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To be a mother

A Christian Science perspective.

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While growing up as an only child, I longed to be part of a large family. Later, as a young widow with a 3-year-old son, I didn't expect to see my hopes fulfilled. At that time I was just beginning to study Christian Science, and I found this psalm, which became a promise to me: "God setteth the solitary in families" (68:6).

A second marriage did just that. We soon had two children of our own. Then we took my husband's two children by a previous marriage into our home, along with their half brother as a foster child. So within a few years, we had six children, all under 10 years old. As a result, we found ourselves designated by the state as a licensed foster home.

I had no idea what this kind of life entailed. Fortunately, my husband had grown up in a family of six children, so he knew what to expect. But before long I was feeling overwhelmed, perplexed, and inadequate. I found that reading the Christian Science Bible Lesson in the early morning before the rest of the family arose gave me strength and composure for the day ahead. I realized I had to learn what it meant to be a mother, and I wanted to learn more about God as the Mother, as well as the Father, of everyone.

As I continued to study Christian Science, I felt comforted and encouraged by seeing more clearly the motherhood of God. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote, "Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 332). Gaining a clearer understanding of God as Mother helped free me from feeling inadequate and overwhelmed by the work and responsibility and gave me the strength I needed. I grew to value the thought of God as Mother of us all, and of each mother's privilege to see herself as the image of that divine motherhood.

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