Hope in Him: Grieving on Mother’s Day
Each day this week we’re featuring a post from women in different stages of life in regards to Mother’s Day. Our prayer is that you’ll be encouraged by how each woman is trusting God with where He has her.
Mother’s Day is a rich opportunity to celebrate moms and express our gratitude for this God-given role. However, in the midst of celebrating, Mother’s Day may also hold grief and sadness for some.
Last October, my husband and I experienced the joy of finding out we were pregnant, followed immediately by grief as we found out it was an ectopic pregnancy. The news caught us entirely off guard and we navigated (and are still navigating in some ways) a painful season of grief. God has used this loss to teach us about Himself and to minister grace to us tangibly, but it’s still hard, and facing Mother’s Day this year feels daunting. If our pregnancy had been healthy and viable, this Mother’s Day would have been different.
There are lots of questions rolling around my head as we enter into this week: How should I prepare for Mother’s Day? What will my emotions be like? Will Mother’s Day ever feel like a celebration? Can I emotionally navigate a Sunday morning service, or should we plan on live streaming from home that morning? Will next year be different? Will the Lord answer our prayers like we’re hoping He will? How do I celebrate well and grieve well? What do I need to remind myself of in this week, and especially on Sunday?
May I offer a few words of encouragement? If you’re navigating grief from a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy or a myriad of other circumstances, my encouragement to you (and to myself!) is to hope in Him. I know—it rolls off the tongue and it can feel like a cliche, but there is power in it, friend. When we trust in Him we are anchoring our souls to true hope.
As my husband & I continue to ask the Lord to add to our family, I find that it’s easy to put my hope in having a baby, in a future pregnancy that will be healthy and “normal,” and in the joys of motherhood. While all of these things are good, I’m learning again and again that none of them can bear the full weight of my hope. All of those things can (and likely will, in some way) disappoint me. There is no guarantee that we will have children, or that we’ll ever experience a healthy, “normal” pregnancy. Motherhood holds many joys, but it also holds a lot of heartaches. If I only hope in these things, I am bound to be disappointed. However, if I learn to hope in Jesus, I will never be disappointed. If I hope in the promises He has guaranteed, I will not be let down.
Consider one of those guaranteed promises with me, in Isaiah 65. Near the middle of the chapter, we hear about what the new heavens and new earth will be like when Christ returns, and man is it good! The former things will be remembered no more (v.17), no more weeping or cries of distress (v. 19), and then there’s verse 20: “No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days.”
This is a promise to anchor your soul to! The pain of grief and loss are not forever and will be no more when Jesus returns! The brokenness sin creates will no be experienced in miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies or fatal physical defects! If I hope in Jesus’ return more than a baby or a pregnancy or motherhood, I will never be disappointed.
This week may hold grief for you, friend, but it does not have to hold despair. Though it’s not easy, it is possible, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us, to turn our broken hearts toward hoping in Christ.
What if you’ve never walked through a season of loss as it pertains to pregnancy and motherhood? May I also offer some food for thought to you, as you care well for those who have?
- Don’t make assumptions. Do you know a couple that doesn’t have children? Or a couple that has one child and you’re curious about when they’ll have another? Please don’t ask them, “So when are you guys going to have kids?” or, “Isn’t it about time for another one?” this Mother’s Day. There is nothing more painful than that question for people that are navigating silent grief as they wait on the Lord.
- Give grace. Do you have a friend you know has experienced loss? Be gentle. Recognize that this holiday may be difficult and pray about something you can do to acknowledge their grief and consider sending a card, text or flowers. Those types of things may be more helpful than a face-to-face interaction or conversation.
- Pray. Pray for families you know who have lost a child—ask the Lord to meet them in tangible ways, especially on Mother’s Day, and ask Him to help them hope in Christ, even as they continue to ask for good gifts from their Father.
God has been gracious and showed Himself to be so kind in this season of life, and I am confident that He will continue to be so and do so on Mother’s Day. So let’s celebrate moms and children and families well, even as we allow space to grieve and hope in Christ, all to the glory of God.