“Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you don’t have kids.” Those were the words from my friend, Lauren, after I expressed my conflicting feelings of having kids of my own at the age of 40. It was a gentle sentence slap to my insecurity and fears. You may be familiar with that convicting feeling.
The Old Insecurity
Lauren’s words shed a light on what was going on deep inside of me. For years, I thought that I was less worthy of love. Less valued because I wasn’t married. I felt like being married was going to get me into this club where I could hang out with other marrieds and talk about married life and be valued. I thought I was missing out.
A few years ago, I realized God designed me with unique gifts, and I was wasting them with the insecurity and the feeling of being a victim. He worked on me, and I redesigned my life. I became secure in knowing I was worthy and valuable, and I looked for a husband that I deserved. Thankfully, I ended up marrying a wonderful, Godly man knowing I was worthy and valuable with or without him. Lesson learned, right? Or not.
The New Insecurity
It seems my insecurity is now nestled in with having my own child. Was my life full of purpose without kids? Will I forever have to sit silent while my friends discussed naps, feedings, tantrums and then wake up out of the fog when they politely ask me how my husband is? When I wake up at age 80 and my step-kids are doing their thing with their kids, what will I have? Am I valuable even if I don’t have a cute family Christmas card and first day of school pics to post on social media? Will my life be enough? These are the thoughts that attack my insecurities and feelings of unworthiness as I consider kids.
You see, my husband and I are at somewhat of a time-ticking crossroad. In order to have our own kids, we will need to sink a lot of time and money into the process and take a gamble. As I contemplate the money and time, I also consider my desires to have them, my fears of not having them, and honestly, the fears of having them. It seems like each category has its own long list.
At the moment when Lauren said that to me, I was thinking of the words of thousands of women – that being a mom gives a woman her life purpose. And when you’re the woman without kids, and you hear it being said from all of these moms, you begin to think maybe you missed out on your purpose.
Those are LIES my friends! I didn’t see it either. Not until Lauren slapped me with the truth. She started off with her own perspective on being a mom…well…(trying to be gentle)…my life’s purpose is not to be a mom. My purpose is to serve and love God. Right now that comes in the shape of being a mom. But that’s just for this window of time. Soon, I will have another way of serving and loving him.
And that’s when she dropped the final slap. Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you don’t have kids.
Oh, yes. That’s right. I’m here to serve and love God. He doesn’t actually say I have to be married or have kids in order to fulfill my purpose, does he? That’s not in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, is it?
Thoughts flooded my head of how I have served and loved Him in my life. Friends, hundreds of students, colleagues, mission trips, my husband – even my step-kids. I am walking in His purpose.
My purpose is to serve and love him with what I have – what I have been given – until He calls me home.
That might be with my own kids in the future. That might not. Either way, I am filling the role that God gave me.
What about you? What comes to mind when you think of the lies that cause you to doubt?
Your sentence slap might have a different ending. Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you don’t get that award. Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you are divorced. Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you are a stay-at-home mom and change diapers all day. Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you don’t get married. Your life is valuable and full of purpose even when your kids go to college.
The truth is you are valuable and your life is full of purpose because you are made in the image of God. You can serve and love Him with what you have.
My husband and I will continue to pray and weigh whether we will have children of our own (we already have two incredible teens that live with their mom). But as I told Lauren after she slapped me, I need to make sure I believe this truth before I make the decision of not having kids or spending thousands to gamble on having one. It is true that I will miss out on a little voice calling me momma or a little hand fitting sweetly into mine, but it is not true that my life is worth less because I don’t have them.
My life’s value does not weigh in whether or not I have my own kids.
My life’s value weighs in the God who made it. And He is priceless.
Thanks to Lauren for her real, but gentle slap into reality. Thank you for letting me share my heart and my lesson. My hope is that you too will believe this truth.