I thought the title of this blog fit the millions of women who, like me, never had children after our abortions. Of course, most of us would not consider ourselves as mother to a child we did not give birth to or raise. Why would we? The guilt and shame surrounding our abortion “choice” coupled with the presence of an absent child would not support an image of sound motherhood; nor should it in my opinion.
There is a necessary tension inside of a regretful post-abortive woman; one that will forever carry the “what if’s” of their child’s potential. Without that tension, there rests the possibility of a hardened heart toward the act of abortion. It is only through repentance and reconciliation with God that we can even begin to honestly look at our lost motherhood.
Biologically speaking, we became mothers at conception and implantation. (we should have a whole separate conversation about in vitro fertilization at another time eh?). That said, when does the essence of motherhood bear itself out into its fullest manifestation? For example, If a mother desperately wants her child but loses it to a miscarriage or stillbirth, is she a mother? What about the millions of women who miscarry and never even realized that they were pregnant; are they mothers? Do the women who decide in their hearts and minds that they aren’t carrying and aborting a baby but a “blob” consider themselves moms? Do the women who have never been able to conceive get to be thought of in their heart of hearts as moms if they adopt or foster children?
I know that I am raising more questions than I am willing or capable of answering. But as I think about the woman who fits my description-childless by “choice” I find it extremely hard to accept motherhood in the same way as my friends who have given birth would; those who did the heavy lifting and raised their children through all of the tough financial times, long sleepless nights, endless hours of worry and unbounding joy at all of the milestones and accomplishments. As Bishop T.D. Jakes so aptly put it in a Mother's Day sermon, (and I am paraphrasing here) ‘is it right to wear the title without putting in the time?’ Let's put a 'pin' in that thought.
There is no ‘degree or level to the word “mother" in the English language for repentant post-abortive women. None of the terms we typically use such as ‘step-mom’, ‘adoptive mom’, ‘play mom’ or, ‘work mom’ apply although we may take on those roles. We are left in a state of internal discord on Mother’s Day; and maybe that is the state we deserve to be in. Our grief is 'disenfranchised' meaning there is no societal place setting for it even though millions upon millions of us partake in it.
But we happen to serve a God who desires our healing and wholeness even more than we do! It cannot be said that our Father is not a God of justice and righteousness. Make no mistake, there are consequences to abortion; many of which are still rippling in my own life. But I thank Him for also being a God of forgiveness and redemption. Could He live with the residual of our sin as we do? No. That is why He sent His only Son as a sacrifice to cover our sin. Without the shed blood of Jesus, He could not see us any differently than we see ourselves-as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). He wants to do a new thing, a holy thing and that is to replace our mourning with joy (Read Isaiah 61 for hope). His joy is unspeakable and is the source of our strength to carry on even on a day like Mother's Day when we doubt our motherhood (Psalm 21:1).
So, the question becomes, do we accept God’s Holy covering of us to allow us to refer to ourselves as ‘mom?’ I can’t answer that for you. For me, if I am being transparent, I'm still struggling. In my healing I have allowed the ‘mother mantle’ to be laid upon me but honestly? it still sits uneasily on my shoulders. And again, that may be because like millions of other post-abortive women, I never went on to have other children. It remains my cross to bear only because I chose it to be...Proverbs 3:6-8 is my reminder that I cannot posit this out on my own but I MUST trust and depend on God to guide my healing steps.
This will be my third Mothers day since my initial healing through “Forgiven and Set Free.” I no longer ball uncontrollably on Mothers Day but I am not yet shouting my motherhood either. This will take time to fully reconcile. God is yet doing a restoration and sanctification work in me and I am grateful for it. I am grateful that I can boldly shout about my healing though-Hallelujah!! I have godchildren and I am grateful for the gift of them. I am now a god-grandparent (made up title maybe? 🙂) and I am grateful for that. I am ‘Mami’ to one Jamaican daughter, auntie-momma to a dear niece and simply ‘Ma” to a couple more. The Lord allowed me the title of "House Mother" over the Arise family -Hallelujah for that!!! I am grateful for all of the love that comes with each title and for the healing that God is allowing as part of His reconciliation for me. I have many reasons to shout about His redemption that’s for sure!
Tweet this: Mothers are made by God
If you are still struggling like me or, want to help a friend that is struggling with the question of motherhood, then I encourage you to explore what the titles mother and father could mean for your healing this Mother’s Day. My desire for us is that we are made as whole as God wants us to be!
Join us this Tuesday, May 9th at 7pm EDT on Zoom as AriseArtists.com hosts a Watch Party for the powerful play “Viable.” This play is to post-abortive women what the movie “Unplanned” was for former abortion workers. This play has the potential to change what you call yourself every Mother’s Day from 2023 on. This play is not to be missed!
Tweet this: The play “Viable” has the potential to change your life!
Many blessings, much love and I will see you in the Zoom room on Tuesday! Sylvia