I always approach Mother’s Day a little differently than most. I was able to have children after three years of hormonal Hades and multiple miscarriages before I was diagnosed with Stage IV endometriosis. But, before that Mother’s Day was brutal and the only reason why I showed up to church was because I was on paid staff at the time and required to be there. I bet you’ve never had a pastor’s wife admit that, have ya?
I’m supposed to be studying right now for my message on Sunday and all I can think about is the Invisible Moms, the ones with empty arms and labeled as “barren.”
We all give birth to something and sometimes it has nothing to do with bringing a child into the world.
I’m thinking about the Invisible Mom who is raising children on her own because her husband left because of a selfish mid-life crisis. Now she has to do the job of two parents and it’s ridiculously hard on her because she doesn’t know how to ask for help, or how to receive help. Her needs are invisible and most days she would love a night on the town, but she’s so exhausted that she opts a long, uninterrupted nap instead.
In the past year many of my friends gave birth, others adopted, but we all labored big time over the changes that life keeps throwing at us. We all feel invisible sometimes, but this weekend the Invisible Moms will experience so many levels of heartbreak, and even deep depression, tied to Mother’s Day.
We have one day where it’s all about Moms, but someone next to you is finding it hard to breathe because she couldn’t bring life into the world. Will you please pay attention to her and do something to make her feel special?
I remember what it’s like wishing I could sleep through Mother’s Day. I remember what it felt like to know that I was a mother deep in my heart and yet I did not have the children to prove it. Bareness and dreams miscarried, a heavy heart with empty arms, I was doing my best to fake a smile but, I was clinically depressed.
The safest place within me to carry a baby was my war-zone. Doctor’s visits and test dates littered my calendar instead of play dates and first haircuts. I remember the ache when I saw flowers in every shade of pink and paper cards with sloppy handwriting in crayon. They were masterpieces in my mind and of more value than a five-dollar card. I longed for sloppy kisses and a baby on my hip.
Dear sister, I remember. I whisper prayers on your behalf and know that they will reach heaven for you. You are not forgotten, the love of God will cradle you during your loss.
Gone are the days where I dread this day set aside, yet my heart hurts for those with broken relationships making it hard to pick out cards because the mother/child relationship limps and is fractured.
My heart hurts for those with an empty seat around the family table from death that took their precious child away from them much too soon.
My heart hurts for the friend who just lost her mother and this is her first Mother’s Day without her best friend.
Even though I celebrate and rejoice for twelve years of being a mother, I cannot forget my sisters who ache deeply and would rather skip this weekend entirely. I’ve been there. My arms were empty, but the love of God was strong enough to carry me through that difficult time.
My strength and faith deepened during that time where my body was so frail. I’m grateful for the heartache I have felt because I love deeper and feel like each day, even the messy ones, are a gift.
You are not forgotten, I remember what it’s like when Mother’s Day hurts. I’m praying for you to be lifted out of the ashes of grief as God mends your broken heart. May joy be restored to you. You are so loved.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Ps 30:5)
Much love to you,
Will you join me as I try to honor all the invisible women and moms? Pick up a card and some flowers or a gift card to let her know you are thinking about her!
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This year I am linking up with my friend, Sarah Philpott, who has a heart to reach and #HonorAllMoms -click on the link and join this amazing ministry to reach those who are hurting!