To be honest, this is really difficult to write. I have many convoluted feelings about Mother’s Day.
I was given three copies of the book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch when my first son, now three years old, was born. I have never read this story to him. I can’t bring myself to open the book that my mom read to me, that, in our case, turned into Love You for Thirteen Years. Not even close to forever. Mother’s Day, any day really, is a lot less bright without my sweet mama.
A lot of people understand my pain.
- Maybe this is your first year without your mom, or your fifteenth.
- Maybe you fear the day you don’t have your mom or the day you have to leave your children.
- Maybe you didn’t grow up with an involved or very loving mother.
- Maybe you were raised by someone other than your biological mother.
- Maybe you are a brand new mother with a baby growing in your womb and you are terrified of the mother you will be or you are anxious for your baby’s health.
- Maybe you wish so much to be a mom and it’s not happened yet, and you are feeling frustrated and disappointed.
- Maybe you have felt the pain of a pregnancy ending abruptly or never leaving the hospital with your baby.
I’ve walked through every one of these heartaches. I’m not sure how to write a message of hope other than to say that I’m still here. And I still find joy daily, by the grace of God. It doesn’t necessarily get easier with time because we change and our needs change. What I wish I had in a mother at 15 isn’t the same as what I feel like I’m missing in a mother as a 30-year-old. So without the promise of a solution, peace, acceptance, or some sort of finality, I want to share some of the truths I anchor my hope in.
1. God is good.
God is good, and I daily wish my mother could hold my children. These two thoughts must coexist. If they don’t, how I view God will change. I can’t will my mother here to hold them. But I can think that God isn’t good and that He just wants me to suffer, and that lie will change my life for the worse.
2. God is a giver of good gifts.
So many wonderful women have stepped into my life in a nurturing capacity. I was truly raised in an Uncle Jesse, Uncle Joey, Aunt Becky fashion from the Full House TV series. My sisters, my aunts, my mother-in-law, my grandmothers, my friends, my friends’ moms, my mom friends, and my coworkers who are mothers have all, at different stages of my life, taken me under their wings. Even one tiny interaction—as a teenager: how to do my hair, boy advice; or as an adult: encouragement, wisdom on raising my babies—cumulatively made a world of difference to me. Please don’t ever think you are insignificant. You could represent so much more to someone than you realize. While my mom isn’t replaceable, God put many women in my path to supplement, and He will continue to do so.
3. We have hope.
I will see my mother again. I overheard her accept Christ at her bedside a few months before she died. John 5:24 says, “Truly I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.” One day, He will wipe away every tear, and there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4).
4. We can have joy.
Worrying about tomorrow robs me of today. There is joy to be found. In the last few months she was alive, my mom could often be heard singing “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. She was dying of cancer and couldn’t afford to worry about the “what ifs.” She soaked in the beauty of the world around her before leaving it. Worry is not a positive multiplier; it divides and diminishes me (Matthew 6:27).
5. God will equip us.
He will equip me. I don’t know today what I don’t need to know today, but when I face any situation, He will give me the wisdom needed for it, not a moment before or too late if I seek Him. It’s why we pray for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11). He is our daily bread.
6. We can trust God.
I can trust in His timing even if I don’t understand it. Recently, a friend shared with me a concept from a poem, “The Weaver” by Grant Colfax Tullar. It’s the imagery that God is weaving together a tapestry, and while He gazes on it from the magnificent front, we can only see the back with all its multicolored tangled knots and threads.
I wish I could wrap this up in a nice, neat bow, the kind my mother borrowed my finger for on top of a most thoughtful and perfectly wrapped package. I don’t think Mother’s Day will ever come and go without being bittersweet—some years more bitter, some more sweet. This year, I’m going to celebrate as a mom-of-two with my 4-month-old and 3-year-old sons, a dream I wasn’t sure God was going to grant me after a miscarriage last year. In whatever situation you find yourself this Mother’s Day, I pray God will remind you of His love and presence. We can anchor our hearts and souls in that truth.