Sunday is Mother’s Day. The bane of existence for infertile women, especially Christian women forced to sit through sickly sweet church services paying homage “to the greatest calling a woman can fulfill: motherhood.”
Except, it’s not. Motherhood is NOT the highest calling for Christian women. That is a lie perpetuated by the church even today, mostly based, I think, on a lack of understanding of I Timothy 2:15 which say, “But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”
But I’m not writing about theology today. Here is what I am writing to say:
I will be sitting in church this weekend only because I am obeying the biblical command to not give up meeting (Hebrews 10:25). I will be sitting in the back, as far back as my husband will agree to, and I will most likely cry throughout the entire service.
Am I mother? Yes. And I am grateful to God every single day for the blessing that is our son.
But I have not forgotten. I have not forgotten five years of aching arms, five years of Sundays where I didn’t get to stand or receive a flower, five years of inviting our mothers over and pretending I was fine, five years of wondering why we elevate mothers above Christ.
Nor have I forgotten the six years since.
I have not forgotten the eight years prior to that, when I was single and wanted a husband. Eight years of sitting by myself through church services, listening to pastor after pastor, and sermon after sermon extol the virtues of the married, mothering Proverbs 31 woman.
Church should be the safest place on earth for the hurting believer. Yet this weekend will tear open barely-healed wounds of all kinds, and scars long thought forgotten, for thousands of women: infertile women, single women, women without mothers, birth mothers who placed precious babies for adoption, adoptees who are desperate to find their first mothers, women whose mothers wounded them in untold ways, women who have had to become their mother’s mother…
Hear my heart when I say I love the church. I have been in the church since I was three years old, and I love it. But, church should be the safest place on earth for the hurting believer, and it won’t be this weekend. It will be hard, and lonely, and women will be forced to put on a false smile and be fake.
If you are one of those women, know that I will be praying for you, and that you, dear sister, are not alone.