Sunday was a swirl of thoughts and emotions that have been burning in my heart and mind over the last two days. I have been wanting to sit down and write, and have actually several times, but lacked a focus of what was in my head to know where to even start.
I woke up to the beautiful site of my son snuggled in to me.
It was the best way to start my first official Mother's Day.
As I lay there savoring every sweet second, I thought back to the last two Mother's Days, both of which I was newly pregnant, anticipating the joys and excitement of becoming a mom for the first time. Having been pregnant twice now, I know that there are two sides to Mother's Day.
There's the side I just showed above: a mama's heart so full of joy that the little life she birthed brings.
But then there's the side that isn't as well known: a mama's heart so broken from the pain and heartache of an empty womb, a child lost, unborn babies she will never get to meet.
The mark of a mother looks different on each of us. Some carry the the silver linings of skin stretched beyond its limits. Others bear scars from incisions made to ensure her baby made it into this world healthy and safe. Some of us wear dark circles and bags under our eyes from nights, months, even years for some of little to no sleep. Some are marred with dark brown spots on their face--the dreaded mask of pregnancy--that they were told would go away 6 months post-partum. Most have a new softness and shape from a body that transformed itself into a temporary home in which your child grew from a microscopic bundle of cells to the little 6, 7 8, maybe even 9 pound miracle you held in your arms.
For many women, however, the battle scars of motherhood aren't as obvious. Some desperately long to feel life growing inside of them as they stare at negative pregnancy tests month after month. Others have an ache that hurts so deep over babies they've carried and never got to meet. Some pick up the pieces of their shattered hearts each and every day that they have to live with the memory of their child who was unfairly taken too early from this life.
Mother's Day, as beautiful and wonderful as it is, really sucks for some women. I know that's not pretty to say, but it just does. I know, because I've been there. I haven't walked the path of infertility but I do know the emptiness of life lost inside of me.
Being a mom is hard. Probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. But facing each day without the promise or hope of a baby filling your womb, your heart, your life, is even harder.
On my first Mother's Day with a baby in my arms, I was filled with gratitude for the gift of my sweet boy who will someday call me mom and for the precious little baby whose perfect, tiny ten-week-old body is oh so vividly imprinted in my mind and on my heart forever.
My heart was heavy for mamas who were missing their babies. Mamas who are desperate to know the joy of seeing two pink lines. Mamas who long to feel the kick of little feet inside of them. Mamas who ache to hold their baby for the first time. Mamas who would give anything to hear their baby's laughter one more time.
I can't promise that every woman's journey to or through motherhood will be easy, or that it will end the way you plan, hope or dream. But I can promise that, whatever side of motherhood you fall on, whether Mother's Day is a beautiful celebration or a painful reminder, God will use your story for something really good. I can promise that because He has done it for me.
I came to a point after the loss of our first baby, that if my dream of becoming a mom was never fulfilled, God was enough for me. It took a loooong time to get to that point of complete surrender, but by His grace and mercy, He got me there. He also gave me a passion for moms who know the pain I felt and more. He gave me a burning desire to lift them up in prayer as so many did for me.
And so, my prayer for you mamas out there is, whether you are amidst the chaos of children or the heartache of waiting, that you will experience His unbelievable goodness through it all. May you be filled with His peace and love to get you through each and every day, whatever each day may bring.
Blessings and happy (late) Mother's Day.