Just a few days ago the world (well, our part of it) celebrated mothers. Happy Mother’s Day! Few days on the calendar hold such a mixed bag of emotion like Mother’s Day. Few days on the calendar can trigger the heart of a hurting woman like Mother’s Day. There are also few days on the calendar that can bring such joy and delight to a woman’s heart.
Here are some of the highs and lows of this day just within my own neighborhood:
- I just received a text from a mom who is overjoyed and bursting with gratitude to the Lord for the generous heart of her seventeen-year-old daughter. This extraordinary girl is taking the world by storm!
- Another mom I know is on her knees praying for her seventeen-year-old daughter who can’t seem to choose a path that isn’t self-destructive and dangerous.
- I know several (yes, several) moms who have buried their children—some to accidents, some to cancer, some to the darkness of drug addiction.
- I know a couple of moms who are just starting the journey with their new babies, and it is joy-filled and fun (along with sleepless and exhausting).
- I know a mom who this morning is in the pediatric ICU with her new baby girl who was born with multiple health issues, including hearing loss.
- I know many women who desperately want or wanted to be mothers and can hardly breathe when this Sunday rolls around on the calendar.
- I also know (not personally, but from our local news) of a mom so broken herself that she repeatedly abused her five-year-old son to the point of his death. She is pregnant again.
There are stories of great joy and horrific pain all mingled together on this one day on the calendar—sometimes mingled together in one heart. If this is you and if this day was painful for you in anyway, I am so sorry.
Here are a few suggestions for navigating the difficulty of this day:
- Tell your story to a trusted friend. It may be painful to revisit, but there is healing in telling the truth of our stories and allowing someone trusted to sit with us in our pain, hold our stories without judgment, and pray for us with hope. Do you know someone who could benefit from hearing the invitation, “Tell me about your mom”? If so, ask.
- Gift yourself with an appointment to a Christian counselor. Sometimes our hearts are a tangled mess of emotion, and it can be so helpful to have someone well trained help us unravel the story lines.
- Write a letter to your mom. This is a letter you don’t ever have to mail. In fact, you don’t even have to read it to anyone unless you want to. The act of writing an honest letter expressing your heartfelt emotions can be very healing. Burn it, toss it, save it, or share it; it’s up to you. Be creative. I wrote a letter to my mom many years ago and many years after she died. It helped. This year I’m going to write a letter to myself. I’m going to mention all the ways I got it right but also need to own the parts I missed or flat out failed with. I’m going to write about the ways my girls have brought delight to my heart and the ways I have felt disappointed as a mom. I’m going to write it, pray through it, and then toss it.
Could this be something that would be helpful for you to do this year? It certainly won’t be easy, but I invite you to join me. I invite you to write a letter to mom—even if that mom is yourself. If you long to be a mother, this is something you can do as well. Write the letter to yourself or to God. Tell your story. Tell it in a letter to mom.
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.