You Are A Mother
When I was about 20 and attending Young Adults in my home ward, we were asked to put together the yearly Mothers Day program for Sacrament Meeting. I was asked to do a talk about mothers. Simple enough right? But it wasn’t simple. During the weeks before my talk I couldn’t shake a conference talk from mind by Sheri Dew called: Are We Not All Mothers? I felt drawn to give that talk because I felt a certain empathy for those women in the ward who were not mothers. Not understanding completely why I was compelled to base my talk on that, I followed my feelings and did my talk on every woman being a mother and being called to help the children that surround her, whether her own or others. Little did I know at that point in my life, that nearly 15 years later I would be one of those women I had such an affinity for.
And now, how I sometimes struggle to remember the message I wanted to give to those women!
Luckily, I am surrounded (figuratively and emotionally) by supportive women who remind me that I can strive to possess those qualities that mothers have.
As I look back at my adult life I can see how special opportunities have been put in my way to work on those qualities and, I have had the unique opportunity to be as close to being a mother as possible, without giving birth. There was wisdom in Gods plan of having me support a friend through adoption. There was wisdom in having friends who had babies first and me being able to support them and be someone they called on when they needed help. There was absolute wisdom in the answer of many prayers (not just mine) of my greatest opportunity to be a nanny for 5 beautiful children whom I loved as much as I could – so much that to this day memories still fill my Mothers Heart with joy.
I felt that when I left that nanny job, my next step would be having children of my own. Of course, that was what I thought – newly married with an ideal life ahead of me. Little did I know that my idea of an “ideal life” was not to be had.
Years went by and no baby came – somehow in my grieving for that dream I had forgotten that I had the ability to love like a mother.
Childless sisters, have you cradled a child in your arms and felt the spirit and pure love in your heart? Have you held the hand of a nervous toddler, cuddled away tears, taught by the spirit, provided respite for a weary parent, provoked a giggle, and worried for the future of the young men and women of today? Have you done that? Have you done more? Then you are a Mother. Sure, you may never wear the title of “mommy” – but you are a Mother in Zion – a force for all that is good, righteous, and kind in the lives of many.
To those women (and men) who are lucky enough to have children – be patient with us, stand tall with us (when we have to endure getting a gift during sacrament), and never underestimate the power of a hug or of words of gratitude. After all, as childless women we are here to help you be the best parent you can be – and I’d be willing to bet, there have been times when a childless women has helped you parent in some way or another.
Any time when we are reminded of what we aren’t isn’t easy, and I don’t think I will ever enjoy Mothers Day. But, with the help and understanding of the Spirit I feel proud to take my title as a Mother in Zion, to honour it, and to magnify it.
My prayer and my hope is that childless women dont feel less than their counterparts on Mothers Day – that they realize they are just as important, just as needed, and have as much worth as every other women and Mother who is celebrated on that day. That we can take hold of a title as important as “Mother in Zion” and put all of our sadness, anger, and disappointment into fulfilling that amazing calling.