They Call Me Auntie

Gentle Reader,

Mother’s Day can be at the very least awkward for Infertile Imeldas. There is a whole range of emotions and thoughts associated with the topic, as wide and varying as the women themselves. Many people aren’t quite sure how to approach a woman who deals with infertility on a regular day, let alone this holiday set aside for celebrating mothers. It can be a tense mess.

As one of those Infertile Imeldas, I want to offer up some encouragement to those of you who live in this circle with me. I don’t at all wish to diminish the hurt and confusion that many feel, but I do want you to know that:

1. Your value is not determined by your uterus.

I don’t know why God allows some women to conceive easily and others not at all. I can’t begin to solve this mystery. However, I do know that you are a complete, whole, worthy woman. Eve was not a woman because she had children. She was a woman because that’s who God made her to be. Children are awesome, but there is so much more to the feminine identity, existence and experience than being able to carry one for 9 months. We are prone to forget that Eve was tasked with caring for creation just as Adam was – there were things that she was meant to do, that only she could do. Adam was incomplete without her. She was the final, climactic piece of God’s creation. She was not made only to bear children. She was made to reflect something of God that Adam didn’t.

2. You are vital in the lives of children.

There are so many kids out there who are desperate for a stable, loving influence in their lives. Or who just need someone other than Mom and Dad to talk to. Be that person. Reach out to those kids, whether they’re in your neighborhood, your workplace or your church. If you don’t have any contact with kids, volunteer somewhere. This world is a messed-up place and there are so many kiddos aching for love. You can give that to them.

3. You need to focus on the good in your life.

It’s so easy to become bogged down in disappointment. We don’t have the eyes of God, the eyes that see the whole picture. We can spend so much of our time wondering, “Why?” Even though I have come to believe that dealing with difficult situations and emotions, getting it all out on the table, is a good thing, at some point you have to let the crying cease. You have to make the choice to look up to God and around at what He has given you. There is so much to be thankful for! He has blessed you in so many ways! You can keep picking at the scab and let yourself become bitter, or you can enjoy life.

4. You need to find an outlet.

I don’t want to stereotype the gentler sex, but we are, in general, creative sorts. We need to be involved in nurturing something or someone.There are innumerable ways in which to do this. What are you interested in? What have you always wanted to try? What project would you like to tackle in your workplace? Don’t let that energy and talent go unused and wasted.

5. You are part of a family.

If you are married, never forget that you and your husband constitute a family. If not, you are still someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s cousin. Moreover, you get to play a fabulous part in the family of God: the Auntie! You get to listen, hug, kiss, spoil and love all sorts of children – and you get to send them home with the get cranky.

6. You are loved.

God is not punishing you. Let me repeat that, loudly: GOD IS NOT PUNISHING YOU. You aren’t being denied children because of some sin. Read John 9 if you don’t believe me. God adores you and has so much wonder and good in store for your life!

Above all, dear sisters, we must remember that our plans can’t hold a candle to His. We must remember that every “no” that falls from His lips ensures a greater “yes” sometime in the future. Maybe the doors will open for you to adopt. Maybe they won’t. Maybe one day, miraculously, you will find yourself pregnant. Maybe you won’t. Whatever does or doesn’t happen, we need to walk this road with our eyes firmly fixed on the One who intimately knows the way we are traveling. Let us each take His hand and grasp it tightly. We do not know where this journey will take us, but we must rest in the love and wisdom of the God who knows all.