Dear Mom Who Secretly Dreads Mother's day...
...because you've known loss that no one quite understands,
...because you've not known a mother-daughter relationship that resembled something you want to celebrate,
...because guilt makes you feel disqualified,
...because pride makes you feel entitled,
...because perfection is the elusive idol that always robs your joy,
...because you're struggling to enjoy your children,
...because you're struggling to embrace your role as a mom,
...because no matter how hard you try, you can't please a mom in your life on Mother's Day,
...because no matter how hard they try, YOU can't be pleased on Mother's Day...
I want to offer a hug, and say I understand. I want to tell you something as you pull up a chair to our pot of tea:
Friend, if you're like me, you know this to be true, even if you struggle to feel it sometimes:
That the idol factory of your heart needs no occasion to worship both the hurts in your life or the victories. You don't want the distraction of the mental list of failures and successes, done by you and to you. You long to be free from repeatedly visiting the altar of your heart with the baggage of discontentment and comparison, again and again.
Momma, you are a work in progress; He is not through with you yet. Friend, YOUR Momma is a work in progress; He is not through with her yet. And dear one, your children and your husband are a work in progress; He is not through with them yet. Mother's Day is not an equal sign for all that you've arrived at, but an arrow that points to all that Christ is transforming in you through the sanctifying journey of motherhood.
Could it be that Mother's Day is a celebration of the story being written in the lives all around you through motherhood...a story that, in spite of the pain and shortcomings, loss and victories, is proving more sanctifying than anything you could've asked or imagined?
(#motherhoodissanctifying. I started the hashtag a few years ago, and am amazed to see how much we can see God's grace take shape in our lives through the work of motherhood! Join me!)
So take heart, friend. This day is ultimately not about you, or your mothering, or the mothers in your life. It's about the story Jesus is choosing to write through the picture of motherhood in and around your life. And that's worth celebrating...and He certainly isn't through with you yet.
Because of grace,