Guest Post by: Megan Stevens
There is this force in the world, strong and mighty, of mothers from all time and from every place. These women are bound together by the seemingly never ending sacrificial, thankless job of loving and raising a child. I always knew it existed; that quiet strength. Those moms facing down a tantruming toddler in the grocery store. I could see the sympathetic glances exchanged by moms in all levels of society from the janitor to the passing CEO, they all knew. Those moms stuck on a plane with a screaming infant and those moms off handedly complaining of yet another child caused interruption. But other moms, all around, come from nowhere and they just know.
I didn’t, not really. We suffered through years of our prayers not being unanswered but answered with a resounding “no, not now”. To see the shared experience and know you don’t belong, not because of anyone’s fault, but because of mere circumstance is heart-breaking. You feel misunderstood by mothers with your unfulfilled longing but not quite at home with the childless by choice. It isn’t your choice. Stuck between worlds. Lonely.
The day I became a mother the initiation was instantaneous. I looked at my own mom and just knew. I knew the sacrifice, the love, and the joy she had through the years. I remember crying for the mother of a convicted murderer. Wasn’t her heart torn from her? I didn’t ask for membership to the club of empathetic hugs as I cried through the newborn stage or the instant friends in the church nursery brought about by feeding babies, changing diapers, and wiping noses within a close proximity to each other. This club’s membership is bought over long worry filled nights, corralling endless energy, and lots and lots of coffee. These moms are a force to be reckoned with.
So, member of the club, look at me now. I am with you but my heart aches at the thought that I almost wasn’t and for those still waiting. God chose to give when He could have withheld. This child is such a gift. I have no words to express my thankfulness. Look at me and remember the childless. You have so much, even in the very real struggles of motherhood. Remember those whose arms are empty. Remember that it is lonely. Seek to include, go out of your way to encourage, and make yourself uncomfortable for the sake of another. It’s worth it. We ask others to rejoice with our rejoicing.
How many showers have the childless attended to share in your joy? Do you weep when they weep? Do you even know they are weeping?