When I was a kid, I had a very simple vision of motherhood.
I imagined all my childhood friends and I growing up and having kids somewhere in our twenties and raising perfect little families…. just because marriage and family was the next logical step and, therefore, it would just happen.
But motherhood I’ve learned is so much more complex than a childhood understanding. Some moms got married in their twenties and had a bunch of children, others got married in their thirties or near forty and had a few less. Some moms struggled to get pregnant, and some moms never did. Some moms adopted, and some moms fostered. Some moms did it all on their own. Some moms miscarried, some multiple times. Some moms had children who battled disease, some moms lost children well before their time. Some moms had children with special needs that charted a course for them they didn’t expect. Some moms felt called to mother friends and neighbors and family members instead of their own children. And some moms died before seeing their kids grow into adults.
And the list goes on…
Motherhood is far from simple.
Mother’s Day, therefore is far from a simple holiday.
That’s why I think today’s Gospel is so aptly placed – Jesus says to his apostles “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?”
He is reassuring his apostles before His death. But He is also letting them (and by extension us) know that there is not just one cookie cutter place set out for us with Him – There are many dwelling places for each and every one of us in all our beautiful complexity.
Often we can feel like we have no idea where we are going in this complex reality of motherhood. Today the Lord reassures us that we don’t have too.
“‘Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
So don’t let your hearts be troubled.
Have faith that God has a place for you and me.
And believe with all your heart that God loves you just the way you are.