Mother’s Day will always be a little bittersweet for me. For years the day was filled with an empty aching. I was aching for the little ones who had gone home to heaven too soon, aching for my arms to be full, aching because I desperately wanted to be recognized but instead found myself alienated and left out.
Last year was the first Mother’s Day I experienced with arms full of a sweet little boy and a heart bursting with love for a little person who depends on me. But the day still held a familiar aching. This time I was aching for a mother on the other side of the world. A mother who has empty arms and an aching heart. A mother who doesn’t even know that we call the second Sunday of May “Mother’s Day.” She’s a mother who is selfless, beautiful, and worthy to be honored. But her arms are empty while mine are full… filled with the son she carried in her womb and labored to give life. Just typing that fills my eyes with tears. Oh we have a broken world.
There are so many women in our lives who are hurting and who dread Mother’s Day. We may not even recognize them but they are there. They’re the ones who dread church on Sunday morning and perhaps choose to stay home. They are dreading the sermon that will inevitably be geared toward mothers. They are dreading the moment when all the mothers are asked to stand while they remain seated. They are feeling like they are somehow less of a woman because they haven’t been awarded that badge of honor that comes with being called “Mama.”
The pain is real and searing. Let’s not forget these women in our excitement over cards, flowers, gifts, and breakfasts made by little hands. Let’s not forget that we live in a broken world and while we might be living our dream there are so many who feel like their dreams have been tossed in the dirt and stomped all over. Let’s be a little more sensitive to those around us on Sunday. Let’s open our hearts and our arms.
Do you have a loved one who is hurting this year? Consider sending her a little card to let her know that she is a beautiful and strong woman. Let her know you love her and are praying for her on a painful day. Maybe gift her with some flowers or a something small. Trust me, I know from experience, her pain and grief is much harder to bear every day than the hardest day of mothering (and I’ve known some hard days of motherhood). She is a warrior and a survivor. Love her. Honor her. Lift her up. Let her know she is not forgotten.
This is one of the best posts I’ve read about the hardness of being childless on Mother’s Day: An Open Letter to Pastor’s. It’s directed toward pastors, but I feel that everyone should read it and keep these things in mind. We can all do a lot better at loving those who are hurting.