There’s a monumental difference between a caregiver and the woman who has given birth to a child. Here in Swaziland, countless days, I am responsible for the lives of fifteen individuals and with great tenacity, I make sure the girls are executing or fulfilling what can sporadically be a never-ending list of chores, responsibilities, and other miscellaneous items. Boldly I answer questions, push them to their fullest potential, provide a safe place to share things that grieve them, and to impart wisdom and knowledge based on my own life experiences, to help solve fights and arguments between sisters; as well as satisfying the role of caregiver.
Nevertheless, they are not my children. Although I occasionally act like a mom, I am unable to replace the mothers whose womb they boogied around in for 9 months. The interaction that several of the girls experienced with their mothers is limited or non-existent. Believe it or not, there are a number of extraordinary women in the world who occupy the role of mother for a child that they did not produce. Today, right now, that is not the role that the Lord has called me to.
I am the pursuer. I am a confidant. I am a friend. I am one who encourages.
I am not yet a mother!
The deep hankering in my soul to be a mother preoccupies my thoughts a majority of the time. Daily I am conscious of the places where these girls are missing the touch, attention, and the sweetness of love and affection which I long to bestow upon a child. Surprisingly at the young age of 19, I received news that I would never sustain childbirth after a complicated surgery in my lower abdomen. As someone living in sin and giving her body away, at that point I didn’t care anything for children. Subsequently, during my “wonder years” euphoria for my inability to produce children seeped in and manifested a reluctance for childbearing. What I thought to be a blessing of taking part in sexual encounters without drowning myself in pregnancy scares and what-ifs relieved me from the extra baggage that I placed on myself, however, now it pains me to think about it.
Despite my circumstances, the Father has promised me that these child bearing hips will one day produce fruit! The Lord has always fulfilled His promises, and I am confident that the covenant He made with me will not return void. All the same, it doesn’t change the lingering desire for children that I have or the pain behind my eyes when I see a mother who chooses not to support the children she delivered or mistreating their kids. The tears do not stop forming behind my eyes when someone gives me their son to watch or play with as I envision them as my own.
I long to be a mama.
Not just any mother a mom who is there for her kids, who fails them at times and doesn’t pretend to make exceptional choices that don’t benefit her children. A mother who doesn’t quite understand what she is doing, but she tries anyway, who nurtures, encourages, and pursues her children, and is aware of the line between friend and foe. A mother who follows the Lord and makes decisions based off of what Papa has told her, who reflects the light of Christ to her children, even if they choose not to follow Him and treats them with the same love and kindness that she always has.
I yearn to be someone’s mama. The mother that God has created me to be with all her crazy, outlandish and eccentric quirks who embarrasses her kids by dancing crazily in front of their friends while screaming “I love Jesus Christ.” Yeah, that’s me a soon to be a mom!