Love it? Hate it?
Mother's Day. Some love it. Some hate it. People that love it, remind us that it's an opportunity to show grattitude to the mothers in our lives. Those that don't like it, remind us that it's an overly commercialized, money-making holiday. The same day that elicits joy for many as they outwardly are celebrated, causes quiet brokeness for many. On this day, some celebrate what they have while others quietly mourn what they lack.
I have been blessed by the honest vulnerability of friends who shared their difficulties with mother's day. The wife wrestling with infertility. The mom enduring the loss of a child. The woman mourning broken relationships. The mother of wayward chlidren. The mama who feels like a failure. The girl growing up with an absent mom. The teen whose mom was taken far too soon.
It doesn't take long to see the hurt. You see, the problem really isn't the day. It's great to be thankful for the women in our lives. Celebrating moms and the roles in our lives is good. But do we celebrate without noticing those that are hurting? Those that hope and pray that next mother's day things will be different? Those that want to avoid this day altogether, staying home from church and away from restaurants filled with celebrating families? Do we know people around us well enough to anticipate these hurts? Do we reach out to those feeling the deep ache of emptiness-- feeling completely exposed by what they lack-- yet totally unnoticed?
In the midst of mother's day sermons and sentimental facebook posts, take a moment to notice those who might be hurting today. Encourage them to lean in even more into the great comfort and grace of our Savior. Remind them to pray their tears to the Lord. Be the friend who remembers them when they feel unnoticed. Wade through the discomfort of not knowing what to say. There you will find the kind of relationships God intended us to have. Friendships that move us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice-- sometimes at the same time.
This mother's day, I celebrate. I am humbled by the incredible gift of being a mom and having a mom who loves me deeply. But, I will admit I feel some of the ache and this holiday exposes that ache. The ache of unfulfilled desires. The emptiness of two years of hoping and praying for another pregnancy. The shame of wondering why God would leave this emptiness. The twinge of sadness I feel with pregnancy announcements and baby dedications, wondering if I've experienced my first and last. But as I turn to God in my sadness and turn outward to those who love me, I find incredible peace. Not the kind of peace that tells me that everything will turn out okay-- but the peace that tells me I am never alone. You are never alone in your sadness, fear or emptiness. Lean into Him. Encourage those in your life who are hurting to cling to Him. And as you walk through seasons of emptiness, hurt and unfulfilled desires, draw near to Him and allow others in. Jesus is near.