I was a little surprised last Sunday when a friend from church told me she would be praying for me this Sunday and that she prays for me every year. For a moment, I was clueless as to why she would be praying for me “this” Sunday and a moment later it hit me that when she looks at me she sees a mother without a child. Believe me when I say – I very much appreciate her prayers and maybe it’s been her prayers all these years that has made Mother’s Day not only possible but enjoyable. Years ago, I made an important decision concerning Mother’s Day: I could live in the shadow of what was and remain a childless mother for all time or I could remember that I am still a daughter with a mother who deserves every moment of praise and admiration I can give her. I chose to live in the present and love my mom.
Someday, my mom will die and likely she will go before me. Again I will need to go through a grieving process and face another decision – to live in the past as a motherless child or to live in a present where I have the Lord’s assurance that we will be reunited someday in His Glorious Presence. But that’s in the future and I don’t need to worry about that now.
Over the years, it’s been my experience that people don’t know how I’m going to feel on Mother’s Day or Bryan’s birthday or the anniversary of his death, or any of the other holidays and therefore are at a loss of how to act around or support me. Some walk on eggshells. Some talk to me like I’m dying – asking if I’m okay like I’ve got a terminal disease. And some are oblivious to the overwhelming emptiness in the heart of a mother whose arms ache to hold her child one more time. Let me help you out here – I don’t know how I’m going to feel at any given moment – holiday or not. No one can really know how they’re going to feel from one moment to the next! Feelings are unpredictable and affected by so many things – lack of sleep, too much sleep, food eaten and not eaten, exercise or lack thereof, and then there are the relational aspects that come into play – how others interact with you can cause your emotions to go from one end of the spectrum to the other at light speed. I’ll make a deal with you – I’ll interact with you with love and grace on a moment by moment basis and you do the same with me. That’s the best we can ever do for each other.
For those who are newly grieving, let me first express my deepest sympathies. I’ve been praying for you this week and I’ll be praying for you tomorrow. When it feels like your grief is overwhelming you – remember that I am lifting your pain to our Father in heaven. I’m praying that he hold the broken pieces of your heart in his hands and keeps it beating while he makes it whole again. Don’t worry about how you are going to feel, just about how you’re feeling in the moment. I promise you that the moments of inconsolable grief will not last, but will fade into the next moment where God’s comfort is waiting for you.
Happy Mother’s Day!