09 May 2020

Why Mothers Day is for All Women

Mothers day is for all women.

Physical mothers who carry their babies for nine months. Spiritual mothers who may not have children of their own. Adoptive mothers. Birth mothers who carry their babies and courageously give up their babies for adoption. Foster moms who become moms to children who have no mom. Godmothers. Spiritual mentors.

This second Sunday in May is for each of you.

Rewind to an October day in 2018.

I was driving on the freeway to my parents making a visit to drop off something.

While in the car I was talking aloud to Jesus. I was telling him honestly about some of the things on my heart these days: fears about dating after my annulment, how to know when I meet the right man I will marry, and fears that perhaps its not in the cards for me to marry and have my own children someday.

You see, that last one was an extra sensitive subject for my heart. 

I have wanted to be a mommy from the time I was a little girl. As I worked through the loss of my marriage and adapting to a new life, I had to name and wrestle with the reality that perhaps it wouldn't be in the cards for me to marry again and have children of my own.

For awhile now, I danced around being fully transparent with Jesus on this topic. I tip-toed around it thinking as long as I didn't actually express my feelings, I'd be fine. FALSE.
You can never fool God.

Anyway, back to that car ride.

So, I decided to be really honest with Jesus. I started to cry.

I told Jesus all my fears and insecurities that those things would never happen for me. There may have been some choice (aka four lettered) words I used. But I was really honest with God.

I got it all out.

Later on in the day, I was doing some cleaning at my apartment. While scrubbing the toilet (God really can speak anywhere!), I had such a sense of the presence and the peace of God. 

I will be okay if those things don't happen for me. I have impacted the lives of many people. I can be a mom in lots of different ways to my nephew, my godsons, and the children of close friends. Life will still be good and meaningful if I never can be a physical mother.

It just kind of downloaded on me. I knew this was God because of how deeply things resonated in my soul. There was a shift for me that day, toilet brush in hand.

Why share this?

Sometimes Mothers Day is a very hard, sad day for people. 

Maybe your mom is gone, abandoned you, or you have a tumultuous relationship at best.

Perhaps you don't have children, are unable to conceive, or do not understand why everyone else around you gets pregnant except you. Maybe you are single and wonder if you'll ever experience being a mom.

Those of you who are physical mothers and have birthed babies through your incredible bodies, please do not hear this as not recognizing or seeing you. What a beautiful joy and privilege to have such a gift like that in your life. 

I am genuinely and sincerely happy for you. I really mean it.

But as a Catholic woman who does not have children, sometimes Mothers Day is hard because it feels like the focus of the day is on something I do not have, children.

There have been years it is difficult to be at Mass and the priest asks all the moms to stand for a blessing.

You know what he should do? Ask EVERY woman in that church to stand up, because every woman is a mother. Every single woman in that church should be standing up.

Physical motherhood is an incredible gift, but it is not the only way to be a mom.

While we are not able to gather in church buildings this Mothers Day, let's just be aware to celebrate and honor all women today. Remember those too for whom this day is painful, sad, or lonely.

A mother is not determined by the babies she wishes she had or how many earthly children she has.

In her writings Edith Stein continually points out, to be a mother is to nourish and protect true humanity and bring it to development. 

What does this mean for all women this Mothers Day?

It means a woman's greatest strength and power lies in her gift of maternity, both physical and spiritual.

So celebrate all the women on Mothers Day; acknowledge all the many beautiful ways women can be moms in their communities, families, and the world.

Because the second Sunday of May each year is for every woman.

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