Infertility and Mother’s Day… Again

I very selfishly dread Mother’s Day and have branded it one of my worst days of the year.  (Did I really just claim that?)   Certainly not because I don’t want to honor my Mother because I do; she is one of my best friends and I cherish our relationship.  But what trumps my heart is this never-ending, all-consuming burn in my heart for the child I have yet to call my own.  It stings!  Mother’s Day is just a reminder to me of what I am not.  At my age, I am quickly losing hope that it will ever happen.  The pain of this sometimes takes my breath away. 

Since we are talking about the heartaches, I am also gently convicted to look at where God is in all of this.  God, where exactly are you?  Oh, you do have a plan, don’t you?  I am praying for His will and not my own, but also that if having a child(ren) is not His will for me, that he take away this unquenchable desire in my heart for this blessing.  

Pastor Stephen Arterburn of New Life Ministries has written something that finally shows a different perspective to Mother’s Day.  Please know that if you are a Mother rejoicing today, we do really rejoice with and honor you.  But for some of us, it is just a difficult day. 


This Sunday is Mother’s Day.  And it’s a great day to celebrate your mother or your motherhood.  But, what about someone who didn’t have a great relationship with their mom?  Is that you?  Or, maybe you are a mom and there’s been hurt or tragedy?  Maybe your child was born with a disease or a handicap.  Maybe he or she is in prison.  Or, perhaps your child has died.

Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to be a mom and you’ve not been able to conceive and Mother’s Day rolls around and it just plain hurts to think about what you wish would have been.  We were talking about this on radio the other day, and the emails and blog postings affirmed that we struck a chord with many of you. 

So I took a little time to think about what models of motherhood there were in the Bible.  And I learned that if you’re challenged with being a mom or with your mom, you’re in good company.  Not that it makes it right or necessarily makes you feel that much better, but I hope it’s an encouragement to you that God will use your situation, whether you’re happy or sad this Mother’s Day, and extend His grace and work through your life in ways you would never have imagined.

Consider this:

  • Eve had two kids.  One murdered the other. 
  • Sarah longed for a child and was very old before that came to pass.
  • Rebekah favored one son over the other and helped her favorite deceive his father in order to receive the blessing that was due his brother.
  • Moses’ mother raised him for the first three months of his life then gave him up, putting him in a basket and floating him down the river.   (though she did “arrange” to nurse him and be his caretaker).
  • Rachel died in childbirth.
  • Hannah’s womb was closed for years and her rival provoked her because she had children and Hannah had none.  She was later blessed to bear a son, Samuel, but for years she grieved not being a mother. 
  • Tamar was a mother to twins, and the children’s father was her own father-in-law.
  • Mary saw her son do many great things and teach with passion and great wisdom, and then witnessed his horrific crucifixion.

I know there are other stories and examples, but these came to mind as I thought about a few.   And it was eye opening to me.   Don’t get me wrong.  Mother’s Day is a wonderful thing.   God’s word, after all, tells us to honor your father and your mother.

 But we also live in a world where there’s a lot of hurt and pain and sorrow, and often it’s magnified around Mother’s Day because there’s something about your mom, or your experience being or not being a mom, that makes things a little less than perfect.  

And if that’s you, I want you to stop and consider some of the hardships of the moms who went before you . . . maybe your mom, or your grandmother have some incredible stories of trouble and sorrow.  Maybe the cycle hasn’t been broken and this is your time to break it.  What do you do with that hurt?  Have you grieved your loss?  Have you accepted and surrendered your loss . . . that you’re mom wasn’t the mom you thought you should have . . . that you weren’t able to be a mom . . . that your child left, or your child died and you have no hope of ever seeing him or her again.  It’s time to do so.  

Stop.  Grieve.  Pray.  Talk to someone about your hurt.  Connect with a sibling.  A friend.  A pastor.  A spouse. A counselor.  Someone you can trust.   Share your hurt and let them know you’ve decided to grieve and surrender your pain and sorrow.  It’s time to see how God will use you.   To see how you can minister to others who are stuck in the midst of the hurt you’ve been stuck in. 

If you live in a world that’s a little closer to what Beaver Cleaver grew up in, go celebrate with your mom and soak in the blessing you’ve been given.  I am so happy for you.  If you’re in this spot, would you pray with me for all those folks who are hurting a little more than usual this Mother’s Day?  Let’s pray for moms, right now: 

Dear Lord, I pause this moment and pray for all who read this.  Some have great moms—with great memories of growing up and being nurtured and encouraged and loved every step of the way.  And we ask you for a special blessing of thanksgiving for those mothers and women who are so fortunate.

And, Lord, I also want to ask your special blessing today, and especially this Sunday, Mother’s Day, for those for whom Mother’s Day evokes painful thoughts and memories.  There are many reasons why this might be the case.  And we just turn to you right now for comfort.  For the strength of those who are reading this who need to take a step to grieve the loss they’ve never fully grieved.  We pray that they might get unstuck.  They’ve been living in sorrow, in hurt, in pain for many years in some cases; and right now they realize it’s time to forgive.  It’s time to let the bitterness go.  It’s time to surrender the resentment.  It’s time to accept that you, God, will use them right where they are. 

Let them see that their painful experiences give them great qualification to minister to others who are stuck in their own pain.

Help me, God, to get outside myself.  Help me to remember that living this life isn’t about me.  It’s about you, God.  And I will take steps to get beyond feeling sorry for myself, even though I have good reason to feel sorry.  But I want people to see a gracious, loving God who can take my hurt and turn it into a ministry that gives him all glory and honor.

That’s my prayer, Lord, this Mother’s Day.  I pray this all in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Published in: on May 10, 2009 at 9:46 pm  Leave a Comment