Mother's Day

Well, if you haven't noticed today's is Mother's Day. I love my mom--she is one of the greatest women I know; she's always looking for how she can help other people. It's a great example for me.

Though I'm thankful for my mom and will take time today to celebrate her, today is one of the most difficult holidays for me---year three of trying to start a family has passed and still I have nothing to celebrate today. I opened up Facebook on Friday and already the Mother's Day status updates had begun:

I've carried a baby within my body, I've slept with a baby on my chest, I've kissed boo boos, mended broken hearts, been thrown up on, peed on and pooped on and I've spent sleepless nights in a rocking chair. I WOULDN'T have it any other way. My body isn't magazine perfect, but when I look into the mirror I see a mama, and there is no greater honor or blessing. Make this your status if you love being a mama ♥

This is just the first one that jumped out at me and forced me to stay logged out of Facebook for the majority of the weekend. I am happy for all of my pregnant friends (which is most of my friends), and I wouldn't want anyone to experience the tremendous pain that comes along with infertility. But this weekend, this holiday, just makes my whole body tense up.

This weekend I've kept myself busy doing school work, reading a book for pleasure, cleaning my house, cooking, running, biking and spending time catching up with friends. Today we are skipping church. I'm taking time to catch up on my writing and later we'll head out to Ash Hollow to get lost in God's glorious creation. I hate missing church, but I don't think we can sit through a service where mothers are celebrated--where roses are given to moms, where moms are asked to stand and be recognized, where moms proudly wear gaudy boutonnieres pinned to their dresses. Ceremonies like this are needed---but they make infertile couples or couples who have experienced the death or loss of a child feel out of place, like foreigners in a new land. I'm not even sure what our church does for Mother's Day (we've always been out of town)---but I'd hate to go and then burst into tears because another year has passed and I'm not a mom, ruining it for those who have been blessed with this role.

Yesterday a friend and I went on a run and then stood around outside and chatted for about an hour. She and her husband have struggled with similar infertility issues as ours and have experienced the pure agony of a miscarriage. We talked about how vital it is to protect our hearts at all times, but especially on weekends like this one. Then we moved into the dreaded "what if" conversation----what if we never become parents? My friend explained that in her Bible study a few weeks back, they came across a chapter in a Francis Chan book that asked something like, "Are you willing and ready to go anywhere God wants you to go? To do anything He wants you to do? To endure suffering on His account? To give up your desires in order to have Him?"

I wrestle with this a lot. At times, I am a conditional Christian--when things are going great, I can praise God. But the minute I read that another close friend is planning to welcome a new baby in the world, I fall apart and question why God would deny me children. Well meaning people try to comfort us telling us that someday we'll make great parents, that God will give us the desires of our hearts because we love Him (Psalm 37:4 and Psalm 145:19). But...I don't think these verses are meant to imply that God will give us whatever we want just because we love Him---I think they say a lot about the nature of desires. Our desires should be Him. This gets me thinking---how often have I put my desire to be a mother above my desire to serve God or grow closer to God? What if my desire to be a mother is not what God's desire is for me? Will I be okay with that?

I don't think it's safe to say that someday we will be parents. Yes, that's my hope and desire. But I want my first desire to be to serve my Father. I just have to work on making that my top priority--on stripping myself of selfish desires. Like John the Baptist writes, "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less" (John 3:30).

No comments: