When I was leaving the hospital this mother’s day after a busy overnight shift I came across one of the hospital employees. I see her regularly but have never interacted other than a polite greeting I asked her if she was a mother and she said no. She asked me the same I said I was and she wished me happy mother’s day. Shortly after I asked the question though, I regretted the folly of it. It brought to mind the difficult day mother’s day is for many. This was further reinforced by a lovely prayer read at the church service I attended later that day. The writer in her prayer was inclusive of everyone, not only biological but adoptive, foster and step mothers. She also included women who desired to be mothers but were unable to be due to either infertility, pregnancy losses, inability to successfully adopt or the inability to find a life partner to meet and share their life. She did not neglect to pray for women who made the difficult decisions about giving their child up for adoption or those who had chosen abortion.
I couldn’t help but think back to that woman earlier that morning. She was not a mother. Was that a choice or a circumstance? While I respect the decision of women who choose not to be mothers, I am also well aware that many women who appear to be comfortable with not being a parent may have been a victim of circumstance. It was not a choice but rather a sometimes painful circumstance that they were placed in.
So my belated mother’s day message is that I believe that God has a purpose for us all. If part of our purpose is to raise our own children, biological or adopted we should value it for the awesome privilege that it is and if that was not in your plan I encourage you to embrace the possibilities. I can’t help but think of two very different women whom I admire greatly, neither of whom raised biological children. Mother Teresa, now a saint in the Catholic Church, and Oprah Winfrey a champion among us. They have both done very great things for humanity and Oprah continues to do so. I would suggest that they would never have been able to play the role that they did if they raised successful children of their own. So if this mother’s day, you were childless, I invite you to be open to the great possibilities in your life. Raising your own children may still be in your future, but I believe that with faith whatever future you have can exceed your best expectations.