Empty Arms

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I can’t help but think about those moms with empty arms. They represent millions of women all over the globe who do not have children but long to hold them in their arms. As my womb lay barren for eleven years, I remember thinking God would never give me a child. Every Mother’s Day was excruciating for me because all I ever wanted was a child. Every baby shower brought tears of longing and despair because my arms were empty.

When the doctors told me I could never have children, I prayed for a miracle. When I subjected myself to painful tests and surgeries, I prayed for a miracle. When I took my temperature, and kept a chart, I prayed for a miracle. For eleven years, during the prime of my youth, my arms were empty; and I prayed for a miracle.

When the miracle came, I recognized how different I was as a mother. I cherished every moment with her and had volumes and volumes of pictures of every precious moment of her life. I learned to value life in a whole new way and appreciate the “little things” that so many moms take for granted. Even adversity was welcomed because I knew God performs miracles!

Like every Mother’s Day, I will think of my little Charles who I lost to a premature birth. I will think of the grandsons God has given me to fill my arms and the sweet granddaughter that brightens my days. I will think of how the miracle of life has cycled through my own life as we celebrate my 94-year-old Mother. I will consider the many children I have taught, embraced, tended to, and prayed for. But I will also think of those women who never knew those joys and the season of mourning they must be experiencing.

To you, sweet lady, I pray you will fill your arms with children no matter their birth. We have so many who need you today. Children who are hurting for parents to love them. Children who are wandering aimlessly in a society that discounts the value of children. Children who have been wounded, abused, neglected, and left on their own. Children whose only kisses they will ever know are the tears that kiss their cheeks. Children who have never seen the miracles God performs! And while you are at it, reach out to those women who find themselves with empty arms by choice. They could use your maternal touch too.

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