Is Mother’s Day Hard for You?

Dr. Lucy Ann MollFor Those Seeking HopeLeave a Comment

mothers day

Mother’s Day is this weekend, and while celebratory for many, it can be a terribly lonely day for us whose moms have died or who connect it with another deep hurt. Written by BCC biblical counselor Lucy Ann Moll, this article first appeared here on her website and is used with permission. 

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Is Mother’s Day hard for you? It is for me. And for my three kids. 

It’s tough for me because my mom (top photo) was my best friend and she died in the middle of the night. Too soon. Only 62. Sudden heart attack.

I cried on and off for two years. Have you grieved deep too? Have you wet pillowcases with your tears and crumpled used tissues? 

It’s tough for my kids because they have never met their biological mothers: Belinda, Nari, and Oksana.

Two of the three have made a sort of peace with this primary loss, this absence. “Why did she give me up?” — their spoken words. Their deep, deep heart cry: “Wasn’t I good enough? Didn’t she love me?”

I rattled the right adoptive mom lingo, “She made an adoption plan for you because she wasn’t married, didn’t have family support, or the money to raise you, and she made the best choice she could.”

These well-meaning words to my children fall flat. They don’t answer their deepest question. And they don’t answer mine.

Why, God?

Why, God, did you choose to take Mom to her true home the year I needed her most?

He showed me the answer in the Bible, an answer I didn’t like but over time accepted. . .and now celebrate.

 The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21

Did your mom or grandma pass away this year? Or did your child die? Are you trying to get pregnant and each passing month your sadness deepens? Perhaps you have another reason for yuck on Mother’s Day.

You’d think a day of celebrating moms couldn’t hurt. For many, many of us it does. We have to find new ways to celebrate.

When my mom died 22 years ago, I selected a poem for her “In Memory of” card. I had little time to choose it, for no one expected her to pass on. . .yet. As tears wet my cheeks, I slow-motioned to my bookshelf to find Seasons of Your Heart by Macrina Wiederkehr. Years before, Wiederkehr’s way with verse had awakened my senses to seeing God in the ordinary: shopping malls and maple trees, teacups and Christmas lights, breadcrumbs and bare feet.

I needed her words now. I needed God now.

Life had become ugly. I ached for beauty and brightness.

Finding Comfort

As I read and reread the poetry, trying to find just the right verse, my broken heart started healing. Hope was returning. Oh. . .so. . .slowly.

Then I turned a page and found the one. Excited and content, fragile and sad, I carefully copied a part of the verse, perfect in its expression of my mom.

I looked for myself
in so many places
and then, in my weariness
I forgot about myself
and looked for You.
And behold,
I found myself there
waiting for me
in you.
I am beautiful at last.

We women won’t find true beauty at work or in the cocktail lounge. It’s not at the salon or the PTO.

True beauty, the kind that matters, is in Christ alone. He defines you. He says you are valuable and strong and beautiful, my sister in Christ.

A New Celebration

Ever since my mom died, I began a new celebration that soothes my soul. On Mother’s Day I plant bright and hard-to-kill flowers — no green thumb here! — tucking them by this maple and that birch, and in pots all around. It’s my living Mother’s Day card.

As their roots grow deep and their petals unfurl, I remember. I remember the flavor of my mom’s spaghetti, the way she walked tall, the scratch of a match to light her cigarette. I also remember God’s faithfulness to me on the blackest of days.

My prayer is my children discover their own celebrations for their birth moms. One has spoken of a tattoo:

Love is patient, love is kind. . .It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. 1 Corinthinans 13:4-8a

Another might look her up on the East Coast. The youngest says he doesn’t care. Doesn’t care about the woman who bore him? Deep inside, I know he does. His perspective will change one day. . .when his future wife goes into labor, and he becomes. . .a dad.

Now Instagram and guitars fill his mind.

And that’s okay.

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