Mother’s Day can be painful amidst the flowers and cards. Amidst the Mom messages everywhere on social media, there is hurt, sadness, grief, and loss. Many moms and daughters, sons, and dads have mixed emotions on Mother’s Day.
But you won’t see it on social media. Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram statuses rarely say, “Motherhood isn’t what I bargained for. I don’t think I can make it.” That doesn’t count the Mom and Wine or Weed rants that are a disgrace to the God-given privilege of motherhood and the honest realities of being a warrior-mom (Psalm 127) fighting for the hardest things in our children’s lives.
Mom pain is a universal experience for women of all races, socioeconomic statuses, faiths, or marriage statuses:
The woman who’s mom-dream hasn’t materialized.
The one whose child is against her.
The prayers that seem unanswered.
The loss of a child through death, addiction, estrangement.
The grief over moms who are missed.
And the sadness over moms who weren’t around.
God’s Word is the first place to learn about Mom Pain. The Bible is full of women who had pain in their motherhood experience, where we see them leaning on God alone.
Eve’s sons hated each other. One killed the other. Talk about heartache.
Sarah was barren for years and her husband had a son by another woman who she grew to despise.
Hannah had to give up her son to a pastor whose own sons lived an immoral lifestyle in name of religion.
Jochebed, mother of Moses, had to put her child in a river filled with crocodiles with the hope that he would survive if found.
These women faced the similar experience both you and I have—this isn’t how life is supposed to be.
If Hallmark doesn’t fit the bill for you this Mother’s Day, God’s Word does. It shares the lives of real women in hard places where there were no easy answers. If you or a woman you know faces Mom-pain this Mother’s Day, share these principles from biblical women who were hard-pressed to find joy in motherhood.
- An intimate relationship with the Lord gets you through the pain. Each woman in Scripture withstood their circumstances because they knew the Lord and His character when their circumstance seemed hopeless. God is never absent from our situation or that of our children. He sees beyond the trial and knows the ending. When there’s no hope in sight, we must look to and know the author of the Story.
- Despite your emotions, cling to the Lord and His character. Your emotions lie to you. They tell you that being a mom should be all good and that when tough times come, you’re a bad mom and life is hopeless. These are false truths. In the face of tough times, cling to God and His character. Clinging conjures up visions of grasping hold of or refusing to let go–because if you did, the results would be disastrous. You and I can cling to a sovereign God who sees the bigger picture. Your emotions can betray you, but God never will.
- Motherhood does not define happiness–your relationship with God does. How do you think Mary endured the whispers, misunderstandings and acts of judgment when she was an unwed mother? How do you think Moses’ mom felt when she birthed a baby who would die if he was found out? Motherhood was not an easy road for these women. Their joy was not from their experience, but was rooted in their relationship and identity with the Living God.
Be encouraged this Mother’s Day by cultivating your joy in the Lord, His Word, and not your experience. The moms of Scripture didn’t live a storybook life, but they lived a testimony written by the Author of life. You are a living testimony, too.
I’m excited to share a brand new resource this week on the podcast. I’ll be interviewing Blythe Daniels and her mom, Dr. Helen McIntosh on Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters.
I’ll be giving away a copy of Mended after the podcast airs. Watch your inbox next week for the episode and the details to enter!
Do you need to give your mom-pain to God today? Will you trust Him with the circumstances and the outcome? How can I pray for you?