I was sitting among a group of women the other day. It was one of those get to know you and first meeting gatherings. I have to admit I hate those things. I still get nervous when I have to share about myself with new people. What should I say? Will my face get red, like it always does, when I get nervous? It is amazing how a get to know others event quickly becomes all about me.
Everyone was taking their turn to share and each was describing how long they were married, how many kids, just your average life describing stuff and then one older lady started her turn with the most wonderful sentence. She introduced herself, “Well, I am an unclaimed blessing. I never married or had the opportunity to have children. However, I was blessed to have 5 foster kids.”
After the meeting, I couldn’t get those two words out of my head- “Unclaimed Blessing”. She spoke with such confidence in the fact that this was God’s plan for her life. She never married or had children of her own but she confidently shared her life story. I started to think how we as women let marriage and children define who we are. I mean those are wonderful blessings and I don’t think it is wrong to share how God has blessed us in that way. However, I think we (or at least myself) forget that not all women can define themselves in that way. I forget the struggle and the pain that other women feel when their life is not always set in the same pattern as others.
I think both men and women tend to let themselves be defined by certain titles. However, women often measure themselves on motherhood and marriage. God doesn’t define us by those blessings but we do. I often forget that not all women have the same life story as me. God’s plan is different for all of us. His blessings come in different forms and patterns.
An “unclaimed blessing” is a reminder to have grace for those women around me who often feel that they stick out among a set pattern in our society. It’s a reminder to be sensitive to pictures posted or words shared of life blessings that can be harsh reminders of pain for someone else. However, it is also words of encouragement because all those unclaimed blessings of unmarried or childless women should understand that they are claimed by their Father in Heaven and that is the greatest blessing for all of us!