I’ve had mixed feelings about Mother’s Day, and I’ve definitely had mixed feelings about writing about Mother’s Day. 

So, I guess this post is four Mother’s Days in waiting and I’m left asking, “do I really have anything to add?”

I remember an undergraduate professor reposting a poem she stumbled across while struggling through growing her family. It was one of the first times I read another’s words about infertility and could relate so deeply.

By this time, I had written brief thoughts down on my frustrations with not yet having a child. Some were scratched out on paper, others were typed into my phone. But they all had a common thread, I was struggling to find purpose in the pain I was feeling.

I think it’s difficult to sit in the pain of suffering and not know what purpose it serves.

 

Of course, at the time, I attempted to comfort myself with what I had been told was true, that God was using this time in my life to shape me and draw me to Him.

But did I believe it?

I don’t know. I don’t think I did. I did a lot to run away from Him and His people. I hid, sometimes literally, but most of the time figuratively.

I remember going to one of my first church services celebrating Mother’s Day, frustrated at the baby dedications.

Didn’t people know? Hadn’t they been exposed to the raw pain that celebrating new life inflicts on a day when women are collectively reminded of the pain of not having a child or of losing a mother?

I still find myself turning to writing when I’m processing. It might be a joyous occasion, it might be out of anticipation, it might be out of confusion, and it might be out of pain.

I wrote this short poem last year out of a mixture of all of those things. In the course of one week, a dear friend lost a pregnancy, another announced, and another delivered. My heart couldn’t process the pain and joy, so I wrote down what I could.


In one week we weep,
Rejoice,
And celebrate

Baby in the womb,
Baby in the womb,
Baby in the womb,

Help us to remember you,
Protect you,
Welcome you


As we celebrate the mothers who have shaped us, both in body and in spirit, and as we grieve the children lost, both in body and in spirit, let us remember, protect, and welcome.

This day is a joyous day to celebrate. This day is also a painful day to mourn with women.

Let us live in the spirit of Romans 12:15 and rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Let us also take time to weep with those who weep.

It can be easy to be on the side of rejoicing and fear causing pain towards those who are weeping. It can also be easy to be on the side of weeping and be bitter towards those who are rejoicing.

But in the middle, as we seek God for comfort and are present to help each other, we find this beauty: giving grace to others and receiving it in return.

As I reflect on the last four Mother’s Days, I can see how the Lord has used this time of infertility to mold me. He has softened my bitter heart, has strengthened my crippled spirit, and has restored my broken soul.

I’m not sure where you are this Mother’s Day: maybe you’re an empty nester for the first year, maybe you’ve recently given birth, maybe you’re in a season of waiting, maybe you’re mourning the loss of your mother, or maybe you’re looking forward to the day you can actually rest from the busyness of children.

Wherever you are and whatever season your life, I pray your day is met with the grace, strength, and comfort of our God.