To the rest of us- the ones labeled barren, infertile, motherless or whatever the correct term for it is- I know today is probably one of the hardest days all year. If you are like me you just want to hide under the covers all day and wake up Monday morning with this holiday over. No news feeds full of happy families. No sermons on the joys of motherhood. You probably skip church this day or have a plan to hide in the bathroom until the mothers portion is over. It is a reminder of what we are missing. It is just hard.
So on this hard day I want to encourage you. God has really been working on my heart about my priorities and the bitterness I sometimes have when it comes to things to do with motherhood. My mantra for today has been "Christ is enough for me." When the aches of my barrenness come- Christ is enough. When I want to pity party- Christ is enough. When I see my news feed full of babies and sonograms- Christ is enough. See for too long I have been putting my joy on the hopes of having a child. Acting as if God just gave us kids, everything would be perfect in the world. I am learning though that if I can't find joy in Jesus, I won't find joy in motherhood. Jesus is enough and every other blessing He gives is just a bonus.
Side note- Don't let facebook or instagram bring you down. Research shows that they can cause depression. Don't believe me- google it. These websites give us the impression that every family is perfect and that all we need is just to be like them and we'll be happy. Don't believe the lies. Life is messy for everyone. If looking at social media is having a negative effect on your emotions, turn it off. There is no shame in that. There are days I can't take it and the best thing I can do is avoid it.
The other thing I have been learning is that it is okay to be on what I'll call "the other path." We grow up seeing motherhood as the end all be all of womanhood. If you're not a mom then what are you? Why are you not a mom? I used to think it was because I was not good enough or that God didn't love me as much as He loved those He blessed with children. That is a dangerous road full of hurt. God loves you. He chose you to walk the other path- not because He doesn't love you- but because He DOES love you. You hear from adoptive moms all the time how it was all worth it. We may want to just shrug it off and say maybe for you- you're a mom now. But God keeps whispering in my ear, "Trust me. I love you. My plan is the best. Walk the path I have for you." I'm guessing He is saying the same to you. It is easy to get discontent and caught up in the what our lives would be if we did the other path. DON'T! That makes you miss the good of the path you are on now. Sure it is less traveled and has crazy dips and turns, but it is your path. There is beauty in the wait. While I focus on what my life would have been like without infertility I am a miserable, bitter person. When I focus on finding purpose while on the other path, I still have rough days but there are, also, good days. Below are some of my good days and I am sure if you think about your life you'll see the good times too. :)
Days climbing rocks in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Days hiking on glaciers.
Days camping with lions and hippos.
Days investing in kids who need love and need to know Jesus.
If I had gone straight to motherhood, would I still have done these things? Would I still have the ache to help children in need? Would I be me?
Maybe yes or Maybe no. We'll never know. All I know is I cannot change the path God has for me. I do not know what is around the next bend.
I do know that whatever comes, God is with me and He loves me.
So if you are walking the other path, find the good in where you are. Know you are not alone. And know that God loves you and has a purpose in this.