May 11, 2012

[un]Mother's Day

Sunday is Mother's Day.  As you might imagine, Mother's Day is a hard day for the motherless and the childless. It is a beautiful holiday and I am so excited to celebrate the incredible mother's in my life (Hi Mom!  Hi sis!  His sis-in-laws!) But, it comes with an element of sadness for those of us who don't fall into that category yet.

Me and Mom at my wedding in 2006

I am not one of those bitter barren women who hates the sight of children.  I work in the children's programming at church.  I go to events for my nieces and nephews.  I rejoice when my friends announce pregnancies.  I happily go to baby showers.  I host baby showers.  I navigate Buy Buy Baby and try and choose the perfect baby gift.  I am not bitter or angry or upset that other women get this miracle.  And it is a miracle!  As I learn more about what it takes to get pregnant the more miraculous it seems! 

I might not be bitter.  I might rejoice.  But I'm still hurting. I still struggle with envy.  My mixed emotions going into Mother's Day aren't because I feel bitter or envious or covetous.  I am struggling because Mother's Day is a reminder of my unfulfilled longings.  It's a reminder of this thing I want above else and can't have. 

Two years ago on Mother's Day, the church we were visiting asked all of the mother's to stand and receive recognition for the incredible women they are. I remained seated.  At the time, we hadn't been trying for very long and I had no idea where this journey would take us.  I didn't know the true heartbreak and emotions of infertility yet.  I didn't think of myself as infertile yet.  But, I still felt like I had a huge neon sign over my head pointing right at me flashing "not a mother, not a mother." 

The logical part of my brain knows that people weren't staring.  (Well, actually at this church they might have been.  This is the same church where Casey and I were asked why we were there since we were a married couple with no children.)  I'm not so self-absorbed to think people even noticed me.  But I felt the eyes of people wondering about the selfish, egotistical woman in the middle pew who obviously has some deep internal flaw that she doesn't want to be a mother. I know they weren't all wondering what was wrong with me.  I know they weren't labeling me a failure for my inability to conceive. But in my pain it was all I could feel. In my pain it was all I could see.

This year, the church we go to could very well ask all of the mother's to stand.  Once again, I won't be one of them. I find solace thinking someday I will be. One day I hope to be a mother. One of the women standing on mother's day with a perfect beautiful child holding my hand. 

But I know that I will never be one of those women.  Even after God blesses us with a child, I will still be infertile.  I will still be a woman who walked with Jesus in the desert.  I will forever be changed by this experience.

I have a stronger relationship with Christ.  I know He is faithful.  I know He is trustworthy.  I know He cares about me. 

I have a stronger relationship with my husband.  We have traveled this desert together.  And he is truly a man of God who is leading our family through this time.

I am walking with Jesus in the desert.  And so today I thank him for the opportunity.  I might not be a mother yet, but someday I will be.  And when I am, I will be a better mother because of this journey.

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