Yesterday I received a text from a good friend saying, "Good morning! Thinking of you and praying for you today!" I thought that was sweet and Lord knows I can always use prayer.
Then one of the volunteers I work with asked me shortly thereafter, "How are you doing today?" His tone sounded more concerned than usual which was a little odd. "Should I not be ok?" I thought to myself.
"OHHH YEAH... I forgot! It's Mother's Day!" I said. He chuckled, "Well, I guess that's good that you didn't even notice...?"
It's not that I didn't notice - it just didn't really bother me - not like it used to. I actually looked forward to it this year, picking out gifts and making cards for my mom, MIL, and the mothers I serve at church Sunday mornings.
This wasn't always the case. In fact, the last few Mother's Days were extremely hard; I recall sitting in church on Sunday morning asking, "why isn't it my turn yet?" "Why am I last in everything?" I had witnessed friends and family have their first, second, third, etc. in pretty much every situation imaginable. Even crazy college party friends who no one ever would've imagined becoming a parent were crossing the threshold into the world of parenthood and reminding the world daily of either how awesome, funny, or hard #momlife is on Instagram.
But somewhere inside that pit of despair where I was stuck for months if not years, something shifted. Looking back, I see that God sat with me, talked with me, and held me during that dark period.
In time, I realized He is enough and I am ok. He taught me that (for me) being a mom isn't everything, but being His child is.
Please don't misunderstand - I'm not discounting the deep passion for children and the pain that comes with infertility. For years I have been well acquainted with counting days, hoping that every period symptom is actually a pregnancy symptom (I mean come on, that is just not fair that they're essentially the same!), and the disappointment of seeing red.
Though the pain isn't completely gone, I am stronger and my joy is more full than ever because of my time in the "pit". I'm good because I trust and embrace God's will for my life whatever that looks like - kids or no kids.
(Side note: the road to get to this place was incredibly difficult and I'd love to chat with you if you need an ear. I won't tell you "God's timing is perfect" if that's not what you want to hear, or try to give you some magic formula because honestly I know how obnoxious that can feel. What I can do is listen, share my experience, and shed a few tears with you, preferably over ice cream.)
Lastly, I am grateful for the confidence God has given me in Him, which has freed me to accept me as I am and to be able to celebrate (m)others' stories as well; that is the kind of peace that surpasses understanding which can only come from God.
With that, here's a few of my favorite photos of Mom this year!
Little Michael stealing the show at mama's headshot session
Cari, Ryan (not pictured) and Rowan had the most unique adoption story I've ever heard. Faith, hope and love definitely epitomize this family!
Allison is one of my heroes - rocking her performing arts career and being a mom to Logan and baby brother, Levi, who was born just a few weeks ago!
I loved photographing four generations during this session and I thought Great-Grandma and Grandma were the cutest (Even more so than the babies, IMHO!)
I love the glow in a mama's eyes - can't wait to see how Baby Marshall's eyes turn out!
Only Mama knew exactly how to bring out Kennedy's precious dimples <3
Last but not least, these are some of the most important mamas in my life (left to right) - Mom, Auntie Lou, and Auntie Olive. Though this isn't the best quality photo, their faces are priceless! This captures their personalities perfectly!
Love you, mamas! Thank you for being you!
<3 amanda mae