This Sunday, along with most of the world, we will be celebrating Mother’s Day. It’s a day to honor those who gave birth to us, kissed our boo-boos, cheered us on, and loved us first. The mother’s among us deserve our praise. Motherhood is hard. It’s full of stress, anxiety, and difficulty, yet most moms you talk to will say they wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s certainly the most important job in the world. Where would we be without mothers? God even describes himself in a motherly role in multiple places in scripture when talking about some aspects of His relationship with His people. (Mt 23:37, Isa 49:15, Isa 66:13, to name a few)

For most, Mother’s Day is a day full of joy celebrating the women who have given the most of themselves to raise us. For some, though, the day is set upon the backdrop of pain and heartache. The fact is that the world is a broken place and not everyone is fortunate to be able to celebrate in the face of that brokenness. For them, mother’s day is simply a reminder of long lingering pain: the pain of desiring to be a mother, yet unable to receive this wonderful gift, the pain of bringing up the grief you though you put aside so long ago when you said “I love you,” to your mom for the final time, the pain of being being a mother separated from your own children through death or other issues, the heartache of having been given a mother who would rather not have you as their child. I don’t mention these things to rain on anyone’s parade, and these people struggling through this pain do not wish to ruin anyone else’s time, either. As the church, though, we are called and empowered by the Holy Spirit to seek out the brokenness in the world and work to mend it. At the very least, these children of God deserve our attention for a moment.

To the one who aches to be a mother but is unable to.

I am so very sorry that you have to go through this. That you have been given the desire to become a mother and yet it seems like an impossibility. It is truly heart breaking that you have been given such a difficult burden, one most of us can never truly understand. I hope that knowing your church family mourns with you helps to ease that burden, if only by a little. Know that you are in good company. Sarah, Rebecca, Hannah, and even Elisabeth were all sure that they would not be able to have children of their own until our Lord blessed them and removed their barrenness. Our heavenly Father, through His grace and mercy, is able to do miraculous things through our weakness. Our prayer for you is that the Lord be near you and comfort you during this time. God’s love surpasses anything that you struggle with. Your worth is solely based upon your identity as your Heavenly Father’s child. You have not been forgotten by our Heavenly father and you are not forgotten by your church family.

To the one whose mother is celebrating this Sunday in the presence of our Lord in heaven

We know all to well the love of a mother. Their powerful love for us makes it just that much harder to say goodbye. The unfortunate truth of life is that here on Earth it eventually ends. This is a pain that even I myself carry with me having said goodbye to my own mother far too early. Now we are only left with memories of past Mother’s Days, and the pain that we occasionally feel when seeing others celebrate with their own moms. If you have recently experienced this, let me say that I am so terribly sorry that this is a sorrow that you are bearing now. It is truly unfair that the ones we love so much are taken from us. In his book, “A Grief Observed,” C.S. Lewis states that the loss of a loved one is like an amputation. It takes with it a part of you. After a while you adjust and learn to walk again, but it’s always like walking with a limp. The impact is permanent, but the pain is not. That is what I pray for you today. I pray that the Lord comfort you and that you are soon able to deal with the pain and learn to walk on, even if it’s walking with a limp.

To the mother who must celebrate Mother’s day apart from their children

I’ve always thought that parenthood was a strange thing. My mother was part of my life ever since I was born, yet I was only part of my mother’s life for a fraction of it. Even so, her love for me felt like she had known me forever. I know I am not unique in this regard. The love a mother had for her children is a reflection of the love God has for us. It is one of the closes ways we will ever get to experiencing that love from someone else. That is why it is so tragic when a child is taken from their mother through death. If the world was perfect, mother’s would never bury their children. Unfortunately, we live in a broken world. If you are experiencing this pain today, know that you are not alone. Your church family grieves with you and so does our Heavenly Father. He too, experienced watching his child die. He knows of the pain you carry and he cares deeply for you. His love and grace are more than enough to sustain you through this awful heartache and I pray that you fall into his loving arms when it feels that the pain is too much.

I know that death is not the only thing that can come between a mother and her child. There are multiple difficult situations that may separate us. Your children may be deployed in the military, incarcerated, or simply unable to travel due to the virus. We pray that you will be reunited soon and that the Lord sustains you through this difficult season.

To the one who’s earthy mother has failed to love them

There is a certain deep and horrible pain brought on by being rejected by the one whom should love you through anything. A sort of pain that no one should ever feel. If you are struggling with this pain during this time, then I am so very sorry. It’s unfair and it is not right. Unfortunately, we are unable to choose who our parents are, and sometimes our mothers have too much pain in their own lives to be able to love us like we deserve. My prayer for you today is that you know how deeply your Heavenly Father loves you. You value and worth are not tied up in what anyone on Earth believes about you, not even if that person is your own mother. You are valuable and loved because you are made in the divine image of a perfect God. While our earthly parents are broken people, our heavenly Father is perfect and his perfect love can take away all of our pain. His grace can make up for any failings our earthy parents may have. Know that you are loved and accepted by your Heavenly Father and you are loved by His bride, the Church. Nothing that anyone does can change that.

I pray that everyone has a happy Mother’s Day this Sunday, that you spend valuable time with your mom, create wonderful memories, and that the day is full of joy and laughter. I also ask that you remember those for whom this day is marked with pain. Say a prayer for them and reach out to them. Show them the love that your mother has shown you. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.