*sigh* This post is going to be difficult to write.
The saying goes, never judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes…or something like that.
And I’ve learned over the years that as much as I hate those cliched little nuggets, they actually hold a lot of truth. Stand the test of time.
I’ve been wanting to respond to my recent post on Feminism for a while now. It garnered quite the diverse feedback. And I appreciate that so much. One of the cool things about an online community like this is that people bring with them all their experiences and perspectives. We all are on different journeys, and I sincerely enjoy learning and listening to every person.
After that last post, there were numerous reflections that took offense at my statements about motherhood:
The very essence of being female is the ability to bear children. Bring life into the world. That is the one and only thing that is uniquely female. That is the aspect of being a woman that is what should be celebrated and cherished and protected. And, in the name of feminism, we’re fighting to squelch that? Fighting to suppress that exclusively female gift? That, in my opinion, is the exact opposite of feminism.
But I’ve wanted to respond to the backlash I received from this very statement. It’s taken me this long, because honestly, my heart has been hurt by many of these replies, and it has taken me a little extra time to muster the courage to respond.
As you all are very well aware, I had a severe case of anorexia in high school, and then an equally dire relapse in college.
But there’s a dirty little secret about anorexia that not many people realize, and that I have personally not shared yet. But there is a devastating consequence of this disease that many sufferers experience, even after they are “healed.”
And typing that out, my heart is just heavy with devastation. It’s one of those things that I’ve just locked away in a box and thrown away the key. Figuring that if I never uttered it, it wouldn’t actually be true. Ignorance…or rather, denial…is bliss.
But the fact is, here I am a mid twenty-something, and I’ve never menstruated.
So it was really the “perfect storm” of my body truly fighting to stay alive, that that part of my development just never happened.
So when I talk about women being the crown of creation, and that motherhood is the essence of womankind, it is coming from a heart that has mourned that gift. A heart that breaks that I will not be able to offer that gift to my husband. My family. Myself.
But a heart that knows that God will make me a mother one way or another. God has put that longing in my heart, and will not let it go to waste. There are other forms of motherhood : adoption, spiritual motherhood, fostering love for my nieces and other children in my life.
And I don’t put a miracle past God either.
Not being able to bear children – whether through infertility, menopause, life situation, what-have-you…that does not mean that you are not fully female, as many people assumed I was proposing.
Far from it.
And I bet those women will tell you that those “mothering” qualities have been lived out in other, nearly-as-fullfilling ways.
And I know that that yearning and loss my heart has wrestled with, has added to the depth and character of my own feminine qualities. It has given me a perspective that I bring to each and every encounter I have. It is a “bag” – or a jewel, rather – that I carry with me on my journey.
So that, like in this community, we can all come together and collective converse, coming from different paths with different perspectives.
And that, is one of mine to offer.
Why am I pro-life?
Because my heart has mourned the loss of truly, the life that I am not able to carry into this world.
The life that makes a woman a mother.
The life that makes a woman’s love life-giving.
The life that is the result of our feminine power.
God will not forsake the love I long to give. Not to a future husband. Not to a future child. Perhaps my motherhood role will just look slightly different. But in no way does it decrease my worth. Make me any less of a woman.
I may feel that at times.
But God will make beauty from ashes.
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram
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