Luke 12:7It’s so easy to be made to feel like you don’t count for anything in the world. I’ve felt this way myself many times, under various circumstances. When I was single sans boyfriend, I often felt like the world revolved around couples and my single-ness disqualified me from happiness. When I was struggling with obesity, I often felt like thin people were the only ones who really counted in our society–or at least in our shopping malls.

Of course, I was wrong on both counts, and I knew it then as well as I know it now, but that didn’t stop me from feeling that way from time to time.

It still doesn’t. Now that I’m married and struggling with infertility, it often seems like most of the blogs, websites and magazines I read or shows I watch for women my age are aimed almost entirely at moms. Mostly I’m cool with that–it’s not like advice on how to be more organized or how to save more money with a large family can’t be modified to apply to a household of two, after all.

But sometimes it gets to me, and I think, “What about me? What about all the other women out there who have struggled with this, who are childless, or who are child-free by choice? Don’t we count?” I’ve even refrained from commenting sometimes because I can just imagine responses like, “Oh, your chihuahua keeps waking you up at 5 AM? Get back to me after you’ve had a baby and you know what REAL sleep deprivation feels like” or, “You have trouble keeping your house clean and organized? But you can’t be that busy or have that much clutter–you don’t even have kids!”

I often hesitate to call myself a mother. I’ve had two pregnancies, but no births. Two babies that I’ve never even gotten to hold or touch or gaze lovingly upon, let alone nurse at 2 AM or sit up with all night enduring colic or bandage boo-boos or have to convince to eat their vegetables. REAL moms do all those things, right? Just getting pregnant does not make one a mother, right? You don’t get a trophy just for showing up at the starting line. I haven’t earned that badge.

So it was with tears in my eyes the other day that I read Holly Gerth’s post that boldly called ALL women mothers:

“I love how even women without children {I was one until I adopted my 21 year-old daughter last year} somehow feel the need to nurture, to grow, to pour themselves into the next generation like so much water that just never stops. Mothers of the heart if not the body.

It was a muchly needed reminder that yes, I do count.

And do you know what? So do you.

Whether you’re single or dating or married, young or old or in-between, child-laden or childless or child-free, fat or thin, in shape or out of shape, running marathons or hanging around the house in yoga pants without ever actually doing any yoga, writing bestsellers or still trying to find an agent or just trying to finish a book already, successful or still struggling, wherever you are in life, whatever you are, whoever you are . . . you count.

You count so much that God Himself keeps count of each and every hair on your head!.

You count so much to Him that He gave up His own son so He could have you.

Remember that the next time someone or something makes you feel like you don’t count or your experiences are less than.