To all the broken-hearted women who wish they could fall asleep Saturday evening and wake up on Monday morning… this one’s for you. The women for whom Mother’s Day delivers a twinge of sadness… or a dull ache. A shooting pain… or one that sears straight through your soul.
This one’s for the precious mommas who can’t hug their grown children… because they’re separated by miles and stay-at-home orders and the threat of a deadly virus.
So Mother’s Day will be spent in what feels like the worst way:
All the flowers/FaceTime calls/Hallmark cards/candy in the world – while lovely and appreciated – simply can’t compare to the sweet gift of togetherness. (< That is the most coveted Mother’s Day present of all.)
But there are some women whose sorrow won’t lift even when the COVID restrictions do. There are some whose sadness is soul-deep.
These are the women who hurt at every mention of Mother’s Day… and it has nothing to do with Coronavirus or quarantine or keeping 6 feet apart. These are the women whose heart breaks afresh every “second Sunday in May,” not just this one.
Those who buried their beautiful children…
Or never had them. (Because their bodies just couldn’t cooperate.)
They suffer excruciating phantom pains:
Of lives they cannot share. Embraces they cannot feel. Memories they cannot make.
So many moms who’ve lost a child to stillbirth or miscarriage or cancer or stroke or suicide or accident or abortion or estrangement… (Sadly, this list goes on and on.) Women who silently bear their burden of bereavement. At graduations, weddings, baby showers. On birthdays, holidays, all the days.
That kind of grief is real/raw/relentless.
For women like them, this “holiday” to celebrate mothers holds next to nothing.
(And unfortunately, there isn’t a cardiac surgeon in the world who can repair that kind of broken heart.)
More than anything, mothering means nurturing.
And I can almost feel your ache to nurture… to teach and care and comfort and counsel. To feed a little body… and soul. I see your heart that holds more than enough love for another human being (or three). I sense your willingness to do almost anything just to be able to be – and do – what you wish.
You long for the title – and its responsibilities – because you were made in the image of God – the very Essence of flawless nurturing. He is the perfect (and undeniably the most patient) Parent ever. Not only is He our Heavenly Father… He invented and ordained the art of mothering.
Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions. The Lord alone guided them… (Deuteronomy 32:11-12a)
So what to do when you’re aching to rouse and hover and carry and guide… and you can’t? (Or never could.)
Start with your feelings.
And maybe… if you’re feeling really brave… share them. (But only with someone worthy of your trust and willing to hear your whole – good/bad/ugly – story.)
Give yourself grace and mercy.
(And maybe some flowers and chocolate too.)
Listen, I’m not suggesting you pretend that Mother’s Day is your favorite day of the year. And I’m not trying to make it happy/breezy/sunny/carefree but possibly… hopefully…
Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Parent. Soak up all the love gifted to you by the One who adores you… and has good plans for you. (Really.)
I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. ~ Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NCV)
Choose this Mother’s Day to honor your own momma. (Or her memory if you – like me – are missing her something fierce.)
Blessing her will bless you.
The commandment ‘Honor your father and mother’ is the first one with a promise attached: so that things will go well for you, and you will live for a long time in the land. ~ Ephesians 6:2-3 (CEB)
Be kind to yourself. (Please do this, for heaven’s sake.)
It’s not selfish; it’s necessary. Like water/sleep/food/air.
Nourish and tenderly care (for yourself)… Ephesians 6:29 (NRSV)
And know that there are lots of moms out there who see you… and feel deeply. For you and with you. Your story matters to a whole lot of people who care.
Love and sympathy from one of them,
P.S. Today is my mother’s birthday. (She’s celebrating in heaven… but I’m having cake here and now.)
Happy 75th Birthday to the very best mother and friend a girl could ask for.