Sunday, May 27, 2012

Always a Godmother, Never a Mother

Necessary disclaimer: I feel blessed beyond compare to have three BEAUTIFUL goddaughters in my life, in addition to not feeling worthy of so great a blessing. If spiritual motherhood is all I am called to in this world, I am joyful to have been given that opportunity which I realize not all women get.

Last night we had dinner with our wonderful neighbors. Somehow our infertility came up (doesn't it always??) in talking about marriage and their grown children. These neighbors do already know about our infertility struggle, but basically that was all they knew. So, of course, the question arose which always arises when speaking with couples who have been trying to grow their family for as long as we have. The question "Have you... or would you ever... consider adoption?"

I glanced across the table to Mr TCIE, because really, there's no getting around this crazy, lengthy answer in our specific situation. But still, I knew it was up to him to disclose as much information as he wanted. And so, without hesitating, he did. He told them the story of our denied Home Study, all about the arrest and subsequent court cases, and I filled in the gaps. Not once did either of our voices falter, never did we need to blink away a forming tear... it was as if we were describing a story of someone else's life instead of our own.

This may sound "unhealthy" to some of you. But actually, it felt exactly the opposite. We have shed our tears, yelled out our frustrations, felt every angle of hurt in all aspects, over this past/present of ours which prevents us from adopting. This was the first time we had told someone the story in quite some time (most friends and family at this point already know)... and it took us by surprise that we were so matter-of-fact. I understood at once that this was trust. Through our sufferings over the past 6 years, we often felt forced into submission, like as much as we tried to plow through, we always ended up being pushed back further and further. A necessary amount of trust was involved in that process, so as to keep us from despair... but now it's different. Now, we seem to have a sense of complete trust in God's plan for us. Sure, we're still human, and we still feel anger, remorse, sadness, jealousy, etc. But overall, we know we have not been abandoned and that we are carrying our crosses in a way that pleases God.

After coming home last night and processing all of this... I began to envision a different future. A family of two, devoting our careers to helping people, becoming more financially secure and eventually able to travel again. The world really is our oyster.

Of course... it's not what I "want." I am a Godmother, three times over, and twice I was chosen to fill this role for babies who may have been conceived in part due to my help. Is there any greater honor than that?

Yes. Motherhood. Real, true motherhood in more than just the spiritual sense. To have God Himself choose you for such a blessing as this... nothing comes close to that honor. This is what I want. It is what I have always wanted. And it is what I will always want.

But as the years pass, and we see our growth in trust of God's plan for us, I know that I don't want what I want anymore. I want what God wants. And if God wants me to be always a godmother, never a mother... then I want that, too.

I used to argue that I knew myself better than God did. And that if He was not lifting my cross of childlessness all of these years because He felt that I could not do what I am doing as a FertilityCare Practitioner and Ultrasonographer while also being a mother... He was just wrong. I knew better! (Imagine!) I could be one of those women who does it all, and never sleeps. (In truth, I still feel that way.)

Now I'm beginning to understand that God is not withholding what I want so much because He doesn't think I can handle it all. He is not waiting for me to fulfill some other purpose first, before answering my prayers for a child. He knows me better. Better than I know myself, or ever will. He is giving me so many more opportunities for blessings, for joy, for peace, than I ever, ever could attain through motherhood. Because if I had what I wanted... I would almost definitely miss out on what I need.

And so suddenly, looking into the future of no children is not as frightening as it is exciting. God doesn't have just one path in mind for us, but a multitude of options, all of which would please Him and bring us joy. We can be his fruitful vines. I need to repeat that.
WE CAN BE HIS FRUITFUL VINES. Without bearing children. We can bear more fruit than the Duggars. If we can stop dwelling on what we don't have, and on what has "happened to us," and begin focusing on what we can have, and what we can make happen. In God, with God, and through God.





Always a Godmother...












and no one can take that away from me :)

16 comments:

LoveSaintGianna said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!! You know how much this story is similar to mine!! Also a Godmother 3 times over. Love you, girl!!! Hope to see you again soon xoxoxo

sthenryii said...

Amen! I may not have a house full... but I can still have a quiver fully. :)

Rebecca said...

Short of when i completely lost it when my friend asked me to be godmother to her daughter (it had been a silent prayer I'd never dared to utter out loud for fear of lots of things). And while, I agree, everything I want is real, true motherhood, knowing that I am a godmother gives me much peace. Thank-you for this reminder today.

JellyBelly said...

I had some similar thoughts yesterday while babysitting my two year old godson. When I went over to my bf's house to pick him up his face lit up and I never felt so loved. We spent a couple hours watering plants, "helping" Mr. JB mow the lawn (little H's current obsession) and then we had a snack and watched cartoons. It was one of the best mornings I've had in a long time.

I try not to imagine a childless life, but I have easy access to my bf's kids and they love me as much as I love them. Being a godmother is such a blessing and I know that the friends that have chosen us in the recent past all have had our IF in mind. I love being able to shower the kids with love.

I really hope and pray that our paths include children, but if it doesn't, that we find the strength to live happily through it.

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

And that middle Goddaughter will keep you plenty busy in prayer.... ;)

I've wanted to tell you this for so long, but always hesitated. But after this post I think I can say it. My fertility care practitioner is childless and past her child-bearing years. I always wondered how she could spend her whole life helping OTHER people get pregnant and be so dang JOYFUL about it. It amazed me at every follow up. I've prayed that you (if you could never conceive or adopt) would be given the graces she has been given. To find joy in helping other achieve the dream you had for yourself. I don't know if I would believe it to be possible if I didn't have her as an example. But I know that it is possible and I know that you are well on your way to this peace and joy. God bless you TCIE. You and your hubby are going to be one kick-ass fertility team and bless so many people.

Sarah said...

This post is just so beautiful. I can't possible "add" to it with any comment, but you are so right... God works through us to be fruitful in so many ways, ways that are special to who we are, our gifts, etc. Many of the Saints lived a-mazing lives that had lasting impacts through such a variety of callings.

Lucky as Sunshine said...

I have 2 beautiful goddaughters & 4 godsons. It's far different than I imagined, but I think I am more content if God does not want us to have our own.

CS said...

You are so inspiring TCIE! This post is so full of peace.

Donna said...

What a beautiful post! I am often awed by the wisdom you write.

barbie said...

I'm so loving these posts lately tcie!!

Hebrews 11:1 said...

So, so so beautiful. You are such an amazing person and such an inspiration to me.

one joyful day said...

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a mother, but I had also wanted to be a godmother and I was actually asked to be one last year! It is truly a joy to pray for and have that special connection with a little one! I pray and hope that God will bless us with children and that I will be a mother too, but I do need to remember that (like you said) God knows me better than I know myself. Thank you for sharing your insights...I love your outlook!

Sew said...

Love! Love! Love!

And yes, as K said, that middle one is going to keep you busy! LOL

Patiently Waiting...... said...

Being a Godmother is such a wonderful blessing. I adore my Godchildren and cannot wait for the oldest one to make her first Holy Communion next year. You are blessed to have your Godchildren and they are blessed to have you!

St. Rita's Roses said...

I never know what to say to your beautiful posts...other than, I am blessed to be your friend!!

All in His Perfect Timing said...

"He knows me better. Better than I know myself, or ever will."
I always think I "know" best too. But God shows me up every time. :-) I just like being right. (not a great mindset, huh? lol)
Praying for you to fulfill the plans God has for you - and yes, the world is your oyster!