A blog that I enjoy called The Carry Camp did a post this week for those dealing with infertility or miscarriage about how to get through Mother’s Day. In response to a reader’s question, the author offers ways to cope with this difficult day ranging from escaping through pampering and distraction to processing the grief and working towards healing. I greatly appreciate the acknowledgment that sadness is ok and the encouragement to ask loved ones to pray for you and be with you throughout the day. These are very helpful reminders as Sunday approaches.
Mother’s Day 2015 was one of the worst days I’ve had in years. I woke up that morning with a sense of dread and fear. When I walked in the door at church, baby bottles were pushed into my hands – a wonderful fundraiser for a local pregnancy center, but a reminder of motherhood nonetheless. Just a few minutes into the service, as the preacher talked about how “children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward,” I began to cry – does God hate me since He has not given me this heritage, this reward? As the songs about the joy of children came one after another, followed by baptisms of sweet little infants, the silent weeping turned into whole-body sobbing. For the rest of the service I clung to my husband as we wept together. This day broke me, and I told myself that I would never sit through it ever again.
And yet, here I am again, dreading it another year. Mother’s day can be particularly difficult because it’s on a Sunday. Each Lord’s Day, and especially this one, I long to come into the presence of God, seeking the necessary balm for my hurting soul. Yet this one day I am held back knowing once I step through those doors I will be lambasted with reminders of my pain. I empathize with those of you dreading Sunday. But the answer to our fears, our grief, our pain is not to merely pamper our hurting bodies and avoid difficult interactions. These are helpful and have their place, but they only bring temporary comfort and distraction; they do not provide hope or healing. The best and most important thing we can do for our aching hearts is be with our loving Father in worship.
The coping article says “allow yourself to feel weak and weary and messy.” Yes! But don’t stop there! God has provided His strength for our weakness, His wholeness for our brokenness. Cry to Him, tell Him your pain and frustration. Not only is He our Father who loves us tenderly, but Jesus intimately knows our pain – He is “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.“
Whether you long for a child, have lost a child, or lost your mother, from one hurting soul to another, I encourage you not to skip church this Mother’s Day. Long before Mother’s Day ever existed, the Lord established the Sabbath as a means for His people to rest in Him. Don’t give up the opportunity on Sunday to commune with our Lord and Savior, to be reminded that you are irrevocably His child and He is caring for you in your pain.
God knows exactly how our hearts are aching – today, tomorrow, Mother’s Day, and every other day. Instead of weeping at home alone, we can come and weep with our Father, the One who is able to comfort and heal us.
In my distress I called to the Lord and he answered me.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.