Who is a Mother? Part II

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If you sit with empty arms on Mother’s Day, and your life feels devoid of beauty and miracles, ask God for opportunities to be His reflection of love and nurture.

In Isaiah 54:1, He promises that the childless woman will have more children than the mother with a husband and family. God keeps His word in amazing ways—try Him and see! When I asked God to help me be as Christ to people, He gave me opportunities that I would never have imagined. But, as all birth mothers know,  high callings and great privileges come with the price of servanthood and selfless love, and sometimes the cost makes me stagger.

After the Emmaus walk with Jesus, it was in the breaking of the bread that the men recognized Him. If we women symbolize bread as nourishment for our world, it is in the breaking of that bread that Christ is made visible. Spiritually broken and consumed in hidden, thankless, ordinary places, we are part of a calling that is bigger than any of us—the privilege of introducing the real Christ to people for whom He may be only a dusty relic.

Motherhood—nurturing in brokenness—is a beautiful but demanding calling to which childless women are not exempt.  This calling is not just a spare hole to fill in life’s puzzle. It is the whole purpose for which He created us women.

Following Christ’s example of love and service can make us feel drained and exhausted. But God anticipated these feelings of being used and spent. In Isaiah 58: 10 & 11, He promises that if we spend ourselves in behalf of others, He will satisfy our souls in return. While we pour out our lives as Christ did, God pours out even more life to us. We can never out-give Him!

And His care is not only spiritual or intangible or theoretical. He sends people at just the right time to remind us of our worth and help us feel the sun on our shoulders.

When my sister-in-law became a mother and was looking forward to celebrating Mother’s Day for her first time, she anticipated how some of us would feel, and she ordered a bouquet for the church house. After the Mother’s Day service, all the ladies who encouraged and influenced younger ones were invited to choose a flower from the bouquet to take home.

I chose a white tulip—white to symbolize purity and a tulip to symbolize hope. Because hope does good things to my heart even if I’m never given what I long for. And I can know that even if the shape of my life is different from most women my age, my calling still carries value and beauty.

It is Mother’s Day and I am not a mother. But because I am God’s daughter and want to reflect His character of care and nurture to a world devoid of these virtues, my identity is already sure. My value is not based on how many babies I have borne. That He should trust His perfect character to be reflected by this fallible, easily-distracted lady is a high honor indeed.

For this privilege, I thank Him today.

Yesterday: Part I

2 thoughts on “Who is a Mother? Part II

  1. I really enjoyed your thoughts here, Anita.

    And thanks for sharing those verses from Isaiah; I looked them up and was very, very blessed. Somehow I’d never noticed them quite like that before.

  2. I love your thoughts, too, Anita! We had a mothers’ day message yesterday (several weeks late because of schedule conflicts) and for once, the minister didn’t make that little disclaimer at the beginning about singles and how they are important too. ( I hate that…) Rather, he tied nurturing and mothering to being a woman, rather than just a biological mother. I was blessed! Your thoughts here are so good!

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