When I was trying to decide what to write about Mother’s Day, I came across this meme on Pinterest:

Who are these women? The motherless, the childless, and the single.

The Motherless

Maybe you never knew your birth mother. Maybe your mom rejected you or mistreated you. Maybe she is present in your life but absent at the same time. Maybe your mom or grandmother or mother-figure has passed away.

Maybe you can identify with the psalmist: “I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant” (Ps. 119:75-76).

May you be comforted in your loss and/or in your longing for a mother who lives up to the role. May the steadfast - never failing, always present, unconditional, always and forever - love of the Lord comfort you today. That you can know your value and great worth to Him who chose you, who knows you intimately, and who will never leave you.

The Childless

“It’s a season of waiting, of brokenness, and of learning to trust the Lord. He is still good...even when He says no...I sense the Lord saying to let go of control of treatments. I’m asking Him to do what only He can do. To heal my body and to give life. To show off...God has not laid that [adoption or fostering] on our hearts, though we ask Him about it. We continue to grieve an intense loss, but we’re choosing to hope in the Lord.”

I recently got this text message from a sweet friend who is dealing with infertility, and as she helps with baby dedication at her church this Mother's Day and watches all of these families celebrate what she desires but does not have, I pray that she would know the comfort and peace that only God can provide.

Many of you know firsthand what Sarah must have felt like in Genesis 15-17. Not only was she barren, but she was beyond the age of childbearing and in a culture that stigmatized barren women. Over and over, she watched relatives, friends, and servants easily get pregnant, have babies, hold their little ones, and raise them. Always wondering if that would ever be her then, as she experienced menopause, having to accept that childlessness would not be her reality.

I don’t know what God has for you. I don’t the purpose for your pain, whether the pain is miscarrying or not being able to conceive. Maybe God will provide a child for you like He did for Sarah and Abraham. But that is not a guarantee. What is guaranteed? You’re not alone. Your pain is not hidden from God. He cares for you. He loves you. He delights in you. He has a plan - a reason for everything. And He won’t waste your experience. It’s not for nothing.

The Single

I’m not a mother, but I want to be.

I was asked once if I would consider adopting or fostering as a single woman. I’ve had a couple of friends in their 20s/30s foster as a single, and I praise God for giving them the strength and the resources to do that. But at this point in my life, that’s not where I am for many reasons.

This past weekend, I was at a conference and a well-intentioned lady made a comment about how God would provide a husband and a family. But I don’t have that promise. Something I’ve been pondering lately is that sometimes we’re called to sacrifice what we have, but other times, we’re called to sacrifice what we don’t have but want.

God may or may not give me what I want, which in this case is a husband and children. But I know that He is enough. I trust His goodness and His plan for me whatever that is. I trust that God will provide the comfort, grace, and strength needed to follow Him - that He will be my portion. I trust that if He’s saying “no” to marriage and having a family, then that is a greater “yes” to something else. And I trust that He is worth it. I trust that if singleness is the cost of following Christ, then He’s worth the cost.

I remember Elisabeth Elliot’s wise words on the subject: “Think of Lottie Moon of China, Malla Moe and Mary Slessor of Africa, Ida Scudder and Amy Carmichael of India - single women, all of them, lonely women, no doubt. But their loneliness accepted meant life for thousands.”

How Do We Make It Through Mother’s Day?

Isn’t it crazy how one day on the calendar can trigger so many different emotions inside of us? But it’s what the day represents. It’s all the reminders in the stores, restaurants, and churches. It’s all the pictures and comments on our newsfeeds. Right?

But we have a choice today, ladies. We can either wallow in our loss or pain or lack of fulfilment, OR we can choose to rejoice.

And if we think about it, we have much to rejoice about. In particular, three other days on the calendar: the day of Jesus’ death, the day of His resurrection, and the day of His return.

Because of His death and resurrection, we have life. For those who are Christians, we are no longer slaves to sin but children of God. We belong to Him. He lives in us, and He will never leave us. We have the promise that this life is not all there is.

And because of His impending return - a day on the calendar that we do not yet know - we have a hope and a future. We have a future where there is no pain, no sorrow, no loss, and no longing. We will be with our Savior, and we will worship Him for the rest of eternity.

Ladies, may we live today in light of that day