It started as a joke. A few months ago, while getting on a friend’s case about something he needed to get done, I apologized for “being such a mom,” which he immediately ran with. Comments like, “Thanks, MOM,” began littering my Facebook wall. But then he started being all serious about it. He started saying that he honored and appreciated my motherliness. He told me that my motherly tenderness is a special, sensitive part of God’s heart that I carry and reveal.
At first I pushed his words away, but when I began to consider them, they opened up something deep inside.
I have spent the past few months reflecting on my views of kids and motherhood. How I’ve never been as crazy about babies as my friends. How I’ve always preferred the company of adults to that of kids (even when I was a kid), how I’ve often told myself that kids drain me so I shouldn’t have too many when I grew up. And I realized that while I could recognize certain motherly qualities in myself, somewhere deep inside I carried this fear: I wouldn’t make a good mother.
The past couple months, God has been digging that lie out of me.
I am introverted and can get drained by kids, but I am not nearly as poor a candidate for motherhood as I once thought. Games and babies don’t excite me as they do some. I don’t run up to mothers and ask to hold their babies or pursue babysitting opportunities. But I do genuinely like children. I do care about them.
I’ve come to not only recognize, but honor the qualities my friend pointed out those months ago. I do have motherly tenderness. I do enjoy taking care of people. And as the deception has been rooted out of me, a desire to have children has been stirring up. I’ve never been particularly eager to have children. Get married, yes. Have kids, not so much.
But recently, for the first time ever, I prayed, “God, bring me and my husband together soon so we can start our family.” (And then I realized what I had just said and burst into tears.)
But it’s not just biological children that are on my mind.
This week God has been telling me, You are going to be a mother of many. As my heart stirs for my future students and all the others God is going to touch with my mother’s heart, I know that this transformation of my perspective isn’t just for me. Or just for my future children. It’s for multitudes.
There are so many broken and hurting people who need a mother’s touch. So many who are longing for the affirmation, acceptance, and guidance of a mother. Somehow, young as I am, God is giving me that mother’s heart. And as Mary, just a young girl herself who was called to a profound motherhood more far-reaching than she could have imagined, answered the angel of the Lord, so I respond, “May it be to me as You have said.” Use me for Your glory, God.