Mother’s Day: thoughts on longing, flowers, springtime, and hope

This post was first shared as issue 18 of These Sacred Words

Last year on Mother’s Day, the sweetest woman in my small group brought an orchid plant to church as a gift to me. I was greeting at the door and she handed it to me, saying that on this day, even though I wasn’t yet a mom, she wanted me to know I was seen and loved. Tears sprang to my eyes as I accepted the gift, feeling humbled and grateful to be known and cared for in this way.

The orchid’s flowers eventually wilted and fell off a few months later, but it’s presence was a reminder to me that I am seen and loved. Just recently, the flowers blossomed again with the spring, a reminder to me that even when things look bleak or dead, there is hope.

Maybe today is a hard day for you.

Maybe today reminds you of a loss of a child, a loss that felt like your very heart being ripped from your chest.

Maybe today intensifies the longing you feel for a child and the grief that follows you because of this unfulfilled desire.

Maybe today reminds you of the broken relationship you have with your children and your desire for redemption.

Maybe today reminds you of the strained relationship you have with your own mother.

I don’t know your story and I don’t know the weight this day holds for you. But, I pray that my words in this newsletter can somehow feel like me handing you an orchid plant, looking into your eyes and telling you that today, this Mother’s Day, you are seen and loved. God is near to you in your pain, in your longing, in your loss, in your grief. In all of it, we can believe that God is good and there is hope.

a Mother’s Day Prayer:

God, you created women in your image. As the Giver of Life, you have bestowed that gift to us— to be life-givers, to be nurturers. We praise you, Lord, for the gift that each woman, each life-giver, each mother in every sense of the word, is to this body, to this world. You have purpose for each of them, you are using them in whatever role of mothering they are in to bring life and truth to the the people around them.

To the mothers of children who are in the home, may you find joy in these ordinary, but sacred days, knowing that God is using these moments to shape you and your children. In the midst of long days, sleepless nights, and short tempers, may you go continually to the well of the gospel to find rest, patience, compassion, and grace.

To the mothers of children who have left the home, may you continue to trust God with the lives of your children, acknowledging that He is worthy of keeping and guiding them. May you find yourself on your knees often, as you seek the Lord’s will for your child’s life, fully giving all worry or stress about your child to the Lord.

To the single mothers, in the missing presence of an earthly father, may you find that our heavenly Father and his church is able to meet and fill that role for your children. May you lean continually on the strong arm of God, allowing him to fill you where you are empty and sustain you when you are weak.

To the mothers who are only so in their hearts – holding onto an unmet desire, trusting in God’s sovereign timing and plan as they long for a child… may you know that God is near to you in your grief over this unfulfilled longing. May you know that God sees you, he knows you, and he grieves with you. He is not distant from you. He is near to you, and you are not alone.

To the mothers who have suffered loss, may you remember that God celebrates your motherhood, no matter how brief. He treasures every life, whether inside or outside the womb, whether long or short. In the deep pain of your loss, may you remember that our God is a god of life, of resurrection, and of hope. May you find the strength to bravely lament and cry out to God in your grief. He is near and he hears you.

To the spiritual mothers, those who have been life-givers of the faith, speaking truth and hope into the lives of others. May you see the value in this role, and may you not grow weary of the good work that the Lord has called you to (Gal. 6:9).

To all mothers: spiritual moms, foster moms, adoptive moms, biological moms, single moms, step moms, moms who are mourning, and those longing to be moms… may you remember that your current and future children are not your own, but they belong to God. He is a kind Father and everything he does is working for their (and your) good and for his glory. In whatever season the Lord has called you to, may you remember that the Lord is your helper, provider, and sustainer.

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