Mother’s Day and I have had a complicated relationship.
I had a challenging relationship with my own mother, and did my best to bless and honor her no matter how I felt. I know the challenge of the card section in the drugstore, lingering long to find that one card that was kind, but not sentimental.
Then there were the Mother’s Days when my infertility rose up and slapped me in the face. I know the pain of watching the other women in church receive the flowers given for most children or newest mom.
There were the Mother’s Days where I wept with joy while holding babies newly adopted, understanding what the alternative could have been. I know the joy tempered with sorrow in understanding that my celebration carried within it another mother’s grief.
There was the Mother’s Day after losing a little life in my womb.
I had a good long stretch of Mother’s Days surrounded by my sweet children, complete with clay creations, construction paper drawings, and picnics in the park. I know the sweetness that comes from treasuring up those memories in my heart.
I have had a number of Mother’s Days now where I carry the grief of having a prodigal child. I know the helplessness of not knowing.
The celebrations are over now, exchanged for phone calls from two children far away, and silence from the one who has slipped away down dark paths.
So….I get it. The grief and the joy. The envy and the gratitude. The wishing it was different, and the wishing it would always stay the same.
Whatever your feelings are this Mother’s Day, don’t dismiss them. Cry your tears of anguish or joy. Lift your heart to the God who sees you. And then call that older woman who mothered you at some point in your life. Make a (virtual) coffee date with that woman who longs for a baby to hold. Send an encouraging note to that woman who’s a great mom. Text a prayer to the woman who’s grieving the loss of a mother or a child. Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn, as it says in Romans, and in the giving, you will receive.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)