Mother’s Day was yesterday. It is a holiday I’ve learned to make peace with.
My mother passed when I was 29, a prolonged battle with lung cancer, and my dreams of being a mom have been left unfulfilled.
The day, and the emotions it evokes, caused me to question my value – a small bruise in the center of my soul.
But over the years, I learned to honor the memory of my mother, bandage my bruise, and move forward.
At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself…
Early last week I received an unsolicited email from a woman attempting to promote a recent book release. Unlike most advertisements, the email was personally addressed to me. It was camouflaged as a prayer asking God to protect my children and to give me the strength and wisdom to be a good mother. The message included photographs of the author and her children.
As I read the prayer, I was reminded of all those women that couldn’t have babies or those who have recently lost a child. And my usual easy-going, understanding nature shifted – well actually, I experienced a little righteous indignation.
Unlike sites I subscribe to, this email came into my home, unsolicited. I assume it went into the homes of other women unsolicited and unfortunately, the content did not consider the emotional or mental state of the receiver.
So, after talking with my husband and praying for a calmer more Christ-like approach, I responded to the sender. I gently painted a picture of how the writer’s words might affect women whose experiences don’t include a healthy baby. I suggested that in the future she consider shifting the tone of her text to fit mothers, mothers-to-be, want-to-be moms, and mother’s that mourn. I hit “Send” on the computer screen and sat motionless in my chair.
You have to understand how out of character this response is for me. I am a “Peacemaker” on the Enneagram scale and believe me I go to extreme lengths to keep my world as steady and peaceful as possible. I’m not a person that confronts others, especially total strangers that send uninvited emails. But I was moved by the potential impact this email intrusion could have on women actively grieving. I’ve walked alongside these women and the wounds can be deep and painful.
But while I was defending those who could be hurt by the writer’s insensitivity, something happened inside me. As I stood for them, I uncovered my hidden wound. It appeared as a nagging reminder that as a woman, I was not enough. Not enough to rescue my mother from her cancer and not enough to have a baby. And, just as quickly as I stood a little taller for the voiceless, I shrunk under the weight of my failings.
Until, I heard a nearly unperceivable whisper, a confirming nudge, from the Holy Spirit saying, “Good job daughter.” Between the time I pressed send and fell prey to Satan’s attack, God provided clarity, and immediately the nagging voice of conviction stopped. I straightened my stance, lifted my head, and courage replaced Satan’s accusations.
This Mother’s Day allowed me to see that bandaging bruises and moving on doesn’t allow for healing. Complete healing comes when the wound is exposed to the restorative hands of the Father. What Satan attempted to use to cause me to stumble, falling into a pool of self-pity and shame, God used to strengthen and change me.
Today, I want to thank the author for sending her email. It awakened me to a blind spot in my life and gave God a chance to work.
And ladies, He can do the same for you.
There is healing for the emotional pain of infertility or the loss of a child. There is restoration for the heartache of broken dreams, failed relationships, or unmet longings. There is hope for the unrelenting tape that attempts to convince you – you are not enough.
In His wisdom and with enduring love, He provides freedom from the bondage of our failings and gives us the courage to stand. He uses whatever is holding us hostage for His redemptive work – transforming us day-by-day into His image.
This Mother’s Day was different, and to be honest, I think every day that follows has been changed.
Be Blessed, His BeLOVED,
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth, you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. - Psalm 71:20-21 (New Living Translation)