Mother’s Day is not an easy one for me.
I am an unmarried woman with no children. Each year, and each day, I am grieving the death of my own mother. For me, this day reminds me of a lot of hurt.
Each year, millions of dollars are spent on Mother’s Day cards, flowers, gifts and special meals. As a result, for several weeks leading up to this special day, I’m confronted with Mother’s Day messages in stores, on TV, on social media and even in church.
I desire to be in church that day because I genuinely want to celebrate my friends who are mothers and be surrounded by my church family, but it’s hard.
On Mother’s Day, the pastor asks all the mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers to stand. As the rest of the congregation applauds, I notice I’m one of very few women still sitting.
My heart aches as I fight back tears. I think of my own mom and wonder if I will ever have the chance to be a mother. Being unmarried with no children can leave me feeling like an outcast on Mother’s Day. What’s missing from my life becomes glaringly obvious.
In the midst of my grief and disappointment, God desires for me to invite Him into my pain. He welcomes my questions, sadness and even anger. In return, He showers me with His love and brings healing to my heart.
When the pain of living in a broken and fallen world becomes too much to bear, when life turns out differently than you expect, how will you choose to react? How will you invite God into your disappointment and pain? How will you seek the Lord and rest in Him?
In Matthew 11:28-29 (New International Version), Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Despite my unfulfilled desires, I’ve learned that Mother’s Day also presents an opportunity to serve others. God has brought several women into my life who have served as surrogate mothers and mentors to me. Now it’s my turn to pay that gift forward.
As I take time to think about how I can give to others, I find that the work I’m doing is why God has placed me where and how I am right now. I get to:
Though my life looks different than I imagined it would, motherhood and marriage are not necessary for me to have hope and purpose. Every woman’s story looks different and holds value.
If Mother’s Day is hard for you, try doing the following:
Be honest with God. Bring your emotions, sadness, frustration and even your anger to Him. Take time to grieve and lament.
Reach out to the women of influence in your life. If your mom has passed away or your relationship is difficult, refocus on the women who have influenced you over the years. Send an encouraging note expressing how they have impacted your life.
Nurture others. Who has God placed in your life for you to care for? Don’t resist the opportunities to pour into the lives of others. Embrace the chance to be an adopted aunt for a military child, a big sister for a foster kid or a mentor to a younger woman.
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