Mother Mother

Sunday, May 13, 2012

All I've ever tried to do is honor what is familiar in me.*

Mothers' Day is one of the many days each year when I reflect on something special, this one thing in particular that is familiar in me. It's something I learned when I was a child and started caring about in a new dimension as a 22-year-old lady.

I'll cut the mystery on this something special: I believe that I am a child of Heavenly Parents, that my spiritual genealogy is simple and magnificent and common to every other person this planet has met. I believe that I have a Heavenly Father. I believe that I have a Heavenly Mother. I have spoken with and thought about my Heavenly Father every day that I can remember in my entire life. The relationship I have with my Heavenly Mother has been so small in comparison (and it is always in comparison), so short in its span, and that smallness truly breaks my heart. But I am trying to make Her every bit as central in my life as He is.

I wonder if I'll ever be able to do that -- make those relationships equal in some fashion -- because I became devoted to my Heavenly Father as a twelve-year-old kid with braces and such a water-clear sense of the world, and now I'm twenty-five, and the way my grown-up self connects with divinity is by necessity different from the way my child self did. I suppose that's all right. Maybe Heavenly Father is the childhood sweetheart that I'll know forever and ever, and maybe Heavenly Mother is the deep and challenging partner of my mature years. Maybe those loves have equal weight, even if they take different shapes.

So this belief in my heavenly beginnings, my Heavenly Parents, is something so dear and familiar in me. It's such a Mormon part of me. I'm comforted to find that I still cry at this facet of my testimony. It still makes me emotional. For all the ways I've deconstructed and reconstructed and analyzed and compartmentalized and reprioritized my religious knowledge, the thought of my Heavenly Parents is real to me and worthy of tears. This is still how I form my understanding of divinity. I honor them as a set. I love them individually.

And on this Mothers' Day, I'm thinking of my own mom. The one who brushed and curled and braided my hair. The one who sends me texts with funny emoticons. The one I've seen crumpled in sadness and laughing in the sunshine.

I wonder if my Heavenly Mother is like this. I wonder if She tended to my needs and my nitpicky desires while I was still in spiritual infancy (or am I still in that infancy?). I wonder if She sends me messages in Her own way. I wonder at Her experience of the terrible grandness this universe holds. I wonder how She manages to feel so much.

And on this Mothers' Day, I'm thinking of the mom I want to be. A mom who judges rightly when to cuddle her toddler and when to let that same child explore with minimal supervision. A mom who tells her teenage kids about the first time she fell in love. A mom who tends scrapes and slivers with a tender hand.

I wonder how this will train me for my next progression. I wonder if I will know the godly skill of holding on and letting go. I wonder what wisdom I will most want to transmit. I wonder if I will be able to heal the ones I love in a manner most befitting their independence.

I wonder about Her and I believe in Her. I honor Her as someone familiar in Me.

*I can't claim credit for that sentence, one that I find totally brilliant. It's just something I heard a few years ago in a podcast interview with Ashley Sanders. [PS I love her and I love that interview. I'll try to expand on why in my next post.] But anyway, even if I didn't make it up, those words are true and they just stir something in me.


  1. Thank you. I've had a wonderful Mother's Day since there has been a number of times where I have heard testimonies of Heavenly Mother. I pray for the day when it can come naturally to the LDS people to include her in all their thoughts on God.

  2. Very beautiful Sara. Thanks for sharing such personal thoughts with all of us.

  3. "I wonder if I will know the godly skill of holding on and letting go."

    I love this line. It speaks to my experience as a mother, but also as a friend and roommate and sister and daughter. It's a godly skill indeed -- somehow divinity can hold on and let go simultaneously, it seems. I find it a bit tricky.


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