“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you.”
It’s times like these, when I come across verses like this, I cringe. Considering many people, not just Christians, view birth mothers as “abandoners” who didn’t love their children enough to parent them, at first read I feel personally stigmatized by this verse. Is there room for mothers who have placed children for adoption within the Christian faith? Am I always to be ostracized by brothers and sisters in Christ?
It feels that way sometimes. I’ll admit it. Other than our pastor, I haven’t shared my birth motherhood with any other members of our church (shy of Josh’s best friend on the fire department). I’m going to have to do so in a few short weeks. Two-fold. D, Munchkin and JD are flying in on a Saturday and we’ll be going to church the following morning. Two days later, we’ll go to our Tuesday library storytime which is attended by a few other church mommies. As I refuse to deny my daughter, I will be introducing them as such. (Currently, I’m mentally debating appropriate wording for various scenarios.)
The library issue pales in comparison to the fear still lodged deep within my soul when it comes to introducing my family (because they are my family) to members of the church. (Not to my Pastor, though. I’m STOKED about that one!) I haven’t even begun to mentally prepare for the various introductions that could occur (or not) during that Sunday morning worship service and fellowship time. Why?
I can’t get past the heavily-held stereotype that pegs me as an abandoner. So far, these people view me as a young mother and wife trying to find her way with God, stumbling at times (understatement!) for sure but generally doing a decent job. (And so, I wanted to combat that thought, somehow biblically, if necessary. Which brought me to the above mentioned verse. Which I plan to use to my aid, even though you’re probably thinking one of two things, if not both: 1) Uh, how would you use THAT verse to your aid?, or 2) Uh, you know you shouldn’t take the Bible out context, right? Yeah, but hold with me. I’ve got something good brewing.
The verse tells us that God will not forget us, right? Even if a mother forgets her newborn, right? The thing is, which makes me smile, even those mothers who felt no connection to their children (for reasons of their own doing or others undoing), they did not forget them in their mind. There may be some mothers who were callous and abused their children, but I’d be willing to place money on the fact that they were simply unable to remove the simple existence of that child from their memory.
There is no mind erasing tool. This is not the movie Men in Black. Birth mothers do not forget. And so, that should make the fact that God will not forget us even stronger: God’s memory of us is stronger than that of a Mother’s. He knows us more deeply than we know the smell of our child (which, sadly, does fade over time) or the curl of their eyelashes or the feel of their hand around our finger. I find that comforting. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of the Munchkin. How much more does my Savior think of me?
Just as I will never be able to forget my daughter, even more so my Lord will be steadfast in remembering me.
Now, if I can only find some coherent and concise (as in shorter) way of conveying that to any not-so-nice members of our church in three weeks time, I’ll be good to go. Hopefully I’m freaking out for nothing and my church family will accept my family as is: beautifully unique and held in the hand of God.
And if all else fails, I’ll rat on any meanies to our Pastor. He’s gone to bat for me before.