With Mother’s Day finally in the rear view these thoughts have been bubbling for a while.
While some would argue that only childbirth makes you a mother it is so much deeper than that. To me? A mother is defined as someone, anyone, who can put the needs of another person ahead of their own and lead them. Be that biological, foster, step, adoptive, aunt, grandmother, sister, cousin, niece, friend, or family in those roles by choice. A woman who sets aside her own needs, feelings, thoughts, and wants and sacrifices for your greatness. Who in a million ways you never see sheds countless tears and asks herself a million times if she is doing the right thing, if she did the right thing, if she was ENOUGH for you. Who sits up with you when you are sick, who balances a home, work, and everything in between to make sure you have the childhood she never had. The woman in your life who STEPS UP.
Perhaps one of the reasons this is one of my favorite Bible verses is it’s application to not only the love between a man and wife but also all love.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
As a mother, you catch yourself failing sometimes in the “it does not insist on it’s own way” part. As a Mama Bear there is no greater pull inside you than to protect your child at all costs. To follow your instincts on what is right for those God trusted you to care for. That doesn’t have an expiration date. Whether they are 3 or 30, the urge to run into oncoming traffic to protect never dies. The instinct to fling your arm out across the passenger seat at a hard stop doesn’t suddenly turn off because they are adults. When they have kids of their own you’ll still worry when you know you kid is sick.
At what point does that willingness to be fearless in protecting turn into a bad thing? At what point do you go from being a great mom to being the mom who is starved just for a phone call on mandatory “call your mom” holidays? Leaving you wondering – did I do it wrong? What happened?
Take heart ladies. This, my friends, is the answer. You didn’t do it wrong. You did such a good job you set them into the world where they don’t need the safety net that is you. They are now the fearless ones. You built their wings so strong they are flying high. Does it suck that they forget who made them that strong? Yep. Does it hurt like the dickens? Holy heck yes. But Proverbs 22:6 says “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” They want to set the world on fire right now. They know where they came from and in times of crisis they will turn to you. It will be your voice they crave.
I spent most of Mother’s Day 2021 alone. I ached for my children. I cried when the phone rang and when the door opened. I cried at the emptiness of the house and the flood of posts on social media. I will never get used to that. But God pushed me to watch a sermon last night that reminded me of the truths I share with you today. I didn’t do it wrong. I got it so right – they are good human beings. I made them the amazing humans they are (I had some help from my hubby). And when the timing is right my home will be filled again with the love and laughter that makes my heart happy. Until then…I got it right.