Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Many Faces of Mother's Day

"It's your first Mother's Day! How exciting!"

A well-meaning comment that I have heard numerous times over the past week...
I smile and nod. Thank them for thinking of me. But all the while my heart aches. My journey of motherhood has been filled with so many tears, and so much grief.

This isnt my first Mother's Day...

Last year on Mother's Day my grief was still so fresh and raw. It had been less than 2 weeks since we had said "goodbye" to our second child. I spent a large part of that day in tears, mourning both of my children that I never got a chance to hold. Because a life is a life, no matter how short, and Penuel and Jahleel made me a mother.

This year? There is joy. No doubt. Looking at Samuel's precious face every day brings me joy beyond belief!

Some sweet night nurses in the CICU helped Samuel surprise me with this little project!
But there is also a deep sense of mourning...
This year I am mourning what I thought motherhood would look like. I am mourning the fact that I can't hold my son today. I am mourning the fact that we can't celebrate with family at home. I am mourning the fact that my precious boy is not well. I am mourning the countless diapers I have not been able to change, the food I have not been able to give my son, the beaming joy of early motherhood as you show off your baby...
My family has a tradition of going to a park for a picnic on Mother's Day, but this year I am mourning the fact that my 10 week old son has never felt the freah air of being outside.

Motherhood is not at all what I pictured it would be.

I have experienced the highest of highs
The first time I ever got to hold Samuel, when he was 3 days old!
And the lowest of lows
The day Samuel coded, and we almost lost him...
But I wouldn't trade my days with Samuel for the world.

The past 2 years have opened my eyes to the many faces of Mother's Day. It's not always a joyous occasion. For many, Mother's Day is full of painful memories and empty arms. It's a reminder of what could be, but isn't. It's a day that makes many women want to hide under the covers, rather than facing the agony of not being recognized for what they truly are.
Whether you have lost a child, have not been able to have children, have a child that has redefined motherhood for you, or have some other pain in motherhood, your grief is valid. It's okay to hurt on this day, and not act like everything is okay. And when you're hit with well-meaning, but unwelcome comments, it's okay to cry.

But can I encourage you to try to find some joy in the journey? As painful as it may be. God does not have us in this life to sit in misery. While we may have to go through unimaginable sorrow at times, and we may never fully understand why, I believe that God always gives an equal measure of joy.

Last year I found that joy in knowing that I would see my precious babies again some day. Although that didn't take away the grief I felt, it did leave me with hope at the end of the day.
This year I am finding joy in sitting by the bedside of my precious son, staring at his face. While this doesn't take away the pain of the fact that he is in the hospital, and this is one more day that he is not in my arms, it does remind me to cherish every moment, because these are moments we didn't know if we would ever get to experience.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
John 15:11 
This is His story, and it is all for His glory!

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