"If you ever feel distressed during your day — call upon our Lady — just say this simple prayer: '
Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.' I must admit — this prayer has never failed me."
~Blessed Mother Teresa
May is commonly known as the ‘Month of Mary’ within the Catholic Church. So, in keeping with this theme, I will be writing a series every Monday on Mary for the month of May. I hope to touch on the many ways Mary finds her way into our lives to teach us truly about faith, suffering, and love. I hope to help others find their way to Mary and begin to be able to see her in a supportive, prayerful and Motherly way they may have not been able to do so before.
Can you imagine Mary as she found out she was with child, practically a child herself? She was not yet married while faced with this unexplainable miracle she slowly understood was a calling for her. She embraced her immaculate conception, her role as mother immediately, not holding onto the gossip and harsh opinions of all around her at the time. She said a resounding ‘yes’ to this journey. She then walked in a faith that no one could fully grasp, for she trusted in God’s will for her. She knew she was called to this child, this gift of life and she must follow through with what was being asked of her in that moment. There would be indescribable amounts of fear, trial, and pain until the birth of her Son. It was only the beginning. The journey ahead would challenge her, but she never turned her back on her role as mother throughout her son’s life. She was always present to him. She never doubted. She never conditioned her love for him. She never questioned how his journey would evolve for him, only to be a brave, humble, loving presence for him with an amount of chutzpah that women admire today.
I believe mothers and all women are called to her for this reason. There is an understanding of how she came to the choices she did, but at the same time they call upon her for courage in their own lives as she walked faithfully, which at times in this world we live in today is not always easy.
I am a mother. I didn’t always imagine I would be a mother. As a child every other little girl dreams of it with her girlfriends, but as life progresses it got further and further away from me. There would be many roads of journey and discernment over the years. For a decade, I yearned to be a religious nun with a true calling, though due to circumstances out of my control my life took a different path.
At first, it was exciting and new, life was so many things I could not even put words onto. Then after an unexpected whirlwind marriage, I became pregnant with my first baby, Zoe. It was a joyful time. I was told pregnancy could never be possible due to my past health. It was miracle in front of me…until the day she left me when I was 16 weeks pregnant. A devastation and loss that to this day is a healing process. Many would just dismiss her since as she never entered into this world. I soon learned many had opinions around how she left us, including those close to me whom I would have thought to be of support, but turned away. Then a beautiful thing happened as women came out of the woodwork who knew my pain. I found that it was not a talked about occurrence until someone knew you had been through it. Friends whom I had no idea experienced a similar loss reached out to me to share their pain and healing. It was a process of healing I desperately needed for no one, including my husband, new the pain I was experiencing, the great loss. I turned to Mary a great deal during that time, as she had lost a son. I connected our pain and was able to grieve in my own time with her by my side in prayer.
Then not too much time would pass when I would become pregnant again with another little girl. I was stunned, weary, scared and daily filled with great emotion. It was an incredibly difficult pregnancy which others could not understand. Each day I prayed to Mary she would make it to this earth. The fear was immeasurable…then the day came when she arrived. The love I had for this tiny little being was nothing like I ever had experienced in my entire life. This little person would be my responsibility for life in every way imaginable.
The first night home from the hospital I lay in my bed with her wrapped up beside me. With tears in my eyes, pain in my heart, I promised her the world. I told her I would never leave her side, I would love her like no other love I had known before…then I broke down in tears of joy, tears of unconditional love and tears of fear. I wondered if I could keep this promise!
Today she is 9 and 22 months after that day welcomed my son now 7 through an identical grueling process. I honored Mary’s true presence on my life’s journey by naming them both after her. I believe I can honestly say that I have questioned my motherhood every single day, and I don’t believe that will ever stop. I have made good decisions; I have made bad decisions. I have loved them, but I have lost my patience at times and yelled at them as well. I wonder if I could keep my promise to give them the world, as our journey together has not been an easy one as we are three today, but I turn to Mary often in prayer asking for her guidance, her strength and her prayer.
I can’t help but constantly go back to her, for her witness to motherhood was the one true example of motherhood I want to follow. As she walked through so many journeys with her son, so too have I with my children. I can give them an example of prayer, I can give them a direction to turn to her in times of need as they already are finding a peace and joy in doing. And I can remind them daily, no matter what the journey has become or becomes, my love will always remain unconditional for them. For I am their mother.
Have you turned to Mary in your life?
Can you take a moment to reflect on ways to bring Mary into your journey today?