I’ve been thinking all week what to write for Mother’s Day. Nothing felt right. Too many overused cliches and sentiments. Then this. I decided to share the story of what set me on the path to becoming a mother. I didn’t used to want to be a mother – to have children of my own. For many years when people would ask when I was going to have kids, did I want kids, I answered with a confident, “No thank you. Not me. I’ll pass.”
I thought I knew what I wanted, and then one day everything changed. It’s not what you may think. It’s not the day the pregnancy test showed positive. My path to becoming a mother began three years prior. The day my heart broke in two. This is that story.
A Heart Broken
I sat on the foot of our bed – his bed, in stunned silence. As I processed the words I had just heard I was completely unsure what to do next. What do I pack for this kind of occasion? There really isn’t a preparedness kit for the ‘my fiancé just dumped me, so I am storming out now.’
I sniffed, wiped the tears off my face and stood up. I knew I’d need a bag, so I’d start there. Something to sleep in, something to wear the next day. As I gathered the essentials I caught sight of the ring on my finger. I slipped it off, set it on the dresser and left our room – his room – behind.
Backing out of the drive, I did the only thing that made sense, I called my mother. With broken speech as the tears returned I let her know I was on my way to their home – home. Upon arrival I had only to utter the briefest of explanations, “It’s over. The wedding’s off. He cheated on me and he’s in love with her,” before falling into my mother’s arms – safe arms. There in my mother’s arms my heart broke in two.
We had been together eight years. And then in one night, everything I thought I wanted, the future I had planned was gone. It would seem, though, God had different plans for me. Over the next few months I grieved, I prayed, I trusted, and I healed.
Being Broken is Painful and Scary
When you think you know where your life is headed, it’s scary to suddenly have no idea. And yet humbling to realize that you never really knew to to begin with, you only thought you knew.
“You just . . . can’t be afraid of a broken heart.”
― Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life
It’s human nature to want to avoid pain. We learn from an early age what hurts, a hot stove, sharp knives, falling down and skinning our knees, and try to avoid it. Yet because of the nature of this world, pain is unavoidable, so we cannot live our lives afraid of it. We must learn to face it when it comes so we can move through it to what’s next.
Even as I type these words I know there will be pain in my future, but I refuse to let the fear of what’s to come steal the joy of today’s blessings.
Follow the Road Where it Leads
Sometimes it takes our greatest pain to pave the way for our greatest joy.
Life doesn’t always go the way we plan. People don’t always do the things we’d expect. This world, people, they’re nothing if not unpredictable. At times, the unexpected will knock us down. Painful as it may be, sometimes it’s a detour to something better, a greater purpose. We can’t always see it until we get there.
In my case, my broken heart led me home. A mere six months later I met my husband and father of my two children. I became a mother! Something I never thought I would be. This amazing transformation never would have happened had I continued my life the way I thought I wanted. Had my heart not been broken. Had my path not been ripped out from under my feet, I would not know the life-altering joy of being called mom. This inexplicable emotion which I don’t even know how to describe with words. Loving someone so much you don’t care how much it hurts.
I am forever grateful for the path which led me here, including all its pain, for it brought me unimagined blessings.
I am forever grateful for the the man I now call husband, for showing me what love truly is, for the girls I now call daughters who have made me a mother. And I am forever grateful for my own mother, who was there with me through it all. Whose heart broke with mine, whose arms held me up, whose words comforted me and whose prayers kept me strong. I love you, mom.
To everyone in the midst of heartbreak, know this. This is not the end of your story. None of us know where our bookmark lies. This could be your new beginning. Keep your hope for what’s to come. None of us ever really know what’s next.
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