I remember the days of love and insatiable longing. Longing for motherhood to be mine. To hold a tiny, wee babe, to croon love songs in their ears, to rock them, laugh with glee and celebrate each moment. Therefore, Mother’s Day Sundays were filled with tears and yearning, wondering when, or if I would ever bear that title, “Mom.” After all, I thought what is Mother’s day but a day filled with hope, love, longing and loss?
Surrogate family – nieces and nephews
And so, I poured out all that love and longing on my sibling’s children. With delight, I lavished attention upon my nephews and nieces, cuddling them, playing with, having tea parties. As well as sleepovers with popcorn and movies, and any other activity we could dream up. As Auntie I was reveling in each moment, enjoying watching them grow. They were “my” children too, and my sister and sisters-in-laws were gracious enough to indulge me. I mothered by proxy, if you will. I loved those children passionately and still do.
Finally, years later, through adoption, Geoffrey came along. Hope and longing were answered with joy.
And then after a grievous divorce and eventual remarriage, Leanne was born. How enchanting she was, tiny and with lots of dark hair.
I recall someone saying to me after Leanne was born; are you glad you have one of “your own?” Unquestionably, that was truly an awful moment.
For you see, motherhood grows in the heart; both of my children are gifts, both deeply cherished and profoundly loved! So, I felt no difference when each one was placed in my arms. Thereupon tucked in with tenderness, I knew it was right and good.
These darlings, entrusted to me.
Complexities – longing and loss
What a day – for those who have lost children – either through untimely and tragic deaths, or through a selfless act of surrendering that child so someone else could be a Mother.
At the same time there are those who suffer crushing pain and disillusionment; their Mothers, not what mothers are to be at all.
Mothers who we have lost, gone from this life to the next; and we miss them so much.
Broken or strained relationships between Mother and child, hurt that breathes with each breath.
Heartache for dreams destroyed, Mother‘s hearts beating out of our bodies; longing for their children to be okay, whole once again.
Dear ones for whom the longing to have a child is an ache refusing to be healed. Oh, the ache.
For those who are judged because they have no desire to be a Mother.
And for Mothers who think they have utterly failed, and can’t seem to find the way.
Ah, Mother’s Day, filled with hope, love, longing and loss.
You matter – your hope, love, longing and loss
In each of these scenarios I want to say; you are seen, you matter, your pain is real, and it counts. You are not lesser than. Each of you are of inestimable value. Your journey, this Mother’s Day, whether it be hope, love, longing or loss: the road you travel, you do not travel alone. Many of us have been, and are there, right now.
Ultimately, your value rests upon the One who loves you – tenderly, completely, and with eternal passion.
This One, will never leave, or forsake you. What’s more, He gathers each tear that has fallen. Collects them in a bottle.
Today, I want you know, wherever you are in this journey, you are infinitely precious to an Infinite God. Gather this comfort to yourself, wrap in it, a soft blanket, let it hold you.
In the midst of all your hope, love, longing and loss, cling to this absolute, infallible truth:
The LORD appeared to us…, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”Jeremiah 31:3
Sink deep into this, let it take root, steady you:
… in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8: 37 – 39
So, today, dear ones, remember this: forever, and always – you are loved.
“Courage, dear heart.”
– C. S. Lewis