It was Mother’s Day. My very first Mother’s Day.
And I felt lovely. Not because of what I was wearing or how my hair or makeup looked.
I felt lovely because I was growing life.
Seven months prior, I had lost a baby. One well-intentioned comment I received was, “I’m sorry for your loss. You’ll be a great mom…one day.”
I already was a mom. My baby’s nursery was just in heaven. I hadn’t changed a dirty diaper yet or rocked tired little eyes to sleep, but I…I was a mom.
I knew what the woman was trying to say. She was trying to comfort me and give me hope. But not being acknowledged as a mom, a title that was forever imprinted on my soul the moment I conceived, definitely stung.
So this day, my first Mother’s Day, was sacred to me. It was sacred because I was doubly celebrating being the mom; to a precious heaven baby and to the sweet little girl who was using my bladder as a trampoline.
We walked into the church sanctuary and found seats. As everyone was greeting one another, the lady seated directly in front of me “awww-ed” over my round tummy. She shook my hand and said, “Just think, next Mother’s Day you’ll be a mommy!”
Excuse me? Next Mother’s Day? What gives, lady? You do see the bulge under my shirt? Yeah, that’s a human being. She’s made me almost pee my pants twice since I sat down. But tell me, when do you think I’ll become a mom? After she’s born? When she actually calls me momma? When she can spell the word momma?
I said none of that and politely smiled and sat down. However, over the course of the next hour, I debated whether I should extend her grace like Jesus wanted me to, or if I should stick my gum in her hair.
And before you get all judgmental on me, the Lord already knows that I debated…for an hour…in the house of God. Gum or grace? Gum…or grace? Gum…or…grace? I confessed it and chose grace. But I was chewing that gum hard, I’ll tell you that much.
What I think so many people don’t understand is that once you’re a mom, you’re always a mom. And you don’t have to be holding a child in your arms in order to be a mom.
Sometimes motherhood is born from a woman’s body. Sometimes motherhood is born from a woman’s heart.
No matter what form that moment came in, you are a momma.
If your baby was born in your heart and you’ve experienced the miracle of adoption… you belong here …because you are a momma.
If you have lost a baby and your heart is heavy and your arms are empty… you belong here …because you are a momma.
If you are struggling with infertility and your motherhood feels invisible to the world… you belong here …because you are a momma. I see you. And so does God.
If your arms are eagerly waiting to hold the little person that your tummy is growing… you belong here …because you are a momma.
If your arms are as full as your days, chasing busy little people around the house reminding them not to play in the toilet water…you belong here…because you are a momma.
If your children are grown and live far away and you would give anything to rewind the clock, kiss their little foreheads and tuck them in bed one more time…I celebrate the love and hard work you’ve invested for so many years…you belong here…because you are a momma.
If all your children are no longer on this earth and the only things you have are precious memories…you belong here…because you are a momma.
Once you are a mom, you are always a mom.
Time, distance, eternity, circumstance doesn’t change that.
If you feel like nobody sees you…I see you, momma. And I celebrate you.