How to Honor the Women in Your Life on This Sweet but Tricky Day

(Unsplash/ketan rajput)

Mother's Day is such a tricky holiday; it embraces the happy and alienates the broken.

Mother's Day celebrates the fulfilled and often ignores the lonely. We all know that moms deserve to be celebrated; they deserve to be honored enthusiastically and passionately. However, it is complicated because in the justified celebration of motherhood, women whose wombs betrayed them, marriage never found them and whose children forget them are left in the stormy wake.

I have experienced wonderful and satisfying Mother's Days in my lifetime; however, during other devastating years I have just longed for the day to end quickly. On those inexpressibly sad Sundays, I was secretly grateful that I would only have to endure this treasured celebration just once a year. During the years that I was battling infertility, I cried—sobbed actually—through every Mother's Day service. I wanted only to go home and put my head and heart under the covers until the night ushered in a new day.

Oh, how I have loved the years of homemade cards, juicy little kisses and sweet arms around my neck! There is nothing like Mother's Day when a woman is in the trenches of motherhood and when her daily reality consists of mountains of laundry, grilled cheese sandwiches and bedtime prayers. Those are certainly the sweetest years in a mother's life!

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If Mother's Day is a happy day for you, it is gloriously happy; if it is a sad day for you, it is heartbreakingly sad. Mother's Day is not a day that goes unnoticed in the heart of any woman but is poignantly filled with hopeless pain or with lovely purpose.

Would you pause this second weekend of May and think of the women in your life and how this precious yet complicated holiday impacts them? Would you, with me, determine that you will rejoice with those who rejoice, and you will weep with those who weep?

To those women who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you and rejoice in the gift of new life!

To those mothers who lost a child this year—we mourn with you, and our heart breaks at the very mention of your enormous pain.

To the moms who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains—we appreciate you! You can do this! We are cheering for you every long day and through every short night.

To those precious, brokenhearted women who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions or running away—we are praying for you and standing in faith with you. The end of your story has not been written yet—we pray that you will find the strength to fan the flame of hope in your heart.

To those devastated women who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears and disappointment—we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don't mean to make this harder than it is.

To those courageous and amazing women who are foster moms, mentor moms and spiritual moms—we need you! You are genuine, real-life heroes! God sees what you are doing and is delivering His own special brand of strength that will enable you to serve others when no one else will.

To those who have warm and close relationships with your teens and adult children—we applaud you! What a wonderful feat you have accomplished by the grace of God!

To those desolate and lonely mothers who have experienced disappointment, heartache and distance with your children, we stand on the front porch with you. Just like the father of the prodigal son, we stand beside you and believe with you that your child will come home again. Don't give up, brokenhearted mama! Don't ever give up!

And to those grieving women who lost their mothers this year—we grieve with you.

To those who experienced abuse or mistreatment at the hands of your own mother—we wipe your tears, hold your hands and believe for a better day.

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests and the overall testing of motherhood—we are better for having you in our midst.

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year—we grieve and rejoice with you!

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising—we anticipate with you and cheer you on the journey that you are about to take!

Women, this is Mother's Day, and whether you are a mom or not, we join with you in joyful anticipation of all that God is birthing in your lives.

My prayer is that whether or not you have ever given birth, whether or not you have ever held a child that belongs to you and whether or not anyone has ever called you "mom," that you would allow God to birth something new in you today. I pray that you would feel His presence and know His favor.

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