It’s my first Mother’s Day with a baby on my hip and we’re in self-isolation. I hadn’t even thought about it until others brought it to my attention. And truly, it makes no difference to me. But many women are saddened by the reality that they can’t attend church on this special day. I’ve been thinking about this holiday in years past and how hard it was at times. I was pondering what I might feel if I was still struggling with childlessness.
While some women might be sad about missing church on Mother’s Day this year, I know some of you are relieved.
This is the first year you don’t have to make the hard decision to either stay home for fear of salt being poured in your wound, or go knowing you’ll have to hide your grief until you’ve found a safe place to cry out, “how long, O Lord?” The decision has been made for you. And maybe you’re thankful.
But the reminders of lack and loss will still echo in your head. May I encourage you for a moment? I want you to know that it’s good and right to grieve this suffering. My hope for you is that you’ll do so in the presence of the Lord. That you’ll cry out to him and let him into that space in your heart that aches so deeply. That you’ll allow his word to echo in your brain and sink into your heart. Draw near to him in lament this Mother’s Day, but don’t forget to draw near to him in praise, too. Praise him that he’s near to the broken-hearted. Praise him for being the Good Shepherd who leads you down paths of righteousness. Praise him that he carries you when you’re too broken to stand—when you see that pregnancy announcement, hold that negative test, or remember the trauma of losing your baby.
Praise him for who he is. These trials we face—though they feel like burdens that may never lift—are truly light and momentary afflictions in comparison to eternity with Jesus. I’m not asking you to feel like that’s true, but friend, let’s believe it together. God’s word is unfailing in its truth. And our God is perfectly wise, perfectly sovereign, and perfectly good.
You may feel like you only have reason to grieve this Mother’s Day, but I promise grief and joy can coincide. So grieve, cry out, weep, but also rejoice in who God is.