Every human being has a mother. Some are loving, invested, caring, thoughtful, wise, and supportive. Some are not. Some mothers become grand mothers and great grand mothers. Some mothers die before they really get the chance to connect with even the first generation. Some are believers. Some are not.
The list goes on and on. For every stereotype there is a counter example.
While some would assert that there is nothing so precious as a mother’s love, others cringe at the memories of an abusive, absent, enabling, or dysfunctional childhood.
So, while it would seem the right time of year to wax poetic about the virtues of motherhood, I want to instead challenge you to consider the simple offering of motherhood at its most basic level — the gift of life.
We all came from a mother. And regardless of the circumstances, the behaviors, or the experiences that you may wish you had or didn’t have after being born, I want you to consider the foundation that every mother, either good or bad, has given to every child alive today, and that is the selfless investment of bringing a baby into this world.
There are some who wish that they had more time with their mothers, and some who couldn’t leave fast enough when they came of age. Some who stay friends forever, and some who grow apart. Mother’s, after all, are people too. And like any other relationship, it requires a mutual investment of time, attention, love, and care to build a lasting friendship.
So, wherever you find yourself in your relationship with your mother or your children today. Whether your parents are still living, or your children are grown, it is never too late to appreciate that fundamental offering of life — to forgive the flaws, accept the losses, and embrace the reality of where you came from and what your dreams are for your own children.
Maybe your parents were alcoholics, addicts, or abusive. Maybe your parents were emotionally distant, inaccessible, or uninterested. Maybe you come from a long line of liars, cheats, thieves, or worse. Maybe you never knew your mother. Maybe your mother left you. Or, maybe you were blessed with an incredible mother who spent her life investing in yours.
Whatever the case, the gift of life is an opportunity.
Whatever the situation, the gift of life is a foundation.
Whatever the circumstance, the gift of life was not wasted when it was given to you.
You were born on purpose, for a purpose.
You were chosen before you were born. You could have been anyone, but God chose to make you specifically, individually, and uniquely to be born where and when you were born, with all of the associated history, genetics, legacy, baggage, and background.
God knew the challenges you would face. God knew the obstacles you would encounter. God knew the flaws you would experience. God knew it all. And God chose you and said, “Today you will become my child.”
Your family doesn’t define you. Your genetics don’t define you. Your biological factors don’t define you.
You are the inheritor of an identity and a destiny, a family and a future, a purpose and a calling in Jesus Christ. You have His royal blood flowing through your veins, and His personality, character, and heredity available even more powerfully than the encoding of your DNA and the other material stuff that makes up your biological existence.
Far from being trapped by the baggage that your natural parents handed you, you can choose to accept a new identity, a new life, a new destiny, a new future, a new hope, a new promise, a new confidence from the divine inheritance that God is offering you as one of His children.
You can accept the good things and release the bad things. You can embrace the love and leave behind the dysfunction. You can receive the investment and the support and let go of the mistakes, the sins, and the defeats that came before.
You can see the biology that relates you, but choose to redefine the relationship that connects you. And if you no longer have the opportunity to change that relationship in person, you can change the relationship you have with the memory of that relationship.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” – John 14
No matter where you find yourself today, Jesus is declaring that He is your path forward, He is the defining fact about who you are, and He has the power to accomplish every promise He has spoken over your life since before you were born.
You are not simply the deterministic result of some combination of genetic material, you are a living soul, a child of God, and a person of destiny.
Jesus is the link between your past and your future — the turning point and the life giver, right here, right now.
No matter where you come from, I can tell you where you are capable of going because I know the one who will show you the way, tell you the truth, and give you a life that is so much more than you have dreamed of.
So, as you appreciate motherhood in all its various forms this Mother’s Day, accept with gratitude all of the gifts, investments, love, and blessings that your mother gave you, starting with the gift of life; accept with clarity all of the flaws, challenges, and obstacles that came as part of the package; and accept with peace any losses you have experienced, knowing that Jesus has overcome both death and the grave. And then make this simple commitment for yourself, to accept that your relationship with God is what actually defines who you are, and what you are capable of. Your mother may be a blessing or may be a growth experience, but either way, your relationship with God is giving you the strength, compassion, love, confidence, insight, perspective, wisdom, and power to choose your path, to make your mark, and to leave this world better than you found it.
You are a child of God. You are a person of destiny.