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When Mother’s Day Hurts

When Mother’s Day Hurts

To the Grieving Mom on Mother’s Day

Christian Life

Stephanie Delger

Podcast Host

Mom Guilt Podcast

Published On:

May 10, 2024

“Happy Mother’s Day,” the greeter at the church spoke with a smile as I entered into church. That simple greeting, spoken in kindness, brought me to tears. He had no idea I had just lost my unborn child 3 weeks prior. This was my first Mother’s Day as a mom, and I had no baby bump, no stroller, and no child in my arms.

Mother’s Day is a day of celebration. We celebrate and thank the women in our lives who have poured out love, shared their wisdom, and taught us about the Lord. But this day can also come with a lot of other emotions. Maybe you have lost your own mother, and this day causes a gut-wrenching sorrow at the thought of celebrating without her. Maybe you have lost a child and are grieving a life that ended too soon. Perhaps you long to have a baby, and right now, God has said no. Possibly, you long to celebrate Mother’s Day with your own mom but are unable to because of distance, either physically or emotionally.

In our grief, I want to draw our eyes towards the Lord. This is not to minimize our pain. Rather, it is because dwelling on God and His promises is like applying a healing salve to a battered and broken heart. Alasdair Groves said it well when he wrote, “Grief hurts so deeply because we are so aware of just how good a gift God has given to us. The anguish we feel when we lose things we love implicitly declares God’s goodness in having given them.” [1]

God cares about us

Sometimes, being surrounded by people can make us feel the most lonely. On Mother’s Day, we look around at all the other moms and see them smiling. They are joyful, content, and surrounded by their husbands and children.

We may be tempted to ask, “Does God not see my sorrow? Does He not see my pain? Does God even care about me, or has He completely forgotten me?”

God sees you, God loves you, and He cares for you. Jesus, talking to his disciples, tells them in Matthew 10:29-31, “ Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

If God knows the number of hairs on your head, we know that He also sees our pain and suffering. God has not turned away from you or left you. We don’t have to suffer alone or in silence. God knows our struggles and pain on Mother’s Day.

Rather than trying to hide our thoughts and feelings from Him, God desires that we talk to Him. The Psalms are filled with laments. God included them in scripture so that we would read them, identify with them, and join in with the author, praying them back to God. In Psalm 13, the author cries out to the Lord, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? … Consider and answer me, O Lord my God, light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.”

We are intended to cry out in our pain and sorrow these same words. The author goes on to say, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”

In our sorrow, we can/should, cry out to God. We should pour out all our pain, sorrow, and questions. But through all of this, we need to remember what is also true. God is good. God cares. He loves us so much that He sent his one and only son to die on our behalf so that we can spend eternity with Him. (John 3:16) We must trust in His steadfast love and rejoice in the salvation He has given us.

God will give us strength

There are days in our pain and sorrow when we don’t want to get out of bed. We can’t imagine living another day under the weight of our grief. I remember talking to a friend only days after having my miscarriage, asking her, “How do I go on? How do I wake up day after day when it hurts this badly?” She gave a sad smile and said, “It’s because you are thinking about living tomorrow with the strength that God has given you for today.”

My friend had experienced her own miscarriages, and she was offering me a precious truth that she had learned through her own suffering. God will give us our “daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). God will give you exactly what you need for each day.

I have had well-intentioned women try to encourage me by saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” But this isn’t what scripture says. It would be much more accurate to say, “God won’t give me more than He can handle.” We need to trust that God knows what we need and will provide for us each and every day. God is our strength. All we are and all we have comes from Him.

God will heal our pain

Our pain will not last forever. In Psalm 147:3, we read, “He [God] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” As deep as our pain goes, God will heal us. It may not be immediate or even on this side of eternity. But God has promised this, and we know that God is a keeper of His word.

The apostle John records what will happen when Jesus returns. In Revelation 21:4, he writes, “He [Jesus] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Jesus changes everything. And it’s through the power of Jesus that sin and all its effects - death, pain, and sorrow, will come to an end. This pain we feel on Mother’s Day will not be forever. Nothing is more powerful than God.

When Paul writes about the power of God’s love, he tells us, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) This means that a broken relationship with your mother cannot separate you from the love of God. The death of your baby cannot separate you from the love of God. The loss of your mother cannot separate you from the love of God. The pain of infertility cannot separate you from the love of God. You can fill in the blank with whatever situation you are enduring this Mother’s Day. Nothing can separate you from the love of God.

As you worship the Lord this Sunday on Mother’s Day, your heart may be filled with more grief than joy. But we are still able to worship the Lord in our sorrow. In some ways, seeing the world and all the pain it contains can draw us into a deeper worship of the Lord. It can stir up a longing for Him to return and make all things new. My prayer for you this Mother’s Day is that your grief can be turned to worship and that your heart will find the healing it longs for in the arms of our loving Savior.

1. Groves, J. A. (2019). Engaging Grief. In Untangling Emotions (pp. 184). essay, Crossway.

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