Sunday, May 10, 2015

What’s the Plan for Mother’s Day?

Happy Mother's Day, Friends!
I thought I'd share this article that I wrote a few years ago. Maybe it will bring comfort to you, or maybe it will help you to bring comfort to a suffering mom today. Either way, my hope is that it will be a blessing.

            As we approach Mother’s Day this year, my heart is heavy with the grief of many of my friends who are moms. One is an elderly mother whose disabled son may soon be placed in a nursing home. Another has a young adult son struggling with addiction and severe depression. Several, including myself, are grieved with the unbelief and rebellion of their adult children. One of my dearest friends continues to struggle with the grief of losing a grandbaby nearly two years ago. I have friends who are single moms who fight and strive daily to be godly in the face of abandonment by their children’s fathers, financial need, and loneliness. Others are tied up in terrible court battles, fighting for what they believe is best for their children at great financial and emotional expense.

             I shopped for Mother’s Day cards for some of these friends yesterday, but I left empty handed. Sparkly pink cards with flowers and trite sayings will not soothe the aching hearts of any of these moms this year. So, what can I do to acknowledge this day that may be so painful for them? How can I say, “Happy Mother’s Day” to a mom who will not see or hear from her child this year, or who lives with regret or sadness about her relationship with that son or daughter? The best thing I can say is that there is hope. There is no prodigal child that cannot be restored to his family. There is no broken relationship that cannot be repaired. There is no loss or grief that will not be redeemed.  How will I prove this to them? By showing them where their hope is: In the sovereign God of the universe!

            No one understands the pain you feel when you think of your wayward child, better than our loving Father in heaven. God knows your pain, my friend. He has been there, watching as your child grew, knowing every struggle, every mistake you would make. Even if you think you did everything wrong, you can rest assured that everything that happened was ordained by God, for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28 & 29). Nothing that happened surprised our God! No trial came to you that didn’t first go through Him. He is watching still today, and His love for you will never fail (Psalm 13:5 is just one example. The Psalms are full songs about God’s unfailing love). He has a plan to bring good out of this.

            Our God also understands your longing to fix a broken relationship with your child. If you have a prodigal, who has rejected your love and support and chosen to go his own way, rest assured that your Father in heaven understands this. As your heart is grieved at the conditions your child is living in, or anxious to know where and how she is, remember that God’s children also turned from Him and went their own way. Jesus grieved over them (Luke 13:34). He had promised to be their strong tower, their fortress, and their deliverer, but they would not have Him. As we long to protect, love, and guide our children, we must remember that our Father understands that longing. He has a plan to bring comfort in this.

            Perhaps the moms who suffer most on Mother’s Day are those whose children have passed from this world. A broken relationship can be fixed, and a prodigal may return, but children who have died are not coming back. This is a pain that I can only imagine. How do I acknowledge this special day with these childless mothers? What words will offer comfort? My own words can fail, but the Words of Scripture are always true and comforting:
We can pray that the Lord will be near to her:

This you have seen, O Lord;
Do not keep silence.
O Lord, do not be far from me.
Psalm 35:22

Together, my friend and I can remind God of His promise to deliver us in our troubles:

Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.
Psalm 50:15

Finally, we can make a simple proclamation:

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
Psalm 56:3



Maybe you also have a friend for whom no flowery pink card will do this Mother’s Day. Maybe you are that mom who is struggling this year. Rest assured, our God is faithful. His mercies are new every morning, including Mother’s Day. He has a plan to bring you through this. Trust Him.