Inwardly I cringed; outwardly I smiled as I shook his hand. I continued into the sanctuary and approached the usher.
"Happy Mother's Day," he said as he handed me a bulletin.
I'm not sure I even mustered a smile before walking away.
Several years ago, my mom told me that my uncle, who has never been married, doesn't attend church on Father's Day. The focus on something he doesn't have--and probably never will--is too painful. I got a small glimpse of that pain today.
Still, the sting that I felt at being confused for a mother pales in comparison to the pain many women are going through today. Yes, I want to be a mother, but my greater yearning is to be a wife. (If "Wife's Day" existed, I promise I would not be attending church that day!) As I slipped into my pew this morning, I couldn't help but think about the women I know who are experiencing infertility. On a day that celebrates what they most long to be, how do they handle the pain? How do they react to the well-meaning yet insensitive people around them?
My pensive mood continued throughout the worship time, and I wondered if I'd even hear a word my pastor said once he began preaching. Then the sermon title flashed up on the screen--a continuation of the series Pastor Mike began last week--and I almost burst out laughing. The title? "The Dungeon of Disappointment." I had no trouble paying attention.
This afternoon, I came across a blog post by Wendy Alsup (via Carolyn McCulley) entitled "For Moms, Former Moms, and Wannabe Moms." The whole thing is excellent, but here's the part that especially spoke to me:
God said children are a blessing. But after the fall, we do not all get to experience that blessing. The gospel makes up the difference. While you are disappointed in deep ways and that disappointment is real, you will one day sit with Jesus in heaven profoundly content with his work in you through this disappointment. In heaven, you will have no longing for something you missed. You will not be disappointed. May confidence in that hope sustain you.You will not be disappointed. Those words are a balm to my soul. Whatever dreams are not coming true for you, whatever pain and disappointment you face in this life, cling to the hope of what is to come!