Infertility – Learning to Celebrate Other Women
Do you try to avoid May altogether?
I remember the first few years. I didn’t want to go into any stores as many seemed to have adorable children’s clothing for Easter and spring. Then I’d go to others that had sweet sentiments for mothers on their displays. Each store had some sort of mother and/or child aspect that brought pangs of sorrow to my heart.
Then there was church. They did a great job of honouring mothers on their special day – and they should’ve. I’d watch many moms carry around a rose or special gift that the church would give to honour them. But I’d never receive one. I’d listen to the presentation they’d make, eyes closed, tears streaming down my face. I’d try not to move my shoulders as a few sobs slipped out. Sometimes I’d try to time a ‘bathroom break’ conveniently at that moment. Would I ever be able to handle this?
I even got to the point where I would try to avoid celebrating my own moms. I didn’t want to acknowledge the day at all. They knew I loved them and appreciated everything they did. Wasn’t that enough? I could celebrate them on their birthdays and Christmas or another random day.
But I realized that wasn’t fair. Why was I creating further heartache for them just because I couldn’t handle it myself? I knew I needed to change or I’d never be able to get through this day on the calendar.
So, I started small. The first year after, I decided to call/text them and surprise my mom with a visit. She was gracious to let us hide out at her house, while we focused solely on her and her great love for us.
We picked my stepmom the next year. This time, I braved going to church with them on the Sunday morning. Someone handing out roses went to give me one. I told him I didn’t have kids. He just smiled and said have one anyways. It felt good. Even though I didn’t have children, I no longer felt like I stood out.
Then, the year after, I noticed that the church took a moment to acknowledge moms, as well as, every other woman. They realized that every woman has the opportunity to nurture and care for children, whether as a mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, mentor, or spiritual mom. They also acknowledged that some women may have been pregnant and lost a child through miscarriage or stillbirth. So, even though their children weren’t with them, they are still moms.
And from that Mother’s Day on, my heart has softened. Though that day still has a lingering flinch of discomfort, I am at peace. I can celebrate my moms, and even other moms too. I acknowledge every woman, not knowing if they’ve had and lost a child, tried countless times with no success, never had the opportunity or calling to marriage to have children, or don’t feel the desire to. The Lord knows their hearts and their stories.
I tell you my story to encourage you in knowing that you can have peace too. This pain you’re feeling will not be as intense one day. The Lord will be a healing balm to your heart.
Each life is beautiful and has an opportunity to impact those around them. In fact, every Christian woman should be a spiritual mom. We are called to disciple those younger than us; to share the gospel and guide those young in faith towards Christ.
So, whether you have physical children or not, you are a mother of some kind. It could be biological, adopted, children that have passed away, nieces and nephews, spiritual children, and even fur-babies. I acknowledge and honour each one of you.
In saying all of this, I do highly respect each woman who is physically mothering a child. Having a puppy has given me a taste of what having a child would be like. Friends who’ve had babies and puppies have said they can be very similar. It takes a lot of hard work, time, and sacrifice. It means setting aside many things you’d like to do in order to meet the needs of your little ones. It’s giving up rest and other responsibilities, laying yourself down for the needs of others. It’s tiring and selfless. So, I do want to thank you for the time and investment that you are pouring into your children. As I shared in “The Power of a Mother,” you have an incredible impact on your children’s lives for the LORD. Please continue to pursue Jesus first, your husband second, and then your children, leaving a lasting example of Christ to them all. I’m cheering you on in this assignment the Lord has given you.