“A gracious woman gains honor.” Proverbs 11:16 HCSB
I seriously disliked Mother’s Day for many years. I honored my own dear sweet Mom, the Godly lady who taught me about the mercy and grace of Christ. However, the bulk of the calendar “holiday” was tough for me. I did not physically give birth to my stepson so I thought that disqualified me from being his “mother”. Biologically speaking, that’s factual. I did not give physical birth to him, he doesn’t have my eyes and nose, and he doesn’t have my love of vanilla frosting or butter-soaked Brussels sprouts.
But is that the entire truth? I guess biological parents, stepparents, adoptive parents, grandparents with custody, etc etc could argue this topic back and forth. Does being a “parent” only include procreation? For sake of brevity I’ll get right to the point and say I believe being a parent, a Mom or a Dad, is a matter of the heart. Even if you aren’t bestowed with the label of “Mommy” or “Daddy” (labels being a great subject for another day) I believe YES, you are still a parent.
Since I have assumed the role of a parent figure for 16 years, I treat my stepson like my own blood. I love him like I love those in my family who do have the same eyes and nose as me. My instinct has been tested a few times, and I find myself giving of my comforts and sometimes even safety to protect him. We are alike in the spookiest of ways, too. We are sometimes selfish but forgiving to a fault. We are both “only” children. We laugh at the same types of jokes, and we tap our left foot when a good song comes on. We even like the same race car driver (Will Power). I attribute these similarities and common quirks to genuine admiration of each other and – God.
There was a brief time in the early years when I did not feel I was “worthy” of being included on Mother’s Day. I had so much growing to do in my faith. My walk with Christ was temperamental at best. The devil preyed on my young mind and twisted reality when I allowed him to. I allowed the enemy and destroyer of light to do that back then because it felt good to be a victim of circumstance. It was easy to wallow in self-loathing and revel in the supposed label of unloved.
Mother’s Day would come and go. No card from my stepson, no acknowledgement from my husband, nothing for poor me. I felt taken for granted, and the devil was doing cart-wheels like a jester at my pity party. Satan reminded me of all the care I gave, but told me I wasn’t worthy of the opportunity to be acknowledged. Sadly, I believed him.
Our God is the DIVINE CREATOR of healing. When we focus a reprobate mind on the agape love that Christ has for us, we are able to pour out this love to others. One day the prayers of a faithful mother and my grandmother struck my heart like a bolt of lightning. I felt disgusted by my thoughts. I felt spiritually unclean because of the darkness I was letting cloud my relationship with this precious little boy. I literally fell to my knees and wept and said, “Jesus, I’m so sorry. Will you forgive me and give me a new (spiritual) heart?”
One Mother’s Day, I would say about six years ago, my phone “dinged” while my husband and I were eating breakfast. My stepson’s mom would not allow him to get me a card or acknowledge me with a phone call, but he would “sneak” away for a minute and text me. He did this every Mother’s Day starting at 13-years-old until he moved out of her house.
This Mother’s Day, my stepson will be with us. It will be the first time we’ve actually been together for this day. I will graciously accept his hug and his wish for me to have a great day. I also will encourage him to pick up the phone and call his mother and acknowledge her place in his life as well. I can do this from my heart because I don’t want her to face the pain I did in the early years. Mostly, I can do this because love is what Jesus commands of us who know better. I know better now, thank you Lord.
Whether you are acknowledged or not, praised or not, you are WORTHY in the eyes of the LORD, and that is everything. It’s everything. It’s still just a day, “Mom” is just a label, and cards and flowers turn to dust like everything else. It is a good day to remember that you are the daughter of a king – a king who overcame all of the hurt, jealousy, toil, and hate this world could place on him. He overcame it all for YOU. Sister, your worth is immeasurable and you are loved beyond human comprehension.
Moment of Prayer:
“Father, sometimes my human instinct seems to encourage the cruel intentions and actions over the kind. The nearer I stay to you the more I seek out kindness and being kind. Truthfully Lord, it feels good to be a caring person. YOU know that, and that’s why you want me to love others as I love myself. Also, when my children see me showing compassion during the tests and trials of life, it is a wonderful example of your love shining through us. Today, Lord, I will strive to increase the kindness and watch the ripple effects of your grace all around me.”