Like many, yesterday was a great day. My husband and daughters treated me like a queen. The entire weekend was full of acts of kindness, special treats and notes from the heart. I loved every minute of it, just as I love being mom. So, why the mixed emotions?
I am a firm believer God uses circumstances, the hardships and joys of life, to grow us, but more importantly to tender our hearts. I have said it before and will say it again, our greatest ministries come from our brokenness. While I have much to celebrate as a mother, there was a time that was not so. Six long years yearning for a child. Years of doctors appointments, loss, pain, disappointment, envy, anger, marital tension, loss of friendships… Six Mother’s Day celebrations that weren’t easy, each one bringing with it wonder if it would be different the following year.
My husband lost his mother all too soon. A loving, gracious, giving woman. A woman I had only four short years to know. A woman who would have loved her grand-daughters with abandon. A woman of quiet strength who was a great source of encouragement. We too often long for her to still be present, thinking of how different life would be were she still here.
I still have my mother. For that I am blessed. But it is a tenuous relationship, one healing after years of untreated depression leading to a reversal of roles, words spoken in anger that can’t be erased, financial strain providing home and help with spending gone out of control during moments of manic. She loves with passion. She perseveres. I have learned to release, to know my limits and to see God’s infinite care and provision.
Motherhood should be honored. I am thankful our nation still honors those who create, who serve as the glue in our homes, our churches, our neighborhoods, cities and nation. I am thankful we still see the significance of mothering. I am reminded though, that while some celebrate, some are struggling. Their chance to mother has not yet come forth. Others know they will never mother. Many seek to heal relationships with mothers, with children. Others, revisit loss and the pain of a mother no longer present.
In the midst of my personal celebration I thanked God for the hardships. I am grateful for the twinges of pain that remind me to think of others, to bend knee in their honor, standing in the gap for them asking God’s mercies be unleashed. I am reminded every day is similar. Each day holds victories and celebrations for some, while loss and pain exists for others. I celebrated Mother’s Day with mixed emotions. I’d rather celebrate that way than oblivious to all that is around me. I’d rather remember the sorrow, the pain, than simply celebrate the gifts, the victories. I’d rather hope for the future than live only for the moment.