Grief, Infertility

When You Find Yourself Avoiding Mother’s Day

When I was little, I dreamed of having a family of my own. I would get married in my early twenties, and we would have at least three kids by the time I turned 30. My husband and I would live close to my family, and my mom would have an active role in my kids’ lives.

Unfortunately, my reality turned out to be quite different. By the age of 30, my mom had died, and we couldn’t have kids. I had begun to wonder if we would ever have any children, let alone biological children. Though I never lost a baby, it felt as if my dream of having children died a little each month.

For several years following my mom’s death and during our struggles with infertility, I tried to avoid Mother’s Day. I would skip over the countless TV and Facebook advertisements, try to avoid conversation about it at work,  and even skip church in an effort to evade the painful holiday. It seemed as if Mother’s Day was a giant billboard reminding me of all that I had lost and all that I wanted to gain.

Every Mother’s Day that passed marked another year of waiting, another year of wondering if I would ever be a mom, another year of feeling invisible. I did everything I could to ignore this holiday in hope that I wouldn’t have to acknowledge my reality: I couldn’t have kids, and my mom wasn’t there to walk me through my pain.

During those years, I started a new tradition on Mother’s Day. Before we celebrated with my mother-in-law, I would take a walk by myself. As my feet slowly shuffled one foot in front of the other, I would talk to my mom and tell her about my struggles. I’d tell her how much I missed her and how I wanted to be a mom.

Sometime during the walk, I transitioned to talking to God. I would tell Him about my pain and my sadness. I spoke open and honestly about all that I felt I was missing and how hard the holiday was for me.

By the end of the walk, my load felt lighter, my pain was a little less, and I had just enough hope to get me through the rest of the day.

This Mother’s Day, I’m reminded of my previous painful Mother’s Days and wonder how many other women struggle with this holiday.

Do you find yourself dreading Mother’s Day? Have you and your husband been struggling with infertility? Have you and your family walked through pregnancy loss? Do you long to have kids but remain single?

If you can answer yes to any of those questions, then I want to walk alongside you and encourage you for a few minutes. One of my favorite passages of Scripture says the following:

“Yet I call this to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him… For no one is cast off by the LORD forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” Lamentations 3:21-24, 31-33.

This passage was my lifeline during my struggle with grief and infertility. In the depths of my sadness, I clung to the promise that my pain would not consume me because God’s love was greater. He was big enough for my pain and my longing. He not only saw me, but He willingly walked through my pain with me. His compassion would never fail, and He promised me new mercy and new hope every morning.

If you are struggling this Mother’s Day, I want to extend grace to you to celebrate it in a way that works for you. If it’s too painful to go to church, then stay home. If you can’t be around others, then make some time for you to be alone.

However you decide to spend Mother’s Day, I encourage you to make time to take your concerns, your fears, and your pain to God. Be honest with Him. I promise He will meet you in your brokenness and He will be your comfort today.

Encouragement for Those Longing to Be Mothers

God sees your grief and your longing.
He sees the ache in your soul when you think of Mother’s Day.
He sees how you look at other mothers and babies wondering if it will ever be your turn.
He sees you grieving your baby’s life that ended too soon.
He sees the tears you cry when no one else is looking.
He sees you trying to hide your pain from everyone around you.
He sees you praying every day for the spouse and children you long to have.
He sees you trying to be content with the life he’s given you.
He sees you when you feel invisible.

Take your pain-filled heart to Him today.
He is enough for all of you this Mother’s Day.

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