Sunday, May 14, 2017

To the Mama Hearts

"Hannah's heart pounded with a mother's love 
long before she was blessed with a child to mother."
- Jennifer Saake, Hannah's Hope

Today is a day for which I have longed, prayed, and waited: celebrating Mother's Day as a mother with babies in her arms. I "celebrated" Mother's Day for the past 2 years in a different way...the first as an adoptive mother to 6 tiny embryos, and the second as a pregnant mama of twins. Both times I was still waiting to hold my babies in my arms, but my mama heart still beat with a love for the babies we adopted, the ones we lost, and the ones we were still waiting to meet. Because motherhood starts and grows in the heart, not the womb.

There were a lot of emotions that went into today. During our infertility journey, Mother's Day was incredibly difficult to face. For someone waiting to hold a baby in their arms, an entire day devoted to honoring and celebrating the women who already have that gift can be so...well, hard. Infertility is hard other days of the year, but this one day in particular is just salt in an open wound. My mama heart grieved the babies that would never be mine, the babies that should have been in my arms but were lost too soon.

Today is so different, because I get to hold my sweet babies in my arms. My mama heart is overwhelmed with the precious gifts that squirm in and fill my arms, and I can hardly stop the tears {this time of joy}. But it's a strange joy, because there has been so much grief that led to it. It's hard to believe that I am finally here. After so many prayers, so much waiting, so many just doesn't seem real. And yet, this Mother's Day, I am blessed to celebrate with {not one but} TWO children in my arms. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Despite our joy, I just can't forget all that we have walked through. Those scars still remain, and they will always slightly sober these days of celebration. Not in a bad way, but in a way that makes me pause and remember all that God has done. In a way that reminds me not to take these precious moments for granted. In a way that reminds me to remember where we have been, and not forget those who are still in the trenches. And for that, I am grateful. Today I am holding my babies in my arms, I am "on the other side." But I know that there are so many still hurting, still waiting. 

In our journey, we have met so many others whose hearts have been broken by infertility and loss. And I can't help but grieve alongside those other mama hearts who are still waiting for their miracles. My heart grieves for the friend whose embryo transfer failed. For the friend whose pregnancy test will be negative {again} this morning and whose period will start today {which definitely happened to me one year and it SUCKED}. For the friend who is bravely carrying the long-prayed for child who will only live for minutes after birth. For the friend who is facing this Mother's day without her beloved child{ren}, gone too soon...

Today, I praise God for the blessing of celebrating with my two baby loves. It's a day I wasn't sure I would ever see. I humbly join the ranks of mamas who will be honored and celebrated today. But I will forever have the mama heart that knew the heartache and struggle to get here. And I am fervently praying for the mama hearts who are still waiting, crying out to God, struggling to face this hard day. 

So to the mama hearts who desperately want it to be "their turn," I know how hard this day is for you, and I pray that you receive the strength you need to make it through. If you need to hide away and grab a pint of ice cream, I understand {and say, don't forget the comfy pajamas}. I know your tears, but more than that, Jesus keeps track of them. Lean into Him and trust His good plan for you. Because I promise He hasn't forgotten you.

To the mama hearts who are missing their beautiful babies today {however old}, I'm sorry for your loss {es} and that you are missing your baby {or babies} today. There is nothing quite like losing a child. I have felt a similar grief, and I pray that God comforts you in ways that only He can. I'm sending you lots of hugs on this hard day.

To the mama hearts who are faithfully loving their sweet ones with all they have, be encouraged that you are serving the least of these and that Jesus notices and receives all the glory for that. I pray you feel honored and loved today. I pray that you receive encouragement for the sacrifices you make for your family. Don't forget to hold your babies close and praise God for every moment you have with them.

And to those who are missing their own sweet mamas today, due to distance, broken relationships, or loss, I personally don't know your sadness and hurt, but I am praying that you also are comforted today. Part of my own desire to be a mother was because of how amazingly loving and wonderful my mama is. I cannot even begin to imagine losing her or having a fractured relationship with her, so forgive me that I don't have all the right words for you. But I recognize that today must be a hard day for you too, and I am praying for you on this Mother's Day.

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