Motherless daughters. At first glance that might seem like an odd turn of phrase – especially the week before Mother’s Day when you were probably expecting a sweet and simple story. But that’s not what I have for you today. My story is not sweet and it is far from simple.
Oh, where to begin…
I grew up with my maternal grandmother. I have never really lived solely with my mother. She had tremendous issues and struggles that made it impossible for her to take care of a child.
Although my grandmother raised me, practically since birth, I never viewed her as my mother. I always knew that my mother existed, but for whatever reason decided not to keep me. As you can imagine, this will mess with a child’s mind. I have been plagued with all manner of insecurities and unyielding feelings of unworthiness and feelings of being unlovable. I often wondered if there was something wrong with me.
I spent most of my childhood with an unconscious desire to be mothered by my mother but it never happened. She drifted in and out of my life like the ocean’s tides. Eventually, that became okay with me. I’m not sure that I had much of a choice in the matter. She had her life and I had mine. As time went by, our two lives rarely intersected.
As sad as all of this appears, I didn’t know any different. This was my life. This is what I had always known.
But praise God that my story didn’t end there! As I reflect on my childhood, the fingerprints of God were all over it!
The lack of mothering actually drove me to seek out older women who would love and encourage me.
I have been overwhelmed by God’s grace. Even before I knew Christ, in my junior high and high school years, God placed a couple of amazing teachers in my life who took the time and invested in me.
God shows us grace even when we are far from Him.
Over the past 15 years of following Jesus, He has been more than faithful to overflow my life with spiritual mothers.
These women, these mothers have…
Wept with me
Rejoiced with me
Prayed with me
And prayed for me
Each and every one of them has in some way helped to shape my walk with the Lord. Scripture has many verses that instruct older women to instruct the younger women in the ways of God.
My dear friend Jenn Peterson reminded me over Voxer this past week that, “Not everyone is happy on Mother’s Day. Not everyone is a mother. Not everyone has a mother.”
As women, we are called to both mother and to be mothered. This happens no matter how old you are or what season of life you are in. This call transcends biology and even expectation.
I am 33 years old and still single. I don’t have biological kids but I have the privilege of being a spiritual mom to some precious junior high and high school girls at my church. It is one of the most absolute joys of my life.
If you fall into one or both of these categories, know that you are in my prayers. Know that you are deeply loved by a God who is faithful to fill our empty spaces.
Who has mothered you and what have you learned from them?
Who are you mothering? What do you hope that they will learn from you?