3 Truths When Mother’s Day Is Hard

For women all over the country, Sunday will bring a bombardment of sticky, unidentifiable crafts.

Mothers will treasure these masterpieces even if they have no idea what they actually are.

Fact: There are worse things in life than looking like a hippo in a child’s drawing of the family.

Take, for instance, being childless on Mother’s Day.

If it is the desire of your heart to have a child and you dwell in the wilderness of waiting, Mother’s Day can be as enjoyable as dental surgery. I experienced three of these motherless holidays while waiting to adopt my oldest child. By the third year of waiting, I wanted to visit a new church on Mother’s 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.


Here is what I learned when the holiday was hard:

1. I am not alone.

Not only do statistics about miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility reveal a lot of aching hearts, 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. Grieving in isolation is not God’s desire. Not only does He intend for us to take comfort in our Christian community, but He wants us to find our ultimate refuge and companionship in Him.

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 emphasis on what a person has accomplished, it is easy to feel uncomfortable when certain milestones are not met on a specific schedule. This is unfortunate because God does not distinguish between mothers and non-mothers in worth or worthiness.

Important to note: Limbo is not a word in the vocabulary of our Heavenly Father. Nothing escapes His notice.

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.

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 for my story and the fact that God had not re-written it when I begged Him to. On my last childless Mother’s Day, 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 my son by Mother’s Day 2011. I ended up meeting my son two days before Mother’s Day in his home country. Among other things, I am now learning to pray more specifically.