When Mother’s Day Hurts

"There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” 1 Samuel‬ ‭2:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This verse comes from a prayer of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, a prophet of Israel. If you’re not familiar with her story, Hannah was a woman who knew grief. She experienced infertility for a number of years (the Bible doesn’t specify how long, just that it went on year by year), and finally gave birth to a son, whom she gave in service to the Lord at the temple once he was weaned. You can read more in I Samuel 1-2.

Sunday is Mother’s Day, and while it is a wonderful day to show appreciation for the moms in our lives, for many it is a day of grieving. Many women feel the ache of infertility, secondary infertility, or pregnancy loss. Others have experienced the tragedy of losing a child. Others still have lost their own mothers, are estranged from her, or perhaps never had the loving relationship with their mom that everyone else seems to have. There are even moms who, for various reasons, believe they have utterly failed at motherhood and feel no hope for forgiveness or reconciliation with their children.

Even though that prayer of Hannah was after she had given birth to Samuel, it still came from a heart that knew deep longing and anguish. She knew the pain of years of seemingly unheard prayers, of longing for a child whom she may never be given. Anyone who has experienced suffering knows that although the suffering may end, it’s effect on our soul can linger for years. 

What Hannah also knew was that the Lord was her rock. She kept praying for years because she knew God DID hear. She believed, even in sorrow, even though God may have seemed silent and distant.

You may be feeling deep sorrow this Mother’s Day. We want to acknowledge your pain and say that you are loved and valued.

Your identity and worth are not defined by your ability to have children, the number of miscarriages you’ve had, your strained relationship with your mom or children, the loss you’ve experienced, or the countless things you have filled your life with in hopes of dulling the pain. If you’re a mom, your identity and worth are not even defined by how great of a mom you are. 

Your value is found in Jesus. Because he became flesh, experienced pain and suffering, and bore it all even to death on a cross, you have a Savior who knows your hurt. Because he rose again and overcame sin and death, you have a new and living hope and can trust that your pain will not last forever. In Him, you are a loved, accepted and cherished child of God, who loves to do good toward you. Believe that. Let your grieving and sorrow bring you to the feet of Jesus and the hope found only in the gospel.

Yes, our world and our bodies are broken, and the pain can seem unbearable. But in Christ we can trust that our pain will not be wasted- he will always use it for our good and His own glory- and that one day Jesus will come back, wipe away every tear from every eye, and mend all our brokenness.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:18-19