Although I am looking forward to Mother’s Day (I actually refer to the whole month as Mother’s May – stolen from a friend – because I think I should be celebrated all month long), I know that it is not a happy occasion for many women and bittersweet for others. My twin sister is one of those. Many people can’t tell my sister and I apart. We look alike and act and talk alike in many ways. But there are key differences. She is more left-brained and I am right. She is smarter than I will ever be and I strive to be as thoughtful as she is. And yet unfathomably, God allowed me to have children, while she remains without.
Kristen lost two pregnancies and struggled with infertility for many years. I will never know or understand her pain from miscarrying a loved and hoped for baby. I will never experience the dashed hopes of a period that came once again. Kristen is my only frame of reference for the side effects, monetary cost and inconvenience of fertility treatments. But I hurt with her every Mother’s Day (and many other days) as she’s once again reminded that this dream of hers never came true. But as much as it pains me, our loving and compassionate God grieves with her so much more. Psalm 56:8 NLT says,” You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
When she goes out of state to see her husband’s nieces and nephews, she plans and executes “Cooking with Aunt Kristen”. They all look forward to making a new fun and tasty treat with her at every visit.
And my girls? They adore Kristen. She has bedded down for the night with Shelby to give Chuck and I a break and plans special shopping and dining adventures with Allie. She comes to plays and volleyball games and special Olympic banquets. As my youngest is firmly implanted in those tough teen years, it brings me joy and ease of mind to know she has a mature Christ-follower who loves her to talk to when she would rather not talk to me. It really does take a village, and I’m glad my sister is a part of mine.
I know it can’t possibly remove the pain of a longing unfulfilled, but I hope my sister feels joy and pride in knowing how much she has impacted so many. My kids…and many, many others are so much better because of her. And I pray that God will inspire and raise up other women to mentor and “mother” children not born from their bodies. The world needs more believing women loving and nurturing those in their sphere of influence.
A couple of years ago, Kristen’s sister-in-law sent her this bracelet on Mother’s Day to show her just how much she’s needed and appreciated. I wish I had thought of it. Romans 16:13 records Paul referring to Rufus’ mother as also being a mother to him. When Kristen is one day welcomed into her eternal reward, I believe there will be a line of people with the same testimony for her.