For many women, Mother’s Day is the longest Sunday of the year.
I know, because I’ve been there. I sat through 8 childless Mother’s Day church services after my first miscarriage, 3 of which my husband and I were waiting to meet the child we had been been matched with via international adoption.
Maybe you understand?
By my 8th childless Mother’s Day, I wanted to attend a new church for the day, if only to be a chameleon in the crowd, unsusceptible to the sympathetic looks and knowing glances of people who knew my heart was broken.
I had begged God to give me my son by Mother’s Day, but the answer was no.
Here’s what I learned when the holiday was hard. These truths are for you, too.
1. I am not alone.
Not only do statistics about miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility reveal a lot of aching hearts (i.e., 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage), but the Bible bears witness to dozens of women who grieved the loss of or inability to have children.
Though hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12), it needn’t make us feel abandoned. You are not alone. Not only is God with you, but you stand with a host of women who have walked or are walking the same path.
It is a lie from the Enemy that tells us we are alone or are suffering a trial that is unique to us. Instead, God invites us to find our ultimate refuge and companionship in Him, and He is absolutely trustworthy. As Moses told the people of Israel, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14).
2. I am not in limbo.
In a culture that places a greater emphasis on what a person has accomplished rather than who a person is, it’s easy to feel uncomfortable when certain milestones are not met on an expected schedule. In my community when I got married, women typically announced their first pregnancy two years after getting married. If you passed the two-year mark, people assumed you were having problems.
But no matter what culture believes or communicates, your worth is not tied to any role or schedule. God’s opinion is the one that matters, and God does not distinguish between mothers and non-mothers in worth or worthiness.
Here’s some good news: Limbo is not a word in the vocabulary of our Heavenly Father. If you are walking in obedience, you are right where you belong.
Regardless of our season in life, we have a job to do. Single? Childless? Waiting? Grieving? God takes interest in the details of His children. Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.'”
3. My story is not finished.
If God has not given you the desire of your heart yet, don’t assume He’s done working.
God is masterful at writing endings to our story that are far better than what we would have written for ourselves.
On a stifling August day in 2011, I sat on an open-air porch in Central Thailand and met my son for the first time. And from the moment I laid eyes on him, I was grateful God had not re-written my story when I begged Him to. Since that time, God has given me two more children to love, and my heart (and hands!) are full.
On my last childless Mother’s Day in 2011, I wrote in my journal: God only and always chooses the best things for His children. When the best thing for my life is motherhood, I will accept the responsibility with joy.
If your heart is heavy this Mother’s Day, hang on. God is in the business of writing fantastic endings.
Side note: I had begged God to give me a son by Mother’s Day 2011. I ended up spending my first full day as a mom with my son in Thailand on Thailand’s Mother’s Day. Among other things, I’ve learned to pray more specifically.
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