And so over this past week, I resolved to work on spending time thinking about and praying for our birth mother. She is on my mind often and in my heart always. I long for her to know Jesus, to feel safe and loved. I long for her to fully know the depths of my gratitude for her, for her to know that it is through her sacrifice that I will become a mother, for her to know that I will love this child she carried, because I have been carrying him/her in my heart every single day for more than a year. I long for her to know that she is prayed for and honored by us and that she will continue to be for as long as we are alive. I long for her to know so many things, and I am praying that God will give us the opportunity to tell her all of them.
Still, as much as I have tried to keep my focus elsewhere, today has been difficult. I am so glad that we have a day set aside to honor mothers. You all deserve it! I truly believe that raising children is one of the highest callings that can be placed on a woman's life, and those who rise up to the challenge most certainly deserve to be honored for all they do. You mothers out there are all-stars in my book. Yet today I found myself struggling, feeling lost, confused, maybe even hurt. My heart longs to join this group, these women who train up the next generation, but the Lord has not yet done that in my life. He has me waiting.
And I spend a whole lot of time wondering why.
I wonder if I am not really suited to motherhood.
If the Lord doesn't have it in His plans for us to have children.
If I will be waiting for years on end to have just one child in my home.
These are the doubts that trouble my mind. And while I know they are not true, they are still things I struggle with, things I am ready to put behind me. I do know that the Lord has a plan for me and that His intention and desire for my life are far greater than anything I could come up with on my own. Still, days like today are hard. And I am writing this not to have you feel sorry for me, but because I feel certain that there are other women out there who feel this way. And to you, I want to say,
"Do not give up. God is growing you, teaching you, reshaping you, stretching you, preparing you. It is so hard. Impossible. But it is only impossible for you and for me. Not for Him. He is able to do more than we can imagine; we just have to hang in there and trust that He is good."
Today did not start out well for me. I cried most of the way to church and through most of the singing. But it got better. God was able to refocus my heart, and He used the beautiful people He has brought into my life to bring me tangible pieces of joy today. Thank you so much to those who wished me a Happy Mother's Day today. I cannot tell you how much good it did for my heart to be included. I know there are no children in my home yet; right now they are living in my heart, and it means so much to me that you acknowledged that. Along that note, if you know a woman who is adopting and is waiting, would you wish her a Happy Mother's Day today? I promise that with those words you will bless her soul and fill her heart more than you could ever know.
Our pastor does a fantastic thing on Mother's Day each year. I guess it has become a tradition in a lot of churches to have the mothers stand and be recognized on Mother's Day. Pastor David has put a different spin on it. He asks all of the women in the church to stand, and then he encourages the men in the room to "honor them." Once we are all standing, the men break out into the loudest cheering, applauding, whooping, hollering and, in the case of my dear husband, cow-calling ever heard inside a church building. By the end of it, most of the women are smiling and trying very hard not to give in to bashful laughing. This is always followed by a time of prayer for all of the women in our faith family. He does this to show honor to women (and their work in God's kingdom) in all walks of life. As someone for whom Mother's Day can be a bit difficult, I appreciate this so much.
Our sermon this morning was out of Proverbs 31, a passage which highlights Biblical Womanhood. I want to finish up by sharing the passage with you. It is meant to be an encouragement to women. As we face so much pressure from the world to be a certain way, look a certain way, act a certain way, let this picture of an honorable woman settle on you and remind you that what the Lord desires for us is far beyond what the world asks of us. I hope and pray that this blesses you today.
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.