There were times in my life I didn't really give much thought to whether I'd ever have kids. Especially when I was in college and dating and even after I was engaged, the thought of focusing on career and spouse instead of raising a family seemed as instinctive as anything maternal.
I won't go into the details of when and how that changed, but by time I was 35, I was pretty sure I would never be a mother. And by then, I wasn't happy about it.
I went through a period where Mother's Days and many other family, work and church events, especially those involving stages of growing families, carried some bitter along with the wonderful sweetness. I regretted decisions I had made that seemed to have led to this fate, but I also wondered if maybe God didn't think I would have been a good mother. After all, He knows I can barely take care of me and my own stuff; how could He have entrusted me with precious new lives? But I would look around at the wide range of women having children, some seeming far less capable than me, and again not understand why I couldn't be one of them. After all, doesn't God equip us for the roles He gives us?
OK, then, maybe, for whatever reason, the role God equipped me for wasn't to be a Mom but rather to be a searcher, an observer and, eventually, a supporter. I'm not sure I fill those roles much better than I do the role of personal caretaker. But as my faith continues to grow, I feel peace with where I am in relationship to my husband, my parents, my siblings and extended family and friends.
There are so many ways in all of these relationships that I would like to be more -- more supportive, more helpful, more consistent, more reliable. I continue to pray to grow in all of these relationships -- and beyond -- to God's glory. He continues to show me the blessings of such growth and that gives me hope that all things are possible in my relationships (including self and self-care) if I stay focused on God.
I'm not a mom, but today was a great Mother's Day. So much love of mothers and grandmothers and greats and other special women was shared among family and friends. I hope and pray everyone was able to experience some blessings and precious memories today.