When It’s Hard To Celebrate.

There’s nothing remarkable about it, and I certainly wouldn’t notice it among other bracelets if I were jewelry shopping. But I can’t remember her ever not wearing it. I slipped it on this morning as I got ready for church, the same way I do on those days I need to feel her close.

If I’m honest, Mother’s Day is a weird day for me. Its supposed to be about celebrating moms. I have four kids. But I don’t like a fuss being made about me, my Mom has been gone for seven years (the exact number of years I have avoided the card aisle at Target), and I have too many family members and friends who are hurting today. And every time I looked at my mom’s bracelet today, my heart broke a little more. I don’t have her, and they don’t have their babies. For me, Mother’s Day has become a proverbial elevator encounter with a stranger. It is so painfully awkward, and I just want to get off.

But getting off won’t fix things. It won’t give me back my mom, and it won’t give them their babies. It’s not fair.

I don’t have all the answers. All I know is that God is grieving, too. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. The reason it’s so hard to experience death and pain is because we were not created to ever experience it.

We live in a broken world. Sin has stolen, killed, and destroyed so much. The pain we experience is God’s beckoning to trust Him and show us that His salvation is better than our losses and griefs.

I’ve shared this quote before, but it is so profound that I need to share it again. “God permits what He hates to accomplish what He loves.” Dear one… God is with you in your loss, your pain, your grief. He knows full well what you feel, because He felt it when He watched His Son beaten and hung on a cross for something He didn’t do. He allows these things so that ultimately we might seek and find Him.

If you’re one of the ones hurting today… I see you. I see your brave face as you sit in the church seats while all of those babies are being dedicated. I see you breath in deeply and hold your head up to smile for a picture with your sister who has children. I see the wind get knocked out of you when you find out yet another friend, who wasn’t even trying, announces she is pregnant.  I see your eyes glisten when you watch a friend and her 65 year old mom grabbing lunch and pedicures… and it has been months, or maybe years, since you’ve heard your mother’s voice. I see you reach for your tissues when you see a young man who looks just like your son did before he unexpectedly passed away. I see you. I’ve prayed for you multiple times today. Through tears I have asked that the Lord meet you wherever you are. Whether you’ve buried your baby, or buried your Mama. There is nothing quite like the pain of aching arms longing to hold a child or to be held by a mother.

God is with you. It may not feel like it. But He is. I pray that you would feel His presence and know His peace. That in your pain, and possibly anger… you would learn to lean into Him. Knowing He will not waste your pain.

One day there will be no more pain and no more tears. And everything will be made perfect and whole. In your grief, let your pain compel you to long for Heaven for which you were made. Where the broken will become unbroken, and your aching arms will ache no more.

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