One day several years ago, I visited a new mother in the hospital. She had just had her baby. When I saw him, something in me was different. I normally am afraid to hold new babies because they’re so small and seem like they break so easily. The new mother’s mom was there with her and holding the baby. As soon as I saw him, I moved to take him from his grandmother’s arms as I was asking if I could hold him. Right then, I knew I was in for some kind of life lesson.
I didn’t even hold him that long. I planned to stay and visit with the new mother for awhile. I didn’t even last 15 minutes. While I was holding the 2-day old baby boy, a small knot formed in my stomach. My face got hot. I knew I had to get out of that room. I maintained my composure as I told the new mother and grandmother that I remembered an appointment I had to get to. New Baby Boy’s grandmother scooped him back into her arms, and I said goodbye to them all.
When I got to my car, tears broke. I was so emotional, I had to just let it all out. Once I did, I came to an understanding of where I was in my singleness.
Prior to that moment I believed I was not sold on the concept of marriage and family. In fact, I was probably in a phase where I thought perhaps I would be better off single with no children—forever. It might have been why people giving me their newborn children to hold scared me to no end. But I realized that day, deep down inside I wasn’t quite sold on permanent singleness. That little baby roused a feeling that was new to me—love and compassion for a helpless being. I could only imagine what a mother of newborn baby would feel. I also realized something else.
As I sat untangling those new and overwhelming feelings, I was honest with God about how I really felt. How I felt left out and overlooked every Mother’s Day at church, watching women receive flowers from their children. How I felt strange on the days it seemed like all I saw were happy couples, and it only made it worse when they had children with them. I also told Him how even despite all of this, I still had this nagging uncertainty that I would ever be in those situations I witnessed. Was singleness His lot in life for me? Did I pick it for myself with all those doubts? Or was it just prolonged for me? If so, what did I do to make it that way?
I laid that and a lot more out in front of God that day in the parking lot of a hospital, in my car with the windows rolled up.
The good news is that today—although I’m still single—Mother’s Day and newborn babies are no longer triggers for strong emotional responses over singleness. If Mother’s Day is a trigger for you, I pray that this message helps you. If you find yourself sad about your singleness this Mother’s Day, talk to God about it! Best of all, talk to wives and mothers and ask them what life on the other side of singleness is like. Volunteer to babysit for couples who have young children. Prepare for your desires, and embrace those who already have what you desire.
On the other side of me, confronting those things I would rather have avoided, I found a new understanding of God. I found that it was perfectly all right to trust Him with my desire for marriage and children. I also found that even if it was His will for me to remain single, His plan could be trusted. Either way, He was worthy of my trust, and I won!
So this Mother’s Day will not only be a day I honor my mother and the women who mothered me, but it will be a day that I seek God about His will concerning my life for marriage and motherhood. It will be a day that I consecrate those desires to Him and renew my trust in Him. Marriage and motherhood are good gifts from God, and until those happen for you and me, singleness is a good gift too.