Last Mother's Day was the first without her. I headed to the first service our church holds, and it being on a Saturday I thought I was "safe". I remembered how my mother said in her childhood church every woman got a carnation -- one color if your mother was living and another if your mother was deceased. I thought about how difficult it would be the first year to wear the deceased color.
Nothing was said about Mother's Day all through the service. But at the end. Oh, how I wish I had left early. Our church had about 50 in that service, and the mi
nister called all mothers up to the front. I was the only adult woman left in the pews. It was all men and me. (I don't recall any children being at that service.) I felt so singled out when every woman but me was called to the front. Every woman but me received a flower. It was uncomfortable, but I've dealt with that for years. It doesn't matter how much you may want a child, at most churches I've been to only those who have children either biologically or adopted are honored. (I've often wondered how women who have no children with them but have given a child a chance at a better life by releasing them to be adopted feel when all mothers are to stand.)
|Mom and me after she was on dialysis for a couple years.|
I was the only woman who was not given a flower. I was the only woman looking on at all the other women while the minister did a mini-sermon about how being a mother and raising a child is God's highest calling. (Isn't the calling God has on your life His highest calling for you? And my calling is not what someone else's calling is so why should we say what is God's highest calling?) My fiance tried to comfort me, but that only made it worse. I was in absolute tears. So much so that one of the women brought her flower to me, the childless one.
Isaiah 51:4 says it beautifully:
Rejoice, childless one, who did not give birth; burst into song and shout, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the forsaken one will be more than the children of the married woman," says the LORD." (NLT)
Last year after the minister finished his mini-sermon on motherhood being the highest calling in a woman's life, church was dismissed. I want children. I spoke to my doctor today about the possibilities and risks of trying to have a child. I'm 41 and have health problems. From the sounds of things, it likely won't happen. We hope to adopt. But until now God's highest calling for me was taking care of my ailing mother. I couldn't have cared for her the way she needed if I would have had children.
Ours was the first of four church services over Mother's Day weekend last year. As I left the church, I mentioned to the minister that he might want to be aware that there are women who want children and can't have them and hearing that motherhood was God's highest calling might not be the best way to honor mothers. I was met with silence and a blank stare.
As soon as I got to the car, I announced I was never again attending church on Mother's Day as it was too painful. I went home and went to bed. My fiance had the next day off work and wanted to see me busy so we did a day of geocaching until we were exhausted.
Let's remember that God calls different people to different things. Mother's Day can be a difficult day for various reasons. Infertility, singleness, miscarriage. I'm not saying to not honor mothers but I'd love to see churches be mindful of the pain this day can cause, and let's also remember the Leslies in our church, the single women who give so much to the children.