by Miriam Jessie
A reflection that is for all women as we approach Mother’s Day.
As a mother the idea of Mother’s Day delights me, but in a church context I both love and tremble at bringing this celebration through the doors and into the church.
In every ‘Happy Mother’s Day’, I am reminded of a time I sat with a friend who cried at another period announcing her hope for motherhood was dashed again.
I think of the single friend who has such a great capacity for love, who longs for motherhood and sees no answer to that longing.
I think of the women who fill pews and live silent about abortions they have had because they already feel condemnation and no space to be loved and grieve their loss.
I weep for the women who have been rejected and hurt by the adults they once rose to tend in the midnight hours.
I feel the silent crushing weight of the myriad of women who feel they are failing to mother ‘as they ought to’.
Mother’s day is important and it is hard.
It’s a bit like faith, perhaps. Important, life-giving and totally transformational but not without despair and tears too.
Today I want to bless you women.
I want to take your cheeks in my hands and tell you that you are not a ‘lesser’ person and certainly, definitely not a ‘lesser’ Christian if you are not a mother.
Today I want to hold your hand, new mama, and gently remind you that you are not a failure because you failed to live up to your own impossible standards today, or yesterday, or all of last week.
Today I want to say to all of us being a woman is valuable. And I especially want to say to you that there are many different and wonderful ways to express who you are within the Kingdom of God. The Bible is full of women who lived differently to each other but received an honoured place.
There is room for you too. Today especially I want to applaud you for choosing the million small, hard, ‘right’ things – wherever you are.
If you are single may you have the courage to live wholehearted in your singleness.
If you are married may you have courage to be the partner God is inviting you to be.
If you are a mother may you have courage to lead the children you have been given to know they are loved inexpressibly by a God, who is neither male nor female but supersedes and surpasses all the best characteristics we see demonstrated in both men and women.
Ladies, girls, women…. We all know how we have failed, we all know where we fall short. But today may we love each other with the generous, non-condemning, welcoming love of God. May we make room for expressions of womanhood that are different from our own and may we strive, limp and hope together for a faith that loves one another the way Jesus showed us.
Today I invite you to pray with me:
Beautiful women may God meet you today and nourish you and hover over you with wings that spread into all your life spaces.
May what was said of Benjamin be true of you – the one the Lord loves will rest between his shoulders.
Miriam Jessie lives in New Zealand with her family. She is a teacher, education consultant and writer. Miriam is passionate about God and His people. You can read more on her blog miriamjessie.com