A Weighty Load
Twenty-four years ago, I lost my mother to breast cancer. I was fourteen. For many years, Mother’s Day was very difficult; it was a holiday each calendar year which magnified the saddest piece of my story: I was motherless. I was a young woman, a child even. When I was younger, the only way I knew how to cope with being motherless was to carry the weightiness of my grief alone. Loneliness and believing the lie that I was suffering in my motherlessness alone left me stuck in my grief and unable to move (or even inch) forward. No amount of human effort nor earthly courage could ever free me from my pain.
God radically changed me when I was twenty-one years old. This change in me was not a quick fix nor an abrupt ending to my motherless grief, but it was the beginning of a new journey. A journey of walking through my grief while being connected to Christ.
Carrying my grief alone for so long left me weary and stuck, it was only when I shared the weightiness of my grief with Christ that I could begin to find freedom from my weighty load and rest for my weary heart (Matthew 11:28-30).
Come to Him
This world is not the way it is supposed to be. Perhaps you are not motherless. Maybe you’re estranged from your mother. Maybe you have lost a child. Maybe you long to have a child. Maybe you grieve because you wish you had been a better mother. There are one thousand different ways one can know this world is broken and not the way God intended it to be.
However you may experience brokenness, worldly brokenness leads to holy anticipation.
Our worldly wounds lead us to a wonderful Savior. Jesus understands the pains of life in this world because Jesus put on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Jesus wept with compassion when Lazarus died (John 11:35). Jesus was betrayed by close friends (Matthew 26:47-50). Jesus’s soul was filled with sorrow (Matthew 26:38). Jesus was beaten, mocked, and suffered on the cross (Matthew 27).
Those who are in Christ can come to Jesus with their wounds because Jesus understands pains and sorrows. Worldly brokenness is an invitation to come to Jesus.
Rest in His Power
Those who are connected to Christ possess the power of Christ in them by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:16-17 that “God strengthens Christ-followers with power in their inner being so Christ may dwell in the hearts of those who know Him through faith.” This word for dwelling in the Greek is a permanent dwelling, meaning Jesus has settled down in the hearts of His followers permanently. If you believe in Jesus, you have the power of Christ in you—permanently! The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in the hearts of those who know Him. This supernatural power can conquer any worldly sorrow and chip away the starkness of the most stubborn grief.
Healing from worldly sorrows and unmet longings is a journey and it’s a journey that is not on a tidy-human timeline. Transformational healing is not of this world. In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul wrote that transformation happens as we are moved from one degree of glory to another. It’s a life-long journey which requires resting in Christ’s power in you and hopefully waiting for His redemptive Work to be displayed in your life. This is a moment by moment journey of resting, hoping, and waiting.
As We Wait We Look
I am certain many of you approach Mother’s Day with a grieving heart of some sort. My suffering in this world is not identical to everyone’s suffering. But to suffer in the now and the not-yet of this lifetime is something that unites us as humans on the journey. Almost everyone on the journey is walking toward heaven limping and wounded.
What can we do as we journey together?
We can look up. We can look up and remember the God of the universe is with us on the journey.
We can look back. We can look back at our past wounds with the power of Christ in us a rightly lament that this world is not the way it is supposed to be.
We can look around. We can look around and see who is walking wounded alongside us. This helps us remember that we are not alone on the journey. We can also look around and rejoice in the redemption God is already weaving into our hearts and lives. For me, looking around means rejoicing in the blessings God has given to me on the journey and recognizing small degrees of glory as His transforming power in my heart.
We can look to the future. We can look forward with a holy anticipation that we will not always suffer the pains of this world. We can live with the long view of hope that in Christ, God is making all things new (Rev 21:5).
Mother’s Day is a mixture of beauty and brokenness—so is all of life. However you may approach this day: you are not alone. There are many with you on the journey. One day all the hurts of motherlessness and motherhood will be redeemed and restored.
Until that glorious day, find rest in Christ’s power in you and keep looking up, looking back, looking around, and looking long with hope.