Hallmark pictures of Mother’s Day don’t reflect everyone’s experience. For many, this day isn’t one filled with accolades and baskets of flowers, but rather a day mixed with pain. From my days of infertility, through present, Mother’s Day, for me, has been a mixed bag.
As I thought and prayed about what to write, I thought of the many moms who dread Mother’s Day because they believe the pain this day evokes is well deserved. At least that’s what their guilt and shame scream. “If I’d been a better mother, this day would be my day too.”
____________ (fill in the blank with your child’s name) would applaud me if I’d only__________________(again, fill in the blank).
I’ve been there. I didn’t know how to raise a child with non-verbal autism. So many times over the years, I wailed into the darkness, “Dear Lord, why did you entrust me with this child? You knew I wouldn’t know what to do. You knew I would fail miserably!”
Even sought after advice often came up short as most people were like me and also had little clue of what to do. I wanted so desperately to be a good mom. I tried so very hard. Sometimes I succeeded.
As I longingly awaited some kind of reply to my prayer, I would often hear my heavenly Daddy’s soft whisper, “But I did choose you. I have a plan that includes all this.” (Romans 8:28)
As years progressed, my efforts continued to be 1 step forward and 3 steps in reverse. I continued to ask forgiveness from Evan and God. I kept trying to grow.
Over time, my cries seemed to be answered with, “I know the end from the beginning. I knew how you’d fail. I also knew that you wouldn’t give up on him, and you’d grow. Both of you would grow.”
My journey as a mamma has been a very hard journey, filled with much needed forgiveness and grace. There are so many things I’ve regretted. In some areas, I’ve done so poorly, but in some things I’ve done well. Through it all, I’ve learned and grown so much through being a mamma.
If you are in that place of guilt and shame today, you aren’t alone. I’ve been there. And I have found the forgiveness and peace that eluded me so very long. Truly the only answer for you will be found in the choice to accept the forgiveness of Christ, and follow him. It must be a choice you make with all of your being. The world won’t offer the peace and forgiveness you long for, and your thoughts alone will haunt.
Tomorrow, I will share the steps I’ve taken to come to peace. I wish I could reach out and give you a hug, but since computers and phones bring us together, just know that you are loved unconditionally, and can find the freedom you long for in Jesus Christ.
It’s never too late with him.
With love and prayers,