May. Flowers are blooming. The weather is getting warmer. The anticipation of BBQs and watersports at the lake is rising as Memorial Day approaches and we celebrate those we call “mom.” The women who raised us are showered with flowers and gifts. Little children are encouraged by school teachers to make a special present for their mothers, and husbands take this opportunity to make their wives feel special, loved and adored.
But there are some other very special women many of us forget about as we celebrate Mother’s Day: the women who long to be called “mom.” We forget about the women who have carried a baby in their womb, only to lose it before they were ever given the chance to hold their precious child. We forget about the women who made a choice to have an abortion, some of whom still carry guilt and shame over the decision they once made. We forget about the women who have passed their prime age of childbearing and grieve each year over never being able to have a natural birth. We forget about the women who are patiently waiting for the Lord to bring them a spouse as they wrestle with their desire to have their own family.
It’s easy to forget these women. After all, they aren’t the “mothers” we think of when we celebrate Mother’s Day. But to all the women I just mentioned, I want you to know you are special. You play vital roles in the lives of the children all around you. And this year, I want you to know, I am celebrating with you.
As the oldest of eight children, I knew the word “aunt” would be a very special role I would play in my life. So far, only two of my siblings have started families, and I already have eight nieces and nephews. I can’t imagine what that number will grow to one day, but for now, I have eight. Eight cuddle bugs to love, hold and adore. Eight little nuggets to teach, mold and shape. Eight munchkins to speak truth into. Eight angels to encourage, inspire and support. Eight precious little souls to breathe God’s word into. Eight goobers to teach silly pranks to and tickle endlessly, just to hear them giggle. Eight little monkeys to argue with over who loves who the most. Eight wonderful children who look up to me, Auntie Bran Bran.
In my singleness there are many moments where I long to have children I call my own—to one day be called “mom” and included in the group of mothers celebrated on Mother’s Day. But until that day comes (if it comes at all), I have a responsibility to pour the extra energy I would be spending on children of my own into any child I encounter. Those of us without children of our own have numerous opportunities to be impactful in unique ways. We encounter many children daily who need love, encouragement and support. So continue doing what you are doing, ladies; continue loving on the children you encounter. Continue teaching them and pouring wisdom into them. Continue making them smile, filling them with joy and laughter. And continue being an example of faithfulness and obedience to the Lord.
This Mother’s Day, I am celebrating you as well. I am celebrating you for your patience. I am celebrating you for your obedience. I am celebrating you as you trust the Lord’s provision over your life to bring you the things you greatly desire. You are special, and you deserve to be reminded of that!