Motherhood. I am in the thick of it. I have a baby who still wakes me up to nurse, and a preschooler who is on the cusp of being a big kid (he already insists he lives in this realm). I am sleep-deprived and weary, but simultaneously grateful for the life I have. There was a time that I wasn't 100% sure I wanted kids, yet here I am and it is a good life.
Over the years many mothers have had a tremendous impact on me. From my mom who has had the most influence by far to grandmothers who have taught and given endless one-on-one time; aunts who were like older sisters I never had; and the moms of friends who took an interest in me; and finally as an adult, the women who are family through marriage, who have have chosen to love me and my children. Thank you all for playing a part in my life.
Since becoming an adult I have watched many friends, and my younger sister, as they have waded into the unknown territory of motherhood ahead of me. I have learned and been encouraged by their experiences. Thank you for carrying the torch ahead of me and being willing to offer a listening ear during my harder mothering moments.
I have had so many encouraging voices at different life stages, from the women who made me feel like my choice to wait to have children was perfectly fine, to the infinite support I received when I had a miscarriage. I have been blessed with examples of women who gave me a glimpse into motherhood that didn't conform to norms. They showed me that being who I was deep inside could be enhanced by motherhood, that those parts that make me uniquely me didn't have to be discarded. Thank you for letting me in on that secret!
For the women who are struggling this Mother's Day – with infertility, loss of a child, loss of a mother, not fitting into what is expected of you, I want you to know that you are loved, that I have walked some of those paths and I hope you know that you are not alone.
A prayer for Mother's Day adapted by Heidi Carrington Heath and originally written by Amy Young
I want you to know I'm praying for you if you are like Tamar, struggling with infertility, or a miscarriage.
I want you to know that I'm praying for you if you are like Rachel, counting the women among your family and friends who year by year and month by month get pregnant, while you wait.
I want you to know I'm praying for you if you are like Naomi, and have known the bitter sting of a child's death.
I want you to know I am praying for you if you are like Joseph and Benjamin, and your Mom has died.
I want you to know that I am praying for you if your relationship with your Mom was marked by trauma, abuse, or abandonment, or she just couldn't parent you the way you needed.
I want you to know I am praying for you if you've been like Moses' mother and put a child up for adoption, trusting another family to love your child into adulthood.
I want you to know I am praying for you if you've been like Pharaoh's daughter, called to love children who are not yours by birth (and thus the mother who brought that child into your life, even if it is complicated).
I want you to know I am praying for you if you, like many, are watching (or have watched) your mother age, and disappear into the long goodbye of dementia.
I want you to know that I am praying for you if you, like Mary, are pregnant for the very first time and waiting breathlessly for the miracle of your first child.
I want you to know that I am praying for you if your children have turned away from you, painfully closing the door on relationship, leaving you holding your broken heart in your hands. And like Hagar, now you are mothering alone.
I want you to know that I am praying for you if motherhood is your greatest joy and toughest struggle all rolled into one.
I want you to know that I am praying for you if you are watching your child battle substance abuse, a public legal situation, mental illness, or another situation which you can merely watch unfold.
I want you to know that I am praying for you if you like so many women before you do not wish to be a mother, are not married, or in so many other ways do not fit into societal norms.
I want you to know that I am praying for you if you see yourself reflected in all, or none of these stories.
This mother's day, wherever and whoever you are, we walk with you. You are loved. You are seen. You are worthy. And may you know the deep love without end of our big, wild, beautiful God who is the very best example of a parent that we know. Amen.