This weekend comes every year and every year it evokes deep contemplation. It’s like my thoughts are being interrogated causing me to pause and take a deeper look into the places of my soul that have been quiet since this time last year. I don’t always want to sit down at the table with my feelings but when I do they offer a buffet of understanding, vulnerability, and grace.
Perhaps you find yourself marked with a multitude of feelings leading up to this weekend. A weekend that is intended to be filled with gratitude towards the woman that birthed you into this world and yet there is a nagging realization that you have yet to be on the receiving end of that glorious reward.
I love my mom. I love all the ways that I know she sacrificed in the ways she knew how to. There are many things I do today because I learned them from my mom, like always waiting to plant flowers until after Memorial Day and to “eyeball” seasonings and adding foods together when making meals and miraculously it typically seems to turn out!
I have an appreciation and admiration for mothers. They are oftentimes unsung heroes. They do the unseen things that often go unappreciated. They are truly remarkable and deserve to be honored.
For me along with the appreciation of motherhood also comes the desire that I can’t seem to ever avoid. In the past, I have tried to avoid the feelings that come creeping up, especially on weekends like this. I am conflicted as I don’t want to be selfish with having these feelings at a time when we are to be honoring mothers and yet they are there.
I remember a few years ago I was met with piercing grief over the fact that such an honor has not yet come. Ok, let’s be honest here I was a blubbering MESS! It was 12:30am and I couldn’t catch my breath the pain was so intense and the grief so unbearable. At that moment I knew I was desperate for help so I picked up my phone and texted my dear friends (who are more like family) not expecting them to be awake but God saw me in the night hours. The husband (aka “Big Brother”) responded to our family group text. Such a sense of relief came over me. There, huddled amidst a mountain of tissue curled in a ball on the floor Big Brother began to speak life into my aching weary soul. I will never forget the words that he shared and spoke over me that night. Those words calmed my aching heart. He was so gentle and kind and gave permission for the grief. Permission to feel what hasn’t happened yet. Permission to grieve the “what ifs.” He opened the door for me to see that you can have joy for others and at the same time have feelings of sadness. It’s ok to carry both the admiration and the longing.
Today I still carry both although the grief isn’t a dagger any longer. Sure I have sadness at times but I try to recall things in my life that I can be thankful for. I am thankful for this life that I have to live. It isn’t what I thought it would be at this stage in my life but I am thankful that there are still pages in my book to be fulfilled. I have Hope. It’s my focus on Hope (who is the person of Christ) that keeps me during the rough patches.
Whatever stage you are in today, in the waiting, in the longing, or in the desires fulfilled I give you permission to sit at the table of what you are feeling. Invite others that you trust to that table and you might be surprised what beautiful healing can happen. Know that ultimately hope in Christ will not disappoint.
So this weekend I choose to honor all of the lovely mothers. I also acknowledge that I may have moments of sadness and it’s ok if you do too. I know how hard it is to sometimes even show up to do the “mommy” things all weekend (due to loss, conceiving trials, or desires yet fulfilled) but please know that I see you. You are stronger than you know. You are braver than think.
Women, you are valued and have great worth. Never forget the beauty that you are just by being you.
Happy Mother’s Day!