Happy Mother’s Day! I remember when this day brought nothing but sad sobs. And it wasn’t just Mother’s Day. I remember crying as I bowed my head during baby blessings – why wouldn’t God let me have children?? I just wanted my own babies in my own home, complete with diapers and boogers and tears – I wanted everything that others complained about. I was married for six years before we had any kids of our “own” in our own home – and I got married late! I was ready from day one and God’s answer was no. Every single day for six years, for 2,190 days, His answer was no. No kids for me. At least not any in my home.
I originally thought it was because I wasn’t good enough for God to entrust with any kids. But, as time went on and I learned to mother – really mother – children from all walks of life, I learned that God just needed time to teach me what a mother really was. And how much I could really love. And how to find the children who needed me as He let me learn the truth to the scripture in Isaiah 54:1…
Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.
I did not feel much like singing about my empty heart, but I began teaching seminary and I found children there who needed a mother. I later discovered that a few of the students who I felt a special bond with actually didn’t have mothers at all in their home. Most, however, did have their own birth mothers, but I learned that I was an important figure in their lives and a part of the village that got to raise them.
I loved all of my students. I had a special love for them that I thought was secondary to the love I could have had with “my own” children (if God ever decided to let me have some in my own home).
But six years after I was married, God DID let me have “my own” children! Two of them!
While at an amusement park one day with “my own” children, I bumped into a former student that I had taught in seminary. This student was one I loved very much and I was so happy to see him again. My love for him flooded and I held back tears as he told me about the mission he served and getting married in the temple. I even got to meet his wife! I felt the very truth of the scripture found in 3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
The love that I have for “my own” children, the ones I gave birth to, is very real. But, having lived and loved on both sides of the fertility fence, I can boldly share that this love that I have for “my own” children is equal to the love I have for the students I allowed myself to mother as a seminary teacher. They are as much “my own” as my own.
With no musical ability to speak of, my soul cannot help but sing when I think of all of my children. I gave birth to two, but my mothering extends well beyond the boogers I can reach to wipe. Most of “my” children don’t call me mom, but my mother heart still beats for them.
I know now that a Mother is really just a good woman who is willing to be benched and bruised and boldly love any of God’s children. Whether she actually gave birth to them is completely irrelevant. So, for all of my mother-hearted friends out there, with and without “your own” children in your home, I hope you have a happy, happy day remembering the children, the many, many, many children, you mother.
Much love! Meg