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I read a really good article this morning and it is timely for Mother’s Day tomorrow.
During the anguished time when a woman from my church was trying to conceive, she asked for prayer from a Christian coworker. “She flat out told me that I wasn’t getting pregnant because I didn’t have enough faith. I wanted to hit her,” my friend said. Another friend was repeatedly told, after each miscarriage, “It must be that God has a reason.” She was sitting next to me in our small group when an older woman, herself childless, beamed at my pregnant belly and said, “What a blessing, so many babies in our church!” The older woman then looked around and said, “Isn’t it wonderful, how God is blessing us?”—all the while benevolently unaware that my friend was not only grieving her lost children, but would most likely never have more. If I was uncomfortable, wanting to hide my belly and change the subject, my friend was shattered.
People who mean well can say the cruelest things and I think Mother’s Day can be especially emotionally challenging for moms even without those cruel words.
There are so many feelings wrapped up in motherhood. For those suffering infertility, there is heartache. Those of us who have suffered miscarriage/stillbirth understand that pain and loss. We remember the choice words that were said. Some were meaningful, others very hurtful.
My blog has opened my eyes to a lot of different hurts and I am so grateful to those who have been vulnerable here. One group of people I have been getting to know better are singles, whether by choice, death/divorce, or not by choice.
What is it like for a single woman on Mother’s Day if they had wanted children, but that hasn’t been an option?
Do the natural yearnings of motherhood wane or become more unmistakably strong for the single woman? I suspect there are both.
For some mothers, tomorrow will be a day of sadness as they remember the death of a child/adult child. Where would that child be now? What would they be like? Are they in heaven?
Of course others will have sadness because their own mothers have passed away. Was their relationship a good one? If the relationship was not good, was there unresolved conflict that didn’t get dealt with? Are feelings of guilt still present?
About 15 yrs ago, I co-facilitated a ladies bible study group. There were a lot of women there who were older than me. I was struck at their prayer requests. At that time, I was a mom who was nursing a baby and had kids up to the age of 13. These other moms had adult kids, with quite a few being empty nesters. Some of their adult kids were not doing well as adults. While I was being awakened in the middle of the night because my hungry baby wanted to nurse, some of these moms were being awakened in the middle of the night thinking and worrying about the bad decisions some of their adult children were making. Motherhood is tough. It is relentless and agonizing. The difficult times come at very inopportune times. But we slog on.
For me, especially this year as I have had to come face to face with some awful truths that I have participated (unknowingly) in harmful influences which have hurt my children. Boy, this is painful…….. and more tears flow . . . Do mothers’ tears ever have a stopping point? I haven’t found it yet.
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The picture you see above is of my mom and dad and me as an infant. I was 10 days old in the picture. This is the only picture I have of my mom and dad together. They divorced when I was one (I never saw him again). My mom has a story to tell. She had a story before I was born. She had a story of when she met my father and got pregnant. She hid his drugs, he beat her up when she was 7 months pregnant which caused her to go into labor. I was born 9 weeks premature. I should not be here today (I have a story). My mom has gone through domestic violence, rage, divorce, and trauma in her motherhood journey. Her story is not over. Even last year, she had to deal with an adult daughter who got sued by a pastor. She didn’t plan on that. It was dumped on her.
Proverbs 31 has been the model for Christian mothers/wives. You know, she probably had her “quiver full” of children, only got 2 hours of sleep and she did everything including praising her husband at the city gates even though he very well could have been a jerk. That woman could do no wrong. Well, you know what – – – hearing that on Mother’s Day is not very uplifting or encouraging to me. It is guilt-producing and makes me feel pretty lousy. I feel like a “mom fail” many times.
How do I (we) deal with a day that honors us when we know we have failed so badly? That’s a tough one.
How can we express love and compassion and grace to all moms – moms who have failed and moms who have succeeded?
How would Christ honor us moms (or women wanting to be moms)? I think He would meet moms/ladies right where we are – – in our joys, in our struggles, in our sorrow and pain. He would meet us even when we are at our ugliest.
I want to do that kind of honoring of moms and women (including you singles who haven’t had babies) on Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you precious ladies! You are not perfect. Christ knows that and He accepts you as you are.
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