I wanted to write about this yesterday, but I had a hard time wrapping my head around everything I was thinking and feeling.
Mother’s Day can be a bittersweet day for some. It can be a glorious day of celebration, but it can also be a day of grief. It is a day that holds so much weight because it is a day that reminds us of our stories. Some parts of our stories are radiant and we see them reflected in the dewy eyes of our sweet children, but some chapters are dark and painful.
Some of our stories have chapters like these:
Infertility haunts me and it’s been years.
The baby I never held, but always loved is gone.
I want another baby, but I’m terrified of going through Postpartum depression again.
The adoption I dreamed of just fell through.
My Mom is gone, and I’m lonely and broken in places no one can see.
My Mom doesn’t understand me and I don’t understand her.
I am still waiting and longing to be a Mother.
I Mother in so many ways, but because I don’t have children of my own people assume I am selfish.
I’m afraid to be a Mother because mine was so terrible—what if I end up just like her?
Some chapters bleed of our failures and our shortcomings and our humanness. There are parts of our stories that are so painful we want desperately just to rip those pages out. We want to re-write the script.
What if we turned the table on our grief? We can’t change the story, but we can break out the spy glass and look from a different angle.
I believe that God really meant what He said that in our weakness He really is strong. He is capable and kind enough to hold all our pain, all our anxiety and He sees us as His bright-eyed kids.
I think it’s time for us to unite under the canopy of grace and recognize that our stories are our own and God is writing them with intention and beauty. You may really never have any idea the weight or pain that the woman next to you is carrying. You may never know how many babies she has in Heaven waiting for her. You may never understand her reasons for choosing not to have children of her own. You may never know the tear stained places that she wept for a miracle—for grace and peace that passes all understanding. What we can do is LOVE. We can be kind. We can be tender in ways that everyone else expects us to be opinionated and rough.
We always joke as Mommies that it ‘takes a village’ to raise a child and it DOES. We need each other and we need to stop sizing one another up before we have a chance to deeply love and share our stories.
This time last year I was a sparkly eyed Mommy to two. I had one running circles around me and another tucked inside, but underneath the blush and floral skirt I was scared out of my mind. I was praying. I felt like a ticking time bomb, just waiting to explode with the pain and trauma of another premature baby.
Looking back, I wish that I could have told myself a few things. I knew that my parents would be there in a minute, I knew my husband would hold my hand, I knew my inner circle would be there sending cards and words to lift my broken spirit. I knew that there would be countless prayers pounding Heaven’s door from my family and friends.
What I had trouble remembering was His goodness.
When trauma floods into your life it’s like a stormy sea and no matter how seasoned a sailor or how avid a swimmer, you will get tossed by the waves. That is why I love the imagery that scripture gives us as HOPE being our anchor. We have an anchor. So the next time you find yourself in the middle of your sea of grief or pain or longing, let this truth sound through your storm like a fog horn.
He is still strong enough. He is still GOOD.
He is still on the throne and nothing can shake that.
So walk with kindness in your pockets and hand it out at every turn. Be gracious and tender because it can be unexpectedly beautiful and the world needs more of it.
Time will pass, the sea will calm. Eventually you will see that place where the edge of the water and the horizon meet and if you look closely—there He will be waiting. Walking on the water towards you with kind eyes, and in bravery you’ll walk forward with eyes fixed on Him, because He holds the ocean in place and He holds your heart as well.