I once heard someone say Mother’s Day should come with a trigger warning. This same person had a hard time going to church on Mother’s Day Sunday, explaining that for her the day was fraught with conflicting, complicated emotions she’d rather not have shoved in her face. If you can relate, this post is for you. If not, this post is also for you, just keep reading, you may yet glean something of value.
While honoring moms on a special holiday every year seems like a wonderful, happy, sweet concept, it’s not always that simple. For some, it’s a painful reminder of unfulfilled longing. For others, it’s a day of grief. Trauma. Pain. Heartache. So today, while this is ordinarily a contemporary Christian romance blog, I’d like to take a moment separate from that to write a few letters from the heart honoring those who aren’t looking forward to Mother’s Day.
To my precious friend yearning for motherhood,
This season isn’t easy. I don’t know your story, whether you’re still single and searching, struggle with infertility, or are still waiting with deferred hope for another reason. But know that motherhood isn’t a matter of the body, but of the heart. You mother already in the ways that count. In the way you care for those in your life who need it, in the way you already love the child you hope for. In the compassion you show, in the sacrifices you make for others, in the leadership and mentoring you do. As with Hannah and Rachel, the Father hears the cries of your heart. Until your arms are filled, cling to Him with the hope of Someday. Keep loving others like He does while you wait, my friend.
Mother is a verb. It’s something you do, not just who you are.” —Dorothy Canfield Fisher
To my dear friend aching for her lost child,
Oh, my friend, how I mourn with you. Words cannot adequately express the unfairness of your loss nor honor the depth of yearning to see and hold your precious one again. You are loved, mama. You are precious to the Father, and He has felt what you feel. He has lost, too. That may feel like trite, and if so I am sorry. I pray for your heart today to find an echo of joy in the memories you treasure and hold close as you also cling to the hope of Someday when you will see and hold them again.
And can it be that in a world so full and busy the loss of one creature makes a void so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up!” —Charles Dickens
For my friends who are missing their mothers,
Whether the separation is by disconnect, death, or miles, I pray for you today. It’s hard missing your mama. May your memories be sweet and bring peace. You are not alone, never truly.
Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.” —C.S. Lewis
To my friend whose mother-child relationship was complicated or downright traumatic,
Here’s a hug for you, my friend. It’s hard to celebrate a day when you’ve got a history of trauma, abuse, neglect, mental illness, or other heavy issue that’s made life… well, hard. You should’ve had a better mom. It’s okay to acknowledge that. You aren’t dishonoring her by acknowledging she fell short. Sometimes there is healing in speaking the truth, in acknowledging she should have made better choices, gotten help, figured out her mess. She shouldn’t have hurt you. I pray for your continued healing, especially in those moments that sneak up on you and hurt all over again. If she’s still alive, I pray for you to find that sweet place of balance between safe boundaries and restoration. I pray she finds Jesus and experiences a radical transformation that brings healing to you both. But I also pray for your heartache if that’s never the case. May you find the strength to move forward in wholeness and healing. May your other relationships be better and stronger because of the things you learned and who you decided not to be. May you find hope, joy, and peace in the arms of the Father when you need them most.
It is both tragic and freeing to accept that your mother is not capable of being the mother you always needed her to be.” – Stephi Wagner
For those finding this Mother’s Day difficult for other reasons,
You are precious. You are loved. You are seen and adored by the One who made you and knows you best. It won’t always be like this. There is hope. I encourage you to find those tiny pockets of joy in seasons like this, however they come. In the warmth of the sunshine. In the sounds of birdsong and laughter. Cling to your faith, to the knowledge that someday soon a new season will come, and this one will become a mere memory. I pray for you to find Him when you seek Him, for you to feel His arms around you as you struggle, knowing you are not alone. You are not too much for Him, and He restores when you aren’t enough or fall short. When it feels as though everything around you is unraveling, hold tight to those threads of light, life, joy, and peace. And don’t be afraid to get a little therapy if you need it! We all do sometimes, my friend.
A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” —Cardinal Meymillod
Last but not least, for all the tired and weary moms out there, whether mothers by biology or by action,
Thank you for doing the hardest job in the universe so well. I’m proud of you! There’s no more difficult job than mothering, because doing it well always means putting yourself last while constantly being mindful of the needs, demands, and preferences of everyone else. I pray this Mother’s Day your loved ones honor you in some way that makes you feel treasured, valued, adored in the way you should be. But in case they fall short, allow me to say GOOD JOB. You may fail, fall short, mess up, and do or say something that will land them in therapy in the future. Welcome to the club, my friend. Motherhood is a messy, complicated job, but the fact that you’re still trying, still sacrificing, still doing everything in your power to live love every minute of their lives, proves that you are good at your job. They might forget to say thank you today or tomorrow, but some wonderful day in the future, they’ll pause and realize how hard you worked and how fully you loved. Keep loving on and praying for those babies, long after they’re grown and facing the world on their own.
Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.” —Sharon Jaynes
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”
Blessings, my friends, now and always. I’m sending you a virtual hug and hope you found some encouragement for yourself or to pass on to someone who needs it.
And in case you’re looking for a book with a complicated mother-daughter relationship that has a happy ending, Braver With You is on sale this week for only 99¢. Happy reading and (hopefully, for most) Happy Mother’s Day!