Brittany Lee Allen

It seems, even before the first sprout sprung from the ground, indicating spring is near, my heart had already begun to dread what follows those April showers. It's not those beautiful flowers which May typically brings. Nor is it the warmer weather I fear. It's Mother's Day. The day where churches worldwide will honor the visible Mommas, the ones whose arms are filled. All along, forgetting those whose wombs remain empty as they long for children they've either yet to receive or have lost.

Mother’s Day is the Hardest

It seems, even before the first sprout sprang from the ground, indicating spring is near, my heart had already begun to dread what follows April showers. It’s not those beautiful flowers which May typically brings, nor is it the warmer weather I fear.

It’s Mother’s Day.

The day where churches worldwide will honor the visible mommas, the ones whose arms or wombs are filled. Many times, forgetting those whose wombs remain empty as they long for children they’ve either yet to receive, or have lost.

Before continuing, I want to state clearly that I truly believe mothers should be honored both on Mother’s Day and all other days. But as we celebrate the observable moms in our life, may we also reach out to the invisible ones and the childless women among us.

Invisible Moms

It was on this holiday that I first saw the faint line on a pregnancy test, so faint I dismissed it until testing again four days later. I held evidence of my motherhood in the palm of my hand and felt the symptoms of life flourishing in my womb. But in mid-June, our first baby was delivered into Heaven and my motherhood was stripped from within. Just months later, I would miscarry again. An ultrasound picture, pregnancy test, and the hormonal line on my lower abdomen are the only remaining evidences of my motherhood.

As I write this, my womb remains barren. But I am a mom.

And whether you’ve lost babies through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, you’re a mom, too. The world around you, and even some of those closest to you, may not acknowledge it, but you can be sure God does. Through the babies we’ve lost, he has made us mothers, regardless of whether or not we have been gifted the ability to live out our parenthood.

You are not invisible to God. Your grief, your longing, your fight to rejoice with those around you, your motherhood, is all seen by your loving Father. He knows what it’s like to lose a child, and just like Jesus and the Father, we will one day be reunited with our children at the resurrection.

A Baby Won’t Fix it

Up until recently, I was believing a lie. I found myself eager to become pregnant before Mother’s Day in order to avoid the pain of facing it empty handed. But as I pondered the very possible reality, I realized a baby will not erase my grief on that day. Regardless of whether or not there’s new life blooming in my womb, I will still suffer the pain of the loss of our two babies.

Babies don’t replace babies.

In all honesty, yes, it would make it a bit easier to face a church bursting with children and pregnant women if I too were pregnant. But it wouldn’t save me from the heartache of the last year.

Babies don’t heal hearts–even “rainbow babies.”

We must approach Mother’s Day with our mind fixed on this truth: Only God can mend our hearts. Let us place our hope in him alone.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3 ESV)

The Fight of a Lifetime

Mother’s Day is a war zone for the “invisible mom” and childless woman. You can bet the enemy will do anything in his power to cause you to doubt God’s goodness. He will use friends and family who forget you, pastors who ask moms to stand, sermons on motherhood, words that could cut bones in two, striving to draw out bitterness from your heart.

He will accuse you.
He’ll torment you.
He’ll tempt you.
He will seek to destroy you through these things.

Don’t allow him to have victory. On Mother’s Day, we must take up our armor, immerse ourselves in the knowledge of God’s sovereignty and love for us, and fight.

Feel the sorrow and grieve your losses, but fight against bitterness, anger, and resentment.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:11-13 ESV)

Encourage Others

It will be hard. Tears will be shed and sorrow will be felt. But let us strive to encourage others on Mother’s Day. Rather than focusing on our own pain, let’s do the hard work of rejoicing with the women around us. God will give us the strength we need to glorify him in this way.

May we also have eyes willing and ready to see the longing and grieving sisters sitting in the pews near us. Here are some people to be watchful for:

The woman struggling with infertility
Other women who have miscarried
The Single Woman (They too can long for children)
Women who have lost infants (even if they have other children)
Women who have experienced stillbirth
Women(and men) who have lost their Mother

I guarantee you’ll find someone in your church who fits into one of these categories. Be intentional to reach out to them, write them a card or give them a small gift to acknowledge their grief.

I would be lying if I said I no longer dread Mother’s Day. I know the sinfulness of which my heart is capable and I fear the pain. But I’m striving to glorify God in my suffering and praying he would provide strength and grace to do just that on this upcoming holiday.

Mother’s Day is the hardest, but with Jesus we can face it with hope.

8 Responses

  1. I’ll be honest- even now almost 10 years after our journey to have kids ended without children, Mother’s Day is a day I skip. I don’t even go to church- well meaning folks actually wishing me a happy mother’s day, messages and activities focused on motherhood- it’s just too much of a minefield (not to mention that my relationship with my mother is strained at best- so it’s a double whammy). I avoid the day to preserve my sanity and protect my mental health.

    Sure I support mom’s on other days. But this Sunday is a day I take for me- And my husband and I usually do something together. I will als spend part of the time reflecting on the path God sent us down and where he’s taken us since then.

    1. I’m very sorry for this suffering you’ve had to endure. I pray you’d know God is so near to you.

  2. Thank you Brittany for helping me see where I need to be sensitive, supportive, and speak life giving words to the “invisible” moms around me. ? I so love your heart and thank Jesus for all that he’s done in your life.

  3. I was diagnosed infertile at 25 (I am 41). I have never been pregnant. I will never be pregnant. 9 years ago, my second husband and I married, and I became a step mother to 3 children. God has been so good in granting me the opportunity to be a parent. But Mother’s day is a day I dread as well. I have spent too many mother’s days preparing my children for a visit with their mother (they live with us), helping them finish gifts and cards for her, and sitting in the car as they run to the front door to spend the day with her. I also sit in the car and listen to all of the wonderful things she said about their gifts on the ride home. And at the end of the day, there is no mother’s day for me. My husband will celebrate me, but it doesn’t occur to my children to do so, which is more painful. I often feel like a pretender. Being asked to stand at church to the urges of… You ARE A mom….. when I’ve never been pregnant, and the people I mother have a mother…. it’s hard. I prefer to stay home on mother’s day. It’s better for my mental state.

    1. I am so sorry for this hard struggle you’ve had to endure. I pray God would continue to comfort your heart each day as well as Mother’s Day.

  4. Brittany thank you so much for your blog I have been blessed reading your posts. This post especially rings true to me. I endured infertility for 20+ years and recently lost my battle to endometriosis and had to have a hysterectomy. Though I am no longer in constant physical pain I am in emotional pain having to endure the fact that I will never be able to bear a child – to feel life grow inside me. Mother’s Day is a difficult day for me and I wonder if that is why my mind was ripe for a panic attack on the eve of Mother’s Day 2018…I had one miscarriage about 6mos prior to having the hysterectomy and for 2-4 weeks after I suffered from multiple panic attacks. But praise God that in my pain and suffering I have felt His love reign through. Two weeks prior to my hysterectomy I was inconsolable, yet He spoke to me through song and through a radio sermon that shared Isaiah 54. This entire chapter will forever be engraved in my heart and I will praise Him all the days of my life! Again, thank you for your spirit-led blog and how you share God’s Word in love and truth.

    1. Wow. I am so sorry for the loss of your child as well as your fertility. My heart aches for you. I too have endometriosis and I know how painful that can be. I’m so so sorry. But I’m thankful for the way God has been near to your heart through it all. May you continue to cling to Christ as your greatest Treasure.

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