I was tempted to stay home from church. I wasn’t sure I could walk in and fake being happy on this particular day. I cried out to the Lord, telling Him that He was asking too much, expecting me to attend the worship service that particular morning. You see, it was Mother’s Day.
For the first several years of our marriage, Mother’s Day was an uncomfortable event to process. Year after year of infertility and month after month of negative pregnancy tests made it difficult to celebrate this special day. I loved my own mother, of course. And I was thankful for my friends who had children.
But I was sad for myself and for my husband.
I didn’t think I could smile and pretend for another year.
As I sat in the pew, the pastor preached a stirring sermon on the attributes of motherhood. All the things he said were true. They just didn’t apply to me. And when the time came for all the mothers in the sanctuary to stand and be honored, my head dipped and the tears flowed. As mothers all around the room proudly rose from their seats, I prayed silently.
Why, Lord, can’t this be me? What do you have in store for me? You know my desire is to be a mom. Will this ever happen? I’m so sad, Lord. I know you are good, but I need you to show me your goodness today.
As I lifted my head and wiped my tears, I felt an arm around my shoulder. My dearest friend, a mother herself, had been watching my silent grief. She knew the longings of my heart because I had poured them out to her over and over for many years.
This friend touched her forehead to mine, squeezed my shoulders, and said these precious words. “I know that God has great plans for your life. I am so sorry you are grieving today. I love you and I cherish you.”
She was an answer to my prayer and exactly what I needed in that moment. Someone to acknowledge my hurts and to love me anyway.
Later that afternoon, in the stillness of my home, I grabbed my Bible as I attempted to process my hurts and disappointments from the morning celebration. I read through many Scriptures, but one jumped out at me.
So do not fear, for I am with; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Friend, the Bible doesn’t tell us that our lives will be easy. God’s Word doesn’t say that we will never suffer. In fact, it tells us just the opposite, that there will be times of suffering in our lives. But, through this verse in Isaiah and many others, I was reminded that the Lord my God is with me. No matter what I am going through, He will give me strength to get through it. When I can’t hold myself up any longer, when I can no longer pretend to be happy, He is there to hold me up.
And He will be there to hold you up, as well. Our God is faithful to stand by our side and walk with us in our darkest hours.
If you are experiencing a time of disappointment or hurt, run to the One who can heal your wounds. He loves you beyond what you can imagine.