the hardest day of the year for 1 in 8 women

this post was originally planned to be shared during my mother's day series, but it turns out that April 26-30th is National Infertility Week, so it only seems fitting to share this now.

disclaimer: i am not pregnant. i have never been pregnant. i have not struggled with infertility, miscarriage, or the death of a child. but i know people that have had these experiences and i checked the accuracy of this post with them.

a young married woman walked into church. her heart broken. she fights the tears even harder today. for the last month she's dreaded this particular sunday. when she woke up this morning, she wanted to pull the covers over her head and just stay in bed all day. but she didn't. she got out of bed and got ready for church. she walked into the church building for the 100th time and saw all of the mothers with their children. tears began to well up in her eyes, but she straightened her shoulders and wiped them away quickly before anyone could see. the church service began, and as expected, all of the talks were on motherhood. tears streamed quietly down her face and dropped into her lap. her husband put his arm around her after handing her another clean tissue. the service finally ends and then the announcement is made, "we would like to invite all of the mothers to stay seated so they can receive their mother's day gifts.... excuse me, all women 18 and older." when it seemed as though all of the flowers were handed out, the young married woman stood up and hurried to the bathroom. she pushed back tears and pasted on her "everything is alright" smile as she rushed out the door and almost bumped into the deacons holding the last of this year's mother's day flower. when she reached the bathroom, the tears fell freely. her shoulders shook from the sobs as she plead once again with her Father in Heaven for a child or even just a little peace in her heart. 

in a few weeks, one in eight women will struggle to go to church, get out of bed, and/or face the world. to them, this holiday is yet another reminder of something they don't have that they would give anything for. this day is a day that celebrates the greatest title a woman could ever be given: mother. 

one in eight women struggle with infertility

like i said in my disclaimer, i haven't had this struggle. but i know women that have.

something that i've come to learn is a rather frequent question once you get married is, "so, when are you going to have a baby?" or "are you pregnant yet?" it's frustrating to hear these questions as a newlywed; i can't even imagine how heartbreaking it must be for those struggling with infertility to have to choke out a response like, "i don't know," and to honestly not know. or to have to repeatedly assure people that you, in fact, are not pregnant again this month.

since i graduated high school, i've noticed how frequently my Facebook and Instagram feeds have involved babies and baby announcement after baby announcement. one of my friends that battles with infertility once told me that she would rather not find out that a friend is pregnant via Facebook. and really, all it takes is a simple phone call. she said that she truly is happy for people who are pregnant and have growing families and she loves to share in their excitement! but the seemingly small and insignificant phone call really does make a difference! (obviously she doesn't expect a phone call from EVERY friend on Facebook that is having a baby soon, but close friends and family are always hard to find out about via Facebook.)

today i want to share a song that touches my heart and has a special place there. it is about a woman in bible times who was barren. she couldn't have babies, and yet, Mary (the mother of Jesus) let her hold her baby. (this story is fictional, but i think it has a great message) to go along with this story, i have a simple memory of a very similar act of service. i had a friend who had a baby. i had another friend who had recently had a miscarriage. i was talking to the friend who miscarried about her experience and she said, "_______ let me hold her baby for as long as i needed, and that helped a lot." 
this story doesn't mean you have to go and ask women who don't have kids if they want to hold your babies, but i think it's important to realize that something you may take for granted or even complain about on some days is something some women desperately want and even need sometimes.

mother's day is such a wonderful way to tribute the wonderful mothers in our lives! none of us would be here if it weren't for mothers! but this mother's day, i want to not only highlight the mothers with children, but also the women who fill the heavenly and divine calling of being a woman! (i have to be fair, i have a really special tribute to mothers that i wrote with my own momma in mind that will be posted soon. but i really do think all women should be honored this mother's day!) 

so here's to the women out there that are waiting for their turn to be called momma. 

you are strong.
you are brave.
every prayer you utter is heard by God.
every tear you spill is noted.
you are not alone. 
you have purpose.
you are still a mother.

to expectant mommas & mommas with babies:
cherish every moment; even the frustrating ones
let others share in your joy
complain less-- you truly have the greatest calling & job!
hug your babies a little tighter today because they are truly a blessing!

happy mother's day & happy celebrate all women day! 

today's song: mary let me hold her baby; michael mcclean; the forgotten carols

other talks about womanhood:
Are We Not All Mothers? by sheri dew
What Shall We Do? by neill f. marriott

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