Sunday, May 8, 2016

Hopeful Mother's Day!!!

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into JOY. When a woman is giving birth, she has SORROW because her hour has come, BUT when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for JOY that a Human Being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your HEARTS will Rejoice, and NO ONE will take your joy from you.” (John 16:20-22)

While my husband and I were waiting those six long, sad years to have a child, I came to loathe Mother's Day. Even though I love my own mother, my best friend, very dearly, all the TV commercials and everything else to do with the holiday reminded me of everything I was missing. And then, going to church and not getting a carnation to pin on my dress made me cringe. Remaining in my seat while all the mothers around me were asked to stand for their appreciation made me tear up. Listening to a sermon geared more towards the sacrifice of motherhood than on the sacrifice of Christ—more than a little silly given that there is supposed to be "no distinction" within the saving grace of Christ (Romans 3:21-31)—left me with such a profound sense of emptiness, I didn't even want to go back the following week.

And I'm not alone. For many women with and without children,
and for many children grown and small, Mother's Day is a very difficult day.
  • Maybe your Mom is in heaven.
  • Maybe your baby is in heaven.
  • Maybe you never knew your Mom.
  • Maybe you wish you never did.
  • Maybe your child wants nothing to do with you.
  • Maybe your Mom won't answer her phone when you call.
  • Maybe your grown-up child is in prison for some very bad choices you thought you taught him never to make.
  • Maybe you don't know where your baby is, big or small.
  • Maybe you want to be a Mom so, so badly, but it's just not happening.
  • Maybe you got the news that it's never going to happened for you.
  • Maybe your adoption fell through at the last minute and you had to give back the most precious gift ever promised to you.
  • Maybe you can't afford to adopt at all.
  • Maybe you had an abortion before you understood what you were really doing—what you really did—to your baby and “regret” and “sorry” doesn't even begin to cover the shame you feel.
  • Maybe you're spending yet another Mother's Day in a hospital bed alone and nowhere near your baby, or maybe that's where your baby is, sick, fighting.

A lot of women have been in each of these situations. (ATTENTION PASTORS: he who has ears, let him hear! Please remember those who are hurting in a myriad of ways because of motherhood, including a lack of it, in your prayers and maybe even your sermon that day). So if Mother's Day is a day of sorrow and not of joy for you, take heart. You are not alone. Don't seek refuge in the world that celebrates its own flawed idea of the “perfect” mother-child relationship, or its own flawed definition of a "perfect woman," but look to the Word and Sacraments of God that make up for all the imperfections in our lives, in ourselves, and in our mother-child relationships or a lack of them, big and small.

As much as I disliked going to church on Mother's Day, I eventually came to thank God that Mother's Day fell on a Sunday.

That way, we can go to church together as women with and without children, as mothers, as women who don't want to be mothers, as mothers-in-waiting, mothers-in-mourning, mothers-in-despair, imperfect mothers, and/or as children of likewise-imperfect mothers and most importantly of God and hear about the Son who laid down His life for His friends: for us, for our children, for our mothers …for His mother. Focus on Christ and His free gift of salvation, and you will leave that Sanctuary hopeful if not joyful for the reunion that is to come on the Last Day when all things will finally be made right.

I don't know why, but this song always makes me think of Moms, especially NICU Moms.
Probably because I never read the Twilight series or watched the movies.
Well, here it is whether it makes you think of motherhood or sparkling vampires.