For the women who hurt on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a blessing and a time of great joy for many women.  However, Mother’s Day can be really hard for women who long to experience the joy of children, but cannot.  You share in happiness of others, but then are quickly reminded they get to experience something you want to, but cannot.  Few things are as devastating as infertility.  There is a strong maternal desire in you.  After all, you were designed by God as an exceptionally sensitive nurturer.  This natural instinct just increases the longing you have for motherhood.  Like Hannah in 1st Samuel Chapter 1, you’ve begged God for a child – because to do so is a good and holy thing.  So where do you find comfort and encouragement on Mother’s Day?

1) Its okay to hurt and feel sad. 

You don’t need to feel bad about feeling bad.  Your Heavenly Father knows how you ache.  He even invites you to bring your desires, burdens and heartache to Him. (Matthew 11:27-30, 1 Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:6)

2) Pray to talk with God more than get answers.

I’m afraid many of us have missed the essence of prayer as God intended.  It’s easy to spot if you’ve been taught wrongly about the purpose of prayer.  If you think “God is Sovereign, so why pray?” You’ve missed the point of prayer.  If you think “He’s not answering my prayer, so why keep praying?” You’ve missed the point of prayer.  Is it wrong to pray and ask God for healing, children, or blessings? No!  It just shouldn’t be the essence of your prayer life.  He’s our Lord and our Father.  We pray because He’s our Lord, and asked us to pray.  We pray because He’s our Heavenly Father and we enjoy communicating with our Heavenly Father.

So ask God for a miracle, but don’t talk to God to ask for a miracle.  Talk to your Father.  Be quite and listen to your Father.  In our suffering we don’t need answers as much as we need God’s presence in and through the suffering itself.

3) Lean in.

It’s natural to want to avoid everything that might cause the pain and heartache of your situation to resurface in your mind.  You avoid baby showers and baby dedications at church.  When you do go, you wish your loved ones well – because you are genuinely happy for them, but when the event ends it leaves you feeling sad.

These are the moments of suffering and pain that God uses to show us mercy.  Mercy?  That seems incredulous right?  How does God use suffering to show us mercy?

In John chapter 11, Jesus approaches Martha whose brother has just died.  Martha has a lot of questions.

“Why?”
“Where were you Lord?”
“If you would have been here…”

Jesus leverages this moment of pain to lay before Martha the glorious hope that is in Christ alone.

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:23-26; emphasis added)

Jesus was doing more than just foreshadowing Lazarus’ resurrection.  He was declaring to Martha that what she had in the present with Jesus was better than the future hope of his resurrection.  In other words Jesus was saying: “Martha, even if Lazarus stays in this tomb, you still have Me, and if you have Me, you have everything. Do you believe this?”

In this Jesus says to you and me: “______, even if things don’t turn out they way you hoped and dreamed they would, you still have Me, and if you have Me, you have everything.  Do you believe this?”

Through suffering Jesus reveals to us that He is our greatest treasure.  Through suffering we receive mercy by discovering that all other treasures – no matter how grand – pale in comparison to the treasure of having Jesus.

This is why we lean into to pain, not run away from it.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” – Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

If you’re feeling down today – it’s okay too.  We love you and are thinking of you too.  Just know that you are so loved and treasured by your Heavenly Father.  The evidence is in the good news that He gave up His one and only Son to meet death, so that you might have life.

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