well, there are many reasons.
reasons like rising when you feel like falling, reasons like producing milk when you want to produce tears and being called to represent every feminine attribute of God for men, girls and boys, and not knowing night from day from hour because you’re always awake. even when you’re asleep, you have one ear tuned to day.
but it’s more than that.
it’s about the pain of being forced to let go, from the very start. when the body begins to weave these babies together, when divinity begins her work in us, it also prepares our muscles to release. to extract. to push away from us, even as we are becoming one person with them, our skin literally wrapping around and enfolding them.
giving birth is all one big act of letting go, and it continues after they’re born and into the teen years until finally they’re into the arms of another, and it’s hard. so, so hard, but not as hard as losing them entirely.
i’m writing a novel right now for abingdon press’ series, Quilts of Love, and in it, a woman who’s lost numerous children sits in her chair and simply rocks. she rocks her invisible babies. because without your children, as my friend put it recently (whose daughter passed away a few months ago), a woman feels pointless.
it doesn’t matter that you still have your husband to take care of. once a mother, you’re always a mother, even when they leave you. and this is the hardest.
because you don’t know your life purpose without having someone to hold.
for my friend, life on earth is secondary now. it’s all about heaven, she says. she longs to get there. to hold her one-year-old daughter once again. and suddenly, everyone’s suffering has become so poignant, so clear, to her. she sees what others don’t. she sees the gaps which only Christ can fill.
being a mother is not just about letting go of our children. it’s about letting go of the need to control. about letting go of fear, and opening up our hearts and our bodies to allow all of life to enter–the good, the bad, and the ugly–so that we might give birth, in the end, to the most extraordinary and selfless kind of love. the kind Jesus died to produce. the kind that will save the world.