I know that soon, your alarm will go off, your eyes will slowly begin to open, and as you roll over to see the sun peeking through the curtains, you will remember. It’s Sunday. It’s Mother’s Day. It’s a day that many have been anticipating. Even planning. But you? This is the day that you have been dreading for weeks. Even months. And so, as you pull the covers over your head in denial, your chest begins to tighten. Your stomach starts to twist into knots. And the tears you often hold back will slowly begin to fall. It’s another year without a child to call your own. Another Mother’s Day without hearing the sounds of giggles from the kitchen as tiny hands prepare your burnt toast. Another year has gone by without hearing the pitter patters of little feet running down the hallway to bring you the hand-woven pot holder made in art class or the necklace crafted with love and macaroni noodles. It’s another Mother’s Day with empty arms and an aching heart.
And I know you hurt.
It hurts because most days walking through infertility isn’t this hard. Most days, it doesn’t weigh so heavily on your heart. Because for you, the grief of your struggle is like the rain. Usually, on most days, it is a light drizzle, which is annoying. Yet somehow causes you to hope for a brighter tomorrow. But then there are other days. Days like Mother’s Day in which you are surrounded by hundreds of moments. Moments that you can’t escape. Moments that remind you of what you are not. Or what you have lost. Or pray every day to gain. Yet somehow, in your mind, you can’t help but feel that you must be unworthy to receive. And therefore, the grief from all of these moments? They come gushing down on you like a monstrous thunderstorm as they remind you of the emptiness you feel…the brokenness in your body…the pain in your heart…
And I know it hurts.
Because it’s the moment you walked down the greeting card aisle and realized you wouldn’t be receiving a Mother’s Day card with tiny scribbles made to look like words written inside. Or when you passed the “World’s Greatest Mom” t-shirt and wondered if you would ever be that. Be the “World’s Greatest Mom.”
And I know you hurt.
It’s when the sweet cashier wished you a happy Mother’s Day. It was innocent. She didn’t know you were not a mother. She didn’t know you have struggled to obtain the honorable superhero title for far too long. She didn’t know this exchange would bring on a thunderstorm of grief, leaving you sitting in the parking lot, soaked in tears, being reminded of what you are not. But it did.
And I know it hurts.
And it’s the awkward moment when your pastor asks everyone who is a mother in the congregation to stand and be honored. To be recognized. And to be applauded. Oh, how your heart aches. Because you want to stand, you want to be honored. You want to proudly receive the beautiful carnation sitting by the door when you first walked in. But you can’t. Or maybe you can? But not everyone knows about the life lost in your womb just weeks into your pregnancy. And so you remain seated. But as you courageously look around to see nearly every woman of childbearing age standing and smiling, you feel alone. Even painstakingly different.
And I know you hurt.
Or it is when you are eating Sunday dinner at a local restaurant and trying to keep your eyes on your plate with your mind somewhere else. But the laughter from the family who has gathered together three tables over cause you to look up. And so, the moment you have been trying to avoid happens. And the tears you have been trying not to shed? They fall. And it’s because of the precious little boy sitting on his mother’s lap? The one everyone is admiring? He reminds you of the one you once carried inside your womb. The one you should be holding. But the one who never took their first breath.
And I know it hurts.
Everything hurts. Your heart. Your mind. Your body.
Mother’s Day is not always flowers, greeting cards, dinners, and jewelry. It’s not always filled with moments that bring laughter and joy. Or breakfast in bed. At least not for you. Or millions (yes, millions) like you. Because although you might feel alone, forgotten, and overlooked, especially on Mother’s Day, you are not. I see you. And I honor you.
I know this journey is tough. I know the moments of heartache and the disappointments each month. I know the waiting that seems to take forever. Or the days when you can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other. I know the prayers and hope you hold with white knuckles. I know the painful emotions you feel guilty for having and the standing ovation you deserve simply for not showing them. Or at least not in public. I know that someone should take you to dinner. Make your breakfast in bed. Or give you a greeting card. Because I know you need encouragement to keep walking this deep valley. But most of all, I know you are worthy to stand with the other mothers this Sunday. And you, sweet sister, are worthy to receive the beautiful flower with pride. Because I believe that whether you have a child in your arms, in heaven, or in waiting, you are a mom. And not just any mom, but the “World’s Greatest Mom.” Because I once read that the most fertile place in a woman is not in her womb but in her heart. Because it is in her heart that God births our dreams. In her tender heart, He plants her desires and gives her plans for her future. It is where true motherhood begins, where it lives, and where it grows.
So sweet, sister; I want you to do something different this year. I want you to peel back the covers this Mother’s Day and celebrate YOU. And celebrate the hope you manage to carry that it won’t always be this hard. And use your faith, whether big or small, to believe that life won’t always be this way. And I want you to rest knowing that what God starts, He will finish (Philippians 1:6). And what He promises, He will fulfill (Numbers 23:19). And what He has planted within the soft, fertile soil of your heart, He will grow (Psalm 37:4).
But until then? Until your child is no longer just living in your heart but also in your arms, and until you are waking up for 2 am feedings or picking up the toys in the hallway, you are in my heart and my prayers because I know that even with the hope you carry and the faith you have, this day…this journey…these painful moments…hurt.
My prayer for those in waiting…
Heavenly Father, I come to you on my knees and pray for every woman who desires to be called mommy. I pray that You give her strength to get through the tough days. Peace to get through the uncertainties. And hope to overflow so that her faith will never burn out. Father, I also pray over her womb. I pray that it is abundantly blessed according to the word you have spoken in Deuteronomy 28:11 and that life will always flourish inside according to Exodus 23:25-26. I pray for every hormone in her body to be balanced. Endometriosis to be gone. Cysts to be removed. Fallopian tubes are to be opened. Sperm to increase. Hearts from miscarriage and loss to be mended. And strained marriages to be strengthened. And Father? Please give her the courage and the boldness she needs to celebrate this Mother’s Day. And in the moments when all seems lost? Help her believe that what you have planted in her heart will one day grow and be placed in her arms. It’s in the precious name of Jesus, I pray.
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