Before the birds have eaten all of the seed, before you have a chance to defrost and eat that frozen top tier of the cake (ugh!), and even before wedding etiquette demands that you mail out all of those thank you cards, the question comes, “So, when are you having children?” Its what society has taught us since we were young girls on the playground, singing silly songs about love, marriage, and the baby carriage. Women are supposed to become mothers.
I want to go on record before I go any further and say that I have a great mother, a wonderful grandmother, special aunts and girlfriends who are mothers to their own little ones. I love them all dearly and hope that they feel pampered and loved for their sacrifices as a Mom when Mother’s Day rolls around on Sunday. But, what about myself and countless other women for whom Mother’s Day is a reminder of what they don’t have?
What about the woman who has had an abortion? Did you know that 1 in 3 women inside the walls of the church has had an abortion (data via Surrendering the Secret)? Or the 2% of women in the United States who choose selflessly to place their child up for adoption each year (data via Adoption.com)?
What about the woman who experiences miscarriage, possibly even multiple miscarriages? Or the woman who must suffer the pain of stillbirth? There were more than 28,000 stillbirths in the United States last year (data via The National Stillbirth Society)? Or the woman who must endure the death of her child due to accident or illness?
What about those women struggling with infertility? What about the woman who wants to focus on career now and become a mother later in life? Or the woman who lacks the financial resources needed to raise a child?
While many mothers will celebrate with beautiful cards, handmade gifts, breakfast in bed, and flowers, other women will fight back tears, suffer feelings of immense guilt and loss, inadequacy, and if we are really being honest, perhaps that old green eyed monster will make an appearance. Satan will seek to remind us throughout the day that we are not enough, that our love, our marriage is somehow less because there is no baby carriage.
But your love is not less, your marriage is not less and most importantly, YOU are not less. And not because I say so, but because the very God who made you says so. So, this Sunday, mother or not, remember that no matter what society tells us, our greatest role in life is not that of parent, but rather that of child, God’s child. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1a, NIV)