For many of us—and for our own various reasons—Mother’s Day isn’t an easy holiday to celebrate. Where others may roister rambunctious celebrations and rejoice in their handmade cards, your experience may be different. You may instead be holding space for your loss with a vacancy in your heart that cannot be filled on this side of eternity. So, here in this difficult season, we desire for you to feel honored in the midst of whatever emotions you may be facing today. So, to those who grieve Mother’s Day, here are three ways to be present on a day that may be heavy with loss and heartache.
1. Make space for your grief.
Oftentimes, we fall prey to the idea that we can’t allow ourselves to feel our grief so deeply. Maybe we think that too much time has passed and that the statute of limitations is up for our losses. These ideas couldn’t be further from the truth. Psalm 56:8 reminds us that the Lord knows our sadness and grief as intimately as we do: “You Yourself have recorded my misery. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” Take the time that you need to feel what you need to feel.
2. Call on your community.
We are often tempted to believe the lie that we, in our grief, are “too much” for those around us. We can think we are bringing others down when the joy of the Lord feels distant from us. However, this view isn’t the truth from the Word of God. Remember that the body of Christ, as brothers and sisters, is called to walk alongside you. Paul extends these words of encouragement to us in Galatians 6:2, when he writes that we ought to “carry one another’s burdens” so as to “fulfill the law of Christ.” Allow those in your community to take on some of the burden you carry. We are better together.
3. Trust that God knows and hears you.
You may feel like your cries have gone unheard to the Father, but they haven’t. Rather, He is inviting you in to dialogue with Him amidst your pain and loss. A great example of this dialoguing in Scripture comes from the book of Habakkuk, as the prophet turns to God with his complaints, grievances, devastation, and losses in hand: “I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the lookout tower. I will watch to see what He will say to me and what I should reply about my complaint” (Habakkuk 2:1). We, too, can trust in God’s listening ear and, though the grief is heavy, lean into the eternal hope we have in Christ.
Some of the greatest comfort we can find in this life is that Jesus feels our pain just as deeply as we do. Even when we don’t have the answers and can’t understand why, we can know that He is near to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18). To those who grieve Mother’s Day, may you feel honored, known, and loved today and everyday.