We’re all familiar with the “life is a journey” metaphor. And I’m one of those who embraces the ‘it’s about the journey, not the destination’ philosophy, though… well I could go on a tangent about that, but I’ve got a point here!
Our journey was meticulously planned out with care by our Father who loves us, knows us well, and has a thrilling sense of adventure. A great quote from God Calling, which is probably my favorite book of all time, says:
What of a man walking through a glorious glade who fretted because ahead there lay a river and he might not be able to cross it, when all the time, that river was spanned by a bridge? And what if that man had a friend who knew the way—had planned it—and assured him that at no part of the journey would any unforeseen contingency arise, and that all was well?
God is our guide, and on this meticulously planned-by-God journey of life, every landmark, bump in the road, detour, etc. is significant. He’s the driver of the road trip, and knowing that frees us to look outwards at these things, to learn and enjoy the trip, instead of fighting him for the wheel.
Well there’s definitely something significant I’ve been noticing out my window. Motherhood.
First off, I am happy to announce there's a new baby in my family! My first cousin Kirk and his wife, Deborah, had their lovely daughter Lucy early this morning.
And yesterday I hung out with one of my former college roommates, who I’ve not seen in years, and it turns out she’s almost four months pregnant!
And, of course, in the last year I’ve known at least 40 people who have had babies, including my good friends Grace and Jacob, my known-since-I-was-nine best friend Tabitha, and one of my best high school friends Hannah. And I’ve a few friends who’ve had children before then, like Stephanie and Jeff.
In addition, living in close proximity with my own mother for the last several years has made me ponder, re-ponder, and just dwell in the mother-daughter dynamic. Especially this past year, because Mom and I have both been unemployed and therefore in the same house all day, almost every day.
I also got to speak to Ryan’s mother, who Ryan and I both hope will be my future mother-in-law, for the first time this week. (She seems very sweet!)
It's also a common topic that's been popping up in books, tv shows, and even dreams I've had.
So looking at all this, all around, I ask myself, “Why?”
Why is it everywhere I turn there is motherhood? I mean, there’s also people going to or graduating from grad school, getting married, buying houses and other life changes, but God’s definitely driving me through a neighborhood where the general impression is motherhood. So the question is ‘Father, what are trying to show me? Why is this applicable for me now and in the future?”
Of course the dear hope and obvious answer he’s prepping me for that role.
Ryan has a tendency to think I’m ‘skipping ahead’ when I talk about kids, parenting, or whatnot, but I’m really just trying to absorb and understand what my Father is trying to show me from the window on my side of the car. I mean, God’s my dad. A parent doesn’t purposely show their kid something over and over and over again without meaning.
I have polycystic ovarian syndrome. When I was diagnosed at 16 and was told about the symptoms and possible complications, one of these was that it is the leading cause of infertility in women. I got crestfallen and when asked why explained I really wanted to be a mother someday. The doctor assured me that it was probably still possible, and I’d most likely be fertile until I was twenty-five.
And I think it’s no accident that God didn’t introduce me to the guy he’d planned for me and me for until less than nine months before my twenty-fifth birthday. He also happened to place us on separate continents with separate citizenships, so we can’t just get impatient and go elope if we get tired of asking ‘are we there yet?’ and just want to jump out of the car in the middle of the freeway.
He’s also placed in me a heart eager to adopt some day. At times, I actually feel I’d be more disappointed if I never adopt then if I never have a biological child. (Ideally I want both.) I have done hours and hours of research on it. I’ve never actually made more than five thousand dollars in a year, and Ryan comes from very poor country, so we’ll never be in a financial position to adopt… but I don’t really ever worry about that.
I am not despairing and saying I can’t have kids. I totally know, without a doubt, that God will make me fertile and/or allow me to adopt, if that’s His Will.
I pray for my womb. Maybe that’s weird, but I place my hands on my belly and I pray for God to bless it, not just to be fertile but to be a place for growing strong and healthy babies. It has not been healthy, especially lately, which is not something I want to openly discuss online with random internet strangers, but I have faith that God can make it so instantly, if He so chooses.
I also pray for my potential adopted kids, ‘out there somewhere’. I pray for the wombs of their mothers, and in case I adopt one that is already in existence somewhere, I just pray a general prayer for their wellbeing, and health. For all my potential, future children I pray for wisdom, kindness, intelligence, and whatever other character traits happen to pop into my head at the moment of prayer.
I wish I could tell you I had the discipline to pray for them daily, but that’d be a lie. But I pray when I think of it, and I have faith my every prayer is heard.
I also keep in mind, however, that I may not be a mom. Maybe I’m being daily shown these beautiful baby girls and boys being born to and by my friends to show me that children can still be part of my life even if I never have my own. Maybe God doesn’t ever plan on opening my womb or putting me in a financial situation to adopt. I acknowledge this possibility, praise God, and then—
I hope I have kids anyway. As Ryan would definitely tell you, I always tend to think of the worst case scenario. But as I’ll affirm to you, I rarely choose to belief it actually will happen! I try not to be naïve, denying the possibility of pothole or rock slide, but instead to, with wisdom, choose to hope for the clear path.
I think of Sarah, who bore her one and only son at 100 years. I think of Hannah, mother of Samuel, who prayed in such a way for her baby that the priest thought she was drunk! (That makes me smile) And I thank God for each and every child in the world, especially for those I’m blessed enough to know.
And for every mother, each one of you. It is probably not by coincidence I’m writing this in time for Mother’s Day, even though it wasn’t at all part of the reason why I chose this topic. But I have faith that God helps me choose my topics, and He plans every day and event, so I know it’s no accident. So therefore Happy Mother’s Day! God bless you all, and may the Spirit bear the fruit of patience in your life.