When Mother's Day is Hard - A Special Saturday Edition
It's Mother's Day weekend here in the US. For many moms, this is a sweet time to be remembered, honored and celebrated for our role in our children's lives. Some of us may get to be pampered with lunches, appointments at the salon, or simply by hand-written notes from the ones who call us "Mom."
I remember a major faux pas my own mother shared of her first Mother's Day in 1970 when my dad didn't get her anything and was perplexed that she had anticipated at least a little something from him, only to receive his confused response, "But you aren't my mother." Oh Dad.... (He learned!)
For many mothers, though, this is a bittersweet holiday at the least and a heart-breaking one at the most. Some mothers have children whom they have given their all for only to be rejected and abandoned by these bits of their own hearts walking outside of their bodies. Some mothers receive their special phone call from a son or daughter in prison. Some moms won't hear from their child(ren) at all this weekend. Others are walking the tight rope of letting go of a child in their wandering while learning in a fresh, new way what it looks like to hold onto their Heavenly Father's hand in the dark, challenging balance of a hard season.
Being a mother isn't easy, is it? Even when our children are "rising up and calling us Blessed," there are challenges. From the moment our children are born, we are in the process of learning what it means to let go. Some of us learn how to do this by watching moms who do this well. Others of us learn how to do this from observing how others never let go of the illusion of control - and how it negatively impacted everyone involved. And we didn't want to be the mom who got it wrong.
Some of us, like me, are still learning what this means, how it looks in the lives of each of our individual children, and how to hold on tighter to the Father's hand, while entrusting Him to never let go of the hands and hearts of our beloved child(ren).
If this Mother's Day season has been bittersweet or down right awful, I pray that my words might encourage your spirit - even if only a little bit:
God sees. God Knows. God Cares. And God IS working!
He sees your broken heart. He sees your tears. He sees your child - wherever (s)he may be. And, just as you and I cannot escape His watchful eye or His presence in our lives, neither can our child(ren).
He knows how hard you've worked to be the mom you wanted your child to have. He knows the mistakes and how you struggle with guilt and regret over things you can't change. He knows the sacrifices you have made. He knows the hopes you now see dashed. He knows. He knew then, and He knows now. And He Cares.
He cares about the confusion you feel and the fear you feel and the anger you wish you could avoid as you learn to let go of control and learn to rest in His grace while He works in the heart of your child...and in your heart, too. He doesn't just care about you and your child(ren), He is presently - right now - caring for you; and that's a big difference!
He is working, sweet mother. He is working redemption, restoration, reconciliation, and reunion - maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe years from now. But, His timing is perfect; He can and will carry you through this as you grant Him permission to be your All-in-All.
My prayer for anyone who happens upon this post is that the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will well up inside of you in fresh and felt ways. I pray that your eyes would be opened to the truth that you are loved and accepted as the mother God chose for your child. I pray that God would draw you closer and closer to Him regardless of how far your child might wander from you. I pray that God would release you from the grip of shame that says you failed, you messed up or that you are a "less than" mom because of your child's choices. May the truth of the Gospel set your heart free to embrace the beauty around you, to enjoy the sweet things in life like friendship, fresh air, a good book, time with your spouse, a walk with your dog, etc and that you would be embraced by His grace for YOU.
Mother's Day isn't a day to reflect on our kids' behavior - it's a day to celebrate that God chose us, imperfect women, to be a part of the story He is writing in the lives of these imperfect people He dearly loves.
Be encouraged, moms. Your Heavenly Father delights in YOU!