When Mother’s Day Is Painful

It’s Mother’s Day, and I’m skipping church.

Most Mother’s Days I would be there, sitting next to my mom, and afterward I would either take her out to eat or (more likely) have her and Dad over to my house for lunch. This year, however, she’s out of town, so we celebrated last week instead.

I’m incredibly thankful for my mom, who has been and continues to be a wonderful example of biblical motherhood to me. I’m also thankful for the myriad of friends and family who have “mothered” me over the years and who are not afraid to show me all aspects of motherhood–the good, the bad and the ugly. There are many women who I am thanking God for today on this special day to honor moms.

And while I celebrate, I also find myself grieving a bit today. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a wife and mother, and another year has come and gone and I am neither. I don’t feel like I dwell on those unfulfilled longings too often; I do a pretty good job of keeping my life occupied with work and hobbies and friends and am not often lapsing into a pity party over my singleness. But some days, like today, are just hard.

As I get older, the prospect of becoming a mother dwindles rapidly and I find Mother’s Day to a little more painful to endure. I suppose I should put on my big girl panties and suck it up and go to church, plaster a happy grin on my face and act like I’m not affected when all of the mothers in the congregation are asked to stand and be honored. But today I’m just not feeling like putting on an act.

So I’m staying home instead. I snuggled in bed with my fur baby for a little while this morning. She’s 16 years old, and although still in relatively good health considering her age, I am keenly aware that this may be my last Mother’s Day with her.

I also spent some time this morning in prayer, thanking God for my mom and for all the other wonderful moms He has placed in my life and the many ways they have influenced me. I also prayed for so many for whom today is a struggle.

• For those who have had their desires for marriage and family go unfulfilled

• For those whose mothers are no longer living

• For those who have lost children

• For those whose children are suffering with diseases, developmental delays or other health crises

• For those who have suffered miscarriages or been unable to conceive

• For those who have strained or non-existent relationships with their mothers or their children

• For those who have had abortions

• For those who have given up children for adoption, and for children who have no relationship or knowledge of their birth mothers

• For those single moms who feel alone in their struggle to raise their children (by the way, single parents are HEROES in my book)

• For those who just feel like failures as mothers for any number of reasons

I am sure that there are many hurting people sitting in church today who are putting on a brave front and enduring well-meaning but nevertheless painful words about motherhood. And there are probably some who are choosing to spend the day doing something else to keep their minds from focusing too much on Mother’s Day. However you choose to spend today, whether in celebration or grief or a mixture of both, my prayers are with you. You are not alone.

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