But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matt. 12:48-50
As many of you know, this year was my first Mother’s Day without a physical mom. I have joined an unfortunate fellowship of many: daughters without an earthly mother.
Especially on Mother’s Day, the world would encourage me to sit in this newfound category with self-pity and woe. But God has been showing me a better way.
I want to say thank you to you, my spiritual moms.
In the midst of a world that says, “your physical family is what you really need”, or “your physical family is what defines you”, God has said something better: He has saved me into an enormous, eternal family of brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers, and He takes care of me through them.
So, in light of this, I wanted to write a letter to say thank you to all of my “moms” who have mothered me this year. You probably don’t think I am talking about you, but you might be surprised.
I was mothered by you when you came to my house to hem pants for my sons. I was mothered when you gave me a warm hug and asked me how I was doing that day. I was mothered when you took pictures of a special event that I didn’t have a spare hand to take pictures with. Or when you emailed me, saying you missed me at church and were praying for me, or when you took my phone call while I poured out my heart and my concerns (by the way, even if you didn’t think you knew what to say in the moment, you mothered me by listening to me, encouraging me, and praying for me). When you came to the back of the room on a Sunday to ask if you could help with my kids, or when you watched them so I could have a conversation with another woman, you were being such a kind mother to me. You are all my spiritual mothers, and I have felt so cared for and loved by you.
I am sure that many of you have unknowingly mothered other women this year. And truthfully, the reason you probably don’t know is that, like most daughters, we don’t thank you enough for it. We don’t tell you that it made our day (or week, or month) that you did that thing for us, or checked in, or simply offered, even if we were to embarrassed to say yes. Our heart was so full we probably spilled out our gratitude for it to our husband or friend that evening, or wept as we thanked God for His grace to us. But we didn’t tell you. And I’m sorry; I personally want to get better at showing my gratitude so you know how much God is using you.
Some women seem to think that they don’t have much to offer. But 1 Peter 4:10-11 says we are each stewards of God’s varied grace, which means that when we each do what we can— what we know how to do— God uses that to bless others. Spiritual mothering does not mean being ALL things a mother would be to a sister in Christ; it is being who YOU are to a sister in Christ. So, for those of you who have done that for another woman in our church, on behalf of all of us I want to say thank you. Thank you for serving us with the hands of Christ, for hugging us with the arms of Christ, for speaking to us the words of Christ, and for praying for us as Christ prays for us. You are His grace directly given, and we are so thankful.
In tears of gratitude to you and to our great God,
Child of God, and your child too
Bless be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne we pour our ardent pray’rs; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.
We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain; but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.