Shortly after we were married, Geoff and I rescued a tiny black lab puppy from a small Rubbermaid bin, crowded and dirty with his siblings. This tiny puppy moved quickly from his bed to sleeping in my arms each night. As he grew bigger (and bigger, and bigger) he found the perfect spot curled up in the bend of my knees at the end of our bed. Though he was “only a dog,” loving and caring for him brought to life my “momma heart” more than anything.
The day he died, part of my heart went with him. That event, combined with a few others, catapulted us into a move we may never have otherwise made. I know I wouldn't have left my Bear behind, even at risk of ignoring GOD's leading. Perhaps this is why he was taken away.
At the time we still had our sweet brown lab, Reyah, and we planned to bring her with us when we moved to Ecuador. As the situation developed, it became wise to leave her behind for our "first trip," until we were settled. It was heartbreaking enough to lose my Bear; leaving Reyah behind soon after was salt in a gaping wound. Though they were “just dogs,” my momma heart hurt.
Perhaps it was the helplessness or injustice of their situation. Perhaps it was that they were the most beautiful kids I've ever seen. Perhaps it was GOD's gift of compassion and nurturing that pours through those created in His image, expressing itself most strongly at times, through women. (This does not mean that men/boys aren’t capable of this - Geoff is one of the most compassionate, nurturing people I have ever met, as are others of the strongest men I know - but this is about the gals just for a second.)
All of the kids in Ecuador impacted me deeply, each of whom brought more joy to my heart than I knew possible. Their love combined with deeply missing my pups catapulted my momma heart into overdrive. You who have children of “your own" know this feeling far better than I. Yet even the small percentage of my momma heart that got to taste that kind of love was completely overwhelmed.
...I believe that I, and all my sisters with or without kids, have a momma heart. I believe that even the youngest of girls is divinely blessed to pour out and identify with GOD's nurturing, motherly love.
I believe this is true for mothers raising their birth children, who see their reflection in their children’s faces and for mother’s holding their adopted babies, no matter their age.
I believe this is true even for those of us with no kids "of our own" due to singleness, hectic lifestyles, infertility, miscarriage, time of life, or a myriad of other reasons.
I believe it is true for the little girl who cries when she sees an injured bird and longs to care for it.
I believe this is true for those who pause to love a child, if only for a moment.
This week I got some news that hurt my momma heart. I’ll cover that in Part II of this story. For now, I want to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the ladies, young and old, who allow their “momma heart” to love no matter the depth, the pain, or the joy this brings.
And of course, a very specific, Happy Mother’s Day to my mom who has shown me GOD’s reflection through her love everyday of my life. Also to Geoff’s mom, who raised an incredible young man and welcomes me into her heart; and to my sister who will celebrate her first Mother’s Day holding her newborn little boy...and to so many others whose momma hearts have blessed mine by taking me in and teaching me how to live, and how to love.
To all my sisters, young and old, may GOD bless you richly as you reflect His nurturing, motherly love to the world He loves so much.