I remember those childless Mother's Days. The ache. The deep desire to be celebrated as a mommy. To be hugged by my child. To be given a messy, adorable, handmade card. It was a day when the second and third bedrooms in our house felt that much emptier.
On those first Sundays in May, I wanted to be able to go to church and worship like any other Sunday. But these weren't just any other Sunday. They were special days to celebrate moms, and I felt excluded. It was no one's fault, but feeling left out is part of the disease of infertility. I wanted to be brave and strong so that I wouldn't cry in the middle of church, but I usually ended up in the bathroom sobbing. I am pretty sure I stopped going to church on Mother's Day. I remember feeling guilty for being so absorbed in my own grief that I didn't feel like celebrating the moms in my life.
I remember--and I don't ever want to forget. Somewhere along our journey to parenthood, I asked God to help me to never forget what it was like to desperately want a baby and not be able to get pregnant. My desire back then is the same as today: I want to be able to empathize with and encourage women who struggle to conceive.
And so, if I had the privilege to speak to all of the women out there with breaking hearts on Mother's Day, I would say:
You are not alone. You are seen. I am remembering YOU this Mother's Day. Celebrating your courage. Your strength. Your tenacity. Your tender heart.
Hold on TIGHTLY to Jesus. Crawl into His lap and let Him hold and comfort you.
"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for your are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4
He loves you so much. He is your heavenly FATHER. He sees every, single tear. He has not forgotten you. He is with you ALWAYS even when He feels absent.
My heart echoes Paul's words:
"I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love,"
If you are facing tough decisions on where to go from here, remember that the Holy Spirit is INSIDE you. Jesus left this beautiful gift for us before He ascended back into heaven, and He promises it to everyone who accepts Him as their Savior. The Holy Spirit is your comforter and your GUIDE. As you seek God for direction in prayer and through the Scriptures, take comfort in the fact that the Holy Spirit is guiding your heart and your steps.
"When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth." John 16:13
Praise Jesus that He did not leave us down here to figure all of this out on our own!
One more thing: in your sadness, don't forget to look at the man who is standing beside you: your husband. Try not to push him away in your pain. He loves you and desperately wishes that he could give you what you want. Lean on each other. Celebrate your relationship and where God has brought you so far.
I know it's hard. Somedays, it feels impossible to take another step. Keep trusting.
Today I will remember what is was like to walk in your shoes. I will lift you up to Jesus in prayer.
"The Lord is good to all. He has compassion on all He has made." Psalm 145:9