I used to dread Mother’s Day. That was the day we went to church and all of the moms were asked to stand up and be recognized during church. Some years the moms even got a carnation. It was a lovely gesture for all the moms in attendance, and I’m positive that the person who thought up the idea of recognizing moms in church with applause and flowers never intended to hurt anyone.
There were, however, a decade of Mother’s Days when I had to summon all the control I could muster to keep from crying when the carnation-bearing ushers passed me by. It’s hard not to be a mom on Mother’s Day especially when you really want to be a mom.
This perpetual longing for a child eventually led me to a crisis of faith. I had a choice to make. I could either become increasingly bitter over the fact that God was denying my wish for a child, or I could cling to what I know to be true about God. That is that He loves me, knows what is best for me, and makes no mistakes. I chose truth. I chose to accept with gratitude all of the blessings that God showered on me, even when one of those “blessings” was childlessness.
Now that I’m a grandma, having skipped the child-bearing that usually accompanies that distinction, I can look back on those years and see that God had a plan for me. I just didn’t know it yet. He knew that a certain ten year old girl was going to be needing a haven for a year (or eleven) in the near future, and that haven was to be our home.
I think about what I would have missed if I’d have had a baby when I’d wanted one so badly. I’d have missed watching that certain little girl grow up to be a lovely young woman. A girl who isn’t my daughter, but a girl who perfectly fills the longing that I had to be a mother. Who but God could do that?
Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor mothers, and that is a wonderful thing. It’s also a time for me to look back and remember that God can fill any longing of my heart, and He can do it in ways that I would never imagine.