If you think about it, most people can name at least one woman in their life that doesn’t have a child per say, yet is mentoring, loving, caring, raising, nurturing, and encouraging another person or child on a daily basis. One week before my wedding I sat in the doctor’s office to learn I needed surgery immediately and I may never have children. To say I was devastated is probably putting it mildly.
As I made the trip from Syracuse back to New Haven, my first thought, “What if Ed doesn’t want to still marry me? The wedding is next week?” Why did I think this? One of Ed’s goals was to have a lot of children. He is from a family of eight kids – four boys and four girls. I, on the other hand, said two was a good number. We compromised and agreed two was more realistic in today’s society (and this was over twenty years ago). Ed could tell by the red eyes and sniffling the appointment hadn’t gone well. He just held me.
Once I shared the news, he held me tighter. I remember asking him, “Do you still want to marry me? I can’t give you any kids.” Ed’s response was beautiful and perfect, “I’m not marrying you for the kids you might have, and I’m marrying you because I love YOU.” More tears. We didn’t share the news with anyone, except our parents, until after the wedding. No sense in worrying others – of course to hear “This time next year you’ll be a family” in various forms throughout the day was a challenge, but no one knew this wasn’t a possibility.
Or so we thought. Years later when we had finally accepted we would probably never have children, God worked His miracles and blessed us with a daughter. One we love so much and I thank God for each day. I have friends who were in similar situations as us that never gave birth to a child yet they are some of the finest women I know. Their care and ability to help others and make a difference in the lives of many is an encouragement to me.
I say Happy Mother’s Day to all the women out there who may not have their own child or children. To the women who might not understand why God hasn’t given them their own child. To the women that choose to invest in the lives of others in deep, meaningful, and huge ways as they use the gifts God’s given them. I pray for each of these women, for you, if this is you.
Mom is an endearing word to most, while to others it has the potential to trigger pain, loss, and discouragement. Join me in praying that these women would feel the love of God surround them and know their purpose is different than what they may have planned, dreamed, or envisioned YET it’s the one God has for them. This is easier to type and say, than to accept and live.
Regardless of who is calling you Mom (teacher, mentor, role model, neighbor, aunt, grandma, and friend) ~ remember you are not an accident and God has great things for you and your life, even if you can’t see it at the moment.