Grand mothering

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

I just became a grandmother! It wasn't really so long ago that I wondered if I would ever be a mother. Until I lost our first baby before it reached full term, it had never occurred to me that I might not be a mother. I found myself in deep despair, not only with the question, "Would I ever be a mother," but with other more fundamental ones, like, "Is there a God?" "Does He have a plan?" and "How do I know what my purpose is?"

Feeling overwhelmed by those questions, I decided my only course was to take things a step at a time. That may not sound like much of a strategy, but it was certainly better than the darkness I'd been in.

Since I grew up with many examples of spiritual healing in my family, it was normal for me to seek divine help, even though I had clearly been shaken to the core. I started to answer the question about God's existence with a review of those things I'd seen and had been a part of as I grew up that made sense only when attributed to divine help. Proof spoke.

From there, it was logical to me that God is intelligent Mind and that spiritual intelligence is orderly, not chaotic. I reasoned that God's universe is well planned. As these points were established during periods of prayer and study with the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the remaining question regarding how I might fit into this plan was staring me in the face. I knew there was an answer, but it surprised me as it came.

I had realized through my prayers that the "catch" for me was feeling deep disappointment, and when I considered it honestly, I could see that disappointment is an effect of self-will. I needed to let go of my own view of how things should be, and instead listen for God's direction. Doing this gave me the opportunity to ponder God as the divine and perfect Parent who wants only good, only what is very good, for its child.

I had to find the humility to admit that no matter how practiced I was at planning, there was a divine Planner who would exceed my best efforts and expectations. I finally was able to trust enough to let go of what I thought would be perfect and be willing to do whatever would best glorify God.

A Bible story about a woman who wanted to be a mother gave me a lot to think about. She was a friend of the prophet Elisha's, and as he traveled through her country, in order to make him comfortable, she suggested to her husband that they make a little guest room for him. Out of gratitude, Elisha asked his servant Gehazi if he knew of anything she wanted. He replied that she was childless. Elisha then healed her of her barrenness.

What meant so much to me was that she was already busy selflessly expressing the true, recognizable, and enduring qualities of motherhood in her care for Elisha. Then, she had a child. (See II Kings, chapter 4.)

I started to see that I could be a mother no matter what I did. Mothering wasn't confined to a relation between a female adult and her child, but was something I included because I could express the full range of God-derived mothering qualities. I found that in many instances I was already mothering without having been aware of it. Comforting friends, helping relatives, caring for neighbors, and being attentive to my husband are all "mother" activities, as they express the motherhood of God. I could mother projects at work or ideas at church. There was no end to the ways I could mother.

And those ways came every day in numerous ways. I did, some time later, have two children, but now that they've grown up, the mothering I do has not diminished, but has increased through my work. Even while my children were at home, I never felt mothering depended exclusively on myself and two children, but that we were all being mothered by God, and we all expressed the tender caring that God does as divine Mother.

And, now, another door has opened. Grand mothering!

Like as a mother,
God comforteth His children.

Christian Science Hymnal, No. 174

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