always a part of me

Motherhood came easily for me. Don't mistake this statement as meaning that motherhood isn't hard for me--because it is. The sacrifices involved are many and all-consuming. The willingness to make those sacrifices, however, came swiftly and surely. Motherhood has opened up my raw soul completely--opened it up to myself, to my family, and to God. Never before have I felt so dependent on my Savior and so empowered by Him.

The longer I'm a mother, the more I realize that I've always been one. The characteristics emphasized in motherhood are elements that I feel as an integral part of myself; the official state of motherhood has allowed those characteristics to be made manifest in greater and brighter ways, but they were always inside of me. So really, today is my twenty-sixth Mothers' Day, not my first.

I feel deep connections to all the women in my life--my mother, my mother-in-law, my grandmothers, my aunts, cousins, and friends. I feel tight cords entwining my life with the lives of every other woman, for we are all connected to motherhood. Whether you have ten children or two; whether you conceived quickly or are feeling that burning, stinging ache of infertility; whether you wed straight out of high school or are still waiting to find your love; whether you have a stalwart mother or a negligent one; whether you want to be a mother or you don't, motherhood connects us all with beautiful, unbreakable bonds of love and sacrifice.

Motherhood is more than bearing and raising a child of your own. It's recognizing those qualities inside of us that are akin to our Savior's, and realizing that we were made to be like Him. Motherhood makes me see myself as my God and Redeemer see me, which is both flawed and glorious. Motherhood encompasses my destiny, my purpose, my soul.

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