Everywhere I turn this Mother’s Day, I feel surrounded by the reality that there is so much pain tangled up with all the pretty.
So many people grieving the loss of their own mothers, through death or estrangement or the disappointment of unfulfilled expectations.
So many people mourning over lost children – whether it be the children they always dreamed of having, or the children they yielded to adoption, or the children that are with Jesus, or the wayward ones who can’t wander a way out of their mother’s heart.
Wounded daughters, broken mothers…grieving women.
What if the sadness of what you’ve lost overshadows the celebration this weekend?
Is it okay to hide a broken heart under a pretty dress, to trace lipstick on a trembling smile, to write the cards when there are no words, and still live authentic?
I hope so. It’s what I’ll be doing this year.
This Mother’s Day is a potpourri of joy and loss for me. We will be attending a big family dinner after church, and it will be good to spend the time with loved ones. It’s a massive group of diverse personalities, and we are connected by blood, by marriage, and most of all, by Jesus.
But there are people missing from the table.
People I deeply love, family members who aren’t gathered in this noisy celebration crowd. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by all the blessings in my life, and sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the loss. It’s a mixed bag, and I find myself nose to nose with the disparate realities this weekend. If you’re feeling this tension between joy and pain, this tug-of-war in your heart…you are not alone.
Take it to Jesus. It’s where I’m taking all my stuff, because I am just too tired to put it into words. I’m sick of feeling it, sick of ignoring it, just plain sick and tired of it. Only He can handle it all – the tears, the laughter, the pain too deep for words, the awe of blessings not deserved, the stark disappointment of withered hope.
We have a refuge, a strong shelter who will hold hope for us when we’ve lost all of ours. A place to go when the grief washes over, tsunami strong. Tender words, whispered to your soul, when the silence of broken relationships is deafening. When grief crushes your heart, and you can’t find a way to breathe in the pain, turn to Jesus. He has been carrying this pain for two thousand years. Your pain. Mine.
So when Sunday dawns, wake up with this truth settled deep in your heart: you are known and you are not alone with your grief. Some day…because of a Sunday morning two millennia past…all our tears will be wiped away.
Life is roses and thorns. Tears and laughter. It’s okay to appreciate the beauty and feel the pain.
Grace and peace and roses (with Kleenex),