Mother's Day will be here soon. It seems like the arrival of that holiday always leaves me remembering. My soul turns inward a bit and I remember the number of Mother's Days where my heart had been entangled with the face and shadowy presence of little ones who were not flesh of my flesh nor were they home sweet home. I do lean towards the dramatic rather than the stoic but may I share with you how hard those Mother's Days were? For hearts already weary of waiting, a day designed to celebrate the unique relationships between mothers and sons and daughters is a sharp painful breath in, a pregnant pause that causes you to suck in your cheeks and wince. It's watching others enjoy Mother's Day dinners while you seem a bit far off because your heart really is a bit far off. It's the standard honoring all mothers done at church, where you are not sure if you should take the flower or stand up, all of which reminds you that for all practical reasons, you are not yet a mom. It's a bit like being the mom of a curfew breaking teen, the porch light on all aglow because not everyone is home in bed where they ought to be, but doing it for nights and days and months and years on end, knowing that Mother's Day feels a lot more about a piece that is missing than about the fullness of family.
For those who are waiting, those feelings are not just Mother's Day moments. It's birthdays and Christmases. It's the celebratory moments of life where you are keenly aware of the gaps, of the absence. It's not just about the wait of adoption. It's the wait of infertility. The wait of infant loss. The wait of a birth mom who is not parenting her child. The wait of a parent of a child gone too soon, lost in an accident, lost to an illness. The wait of a parent for the prodigal who wants nothing to do with you.
Could you be a friend who takes note of such moments and offers up encouragement in the waiting moments endured by another? Words need not be fancy; a simple, "Thinking of you today" covers much.
And for those who are waiting, I read once that hope is the hardest work of waiting. Isn't that the truth? Hope often seems ethereal, a lot of light and mist, where foggy mornings reveal the dawn of something new, complete with glints of rainbows and brilliant breaks of sunrise in the sky. Hope though is not quite so bright and airy. It is work, a minute by minute commitment to have faith and believe. Sometimes, it seems like we're not even sure of what it is we are hoping for but yet we still keep at it, hoping that things will change, that dreams come true, that even if we can't change the circumstances, that our own heart will heal. I believe your hope is not foolishness. It's a deep seeded desire placed there by God, a longing for life on this earth to be as He designed it to be, full and complete. You are not wrong for wanting. You are not wrong for loving. You are not wrong for hoping.