Monday, December 2, 2013

Peace for the mothers.

On Saturday night, my family attended the holiday party hosted by my work at Utah's Hogle Zoo. We saw the Zoo Lights display and had the chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Clause! Tenley wasn't too nervous sitting on his lap and only got the slightest hint of a worried look when we stepped back to get the picture. While we were waiting in line, we had the opportunity to write a note to Santa asking him for something special on our Christmas wish list. . . 

I had a hard time coming up with something to write on my note. Sure. . . there are a few books and games I'd like to own and some items of clothing I'd like to add to my wardrobe, but really, most of the stuff I want is just that: stuff. I don't need more stuff. I was trying to think about something meaningful I really want and then my mind fluttered back to a few Christmases ago when the only thing I really wanted for Christmas was a baby. JD and I had decided we were ready to start our family and the wait to get pregnant felt so unbearable. It only took a few months, but those months felt long. My heart aches for the women everywhere who want so badly to be mothers, and for one reason or another, face obstacles along the way. 

On Saturday night, while I waited in line to see St. Nick, in my mind and heart, I thought, "Dear Santa, this year all I want for Christmas is peace for the mothers."

And this is what I meant: 

Peace for the woman who's not a mother yet, but who desperately wants to be. Peace for the single woman who's searching for a righteous companion and sometimes feels lonely in her struggle. Peace for the dating woman who's in the process of deciding whether she can commit to her mate for the forever journey of marriage and parenthood. Peace for the married woman who's in the middle of trying to establish in her heart if she's completely ready for the responsibility and commitment of motherhood. Peace for the woman who knows she is ready, but is battling through the emotional darkness of infertility. Peace for the woman who has committed her heart to adoption, but is still in search of her child. Peace for the pregnant woman, who knows she can't provide the way she wants to, and is seeking courage to place her little one for adoption. Peace for the woman who's recently discovered her pregnancy and is in a frenzied state of uncertainty. Peace for the single mother who, whether by choice or circumstance, is riding alone through the ups and downs of parenting. Peace for the woman who is mothering the best way she knows how, but still feels inadequate. Peace for the mother of multiples, as she juggles the responsibilities of caring and nurturing more than one precious child at a time. Peace for the mother of a child with disabilities, as she tries to figure out the best way to protect him and foster his growth and development. Peace for the mother of a wayward child, as she seeks comfort in the midst of her loved one's poor choices. Peace for the mother of a sick child, as she comes to terms with reality and bravely makes hard choices for and about her baby. Peace for the mother of a deceased child, as she affectionately remembers and honors the one she loved and lost. Peace for the mother in poverty, as she tries to make ends meet and provide the basic necessities of life. Peace for the well-to-do mother, as she fights against the entitlement of her child. Peace for the mother whose child is bullied, as she tries to defend him and teach him to be assertive. Peace for the mother whose child bullies others, as she practices patience and attempts to teach him to be kind. Peace for the woman who, in the face of addiction, has forgotten how to be a good mother. Peace for the woman who serves as a foster parent and does her best to love without judgment. Peace for the woman who feels sad or lost or weak or incapable as she shoulders the enormous weight of motherhood. Peace for the mothers: the one-day mothers and the right-now mothers and all the mothers in-between.

As I thought about what I want for Christmas, all I could think was. . . peace for the mothers. It sounds as cliche and empty as a pageant girl responding to an interview question with "world peace," but in the sincerest way I know, I'm wishing and praying for peace for the mothers this holiday season. I don't specifically know the individual battles of all the women I interact with everyday. But I do know there's fear and heartache and self-doubt and impatience and pain and despair and worry and suffering and uncertainty swirling all around me. . . and so I'm praying for peace. I know Jesus Christ endured a grueling crucifixion and suffered pains of every kind because He wanted to know how to comfort us perfectly. I know he is the Savior of the world, the Prince of Peace. I believe He can heal our hearts.

Fortunately, I also believe in the magic of the Christmas spirit and in Santa's ability to make miracles happen ;) . . . so, this year, I asked him for peace for the mothers.

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