For the past 4 years, I’ve had a particularly difficult time on this day. And it’s completely understandable. In the fall of 2010. Over the years, I have learned how to handle the holidays pretty well; Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays… not a problem. Mother’s Day is a terribly different story.
Our last Mother’s Day together is one that I will NEVER forget! This was during a difficult season of my life where I watched my parents going in and out of the hospital due to the effects that years of addiction will have on one’s physical body. That morning, I was sitting in church and could not hear a word that was spoke. All I could hear was the pounding of my heart in my chest as I tried my best to compose the tearful mess that was sitting in that pew. I felt the spirit of the Lord so heavy as I sat there and felt Him telling me how much he loved my mom. When it was time for the invitation, I went down front and told my college pastor that I felt the Lord telling me that I needed to go talk to my mom. He prayed with me and as soon as the service was over, I drove my little blue VW bug out to my childhood home. When I arrived, I had a text from my best friend, now husband, telling me that he was proud of me. (<< Can we take a moment to Praise God for His faithfulness??)
I walked into the flower shop first because I was certain I’d find her there. But she wasn’t, just my grand mother was there. Maw and I sat and talked and cried briefly as I told her what I was feeling and she quickly sent me next door to my parent’s house. I clearly remember her tearfully kicking me out saying, “If God is telling you to do this then you better get over there and do it!” (Anyone feel like they’ve heard me say that before? I get it honest!) When I walked in the front door, I was such a mess that my mom just knew that I was coming to tell her someone had died. I sat down for a second and gathered myself and told her that all during church I felt God leading me to come tell her that He loves her. She began to cry with me and told me that she has never doubted how much God loved her. She felt offended at first and began to scold me that she hadn’t given up on her faith in God and that she had never felt closer to him. (This was just a couple of weeks before I left for Nepal.) She told me how she would never be able to let me travel around the world for the summer if she did not have full faith that God would protect me and bring me home. She told me about her prayer life and how God continued to comfort her that she would be ok. That we would all be ok.
That day we spent the afternoon driving around town running errands and just talking about life and things I needed for my summer. That day. I’ll never forget it. Later that same day I received a phone call from my dear friend Laura who called to let me know that she had shared with her church my financial need for my summer in Nepal and that individuals came to her after the service, all in all, giving every last penny I was lacking for my travel expenses.
For so long, I thought this was a story of God’s faithfulness through my obedience and I while I still feel that was a valuable lesson during that time in my faith journey but over the past few years I have come to realize that God’s message of how he loved my mom on that day was so much more for me than it was for her. I needed to be reminded that through all of the painful circumstances, HE still loved her. My mom knew God, loved him yet did not follow hard after Him for years and HE still loved her. She was human. She struggled with insecurity and depression and turned to temporary substances instead of God’s Holy power to try to overcome what ultimately overtook her body. HE still loved her. God never stopped loving my mom. That is the message of grace that I’m reminded each time I think of our last Mother’s Day together. There are consequences for our sin but God’s love is not one of them!!! My mom’s message to me is so comforting as she shared of her faith in Christ that day. My mom was fully aware that she had spent years screwing up and that it had taken over her body but we would all be ok because God still loved her and He would always take care of us.
Mother’s Day will always be painful. I have no doubt in that so please forgive me for not seeing me take my place in a corporate worship setting today; my place of worship today is my place on my couch as I prayerfully listen to God’s comforting voice speaking words to write as I process through His healing work in me. Know that my heart is full of love and gratitude for my mom and the lessons I learned from her during her time on this earth and even more so now that she’s gone.
Know that if you are having a painful Mother’s Day as well, I am praying for you!
- For those friends who, like my mother, have lost babies you were never able to hold – I am praying for you!
- For those friends who are so hungry to be a mother but are struggling to conceive – I am praying for you!
- For those friends who had the opportunity to hold their beautiful child but they are no longer with us – I am praying for you!!!
- For those friends who are step-moms and carry the weight of motherhood yet have never that connection as a mom to those children – I am praying for you!!
- For those who gave up your child for adoption because you felt you could not provide the proper life for that child, thank you for choosing life – I am praying for you!
- For those who are feeling the weight of your choice for abortion – You are loved! And I am praying for you!
- For those who are waiting for paperwork and government decisions to come through so your adopted child will finally be in your arms – Honey, I am praying for you!
- For those with strained relationships with your own Mother or Children – I am praying for you!
- For those that are single and in a season of waiting, aching to be a wife and a mother – I am praying for you!
I write all of this to say, cherish every moment with those you love and be thankful for the time you have. Be mindful and aware of those in pain around you and commit to pray for these women during this season each year! And if you fall into one of the above categories, you are not alone, you are highly honored and loved!