you’re tired of sharing, or think others are tired of hearing. I know there are heartaches that seem unbearable. Perhaps you do want to celebrate Mother’s Day for the benefit of those around you but, there is still a pervading sadness.
This week we read again that story of Esther, from the book of Esther. Jeremy preached on it on Sunday. As I was reading it I was reminded of the Spirit of Motherhood that takes precedent over the biological fact of motherhood. In Esther we don’t have confirmation or mention that she birthed any children herself, yet she took on the task of protecting an entire nation of people and doing something that would put her own life in danger. She would rise to the occasion of placing herself in the middle of an extreme situation for the benefit of others. She proved strength of character, faithfulness in her God, wisdom is her actions, love for her nation, honesty in her words. You could say the “mama bear” came out, and Esther made her words and intention clear.
Esther 4:16: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
When it looked like for me I would never have fulfilled the dreams of children I dreamt of and I asked God why, He reminded me that there are children in the world and my own neighborhoods who would benefit from another mother figure. So I have made that my aim. Along with loving my own two children, I have committed to pray on behalf of those who need protection, to love even when it hurts, to give out of my resources, to take on that opportunity to minister to those who need it.
From our beginnings, I believe there is a vital, powerful, deep, nurturing strength placed within women to be capable of advocating for others, whether we give birth to them or not, in whatever capacity or situation we find ourselves in. You can be blessed ladies, in your role in our world, knowing that it is one no one else can fulfill. You have been placed here at this time and place for a specific purpose. A purpose which no one else can fill.
My prayer for those ladies out there, longing to hold babies one more time, or hug their moms one more time, or receive a card from a mom-like figure is that God will remind you how incredible, strong and gifted, needed and wanted you are, exactly as you are.
You are loved today and everyday.