Do you want to die this Mother’s Day?
For most of you who read this blog, Mother’s Day is a happy day, full of celebration and laughter as you behold the faces of your children—all your children.
For some of you who read here, Mother’s Day is part-celebration and part-torture. There’s sweetness in the faces of the husband and children who are here. But just about a millimeter away from those joys, a deep and bitter pain resides.
For some of you, there seems to be only torture and (what feels like) everlasting pain. Maybe you’ve miscarried all your children. Or maybe your only child is dead. Or maybe you long for children like nothing else on this earth and you still don’t have any. You probably feel like you’re not a mother. You probably feel like half a woman.
I’m in the second category. For me it’s because one of my children is missing. I have two precious boys, but my only daughter is missing. My little girl is missing.
I suppose “missing” implies that I don’t know where she is. But I do know where she is, I just can’t get to her.
Unless I died this Mother’s Day.
There have been many times when the pain has felt so intense that I was sure that it was going to kill me. And most of those times I thought I would’ve been happier if it had.
But I’m still here. And she’s still there.
So what’s a grieving woman to do on Mother’s Day?
- Does she just end it now?
- Does she hole up with her pain and steel herself against love?
- Does she receive comfort from the Lord as she laments before him?
I want to live in #3. I want you to live in #3. I don’t want to miss one thing that he has for me through this pain.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really hard, long road. I have no idea how many twists and turns and bumps there will be. But I see him transforming me along this road of suffering. I know I haven’t been perfect in the transformation—I still fight anger, bitterness, hatred, fear, and jealousy all the time. I still rail against his plan for me.
Paul said this in Philippians 1:
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two.
Was Paul suicidal? No. He was giving words to the paradox that we live in as Christians. It would be “far better” to be with Jesus today. It would mean the end of the pain, the end of the tears, the end of the loneliness. It would mean beholding my precious baby girl.
But what did Paul conclude? He knew his presence in the flesh was necessary. He knew that God had plans for his life on earth. If God were finished with him, he would depart.
For probably all of us, today is not the day that God will fulfill all of his work in our lives and take us to be with him. As much as we might long for it, it’s probably not happening today.
What convincing do you need that your presence here is necessary?
- Will a living baby do it?
- Will a daughter (or son) do it?
- Will the love of family and friends do it?
I think those things can certainly help, but even those amazing realities will never be what you and I truly need.
In the deepest part of me, I need Christ. I need his presence in my pain with me. I need his strength to carry my burden. I need his forgiveness for my constant distrust of his plan for my life. I need his peace to rest in, all the days I will live on earth, separated from my daughter.
I guess I want to encourage all of the mourners today to press into the pain with Jesus. Just go ahead and let it flow. Not only can he handle it, he’s the only one who can truly handle it and even heal it.
So as I live through another Mother’s Day without my Felicity, I’m going to laugh at the funny parts, cry at the sad parts, and let my love for her flow through all of it. That’s where I have to live this Mother’s Day.