Mother's Day is approaching. For some, it's not as pleasant as a Hallmark card and brunch after church. Motherhood is filled with surprises, and not all of them are good.
As you prepare to celebrate Mother's Day, consider all the situations in which women find themselves. Be sensitive to the many circumstances that exist. Pray for those who are living through a variety of situations. Here are a few.
Loss. Many mothers (and fathers) have experienced the grief of losing a child. Mother's Day brings all the emotion of a child they once held but hold no longer. There is also the grief of miscarriage or stillbirth.
And for those who have lost their mothers, the second Sunday in May is a reminder of that void. Every year you shed tears for the mother that you miss dearly.
Exhaustion. Three hours of sleep because the toddler woke up in the night. Snot on the shoulder of her sweatshirt. A little person attempting to climb her leg. The kitchen is smeared with mac and cheese and covered in spilled milk. A precarious pile of dishes fills the sink. A mound of laundry hides the washing machine. She's exhausted, but always beautiful.
Disappointment. Infertility is a lonely road. People ask, "When are you gonna have kids?" She whispers to herself "If only you knew . . ." They try and try while a silent grief grows within.
There are also those who live with the ups and downs of the adoptions process. When adoption or foster parenting breaks down, the emotional toll is devastating.
Regret. "I wished the years away," she said. "I wish I would have done things differently." "I wasn't around enough." "I didn't discipline enough." "Where did I go wrong in raising him?"
Emptiness. As children grow up, they move out. Many mothers are experiencing the empty nest. Kids move to college, careers, and marriage. Mom isn't needed like she once was. The house is quiet. Yes, now there's a new freedom. But she misses the noise.
Emptiness is also a reality for many mothers who are distant from their children. Whether by tension, disagreement, or geography, there are mothers and children who are far apart.
Expectancy. For those pregnant with child, there is joy and excitement. There is also anxiety and uncertainty. What will it be like? Will he/she be healthy? What kind of world am I bringing this baby into?
God accomplishes a mighty load of love through the vocations of women who mother in a variety of ways. We pray for all mothers, and those who function as mothers in various roles.
Foster and adoptive moms.
Grandmothers and aunts.
Youth group leader moms.
Teachers who "mother" us.
A friend's mom who is like our own.
We thank God for the joy-filled relationships that we have with our mothers. We also acknowledge that these relationships are complicated. The challenges faced in parenting serve to magnify our need for grace. So for all mothers, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (II Cor. 13:14).