Becoming a mother was a magical moment. A moment I had dreamed of since I was a small girl. All I ever wanted was to be a mom. Every story circle at preschool, when we went around telling what we wanted to be when we grew up, I said, “A mom.” I remember the teacher trying to say I could do a job as well as being a mother, but I wouldn’t change my statement. So when I became a mom 4 times over I was thrilled. My life’s goal was realized…so I thought. However, after those initial crazy toddler years, I found that being a mother was not only physically exhausting, it was emotionally draining as well. You see, my heart is permanently connected to those little beings…even when they are grown-ups. And so my emotions ebb and flow with their lives. Being a mom has been my most challenging job, and my favorite. It has been everything I had hoped for and so much more than I ever expected.
Motherhood is a sisterhood. We all have our baby stories. Now most of my friends have adult-children stories as well…and some are adding grandmother stories to their journals. We all share from a deep well that our mothers dug before us and theirs before them. A long line, a legacy really, of digging deep for the living water. It is what sustains us in our weak moments. It is what refreshes us in our strong ones. It is a well that will not run dry, because it does not come from us. We know this. Our function as mothers is an outward role that is born when our baby is. But the inner journey of the heart is where the role of a mother resides. It is from this place that the living water comes forth. It is the flow of the creator who forms us into his image, teaches us what sacrificial love means by example, and then gives us his strength to dare to walk in such things. It is the place in which nurture, compassion and care take up residence. The heart is the well, and he is the water. In the seeking out, and the digging deep we are bonded with one another. We become encouragers, because we all need encouragement in our daily lives.
Motherhood is so much more than just birthing a baby. We have all known women who are technically “mothers” but do not resemble anything like love. We have all known women who are not technically “mothers” who overflow with a mother’s heart to everyone around them. On Mother’s Day many of these women sit with aching arms, and weeping hearts, as they are surrounded by the celebration in which they feel they have no part. Yet, they have dug the well. They have gone deep and found the living water, which pours out of them to others in a nurturing, compassionate, and caring way. There are others who cannot in all honesty buy a Mother’s Day card esteeming a mom they never knew. Either through death or abandonment they too feel left out of the sisterhood and lost as to what this mystical thing called motherhood really means. And still, many of these women have overcome this orphaned feeling and dug the well. They have found that the water is the source, rather than the well itself, and they pour it out as it was poured into them.
And so, Mother’s Day…a day probably invented by a card company…has become a day to acknowledge motherhood and to celebrate it. For all who have lost moms, we pray for a lifetime of memories to comfort you. For all who have lost children or been unable to conceive them, we pray for comfort from your aching arms. For those who never had moms, we embrace you as our own children and welcome you to the family. As we come to the well, we are sisters, who carry living water in a multitude of ways, to a multitude of people. Let us embrace all of those who have found that God crafted in their lives the heart of a mother. Let us encourage one another in our digging. And let us always tap into the Living Water.
Happy Mother’s Day!