I would like to say Happy Mother's Day to all of my family members and friends who have been given the blessing of children.  This day is my first Mother's Day with a child outside the womb.  It's a lovely day, and it's nice that so many people stop to wish me a happy Mother's Day.  For the first time in four years, I had the blessing of being with my own mother for a few hours on this day.  

Today, I can't help but think of all of my friends for whom this day is more painful than joyful.  I have so many friends who have lost children or desire to have children and yet cannot.  My heart aches for these women.  I can't fully understand your pain because I have not experienced such grief.  I can't pretend to know how deeply you long to hold your children in your arms.  I can't understand why God has allowed this pain in your life.  I won't try to explain it away with nice fluffy phrases.  

I also have many friends whose children have been stricken by awful diseases, ailments, and sicknesses.  These women tirelessly and lovingly tend to their families with little time left to care for themselves.  They pour their very souls into caring for their little ones, and their hearts break to see their sweet children in such pain.  

Others of my friends have physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual burdens themselves, sometimes directly related to having children.  Severe morning sickness, post-partum depression, various pregnancy-related issues, severe sleep deprivation.... the list goes on and on.  Every day presents new challenges and there is little reprieve from the symptoms of these maladies.   

All of you are heavy on my heart this day.  I wish I could fix your situation and make it better.  I wish I could be with all of you, hold your hand, listen to you, cry with you, talk with you, and show you how much I care.  I want to help you bear your burden.  Distance separates us right now, but I can give you something that will mean more than a Hallmark card or a cup of Starbucks.  

Whatever you are facing in life right now is not a surprise to God.  I will not tell you to hold on to Him, because when we are so weakened by our circumstances in life, it is hard to do even that.  He, too, knows what it is like to see a child suffer.  Take heart, dear sisters:  he holds you tenderly and tightly to Himself.  You may struggle to feel like it most days, but the beauty of Christ's promise does not depend on your ability to feel His presence.  He is with you.  He will not leave you.  You can put your hope in this promise.  Return to it daily.  Hourly.  Minute-by-minute.  Cry out to Him in your distress.  He hears you.  

I pray for you especially today.  God be with you.

"He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
    and made me cower in ashes;
my soul is bereft of peace;
    I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, “My endurance has perished;
    so has my hope from the Lord.”

Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
    the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
    and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”"
-Lamentations 3:19-24
 


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