Mother’s Day is now Victory Day for me. I used to dread Mother’s Day. Why wasn’t it termed Woman’s Day? I could celebrate that; after all, womanhood wasn’t taken away from me like motherhood was denied me for nine long years. A former church of mine tried to take the sting out of the holiday by offering flowers to all women, mothers or not, because they were surely mothering someone.
Nice thought, but it’s not exactly the same thing. Somehow, it made the holiday burn more, like they were thinking of me when they made the inclusion. Wrong call, of course; but you know how you feel when “everybody else” has something you don’t. (Excluded. Isolated. Fearful of the future.)
Everyone, after all, had heard my prayer request, its modern version of Hannah’s story. Some people said that I was happy in my career (I was), so being a mother wasn’t as important to me (not a fair assumption). I’m not bitter about their misunderstandings, and it didn’t break any relationships for me. God has healed those heart wounds by revealing to me what He was doing in my life at that time.
After I was married for over nine years, God broke through my endometriosis and provided my husband and me with a son. On the Mother’s Day that followed my son’s birth, my pastor spoke on Hannah’s story. I could finally echo her song of triumph. When my daughter came less than two years later on the power of one prayer alone, motherhood became more than its own reality for me. It became the living presence of miracles living and breathing with me daily.
Today, Mother’s Day is much more than a reason for brunch. It means Victory Day to me. I am victorious over the forces that tried to burst my hope. It gives me a vision beyond even motherhood itself. Through this day, I know Christ’s victory firsthand.
If you are a mother, you bring forth life created by God. Later on, you patch, and help, and soothe your child by just being near. You create examples and allusions by which life can be better understood. You make things better after forces pull them apart. To minister is to serve, and motherhood requires self-denying service in ways that no other relationship does.
Does this extend to your leadership? It can if you decide to take on a relationship as a spiritual mother. In it, you provide the same sort of coaching, listening and affirming, as a caring mother with her child. Spiritual mothering is done best one on one, like a mother focusing on one child at a time. I see these relationships as special ones, matched by the Lord in a certain way that communicates its origins are from Him.
Either way, you proclaim victory over the forces that bind the other person, victory in Christ’s name. You proclaim hope. You proclaim love. These things cannot be done by the other person, just like your infant cannot provide his own milk or her own clothing. A mother provides and proclaims victory through discouragement and despair, because she knows that the Victor is Christ.
I celebrate all you mothers… and spiritual mothers. Happy Mother’s Day.