I got the exciting news in 2008 that I was going to be a mommy for the very first time. My belly began to grow, the baby shower was thrown, and the sonogram revealed it was a boy. There was just one person missing from it all.
The time came for the baby to arrive. I labored through the pain and excitement all rolled into one. I experienced love I never knew existed once I saw my new child. There was just one person missing from it all.
And through 2 more baby boys, birthday parties, first days of school, church performances, boo-boos, laughter, crying, and not sure if I am doing this motherhood thing right at times, there’s been one person missing from it all. One person who has the experience I needed many times in this field. One person who I would give anything to see again and that my kids never got the privilege of meeting. One person who seems like a figment of my imagination, a beautiful dream I had for the first 18 years of my life. This person is my mother.
I’m not taking away from the role of a father in all of this as well. I miss my dad just as much. But when you become a mother, you expect to have the support of your own mom. There’s something about that nurturing hand to hold and that loving ear to listen as you beam with pride over something your child did or cry over the moments you feel overwhelmed. I always had visions of my kids running to her and embracing her. I dreamed of the nights spent at Grandma’s house giggling and eating junk food. But unfortunately, life just didn’t turn out that way for me. It’s hard not to feel guilty for my children’s sake.
I don’t write this for pity. I have the joy of the Lord to get me through these moments, even writing this blog. I felt led however to be transparent in hopes that if someone is going through something similar or feeling disappointed, even if you have a mother on earth but the relationship is strained, or if it’s nothing of this nature but you are hurting, it’s ok to feel this way! I know legalistic Christians will tell you to “just trust God.” I absolutely cringed at times when I was told that at my roughest moments. I know I have to trust God. That’s a given. But sometimes, you just want to fall apart and have someone to hold you in the big heaping mess that you’re in at that moment.
The beautiful thing about God is that, although our mothers can never be replaced, He can bring loving women in our lives to fill some of the gaps. My children are so very loved by many. They’ve had plenty of junk food-filled giggle fests and long hugs that linger with huge smiles all around. And I’ve definitely fallen apart in a spiritual mother’s arms a time or two before. I don’t know where I’d be without that wisdom and love in my life, and the cool part is they CHOSE to be there with no blood “obligation.” God can put you on the heart of someone else. You can also BE the one who loves on another woman who desperately needs it because you know first hand what that means to them. You can pay it forward. Isn’t God so good to use our messes and make ministries from them?
I miss my mom every single day. The 13th anniversary of her death just passed and I couldn’t help but think about what she would think of me today. I know she’d be proud of me. There’s not much I could do for her NOT to be. I know she’d be so head over heels in love with my sweet little boys. I wonder how it would feel for her to see me in this mommy role. I know she’d chime in with how she used to do things with me as a baby. I know she would think at times her ways were best, and I may roll my eyes, only to see she was probably right in some areas. I know she would be proud all around.
Mothering without a mother may feel unnatural at times, but I find peace in knowing her spirit is with me always. My children hear stories about her and smile. I know I must keep going to the best of my abilities, and when I’m weak, I can rely on Jesus and spiritual mommas to help me along the way.
I carry her in my heart everyday. And because of that, she helps me even in her absence more than she would ever know.
I love you, Mom.