true mother-love belongs to more than just mothers

true mother-love belongs to more than just mothers #infertility

There’s something intimate and beautiful that happens when a woman gives birth. Something glorious.

Or so I’m told.

“So, until you have your own baby,” I hear, “you just won’t understand.”

And when I believe them… something in my heart withers and dies.
There’s a special mother-knowledge that is only for those whose bodies aren’t broken. 

When I believe them… God has harmed me.
He has refused to give me good and has left me with broken hopelessness. 

But I have something to say. Something for all you who have mother-hearts and broken bodies.

I know mother-love,
and I have never born a child.

And you can too.

Because when I went crawling to God, hurting and horrified and lost- He showed up. He crawled right in my brokenness with me and began to teach me. “Do you know who created motherhood?” He whispered, “It was Me.” Everything good in this world is a reflection of God, for He is all things good. And true mother-love? It comes from Him.

And God gives true mother-love to more than just mothers.

He gives it to the woman who opens her home to the hurting and hungry. He gives it to the woman who makes tea and serves it to the teenage girl with acne and boy troubles. He gives it to the woman whose body refuses to conceive, but still she kneels down and teaches the little ones who belong to others.

Mother-love is a reflection of God’s heart, and Scripture is full of encouragement to seek after the things of God.

For some, mother-love is born with the seed of life in her womb.
For others, it is born when the squalling babe bursts into the world.
For others, it is when the child is nursed, or changed, or cuddled, or comforted.

And for others? Mother-love is born through the tears and prayers of singleness or infertility. 

It grows and blossoms with short relationships. The neighbor child who needs to be loved on, the baby whose mother has to work for a season, the niece, the nephew, the children of friends, the teenage girl who is pregnant too early, the mother of many who desperately needs help.

God uses every relationship to mold something anciently new into her heart– mother-love.

How do I know? Because I know what true mother-love is.
It is something that God knew and experienced on the deepest of all levels.

True mother-love is sacrifice. 

And I don’t have to bear a child to choose to sacrifice myself for those around me.
All I have to do is choose Christ and His ways, over my own.

So from this mother-heart, to yours,
don’t fear that God is keeping something great from you,
it’s available to anyone.
Even me.

“Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby.
    Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth!
You’re ending up with far more children
    than all those childbearing women.” God says so!
“Clear lots of ground for your tents!
    Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope,
    drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room
    for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations;
    you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed.
    Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short.

Isaiah 54:1-6

 You may also enjoy How to Find God in the Middle of Your Pain

 

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16 thoughts on “true mother-love belongs to more than just mothers

  1. Interesting point! This has my mental gears turning now. Something special happened to me when I birthed my babies, but I also think it was because God used that opportunity to enlarge my heart. It wasn’t just because a kid came out my hips. 🙂
    For example… oftentimes my single friends tell me that I must have a wonderful life and that I can’t know what true loneliness or insecurity or depression is because I’ve been married since I was a young teenager.
    Just about anyone that’s been married for any length of time can probably laugh at that accusation. No matter how great your spouse is, marriage isn’t the cure of all loneliness and insecurity. Sure, God can use marriage to heal certain issues, but that doesn’t mean the marriage is the healer, GOD is the healer. He just happened to use your spouse as His tool.
    I think natural parenthood is misunderstood much the same way. Having a baby of one’s own isn’t the cure of all issues, and it’s not something that somehow makes one greater or more “loving” than a childless woman. All of us know pain and all of us know joy in our own ways. Each unique way an individual experiences pain or joy is special, and shouldn’t be used as ammo against the way another individual experiences pain or joy. God can use all of it, and He does.

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    • Beautiful example, Jessiqua! And it is exactly what God has taught me. He strives to teach us all the same lessons, but knowing us intimately, He uses many different avenues to teach us.

      I love that you caught what I was saying, and hopefully others will as well! (I always get nervous as I press publish… “What if I just offended all mothers? What if I didn’t make ANY sense? 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

      • Honestly, it WAS tough at first. Because I really did have a special experience when I birthed my babies. However, I also see that God is the ONLY one that can enlarge a heart like He did mine. And I know that He uses tons of different situations to do that. And I would hate to look down on someone’s experience because it didn’t mirror mine. That would be close-minded, I think.

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      • Hmm… Yes. It is a very tricky thing, and I hope that I didn’t down-play the experience of birth– that certainly wasn’t my heart’s intent.

        I once had a mother tell me that her mother-love didn’t come at the birth of her child, but at the moment when her baby girl got sick and she had to make the decision to take her to the hospital. The moment the doctor said, “You made the right choice to come in.” she said it was like something came to life inside her.

        That’s always stuck with me… that mother-love can come in different ways for different people. And, like you said, every person’s story is valid.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I recently made an online-scrapbook of my houseparent years. It arrived in the mail today and I flipped through it with a smile on my face, because despite the fact that there are very few people with whom I feel free to call myself “a mother” – those girls made me a mother.

    I do my best to empathize with those women who gush about “not knowing what love is” – because i know they experienced something life-changing, but it hurts on a variety of levels depending on the day. I think next time I’ll try to reply, “No, I don’t know that feeling. But I know the heart-about-to-burst love of investing into the lives of children. I know what it’s like to stand in awe of my creator who hears the barren woman’s cry and make her the happy mother of children. I know that beautiful mysterious miracle.”

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  3. Isaiah is filled with rich, powerful Scripture and you’ve quoted some that speak beautifully to the grace of God. Only through His grace does any of us experience mother-love, a reflection of His love for His children. Often childless women reflect His love, mother-love if you will, much better than those who birthed children. Your posts are always thought-provoking and moving, Tasha. Live blessed.

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  4. Amen Tash! Beautifully said ! We spent many years of disappointment trying to have a child. My first living child was adopted as were others. Some were Teens who came to our house who needed mothering others from other countries I have a Brazilian daughter, and an Indian daughter, she lives in India. And is now 10 I may never see her while on this earth we write and send pictures. She loves Jesus.We will one day be in heaven with all my babies that did not survive and perhaps meet for the first time.

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  5. Oh yes oh yes oh yes. How I have longed to have this understood. I am the only member of my family who has been able to bear children. Both of my brother’s and their wives will never conceive. My heart shouts this out because I see their mothering (and fathering) and I KNOW it echoes to the same chord that sings in me. You are such a beautiful mother, Natasha. I do not know if I have told you this before, but every Mother’s Day, I think of you.

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    • You are always such a huge encouragement to me! Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers, and for hearing my heart. ❤

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  6. Such a lovely post. Thank you for your vulnerability. How my aching heart has longed to see that big fat positive on a pregnancy test, carry a little one in my tummy, and celebrate a new life. He has been showing me lately that not only does He already know the mornings we’ll wake up and feel defeated, but He’s already placed people and words along our path that will encourage and uplift us throughout that very day. He is SUCH a personal God. I was dreading Mother’s Day, but I’m reminded it’s a beautiful celebration of my sweet mother, the other mother-figures in my life, and the college students I’ve been allowed to mother at church. Pressing on!

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