Sunday, May 10, 2009

Childless Mothers.

Today is Mother's Day. Everywhere you go, you can find reminders. Today is about honoring those women who have birthed children. And those who have adopted them or made a place in their family for them. It's about the love, joy, heartache and tears that go with that title... Mother.

To all of you Mothers, I salute you. You have been given an amazing blessing. You are fulfilling that inalienable right that belongs to every woman. The right to love, teach, correct, guide, and nurture a child. The right to sleepless nights and endless days. The right of tears - tears of joy, tears of sorrow. The right to giggles under covers, whispered "I love you's" and holding sticky fingers. You are fulfilling the right to possess some of the strongest and most selfless love to be found this side of heaven - and the right to deepest agony and heartbreak. You are living and breathing that right. And you are blessed.

But today's post isn't just for you. In fact, most of it isn't for you at all. Today's post is for the childless mothers.

What's that? You want to know how a Mother can be childless? Come with me, and I'll show you.

I'll start with a beautiful woman named Devon. Devon has a two year old daughter (or maybe she's three now) named Riley. She loves this little girl fiercely and unconditionally. So I guess she's not childless... Unless you compare what should be with what actually is. You see, last year, Devon had two amazing little boys - Blake and Ethan. For reasons beyond Devon's control, Blake and Ethan came early. Way too early. It was only a few days before they were healed. Their healing didn't come the way Devon might have hoped. It came when they stepped into eternity. And now, Devon has so little of them to hold onto... Memories, tears. Names. Some photographs. A drawing.

And today? A tiny life within, growing each day. Fear that like Ethan and Blake, this little one won't stay here on earth. Fear that at the end of this pregnancy, people will still think she is a mother of one. But Devon is not a mother of one. She is a mother of four. And yet, in some ways, she is one of them... One of the childless mothers.

But she's not the only one on my mind today. I also think about a sweet girl from my church. A girl who "fell in love" with a boy. She gave herself to him in a momentary lack of reason. He took himself away from her. She knew it wasn't love - never had been and never would be. Nine months later, she held her tiny son in her arms. And then gave him the best she could. That best meant granting a couple's deepest desire. It meant giving up part of who she was. It meant tears - countless tears. Sorrow. Regret. A broken heart. It meant becoming a childless mother.

There is another kind of childless mother. It's the last kind I am going to talk about today. This mother is the one who has never had the privilege of bringing life into this world. She is the woman who doesn't sit up at night caring for a sick child - instead, she lays awake, sick with longing. She doesn't know the pain of childbirth - but she knows the pain of an empty womb. She's never had a tiny life completely dependent on her for every need - so she searches for purpose in other areas. But like Mother's everywhere, she's paced the floors for hours while praying for a child. Like other Mother's, she's sacrificed nearly all of who she is in an effort to bring life into this world and make it better. She's had her heart broken when 'her' child is adopted by someone else... Or the child's birth mother changes her mind. Like so many mothers, she has pictures in her mind of her child - except these pictures are only in her mind. Like other mothers, she knows love, joy, peace, hope... And she knows anguish, selflessness, anger, and fear. She is a Childless Mother.

I am a Childless Mother.

And just for now, I am going to pretend that today is for me too.

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1 comment:

Angel said...

Jen, you are not a childless mother and today is for you as well.
I have a child waiting for me in heaven as well, when people ask me how many children I have, I have three. Two on earth with me and one waiting for me in Heaven.
Your children are your children, you still carried them you still conceived them, and a life begins at conception.
You are not pretending, today is for you and one day you will celebrate with a child on this earth but for now they are with Jesus, and they love you and they know who you are.
You day is coming, God will bless you abundantly an di will pray for the day you hold your baby in your arms.
Happy Mothers day.