I’ve had a blog for 6 years now. I started it because I liked to write and this was an outlet for my words. I have written on funny things, sad things, trying things, things God is teaching me and the journeys and adventures of my life.
Two topics I have avoided at all costs are marriage and children. Mostly because most of the time they go hand in hand, and I do not have either. I also somehow felt that if I put my desires out there that somehow that would seem desperate and needy. More recently however, as my thoughts continue to swirl around both of these topics, and try as I might to outrun them I find that they keep following me, I feel that I must put on a page what is in the depths of my heart.
Most prominent in my thoughts are the thoughts of motherhood. For as far back as I can remember I have been in charge of someone younger than me. My brother was born 9 1/2 years after me; and due to a serious bout with a resistant strain of malaria that put my father in an African hospital for two weeks I found myself at the age of 9 helping take care of this little one while my mother sat at the hospital with my dad.
Later that same year, I began babysitting for other missionaries in our town and teaching the preschoolers in our Saturday childrens bible club. I’ve taught Sunday School, kept the nursery, taught martial arts, been a teacher’s aid, and a nanny for a nine year old and an infant. My life has been full of children, but I’ve always said I didn’t know if I wanted my own.
Those words have horrified many people in my life. I remember at 17 being told by a woman, who I am sure meant well at the time, that not wanting children was a sin, because children are a blessing of the Lord and to not want them was to rob myself of that blessing and thus a sin. For a 17 year old who had just really started into her first crushes and dating anyway, this news was devastating. While I did not want to sin against God, I really didn’t want kids at 17!
For the next decade or so of my life I struggled with the guilt of these thoughts. I also began to become very resentful and angry when the subject of having children came up. People would see me in some sort of setting with children and make a comment about how I was going to make such an incredible mother, I would say I didn’t know if I wanted kids…and inevitably an incredulous look would come across their face and they would say the words I’ve grown to hate “Oh, that will change someday.” What if it didn’t change, was I cursed? What if I didn’t feel the need to perpetuate my own DNA into the world, was that a sin? What about all the women in this world that could not have children due to medical reasons – were they sinners too, or was their desire to have children their saving grace? On and on the battle went.
Then came Mother’s day of 2007. I sat on the front row of the Village church and listened as my pastor broke down the role of motherhood biblically. How that Adam called the woman God had created for him “Eve” – meaning “mother of all living” – long before she ever gave birth to her first child. How that in Genesis 1:26-27 the Trinity agreed together to create man and woman in their image and thus that women were created to show of the softer, nurturing, encouraging and life giving side of God. He went on to share that all women were created to be mothers, to nourish and encourage those around them. We are to in a motherly way push the men in our life to godliness, and to nourish the children in our life to walk with Him. That night, chains that I did not even know that I carried were broken in my soul. Years of anger, confusion, bitterness and guilt – went crashing to the floor as I finally heard the biblical truth of what my role was meant to be.
I have a wonderful mother, and I was raised by a “village” of amazing women who taught me what motherhood should look like. There is a very real fear in my life that I will never be able to live up to the bar that they have set in my life. Many of my friends now have children. I have little “nieces & nephews” from age 10 to infancy with 5 more on the way this summer. My life is inundated with kiddos that fill my heart to its fullest capacity and at times to overflowing. My desire for each one of these sweet babies is that they grow up to know the Christ that I have come know, and when they look back on their memories of me they remember a nurturing, comforting, loving, life giving auntie who pointed them to the cross and the cross alone.
And somewhere in the deepest parts of my soul there is a longing for my own. I don’t know what that looks like for me, yet. Maybe one day God will see fit for a godly man to pursue me and we will have a little flock of our own. Maybe it is not to give birth to my own, but rather it is to have a houseful of ones already birthed by another who are in need of a home that their biological mother cannot give. Maybe it is to work in an orphanage and mother those who have no other. Maybe it will be that I will be the “desolate one” that Isaiah talks about in Isaiah 54:1 who will have more children than any because I am simply living out my role in the “village” that I have been placed in helping to raise the children that I love.
I’m called with Eve to be a mother. Intrinsically my nature is to nurture, to pray, to comfort, to guide, to show off the encouraging, life giving side of God….so whatever role of motherhood God has for me, I’m all in.