This Mother’s Day has been bitter sweet for me as I watched my only daughter graduate from college with honors. A picture perfect example of a strong, confident woman ready to seize life and turn the page to a new chapter in life. In the past, I’ve often regretted so many things that I could have done better with her. I could have been home more, been more patient, more fun, more interested, loved her father more, protected her more and on and on. But as I watched her take the stage with that brilliant smile, I knew that it was enough, because God made it so. After all, she is His daughter too. I’ve just had the honor of calling her mine for a short while.
I’ve made lots of mistakes and have so many regrets. Yet, God knew it would be so which is why He chose to reveal himself every time I had to ask for forgiveness. With each failure, I got stronger and so did she. At only 21 years old, I am sometimes in awe of her brilliance. All the time I was praying for her to have the compassion and empathy to love and grow, He was teaching me to do the same. There have been times when she has made such powerful statements to me that prove she has felt God’s grace even though I couldn’t possibly have known how to show her. I was probably too young and immature to have a child. It seemed like the next logical step in my young life. I thought it was my decision but have come to know it was a decision made for me. And my life is so rich today because of the gift of being called her mother.
When I think of the most beautiful mother of all time, our Blessed Virgin Mary, I am humbled to be given this title. After the birth of my daughter, I lost three other babies and selfishly felt deprived of those lives lost through pregnancy. And yet, the gift of my daughter and two future stepsons would complete a big part of my life’s purpose. It is not our right to define the boundaries of what seems to be a perfect family. Our blessed Mother Mary certainly didn’t have what initially seemed like the best-choreographed plan. Pregnant before marriage, young, poor and unequipped to care for God’s only living son. And her son, despite having divine insight and knowledge, would need to know and understand family through her own inexperienced example.
I often hear many mothers say, “My child is my life.” I prefer to think that my children help define my life. But I have come to know that God is my life and he breathes His lessons and love through my children. If we listen closely and follow His direction, the gift of a child continues to give back to us in so many ways. And it is our responsibility to care for this precious gift as best as we can despite our hesitations and inadequacies. This graduation weekend with my daughter took my breath away. She is stronger and better than I ever was at her age. It wasn’t my own doing. But I am so very thankful He chose me to fulfill this plan with and through her.
Marla Brown is our fearless, dedicated leader at Pregnancy Aid Clinic. Under her direction, our mission has flourished! Please comment below if you feel moved by her story or have something similar to share.