I’ve spent more of my life as a single woman (38 years) than as a married one (almost 5 years). My only child is about to turn 3 in less than a week (*gasp*). And I have spent 20 Mother’s Day celebrations without my own mother. So I have a sensitivity to women who have not had children of their own (whether through singleness or infertility). I’ve felt the sting of being motherless most often around her birthday (early December) and the date of her passing (three days before Christmas). Any memory or milestone can trigger feelings of loss or emptiness, even two decades after my mother’s death.
I say all that to say…I understand the wound. I have felt the wound. I still feel it sometimes.
So if that’s you–if you’re feeling the wound this Mother’s Day–you’re not alone.
The enemy of your soul would love for you to feel like you are.
He’d love for you to isolate yourself, to sulk, to play patty cake at your own pity party.
He’d love to steal your joy and peace by trading in the truth for his lies.
So here’s the truth:
You can still be fully feminine (even if your womb is empty) and fully loved (even if you’ve never been a wife) and can be fully parented by God (even if you are still reeling from the ache of losing your mother).
Here’s one way I have learned to experience joy in the face of dreams deferred and tangible loss:
Give what you don’t have.
That sounds super crazy, doesn’t it? How do you give what you don’t have?
You have to have access to a bigger storehouse than yourself.
If I’m doing this well, I’m acknowledging my hope/loss, and looking to God Himself as my chief Comforter. He becomes my storehouse of joy. And I’m able to celebrate others rather than solely soaking in my own tears/regrets/griefs.
I could send a text to all my mom friends celebrating the fact that they’re doing the hard work of mothering.
I could give a hug to an empty nester who’s missing her kids who might be around my age.
I could mentor a younger single woman who’s having trouble finding her way.
I could tutor a child who might be struggling with a subject in which God has given me proficiency.
I could find ways within my circle of influence to affirm motherhood and participate in it: encouraging words, babysitting, disciple making, volunteering, etc.
There are a million and one ways to give the gift of motherhood–the very thing you may feel has been withheld from you. Just look around you! And as you’re giving it away, you’ll marvel to see how God fills you with joy and peace as He becomes your greatest joy.