This week as I held my 20 month-year-old miracle, I thought back to the journey in the last years. The times when the words of an old song rang through my weary mind, “Never for nothing when you love with no return. Light your candle in the darkness, cause it is never for nothing. *”
These words were present, when I sat with empty arms and tears coming easily after losing our foster son and a precious girl that had been incredibly close to our family. I hoped, even dared to dream that the two young ones that I had opened my heart to and cared deeply for years for, would one day have permanency in our family. Questions reared their heads in the midst of the raw soil of my heart. How did everything unravel so quickly in the matter of weeks? How many times will my heart be broken when I choose to step into the role of mothering those that are in need?
During that season, it had been fifteen years since a South African had visited me in Eastern Europe and spoke words that would not leave my heart, “I see you as a mother of many, some God will bring to you very small and some not so small. Sing them a lullabye in God’s love and they will find true rest.” I was working in a small village with many children who I loved, when these encouraging words were given. But at this time of the aching heart these words and the old song seemed to mock me. “Never for nothing…”? Really? After already struggling through years of infertility and choosing to invest in children who likely would never call me Mom, questions were rising in my soul. Can I really be a mother with my arms empty? Am I wasting my life? Is this really worth it? Lord?
I am still learning how to have a heart that reflects God’s mothering heart. I need and want a heart that cares with unselfish motivations. One that is willing to risk being broken over and over again. After all, this is what Christ has done for me… for us.
Right now, there are many toddler hugs and blown kisses, but what of the times when the right response of love will break my heart. How vulnerable my heart is in loving deeply this child of mine. I want to love with God’s mother heart and also hold on to God’s heart for me during the painful seasons. I desire a heart that knows in its core that a mother is not always made by how many call her by that name, but by her choices to follow Jesus to love even when return on this earth seems like little or nothing. I understand more now because of the journey and because of how God has chosen to love me. A choice to love is never for nothing. It is what a mother after God’s heart does.
I am continuing to ask myself these questions, perhaps they would be helpful for you.
Where am I being challenged to love where there is much risk to my heart? Do I see Jesus’ care to be enough if there is no return for my love that is poured out?
(*Margaret Becker, Never For Nothing.)