Mother’s Day is just around the corner. For some women, this celebratory day is another reminder of deep sorrow, broken relationships, or dreams gone awry.
For the past few months I have been dreading Mothers Day. It used to be one of my favorite holidays, because I love having the opportunity to celebrate my mom and thank her for all that she sacrifices and gives of herself. But last year, and this coming weekend… well… it’s painful to have the reminder of what I want to celebrate but cannot.
So to my own heart, and to my friends who are walking through miscarriage, singleness, infertility, death of a child or mother, broken relationships, or any of the other myriad of losses that can bring more tears than laughter on Mother’s day… I present a plea to make the right choice this coming Sunday:
I can choose bitterness, despair, avoidance, anger, or hopelessness.
Or I can choose thankfulness.
I know there are times this seems impossible. But I also know this is possible thanks to my mom, who has given me a lifetime of examples of repeatedly choosing thankfulness, prayer and memorizing scripture.
Living in the middle of the rainforest jungle of Papua New Guinea, when ants and bugs invaded half of our food supply, or rebels kidnapped other missionaries living in our village, or major plans were delayed thanks to living in a 3rd world country… I never saw my mom give up and throw in the towel because circumstances got too hard. Instead, she would continue to overflow with prayer, scripture, laughter, and perseverance. (I’m pretty sure her secret is having a deep faith in God.)
Remember those ants that invaded our food? One of my favorite memories is racing my brothers to see who could finish our bowl of ant-flavored ramen first. (I’m pretty sure this was instigated by my big brother.) But I’m thankful that instead of stopping us, my mom encouraged us to enjoy the adventures of living in the jungle, and filled our house with laughter.
But on days where there is no laughter? I can still choose thankfulness. Or more realistically- I can choose to fight despair with thankfulness and scripture, like my mom taught me.
I will of course let sadness into my heart, and acknowledge these emotions that come with loss… But I will also recognize that despair, bitterness, and hopelessness try to creep into my heart along with sadness, and turn my thoughts to be angry at God for what I don’t have, instead of worshiping Him for who He is.
So this Sunday, I will choose to be thankful.
Because I am deeply grateful for my amazing mom who has given me such an incredible example of love, faith, and beauty. And I am so thankful for my superhero husband who prays fervently for our family and daily sacrifices to show me love and tenderness and protection. And I am thankful for the inexpressible gift of God loving me and adopting me as His daughter through Jesus.
In the midst of grief, may Mother’s Day this year have hope and thankfulness woven through it, because of the Hope we have in Jesus.
“Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.” Psalm 50:23
PS- If you want to know how Mother’s Day turned out this year, I actually experienced a mini-miracle and saw God’s Love in a very personal way: God Remembers Our Losses