I remember a woman telling me once how much she hated Mother’s Day. She wasn’t a mother, but wanted to be, and the day was a reminder of that fact. She dreaded going to church.
I wondered how many other women felt that way–women who were either single or childless and hadn’t planned on not being a mother. Was this day hard for them too? Did they hide the pain beneath the mask of everything is okay?
Then I saw the “motherless women”–the ones who lost mothers and had no one to visit or celebrate. Even when these women were the ones being celebrated, their happiness was overshadowed by this void in their life.
All of these women made me realize that there’s a group of people who struggle through Mother’s Day. They don’t want to celebrate, but would rather grieve their loss in solitude and quiet. Some of them do. The rest drag their heavy hearts to church and paste a smile on their face. It’s not that they don’t want to celebrate mothers, it’s that the word “mother” has so many emotional ties—of who we want to be, of where we came from, and ultimately what motherhood means to us.
Last year was my first Mother’s Day without my son. I didn’t think anyone would remember this, but I had several women say they were thinking of me. They hadn’t forgotten. That is the only thing I remember about Mother’s Day 2013. I wasn’t forgotten.
So as we buy cards and flowers and see mothers on Sunday, we need to remember the wounded ones, the hurting ones, the grieving ones. The world is filled with women on Mother’s Day who need to hear these words:
You are not forgotten. Your hurt is not overlooked.
Whether we are mothers or not, whether our mothers are living or not, whether our mothers are broken or whole, we all need Christ’s grace, his love to transform these mangled hearts and lives. He remembers us.
If only we could gather together all these broken hearts together and remind ourselves:
There is a sisterhood of broken women who struggle through the celebrations, but whose pain is remembered by the One who suffered and was broken himself.
We are broken but strong.
On this Mother’s Day, we are not forgotten.
(Thanks to Heather Bleeke Photography for the pictures and to know my son is not forgotten either.)