Mother’s Day Sundays would bring such heartache for many years.
Oh sure, I still had my mom with me (300 miles away) and a wonderful mother-in-law (also 300 miles away). But the love of my life is the best there is, and he whisked me away to a beach on more than one Mother’s Day.
My church family was amazing, and there were more friends than I could count who would love on me and pray for me. God was with me and had a plan but, I’ll be honest, there were days in early May that I would scream and cry and shout out in misery to God. Yes. God.
Now you may not find that very holy, but when I would watch the morning news and hear of abandoned children, abused children, abortion rates sky rocketing and even murdered children my heart couldn’t hold it in!
“WHY!?! IT’S NOT FAIR, GOD!” would just come straight from my heart right out of my mouth! God knows how I’ve always struggled with holding my tongue, but praise the Lord that with Him, I can come just as I am! No preacher’s wife masks are needed!
When you’re in the midst of infertility and that month celebrating Mothers rolls around, it can be a very lonely time, even in the middle of packed theaters, crowded beaches, or full churches.
Everywhere you look there is a baby or an expectant mom, and you feel less than…unworthy…depressed.
Now for those who can do the infertility roller coaster and remain “up”, my hat is off to you. I couldn’t. I tried. I failed.
The outside world and even those closest to me at the time often never saw that part of me. But God did. He saw my struggles and He knew I was wearing the mask and, sadly, He knew I would continue to wear it for years to come.
Going through the motions had just become part of life, my security blanket, my crutch. He would begin to tear down those walls one day, but before that time would come, I’d have to humble myself and learn to fully rely on Him. That’s not easy for an independent, strong-willed woman!
My road of infertility had many twists and turns, but I never saw that “+” sign on any test. The heart that longed to hold her own baby was empty and hardening.
Hardening toward those who always felt the need to tell me that “God has a plan” and then quote some well-intended Bible verse.
Hardening toward those friends who held newborn babies of their own.
Hardening toward God for not answering my prayers.
There’s an old country song that says, “some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”. Well, I don’t believe God leaves any prayer unanswered. I believe He just sees the much bigger plan, more lives than just mine. He answered all my countless years of infertility with a “no”. That was His answer.
And in 1999, I said my final goodbye to the fertility clinics and doctors and gave my body a break, a much needed break!
Hindsight is 20/20 and sometimes even better! God does have an amazing plan for me and for you. Jeremiah 29:11 has always been and will always be true for the child of God. In 2000, He had us take a path that for many years I had kept blocked. Blocked with pride and stubbornness. But He broke it down and made the way straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). That path was one full of apprehension, excitement, encouragement, and discouragement.
It was the path that led me straight into motherhood. Not through the way I had planned, but the way God had planned…adoption.
God had this plan for me since He formed me in my own mother’s womb. Not to carry children in my own womb, but to carry them for years in my heart.
In 2000, I met my son right out of the delivery room and in 2004, I met my daughter in much the same way. I don’t remember foster care and adoption being given such the push and publicity back then like it gets now, but I do remember knowing without a doubt this was the right thing to do. This was the plan God had for my husband and me.
Can I tell you that everything will be peaches and cream once you get them home? Ha! No way!
There will be times when doctors will ask about family history and you have no answers.
There may be times they may yell, “You’re not my mother!”
There may be times you feel so beyond grateful for birth mothers and other times you wonder how in the world anyone could give up someone so precious.
There will be times when other moms are talking about their pregnancies or nursing and you’ll sit there and feel those inadequate feelings again.
There will be times when people will say, “Hmm, I just can’t tell which one of y’all he/she looks like” or the funny times when they’ll say, “Oh my word! He looks just like your hubby or she looks just like you.” Those are the times I smile and say, “I think so too. God planned it that way!”
Foster care and adoption are amazing gifts for the little ones, but let me tell you (with my 14, almost 15, years of experience) it’s a MUCH bigger blessing for the ones opening their homes, their hearts, their pocketbooks, and their lives and being able to pour into your children, the ones God intended for your life. Blows. My. Mind.
So when you see this crazy mom cheering like crazy at a football game, or snapping pictures of track meets, horse shows, toad races, band and choir performances, and absolutely anything else the kids are involved in, give her a break. She’s waited years for these moments. And more than likely, behind her sunglasses are tears of gratefulness that God has chosen to bless her so!
There are days that are so very long, but the years are flying by! Another Mother’s Day is about to be over and done with and the years of having my children home with me are fewer and fewer.
May I never take even one single day for granted…and may my children always know how very much I love them and how much I prayed for them then, pray for them now and how excited I am to see the amazing plans God has for their lives!
Toya Aultman – https://preacherswifelifeinaglasshouse.wordpress.com