This post right here goes out to anyone for whom the joy and celebration that is supposed to be Mother’s Day is mingled with pain, sadness, loss, or whatever is hurting your heart. Whether you’re a mom or not, I see you this week.
I have a love/hate relationship with Mother’s Day.
On the one hand, I’m a big fan of days to celebrate stuff and honor people, I LOOOOVE celebrating stuff and honoring people. It’s my favorite.
Me on Mother’s Day:
Yes, I love celebrating my mom, the moms in my life, and my family does a pretty good job of celebrating me. Mother’s Day has always been pretty kind to me.
But on the other hand, Mother’s Day is not always kind to everyone- and if you know me, you know that I am NOT AT ALL A FAN of anything that is unkind.
Also Me on Mother’s Day:
The way in which Mother’s Day can be painful for some people who deserve to have the day be happy, warm, and cozy is like a cold, hard, snowball in the face. I don’t like it at all.
If this is you, no matter who you are, I want to look you right in the face RIGHT FLIPPING NOW and tell you how much I wish I could fix whatever it is that makes this day so painful for you. I want to hug you, sit with you and pour you coffee, tea, wine, or perhaps a punchy frozen umbrella drink that reminds you of a tropical vacay. I want to hold your hands and tell you that I see you and you’re not alone.
Whatever it is that is burdening your heart today: the loss of a mom in your life, the loss of a child, separation from your mom or your child, the disappointment of an unfulfilling relationship with your mom or your child, pain and worry surrounding your mom or your child, a longing in your heart to be a mother that has gone unfulfilled, the delicate dance of being a stepmom- the list goes on and on. Whatever it is, here is a hug from me. I’m so, so sorry this is hard for you and you deserve a medal for getting through not only this day but through basically all of life carrying this burden.
And for what it’s worth, it matters to God, too. God created our hearts and intended us to be a part of that loving, nurturing connection and the pain of that being taken from us in any way is something He sees. Also, God lived here on this earth in the form of human who had a mother himself, he personally knew what it was to experience a mother’s love- and he knew what it was to see that mother suffer loss. I mean, we all know that Mary was VERY well-acquainted with grief. We also know that Jesus saw that grief, acknowledged it, and made a way for it. During the crucifixion, the following scene takes place between Jesus, his mother, and the disciple John:
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,b here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:25-27, NIV)
Jesus looked at his mother, saw her pain, and made a way for what the loss meant for her, making sure she was cared for by someone he trusted and loved. He could not take away that pain from her, but he saw it, he knew it, and he provided for it.
Each of us is dear to our Heavenly Father, God sees our pain and grief through the losses associated with the role of Mother in our lives and He will make a way for each of us in the way only He can. It may not be an easy journey and His way doesn’t always involve taking our pain away or fixing immediately the source of it, but it does involve His grace, His provision, and His promise NEVER to leave us. We are not alone and we can count on being tenderly loved.
But, enough preaching. This is #ISeeYouMama month, and each week we have homework. So here is your homework for the week:
For yourself: Be gentle and kind to yourself this week. Whatever Mother’s Day looks like for you, give yourself grace to process it in whatever way you need to. If you are a believer in God and Jesus person, spend some time alone with your God, open your heart, and let Him minister to those wounds that He knows intimately. If you don’t believe like I do, lean into whatever belief system you have and draw strength from: pray, meditate, walk in nature, whatever heals your heart. And as always, I know my God listens, even if you and He are not super tight at the moment. You can always talk to Him no matter what. I promise. I know Him. And yes, that was another Elf reference.
For Others: Think about who in your life might need an extra hug this week. To some, you may want to say the words, “I see you and I know how hard this must be for you.” For others, you may just want to do something to lift their spirits this week- send a funny card, take them out for coffee, whatever. You know your people, trust your instincts.
And if Mother’s Day is great for you, you run after that joy like it’s your JOB. Enjoy the gift to it’s fullest, draw strength from it, let it soak into your soul and let the love ooze out of you in the weeks to come. When we are coming from a place of the strength, joy, and wholeness God intended for us, we can share that love more easily- just as He intended.
Love and hugs, let’s be kind to ourselves and each other.