On Mother's Day

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Well, since the brief announcement in the post the other week, I'm just going to get right into it. There will surely be more posts specific on other topics pertaining to expecting, but this one is going to touch on my thought's on Mother's Day, seeing as this past Sunday was so. It was a full day yet also a bittersweet one for me, and soon you will see why...
The past few years have been a really hard time on this day. There are quite a few reasons involved, but one big focus is the question- what constitutes a mother, what's the definition? Because yesterday, after church, I was left wondering, as I have many times before. Perhaps its a sacrificial love for others, and serving as a mother-figure to little ones, whether its family or at your work. And are you still a mother even if you child was adopted? Oh, yes, without a doubt- we are all adopted into God's family by the grace of Christ, too, we must not forget that. I was also thinking that the longing for a child- that deep, God-seated dream of bringing a child into the world to teach to love and serve God above all else- if there's a longing, with or without fruition, are you still a mother? And what if you lose a child, whether in utero or any day after his or her first breath?
Always, even through a tragedy- with care, with longing, with loss, and with life- you are still a mother. God has not forgotten you! This matters. Know this, ladies!
I was a little taken aback at church yesterday because of the situations touched on here which were not touched on in a mother's light during the service. Now I understand that some of these topics are just hard to talk about- the waiting, the loss- but they can't be ignored, and some big part of me felt that. I left feeling a little uneasy, maybe even cheated, if that's even justifiable. But maybe I  was thinking too much on it, because I have had the past few years to think about what Mother's Day truly means. Just as I have had the past few years to think about how we wanted to announce to all when the time for blessing came....Yes, I was definitely thinking too much on it..
How many ways are there to become a mother? There was a time in the service where mothers in the congregation stood up, based on: how young your children are, how old they are, how many you have, how many generations are under you, if you adopted, how far you traveled (if an out-of-towner)... but there were still types of mothers who were at the least not touched upon. I can only imagine how many in the congregation fall into this category: those who are in hurt, who have lost, who are in the midst of waiting, and who are expecting. You are all mothers too! Longing to be a mother or longing for a child that didn't take breath or longing for a child you have since lost or longing for the day soon when your home will grow by one (or two, or more)- you are ALL still mothers! Maybe I was thinking too much into it, but I felt like these types on motherhood are still too precious to be ignored. And they are.
Now I understand that these topics of loss make us so uncomfortable- what is there to say? how will anything I say ever be enough? And I personally can't answer that- I wouldn't even be sure to say if anyone who has gone through that pain can truly answer that. Only God can fill the void, and even then, you're left wondering. God chooses you to be a mother to this child for this amount of time, whether your child leaves the womb without breath or is lost later in life or lives a full life... Or if your child is still growing in the womb, by God's grace....You are the perfect mother for this blessing. That cannot be ignored on mother's day! I am reminded... "for everything there is a season" and we are not in the place to understand the ways of God- what he has ordained for us and our children in this life.
The further we dwelled in this past season of waiting, the more I read and heard and noticed of women who were in the midst of loss, whether friends or others bloggers, and the more I was simply aware. And after being in the midst of waiting, for years, we know how difficult mothers and fathers day can be during this in-between. Anyone waiting on a blessing and regaining composure to some extent after a loss by any definition, know how difficult this time of the year can be. On Mother's Day this year, expecting, I felt confused as to why those who are expecting a blessing soon were not acknowledged, as least as greatly as those who have. And on past Mother's Days, I was taken aback by how the losses were just brushed past- even if they are hard topics- and the longing to be a mother- that was somewhat ignored as well. This maybe made it more difficult to get through. And it's not so much that any of us in the waiting or expectant want a "prize" of sorts, but it's more that we just would appreciate to be acknowledged and to know that we are still loved in this capacity--- because there are many different paths to becoming a mother, they should all be spoken of. And when you have been given that gift of grace, a child growing in your belly, and it isn't acknowledged - that may be even more painful than the years in waiting. But maybe it can be taken too personally, yes, it easily can---and that's where grace comes in (Thank you Jesus for Your grace yesterday!)
We have some incredible friends and family back home who have shared lots of love with us lately during this season of expecting, and sent us kind notes yesterday! It was such a thoughtful gesture and we really appreciated it. It is such an incredible feeling to be in this place now, where we are expecting our first little blessing this coming October, and we are in a season of joyous waiting to meet him or her. Yesterday was a graceful day of reflection and it was such a warm feeling when I received messages from loved ones wishing a happy expectant-mother's day -- I surely felt loved and appreciated and acknowledged. After the years of waiting and uncertainty and not knowing, it felt full-circle in ways of where we are today. Last year on mother's day, I never would have guessed that we would be expecting at this point- I just had no way of knowing, and really didn't know what to think on it. A big part of me didn't want to expect anything and "plan" for something that we have no control over, and in the end be disappointed- another year. (Because in the beginning I did that, as I'm sure many of us do) Maybe that's just the season of waiting getting to you. There is no way of knowing God's plans he has laid out for you and your family... And maybe that's for the better. Yes, it's definitely for the better.
So wherever you were yesterday, and whatever season of life you find yourself in at this moment, know that you are not ignored. It can be so easy to feel uncomfortable, lost, bitter, even betrayed (in a sense of the word) when your losses or your aches for a little one aren't acknowledged to the extent you were expecting. Maybe some of us have high hopes for what this day could be- a day of remembrance, a day of reflection, maybe even a day of regret of what could have been (not that you could have done anything about it... but that feeling doesn't leave you. It's a hard line to walk, once you have that desire). But know that even on this day which brings mixed feelings for so many- you are still a mother. Whether it's a mother-to-be-one-day by any means or you have and have lost. You are precious in God's sight, as He sees all the hurt, the ache, the anticipation. And He is right there with you. Let's accept the gift of grace upon grace which God gives us, so freely, no matter the season we are in.
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