How to Survive Mother’s Day When You’re Hurting
Mother’s Day is this weekend and for many women, it’s a time of sadness, not rejoicing. Amanda shares how to face Mother’s Day for the woman who’s hurting.
For many women, Mother’s Day is more a day of remembrance and memorial than it is a day to celebrate.
On one pew this Sunday, a woman who is struggling with the emotional pain of infertility will hear a sermon reminding the congregation of God’s miraculous gift of opening the womb of barren Hannah to give her a son, and she’ll try to keep her tears from growing into a full-blown ugly-cry.
At the church around the corner, a woman who has just quietly miscarried her first child won’t know what to do when the minister asks all the mothers to stand, receive a rose, and be recognized this Mother’s Day.
Another young woman will just slip out the back of the sanctuary during the service because her tears are threatening to make a scene.
And there were years that I just stayed home from church because I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it through the service, overcome with emotions, feeling such loss on Mother’s Day.
Many women in our churches will be especially missing their own mothers whose presence and friendship is conspicuously absent on this day.
After years of carefully and cautiously navigating Mother’s Day Sundays, I have now experienced the joys of motherhood, as well as its sorrows. God opened my womb after several years of infertility, and He has made me a mother to two busy little children (they’re napping right now as I write to you!) and to two miscarried children who I will always love and miss very deeply.
I’m sharing these things with you in hopes of opening to you a window into my life so that I can have opportunity to speak to you who are grieving and hurting this Mother’s Day.
Filling the pews or chairs at your church service this Sunday morning, women up and down every aisle are grieving the children they have lost. They are grieving a barren womb. They are grieving the loss of their own mothers.
If you are one of these women, or if you want to be able to better understand and come alongside these women in your church for whom Mother’s Day hurts, let’s look together into Psalm 13. I am confident that there you will find truth, comfort, and hope during this season that highlights the difficult road that you are walking.
How to Survive Mother’s Day When You’re Hurting
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?”
In our grief, we sometimes feel like God has forgotten us. In our great sadness, our hearts are tricked into wondering, “Has God withheld His very best from me?”
I remember praying words like these to God: “Pass me not, O gentle Savior! Have You filled my heart with longings only to set me on a shelf and forget about me? The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me. (Isaiah 49:14)”
But God’s gentle answer is, “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands…” Isaiah 49:14-16
And here, in this moment, we are called to TRUST God. Are we going to believe our feelings and emotions, or are we going to believe God’s Word? Even though we feel forgotten, what does He tell us? Will we believe our hearts, or will be believe what He says?
While we look not at the things which are seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but we look with eyes of faith to Jesus. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:18; Hebrews 12:3)
“How long will You hide Your face from me?”
In our despair, we may glance around frantically for the warmth of our Savior’s smile, only to feel very distant and far from Him in our hour of need. At times when I have felt the most needy for God, often it was those very times that He felt the most distant.
Do not trust your deceitful heart (Jeremiah 17:9). Rather, as we see the Psalmist pray, we cry out, “Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD!” (Psalm 4:6)
Cling to Him in the cold, shadowy places, and trust the love that you know is there but that you struggle to feel. Believe His Word that He is near to the broken-hearted, binding up their wounds, and wait upon Him. You will bask in the warmth of His comfort again very soon.
And this is not the end! Psalm 13 is just getting started. Find more encouragement for your heart today on Amanda’s blog, where she continues digging deeper into Psalm 13.
Amanda Criss is a wife, stay-at-home mom, and blogger at Bless Your Heart and Home. She writes to encourage the hearts of women through the good news of Jesus Christ. She and her husband, Jody, have two children and live in their home state of Mississippi.
On Mother’s Day I grieve in a different way than you mentioned. I have two grown and married sons that have drifted from the faith and I may or may not hear from Sunday. I could spend Mother’s day alone but I will not. We had a pastor years ago say the reason so many people are unhappy on Mother’s day is because they are thinking of their own pain. Maybe if they served someone else in their circle of friends who was hurting on this day they would be not only serving Christ but being blessed themselves. Does my heart break on this day? Yes! Can I share a burden of another and so fulfill the law of Christ? Also yes, and I do not have to be alone with my pain!
Very good insight. Thanks for sharing this!
Thank you for the trust attributes and many tools you provide that help me stay focused on trusting the only One one who is trustworthy. Your book, website and weekly emails are daily blessings for me… Thank You.
God bless you and your beautiful family!
Thank you Arabah,
Such true words. It really is that we all have hurts. For me, my son is no longer of this world. And yet God gives us hope so we can trust Him. And I agree with Gail. The best way to get past things is to serve others…which keeps our eyes off of us and on God. Hugs to anyone that is hurting today.
I’m a 39 year old unmarried woman. I’ve always dreamt of a family with four kids and a dog. I’d even bought a stack of children’s Bibles and story books for my future kids when I was in college.
But life didn’t fall in place tbe way I thought it would.
And I’ve not been able to control my tears when mothers are asked to stand in church.
As I’ve gotten older, I just hope the leader of the service does not remember the ‘day’ to celebrate it.
Thankfully, recently some church leaders have become sensitive and do an all inclusive honouring of women.
Like one mother thanked Sunday school teachers for helping raise her kids…
I sincerely hope and pray there is more awareness and sensitivity.
Appreciate your write up!
Today is my first Mother’s Day without my husband. He is having an affair. My adult children aren’t talking to either of us. I am praying for God to wash peace over me today and to fill me with joy despite the situation. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.