There are a few lessons at church that I have had a hard time with throughout the years. When we were struggling to have kids, I couldn’t handle lessons on motherhood, and forget about Mother’s Day. That was a Sunday I couldn’t attend church. I couldn’t bear to hear about the type of mother I was supposed to be when I wasn’t sure I could become one. I did not fit the motherhood mold. Infertility was such an inward battle between myself, my body, my beliefs, and my God. There was very little anyone could do to help me. I remember people saying things like,
“You can be a mother to the kids in the ward.”
“You can be a mother to those you serve.”
Though the intentions of others was good, all of it fell flat against my true anguish of not understanding why I couldn’t have a baby and others could. And let’s be honest. There are times when people say things to you in an effort to help, but their words only increase the frustration and negative feelings.
Even though we have children now, I still struggle to hear about mothers. I think I am overly sensitive to how I felt and maybe there is someone else out there like me who struggles during certain talks and lessons at church.
Sometimes All You Feel is Steady
Sometimes there are topics we discuss that keep me restless and uncomfortable in my seat. The discomfort generally happens when I feel that my life doesn’t quite fit the picture of this perfect life that we create in our mind’s eye. I was in a lesson where we were review President Eyring’s talk entitled “Women and Gospel Learning in the Home.” In the talk he explains how women are an integral part in nurturing our children. He quoted the Proclamation to the World which says, “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.” Our discussion revolved around the roles of family members and continuing to have children. We also discussed how under the new curriculum, we need to spend more time at home teaching our children and, as one woman put it, since we are primarily home, it is our responsibility to ingrain in our children gospel principles.
Listening to these ladies whom I love dearly, my head began to sink along with my heart. I did not fit this mold. My husband had been working from home for over a year, doing amazing work in our business, with our children and for others. I was working full-time, with a couple extra jobs on the side. We had received confirmation time and time again that this was what God’s will is, but every so often, when I hear a lesson such as this, I am forced to reaffirm my faith. For me, reassurance doesn’t always come as an overpowering feeling. Sometimes, I simply feel steady.
Why Does the Mold Still Hurt?
Then why does it still hurt so bad when we don’t feel like we fit in with everyone else?
A friend was recently telling me about a woman she knows who seems to have everything put together. This woman criticized my friend for something she didn’t do well. My friend was told that she didn’t “fit the mold.”
That is the problem! We all think there is a mold that we must attain. When we don’t, we feel that there is something wrong with us, or there is something that we don’t do well enough, or there’s something we have done to cause us to not quite fit in.
Fitting the mold. It’s funny…I have never seen in the scriptures where He has admonished us to “fit in the mold.” He actually says quite the opposite. Share your gifts. Serve and uplift others. Develop your talents. Figure out who you truly are.
Sometimes church lessons are there to help remind me that I am on His path, doing His will. I know that what little I can give, the Lord consecrates for good. That’s what it’s really about…doing His will, trying as hard as we can, and trusting that He will take care of the rest.
It really doesn’t matter what mold you fell you don’t fit in. Everyone has something whether it is the parent mold, family mold, church, friendship, financial, career, educational, or the emotional mold. I think no matter what position we are in, we can feel that our efforts fall short. That we don’t fit in. Let’s remember that we are all on our way home. We are all in need of His revelation and guidance. We are all in need of each other, to support and uplift those of us who don’t fit the mold.