The Burden and Blessing of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day. The day we celebrate moms.

There is just something about mothers. Whether we are a mother or not, we all have a mother. And even though we all begin with a mom and a dad, the connection between moms and their kids is unlike any other. It could probably be argued that twins (or other at-birth multiples) would be a close second. The feelings we all have about our moms, whether good ones or bad ones, typically carry strong emotions. When a life begins within a woman, the bond that forms between mother and child extends beyond the umbilical cord attachment. And that attachment is something that forever affects us all …

Years ago a survey was done which indicated that thousands of people around the world voted the word “mother” the most beautiful word in the English language. But as the special day approaches, and many will have beautiful words and thoughts about their moms, there will also be very real emotions (even angst) attached to this day. The feelings that may accompany our thoughts about a “mother” vary due to all of our different experiences. There are certainly plenty of people whose memories of their moms are not beautiful ones due to abuse or neglect.
Others, though, have beautiful yet sorrowful thoughts about their moms. Some family members of mine are watching their mom rapidly sink into another world. A world where there’s little memory of what used to be. They will visit her, but because Alzheimer’s has taken over her mind she won’t really be there.
And then there are the friends who said difficult goodbyes to their sweet mamas, and will experience the excruciating reality of the first Mother’s Day without them.

As Sunday draws near, there will be women across my community whose hearts ache. For some, the loss is almost too burdensome to bear. Miscarriage after miscarriage has taken its toll on their marriage, as well as their own emotional well-being. Some mommies have children who have gone to see Jesus way before they thought they would. Thinking how much they would give to hold their child in their arms, these women can’t even begin to imagine that across the city, a young single woman cries herself to sleep because the test proved positive and she’s nowhere near ready to be a mom. Still others will grieve over choosing abortion, wishing someone would have reached out to them with hope that it would all be OK.

On this upcoming day designated to celebrate and recognize mothers, many who would typically attend churches across our nation will choose instead to stay home. For some, finding the strength to face a difficult reality is just too much for them. Friends have shared with me that sitting in church listening to a message about mothers, or trying to smile at all the parents standing on the stage dedicating their precious little ones, brings on a suffocating feeling. As much as they desire to rise above the pain, it’s too great.

As I rehearsed these many scenarios, I realized how shallow I often am as a pastor’s wife. I admit I’ve sometimes resented that Mother’s Day was on a Sunday. Honestly, it’s the worst day of the week for my family to try and make it special for me. My sweet hubby has done his best through the years, but I can’t say that it’s my favorite. But I have not yet had to face truly difficult emotions surrounding Mother’s Day. Although I will not celebrate my mom face to face, most likely I’ll speak with her on the phone. My kids and hubby will all acknowledge me in some way. I also have great joy as I think about my precious daughter who has the wonderful blessing of sitting in church as a new mommy this year, Personally, I have much to celebrate.

Yes, it’s about to be Mother’s Day. The day we celebrate our moms. Also the day some will mourn great losses. As women, I pray we will all find ways to reach out to someone this Sunday. As Christian women, I pray we will all find ways to share Hope with someone who may need it.

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