by Linda Veath
… His name is the Lord — rejoice before Him.… God sets the lonely in families … ~ Psalm 68:5-6 NIV
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See I have engraved you on the palm of my hands … ~ Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV
Oh my! Did I just say that? I — Linda, an only child, no children of my own — had just asked my friend Joyce if I could take her 8th-grade daughter shopping for Confirmation and graduation clothes, something I had never done. I looked up and thought, “Really, Lord?” And then, “What have I gotten myself into?”
But God knew exactly what HE was getting me into! Barbi and I hit it off on that first shopping trip. We talked non-stop. Time flew by. And a relationship was formed.
Our shopping trips continued. Christmas and birthday shopping expanded to Homecoming and Prom. Next came college. And then a wedding dress. Our friendship grew. We laughed. We decorated Christmas trees. We ate. We talked and solved all the world’s problems. And we cried …….. Especially when Barbi’s mother died unexpectedly. And I saw even more clearly why God had brought Barbi and me together.
Barbi said it best: “If God had given you children of your own, you wouldn’t have had time for me.” Exactly. I have been truly blessed having Barbi in my life. She has become my “daughter by choice.” And now I have a son (by Barbi’s choice) in her husband, Ryan.
Mother’s Day is a holiday that brings mixed emotions. Many mothers and daughters are able to celebrate the good times in their relationships. But for others Mother’s Day is a sad time. Women who want to have children but can’t. Women who have lost children to death or estrangement. And women who have had a bad or non-existent relationship with their own mothers.
We can sometimes walk a fine line between the sadness we feel and the promises of God in His perfect plan for our lives. But I’m living proof that He can make something good out of something painful. In His way. In His time.
May God’s healing love surround you always as you rest in the Lord Who puts the lonely in families, Who is the father (and the mother) to the orphans, Who engraves us on the palm of His hands, Whose plan for our lives is perfect, and Who loves us all with an everlasting love.
Thank you, Barbi, for making my life richer. I love you!